Simple Tips for Fall Pond Care

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Fall Pond Care & Maintenance

Fall Pond Care & Maintenance

 

Fall Pond Care

Fall Pond Care consists of a few simple task that will save you tons of headaches once the spring come around. Below our friends at Aquascape have provided a list of a few chores to tackle before old man winter arrives.

 
BY: Aquascape

Putting your pond to bed for winter doesn’t need to be an arduous process. Sure, it’s sad to say goodbye to your finned friends for a few months, but following our simple fall pond care tips will ensure that your fish joyfully greet you again in the spring.

 

Simple fall pond care tips

 

Remove leaves and debris

Putting a pond net over your water feature before leaves start falling from trees is the easiest way to contain and manage leaf control. Once all the leaves have fallen, simply roll up the net, discard the leaves, and put the net away until the next time it’s needed.

If you didn’t install netting, you’ll probably have a build up of leaves and debris that need to be removed. A long-handled pond net makes an easy job of scooping the debris from the bottom of the pond. If you leave the debris on the bottom of the pond, you’ll be creating a bigger mess to face in the spring.

 

Trim dead or dying foliage

Trimming dead foliage helps remove excessive organic debris that would otherwise decompose in the water. Cut back hardy waterlilies just above the base of the plant and cut back marginal plants that could droop over into the water.

 

Add cold water bacteria

 Add cold water bacteria, such as Aquascape Cold Water Beneficial Bacteria to help keep pond water clean and clear. Cold Water Beneficial Bacteria contains concentrated strains of beneficial bacteria designed to work in temperatures lower than 50 degrees. Regular use of Aquascape Cold Water Beneficial Bacteria will help maintain water quality and clarity, as well as dramatically reduce spring maintenance by digesting debris that may accumulate over the winter months.

 

If you leave your pond running

Operating your pond and waterfalls during the winter will provide beautiful ice formations for you to enjoy throughout the frosty season. Keep in mind, there will be a bit of maintenance required this time of year, such as topping off the pond due to evaporation. Also, you’ll need to make sure ice formations don’t create dams that can cause unnecessary water loss over the edge of the stream.

 

If you shut down the pond

Many homeowners in northern climes choose to shut down the pond for the winter months. If you choose this option, remember to:

  • Remove the pump from your pond and store it in a warm place like the garage or the basement. Protection from the cold lengthens the life of your pump.
  • Drain the water out of the plumbing. This prevents standing water from freezing and expanding, potentially cracking the pipes that connect your filtration system.
  • Remove and clean the filter media and spray them thoroughly with a garden hose. Store them in the garage or the basement along with the pump.
  • Oxygenate the water by placing a small re-circulating pump, such as the AquaForce® on the top shelf of your pond. Oxygenating the water is not only for the sake of your fish, but it also helps keep a hole open in the ice when the surface of your pond starts freezing. This hole allows harmful gasses to escape, and oxygen to get in.
  • If it gets really cold where you live, you may consider adding the Aquascape De-Icer. At extremely low temperatures, the oxygenation of the water may not be sufficient to keep a hole open in the ice.
  • That’s where the De-icer saves the day. It compliments the AquaForce and, together, they’ll keep most any pond open.

 

Ensure healthy fish before winter

A well-balanced diet creates healthy, happy fish. You want to make sure your fish are in good condition before they go into hibernation. When the water temperature falls below 60 degrees, the metabolism and digestion of your fish begins to slow down. Aquascape Premium Cold Water Fish Food is scientifically formulated to properly nourish your fish during these lower temperatures. Be sure to stop feeding your fish when water temperature falls below 50 degrees.

Taking a little time and effort to prepare your pond for winter not only helps your fish survive their winter slumber, but makes your spring maintenance much easier. Be sure to follow these winter guidelines so you can experience the greatest joy from your pond when spring rolls around once again.

Simple Tips for Fall Pond Care

 

 

Watch this short video on how to winterize your pond:

 

Beautiful 45′ Waterfall

https://cepontzsons.com/waterfall/
Amazing Disappearing Waterfall installed in Lancaster, PA

Amazing Disappearing Waterfall installed in Lancaster, PA

This beautiful waterfall and stream installation was recently completed in Lancaster, PA. The water feature is approximately forty five feet in length. We built the falls through an existing masonry seating wall already existing on the property. This is first phase of what we hope to be an additional 45′ feet or so of pondless waterfalls and stream that will travel up through the front of the home. The water feature flows down to the basin just before the natural stone boulder wall and is outfitted with an overflow that directs into a natural spring pond on the property. Underwater LED landscape lighting was also installed through the feature for nighttime enjoyment. The feature is made of of natural slightly weathered limestone and as per normal the water feature products are from aquascape.

Waterfall Installed in Lancaster, PA

Waterfall Installed in Lancaster, PA

Amazing 45' Pondless Waterfall installed in Lancaster, PA

Amazing 45′ water feature installed in Lancaster, PA

Pondless Waterfall Installed in Lancaster, PA

Pondless Waterfall Installed in Lancaster, PA

Waterfall Installed in Lancaster, PA

water feature Installed in Lancaster, PA

Pondless Waterfall Installed in Lancaster, PA

Pondless Water feature Installed in Lancaster, PA

Amazing 45' Pondless Waterfall installed in Lancaster, PA

Amazing 45′ Pondless Water feature installed in Lancaster, PA

Plants for Ponds

https://cepontzsons.com/plants-ponds/

Ecosystem Pond Install in Lancaster, PA

Ecosystem Pond Install in Lancaster, PA


Looking for Plants for Ponds? Unsure what type to buy? What their purpose in a pond is? Will they last all year in my climate? Well lucky for you we have the answers for you about all types of plants for ponds provided below. Our good friends at Aquascape have put together a nice reference guide for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

 

Plants for Ponds: AN EASY REFERENCE GUIDE

BY: Aquascape

Pond plants like water lilies, cattails, pickerel weed, and water lettuce are a necessary part of your customers’ pond ecosystems.  It’s important for you to know the different types of aquatic plants available and the critical role they play in the water garden so that you can educate your customer.

 

pond ecosystem waterfalls stream water features water gardens waterscapes landscapes lancaster pa lititz pa aquascapes aquatic

Ecosystem pond in Lancaster, PA

 

Aquatic Plants in the Big Picture

In the big picture, pond plants are a necessary and essential part of a naturally balanced aquatic ecosystem.  If plants are excluded from a water garden, the entire ecosystem is thrown out of whack.  Plants use the excess nutrients in the pond to grow, thereby stealing them from the algae, essentially preventing algae from growing.

 

Elminate plants from a pond and you’ll have …

– A pond without sufficient oxygen
– A pond without healthy fish
– A pond without aerobic (good) bacteria
– A pond without the ability to break down waste products
– A pond without naturally crystal clear water
– A pond without the ability to inhibit algae growth, and
– A pond that most resembles a pot of green pea soup

Plants for Ponds - Water Lettuce - Aquascape

 
The moral to this part of the story is, don’t allow your customers to contradict Mother Nature by underestimating the value and function of pond plants in and around the water garden.  If they don’t understand the “balanced ecosystem” concept, then do yourself a favor and take 5 to 10 minutes to explain this basic aspect of water gardening to them.  Those 5 to 10 minutes could save you 5 to 10 hours (or more) of headaches and help you avoid unhappy customers in the long run.

 

Aquatic Plants in the Smaller Picture

If you’re not familiar with aquatic plants, or aquatic plant terminology you may be able to use this quick, user-friendly, guided tour through the mysterious, linguistic forest of water gardening.

 

10 Common Aquatic Plant Factoids You Should Know

Plants for Ponds - Water Lilies - Attraction - Aquascape

 
To make it easier to remember, we’ve broken this information down into ten factoids you should know.  Here they are in plain English:

Terrestrial Plants vs. Pond Plants
This one’s easy. Pond plants live in and around water.  Terrestrials live on land.  So water lilies are aquatic.  Sunflowers are terrestrial.

Marginal and Deep Water Pond Plants
Within the community of aquatic plants there are those that live on the edge of the pond in well-saturated soil or gravel, and those that live deeper in the water. The first are referred to as marginal, or transitional, plants.  The second are referred to as deep water plants.

Invasiveness
One of the characteristics water gardeners concern themselves with is a plant’s aggressiveness; its tendency to propagate, reproduce, multiply, and grow at the expense of its neighbors.  The term used to describe this characteristic is invasiveness. It refers to a plant’s tendency to invade or aggressively take over and occupy a particular part of the water garden.  If a plant exhibits extremely invasive, aggressive tendencies, your customer will probably have to trim it back so that it doesn’t suffocate its neighbors.

Floating Plants
Plants like water hyacinth and water lettuce are referred to as floating plants for obvious reasons. These plants are excellent filters since they derive all of their nutrients through the water. They also tend to be annuals in most non-tropical climates.

Plants for Ponds - Water Lettuce Floating on Pond

Geographical Zones

For plants and gardening, the world is divided into 11 geographical/climactic zones, which go from #1 (a tropical climate) to #11 (Antarctica). These zones are used to indicate where plants will survive, thrive, multiply, and propagate.  The phrase “this plant will be hardy up to zone 7” is how it’s usually expressed.

Rhizomes

Rhizomes are horizontal stems or roots on a pond plant.  Rhizomes serve as a mother stem off of which lots of baby stems grow.

Viviparous

In the animal kingdom this term refers to animals that give birth to living young (like humans) instead of eggs (like chickens).  But in the plant kingdom, it refers to plants that germinate while still attached to the parent plant.

Variegated
– Having to do with variety in colors and shapes, such as a variegated leaf.

Anthropomorphic
– Giving human-like qualities to something that’s non-human.

Equip yourself with pond plant knowledge so you can talk intelligibly with your customers, whether you’re a retailer or a contractor.  Your customers will view you as a reliable resource.

http://www.aquascapeinc.com/blogs

Waterfall Renovations

https://cepontzsons.com/waterfall-renovations/
Waterfall Renovations to Display Water feature

Waterfall Renovations to Display Water feature

This project consisted of waterfall renovations to our front entrance water feature display. The display features all types of different elements that can be installed in your very own yard. While this display is quite grand, water features can be built to fit any size and almost any budget.

Waterfall Renovations to Display Water feature

Waterfall Renovations to Display Water feature

Fountain Addition to Display Water Feature

Fountain Addition to Display Water Feature

The original construction of this feature began in in early 2007. Since then it has undergone various upgrades, renovations and additions. We started this build in January of 2007 and it was absolutely freezing to say the least. There were quite a few days where we had to set fires in attempts to soften the ground for digging. Certainly not the ideal situation.

Front Waterfall Display first day 1/05/07

Front Waterfall Display first day 1/05/07

The below pictures and video depict some of the latest upgrades. While there’s still a lot of the original installation that remains today, quite a few updates have been made. Most recently being the remodeling of the main waterfall for the side stream. Along the side stream we also installed a rosetta outcropping wall The massive size and weight of the outcropping system makes it visually striking and extremely strong. The retention basin area was also partially renovated along with a complete rebuild of the final waterfalls.

Custom Fire Bowl Spillway addition to Water Feature Display

Custom Fire Bowl Spillway addition to Water Feature Display

Some drift wood was added to further naturalize the feature. A skimmer was added to the pooling area to improve circulation as well as house additional pumps. A small stacked slate urn was installed in the pooling area running off the skimmer pump. A customized fire bowl was outfitted with a spillway modification which also poured into the pooling area. The pump for the custom fire bowl is also housed in the skimmer. The majority of the surrounding landscape has been renovated with the addition of tons of new plants, trees, and shrubs, as well as additional landscape beds.

Pondless Waterfall renovation in Lancaster, PA

Pondless Waterfall renovation in Lancaster, PA

Waterfall Renovations to Display Water feature

Waterfall Renovations to Display Water feature

Custom Fire Bowl Spillway addition to Water Feature Display

Custom Fire Bowl Spillway addition to Water Feature Display

Stream Bank Stabilization

https://cepontzsons.com/stream-bank-stabilization/

This Natural Stream Bank Stabilization project is the third phase of the overall project.

Natural Stream Bank Retaining Wall in Southern Lancaster County, PA

Natural Stream Bank Retaining Wall in Southern Lancaster County, PA

The third phase of the project included installation of the stream retaining wall stretching from the existing stone wall and running beyond the existing garage approximately 115′ linear feet. We widen the stream towards the bank side and constructed the retaining wall on the street side of the stream approximately 3-5′ in height as needed. The stream bank retaining wall is constructed of manufactured large wall stone system that interlocks between pieces for a solid finished product. The Rosetta Wall is a giant difference between your average landscaping wall. The massive size and weight of the outcropping system makes it visually striking and extremely strong.

Stream Bank Stabilization in Southern Lancaster County, PA

Stream Bank Stabilization in Southern Lancaster County, PA

Natural Stream Bank Retaining Wall in Southern Lancaster County, PA

Natural Stream Bank Retaining Wall in Southern Lancaster County, PA

Stream Bank Stabilization in Southern Lancaster County, PA

Stream Bank Stabilization in Southern Lancaster County, PA

Stream Bank Stabilization in Southern Lancaster County, PA

Stream Bank Stabilization in Southern Lancaster County, PA

Phase 2 included This natural stream restoration project is located in southern Lancaster County, PA. The project consisted of removal of existing deteriorating stream bank supports. We then excavated the banks of the stream to allow for installation of new natural stone retaining walls. The stream was also widened slightly to improve flow and help prevent future flooding. This was an additional phase of a larger project. Below is some pictures of the stream restoration. Below that is another project video from the other phases of this project.

Phase 1 includes installation of a multiple tier terrace boulder wall in the large embankment at the rear of the property. Above the top tier of the boulder walls we be a natural flagstone patio and fire pit with an additional boulder retaining wall around the patio seating area. The fire pit will be a natural stone 48? fire pit with wood burning smokeless fire pit insert. We installed natural stone steps on each tier of the wall for ease of access to the patio. Also included was installation of of a natural stone stepper walking path for access to the top of the embankment into the woods. The project will be finished off with plantings and landscape mulch beds throughout the property. There are other phases of this project still in the planning stages. Stay tuned for more on this project in the near future.

Amazing Patio Design

https://cepontzsons.com/amazing-patio-design/
Amazing Patio Design installed in Southern Lancaster County, PA

Amazing Patio Design installed in Southern Lancaster County, PA

 
This is our latest amazing patio design project installed in southern Lancaster county, PA. The patio project included the renovation of existing patio area and new landscape design installation.

The new patio is approximately 685 sq ft of Belgard ‘Lafitt’ pavers. Bordering the patio is a beautiful Rosetta ‘Belvedere’ retaining wall approximately 25 feet in length. A aquascape pondless waterfall system with a 16 foot stream was installed facing the patio area. Landscape beds, new plant material and trees were installed surrounded by freshly edged and mulched landscape beds. A Cedar pergola was installed over the main sitting area of the paver patio. 4′ tall cedar privacy panels were installed around the AC unit and generator to make it more aesthetically pleasing. Low voltage LED landscape lighting was installed on the pergola, on select trees, in water feature, and along path and patio. Once complete the site was re-graded and seeded.

Pondless Waterfall installed in Southern Lancaster County, PA

Pondless Waterfall installed in Southern Lancaster County, PA

Outdoor Living Area installed in Southern Lancaster County, PA

Outdoor Living Area installed in Southern Lancaster County, PA

Outdoor Living Area installed in Southern Lancaster County, PA

Outdoor Living Area installed in Southern Lancaster County, PA

Amazing Patio Design installed in Southern Lancaster County, PA

Amazing Patio Design installed in Southern Lancaster County, PA

Outdoor Living Area installed in Southern Lancaster County, PA

Outdoor Living Area installed in Southern Lancaster County, PA

Outdoor Living Area installed in Southern Lancaster County, PA

Outdoor Living Area installed in Southern Lancaster County, PA

Amazing Patio Design installed in Southern Lancaster County, PA

Amazing Patio Design installed in Southern Lancaster County, PA

Pondless Waterfall installed in Southern Lancaster County, PA

Pondless Waterfall installed in Southern Lancaster County, PA

Pondless Waterfall installed in Southern Lancaster County, PA

Pondless Waterfall installed in Southern Lancaster County, PA

Constructed Wetlands

https://cepontzsons.com/constructed-wetlands/

BUILDER TIPS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS

BY:Aquascape

 
Aquascape Constructed Wetlands Filtration System

 
Constructed wetlands have grown in popularity over the last couple of years mainly because of their natural look and aesthetic appeal. But what exactly is a wetland and just how does it function?

A wetland works just like a biological filter, but instead of creating a waterfall; it creates an area in your pond thick with naturally-filtering plants, as well as rocks and gravel, which provide a surface for bacterial colonization … nature’s perfect filters. So a wetland, while naturally beautiful and pleasing to the eye, is a great filtration method, and will help keep your water looking crystal clear.

One of the greatest things about wetland filtration is that it can be used with almost any system. But will it fit in with your pond? Do you have to have a lot of space to construct a wetland?  There are no size limitations because it acts as your biological filtration. The plants, rocks, and gravel act as the filtration media, similar to what you see in nature.

 

The Benefits

 Sure it might look pretty, and it might be designed like a wetland straight out of the marshlands, but how clean does it keep the water? Some say it’s even better than a biological filter, but in actuality, the benefits are very similar. Wetland filtration balances out your water very well, sometimes better than the biological filter, and once it is balanced, your pond will require less water treatment application.

If you install a larger pond with more than one biological filter, the financial benefits of the constructed wetland system will make your customer’s pocketbook pretty happy. If you only have one waterfall, the energy consumption is about the same, but if you have multiple waterfalls, powered by multiple pumps, you can save money by using the wetland system instead.

 

Learning the Secret

 Aquascape Constructed Wetlands Filtration
 
The key to a wetland filtration system lies with the plants. Plants are an integral part of a balanced pond ecosystem and help create a natural looking environment, which is becoming more important to today’s consumer. Plants help purify the water by reducing nutrients, filtering out sediments and absorbing toxic compounds through the process of phytoremediation, they’re also the basis of a food web in which pathogens are consumed by microorganisms associated with the aquatic plants.

Another key to the filtration lies in the sediment chamber created by the AquaBlox®on the bottom of the wetland. This sediment chamber reduces the velocity of the incoming water below 2 feet/second, allowing the sedimentation process to occur while dispersing the water evenly along the bottom of the wetland. The slow, even flow of water is necessary for optimal contact time between the water and gravel bringing nutrients and oxygen to the bacterial colonies. Beneficial bacteria are housed in this gravel, providing your first layer of filtration before the water even hits the plant roots.

The important thing to remember when considering a constructed wetland filter is that, similar to your biological filter’s placement, the wetland filter should be flowing down to your pond for optimal efficiency. The wetland must sit a little higher than the pond because you need the water to flow back into the pond, because the bacteria housed in the wetland will consume dissolved oxygen as they utilize nutrients. This flow of water in the form of a waterfall or swift-moving stream back into the pond is a natural way to re-oxygenate the water.

 

The Snorkel® and Centipede®

 Aquascape Constructed Wetlands Filtration System

 
Aquascape’s Snorkel® Vault
 and Centipede® Module, along with a layer of small AquaBlox® strategically positioned along the bottom of the filter makes building a wetland simple. All you need to use in conjunction with these two components is a pump appropriate to the amount of water flow, rock and gravel, wetland plants, piping that is appropriate for the size of your pump, a skimmer or wet well, and, of course, water.

The water flows through the plumbing from the wet well or skimmer, into the Centipede® Module, which pushes the water into the AquaBlox® sediment chamber up through the layers of gravel where it comes into contact with beneficial bacteria and then the plant roots for final filtration. The Snorkel® Vault is convenient for cleaning any sludge that may accumulate on the bottom through usage. Simply pop off the cap and you have complete access for easy cleaning.

 

What about the Waterfall?

 Maybe your customer wants a wetland but doesn’t want to lose the beauty and sound of a waterfall. No problem! Your customer can have both! You can’t over-filter a pond. It’s virtually impossible. And remember, for large ponds, incorporating both a constructed wetland and waterfall will cost less in operational costs than two waterfalls.

What some installers don’t realize is that your biological filtration actually acts as a wetland filtration system of sorts when you place certain plants in the top of it. Water hyacinth and water lettuce are always a fan favorite, but certain marginals like iris, dwarf cattails, pickerel rush, and any tropicals also work. The important thing to remember is that all of these plants will have to be removed when the cold temperatures hit. You may want to keep some of them in pots for easy removal before the winter winds howl. This may inhibit their filtration a bit, but something’s always better than nothing when it comes to filtration.

So even without a full-fledged constructed wetland system, you can feel comfortable that a wetland of sorts is working in your pond by adding aquatic plants inside the top of the biological filter. After all, the same process is in effect, with water pushing up and through the filter media, and then up through your plant roots.

 

Wetlands Work

 The bottom line is that constructed wetlands work, and they make any pond look natural and gorgeous. What’s more, natural wetlands and the associated riparian habitats are the most biologically diverse habitats on earth, more species of plants and animals are associated with them than any other type of ecosystem.

But because of our construction practices and changes to natural hydrology, these systems are under great stress. By adding a small wetland in your customer’s backyard, you’ll be helping to preserve the natural biodiversity of your community. With today’s growing tendency toward creating sustainable landscape solutions, you can see why wetland filtration is an obvious choice for today’s environmentally-conscious consumer.

Budgeting a Landscape Project

https://cepontzsons.com/budgeting-landscape-project/

Are you having trouble budgeting a landscape project of your dreams? Well look no further. Our good friends at Techo-Bloc are here to help your with your troubles. Below is just a few of the many tactics you can implement to meet your budget and still get the backyard of your dreams.

 

How to Overcome Your Budget Challenges

Budgeting a Landscape Project

By: Naiby Jacques

Finally!

The money angels have given you a big break, and you have the right budget to build your dream backyard. Soon, you’ll be spending more quality time at home relaxing or entertaining your friends and family.

You’ve pinned all your design ideas — and made a wish list of your favorite outdoor features.

Ready-set-go! You hire a landscape contractor, evaluate your space, start planning, do a cost breakdown…

After an assessment, your contractor gives you a run around of all the issues your land is experiencing and how much the installation of your desired outdoor features will really cost and… in just a few minutes, you’re watching clear sunny skies being covered by big dark clouds. What you envisioned before starts to slowly fade away.

It’s time to pull you out of that landscape rut. We’ll give you solutions to circumvent your budget challenges so you can build your perfect backyard.

 

1. Change the Structure of Your Fire Feature

Budgeting a Landscape Project

Right now, fireplaces are the hottest trend for outdoor living. They definitely represent an architectural statement and become the focal point of your backyard.

But they are significantly more expensive due to construction time and engineering requirements to comply with code. Thereby, some cities/municipalities prohibit fireplaces.

If that’s not an issue in your area, but you’re tight on budget, there’s another way to light a fire in your backyard.

Choose a fire pit instead. Fire pits are a great alternative to save space and construction time.

At Techo-Bloc, all fire pits are built in stone so they last and don’t rust. They are also designed to be converted to gas or firewood to respect your city’s by-laws.

Budgeting a Landscape Project

 

2. Cut Curves Out

Budgeting a Landscape Project

Another element that will affect the cost of your patio is the intricacy of the design. If you want to add interest to your future walkways or retaining walls, you might want to go for curvy, circular or serpentine patterns.

The only thing is, they are considerably more expensive.

That’s because they take longer and more effort to cut and build. Whenever a landscape contractor has to spend more time making cuts (cutting paving stones or wall blocks), it translates into higher labor costs.

So stick with rectangular or square designs if you’re budget is tight.

Budgeting a Landscape Project

 

3. Do It in Phases

Budgeting a Landscape Project

 

If you don’t have enough of a budget to build your entire dream landscape project this year, you could work out a master plan now for future building. This means building your backyard in phases over the upcoming years.

In the long run, this approach might come out to more expensive, due to the increase in labor costs, requests for additional permits for complicated work, re-planning, replacing possible damaged material that was installed in the first phase, inflation, etc. And there’s always a chance you might change your mind on the initial design or that the situation of your property changes.

If you really can’t stand looking at your backyard right now for the life of you or if you’re short on funds — but you know more money will be coming in the future — phasing is a good solution.

Make sure you focus on the most important things or more complex work first. Talk to your contractor about prepping the site for future add-ons; plumbing, gas and electrical utilities before the paving work is done can save you time and money in the long run.

 

4. Don’t Slide Sown The Slippery Slope of Leveling the Land

Budgeting a Landscape Project

Is the slope of your land cutting away potential outdoor living space? Some people opt for leveling their land. This elevates/fills the ground up to the highest point to make for a larger usable/livable area and, therefore, creates a more suitable site for landscaping or other uses.

This is typically done using earthmoving equipment and other heavy machinery, which means more expenses.

Instead of leveling the land, consider building down into the slope (imagine steps down to an intimate fire pit or pool, like shown in the picture above). This way, you can gain privacy and save your wallet. Pretty neat, huh?

 

5. Avoid Raising the Patio

Budgeting a Landscape Project

More and more people are interested in building raised patios. These give elevation, dimension, and yard separation.

They’re beautiful, but they require that a landscape company has good experience installing large structural retaining walls. Raised paver patios are typically much more labor and material intensive, making them costlier than paver patios closer to ground level.

If your patio door is elevated from the ground, use that to your advantage by building sets of pavilions that create outdoor living zones and bring the height down to the ground in phases with steps.

This will reduce construction costs and increase privacy.

Budgeting a Landscape Project

 

Be Budget Savvy

Hooray! You can find clever ways to respect your budget — or go slightly over budget — and still get the desired outdoor features.

It’s just a question of picking your battles.

You might find some bumps in the road, but you don’t have to let go of your “wants” just yet.

Play with the shapes, sizes, or heights of certain elements to install things that still fit your taste. Make smart choices money-wise and defeat your challenges like a champ.

Remember, your land doesn’t own you; you own the land. And you control what you put in it.

So cut down costs if you have to — without sacrificing too much — and allow yourself to create a beautiful outdoor space.

 
Hopefully this post gave you some insight on Budgeting a Landscape Project.

Waterfall with Stone Steps

https://cepontzsons.com/waterfall-with-stone-steps/

This Waterfall with stone steps project included installation of two tier stone steps. At the end of each set of steps is a natural flagstone landing. A natural stone bridge separates the stairway and crosses the water feature. A flagstone path leading from the upper landing and reaches across the backyard ending around the side of the house at the driveway. The pondless waterfall stretches approximately 23′ in length. With a few small waterfalls throughout the stream the pondless feature finishes underneath the large natural stone bridge with a final grand fall. The water feature includes several LED lights in the for night time viewing.  As with all our water features this pondless was constructed with Aquascape products.  This project was installed in Lancaster, PA. As part of a larger project this waterfall and stone steps portion in only the first phase. Additional landscaping and masonry work will be completed in the future.

Pondless Waterfall with Natural Stone Steps installed in Lancaster, PA

Pondless Waterfall with Natural Stone Steps installed in Lancaster, PA

Pondless Waterfall with Natural Stone Steps installed in Lancaster, PA

Pondless Waterfall with Natural Stone Steps installed in Lancaster, PA

Waterfall with Stone Steps installed in Lancaster, PA

Waterfall with Stone Steps installed in Lancaster, PA

Waterfall with Stone Steps installed in Lancaster, PA

Waterfall with Stone Steps installed in Lancaster, PA

Pondless Waterfall with Natural Stone Steps installed in Lancaster, PA

Pondless Waterfall with Natural Stone Steps installed in Lancaster, PA

Waterfall with Stone Steps installed in Lancaster, PA

Waterfall with Stone Steps installed in Lancaster, PA

Pondless Waterfall with Natural Stone Steps installed in Lancaster, PA

Pondless Waterfall with Natural Stone Steps installed in Lancaster, PA

How a Backyard Update Can Boost the Value of Your Property

https://cepontzsons.com/backyard-update/

BY: Erin Vaughan of Techo Bloc

Good news, homeowners!

In a recent University of Michigan study, a backyard update was shown to boost property values up to 11 percent. That means that if you’re looking to boost your home’s rates on your next evaluation, your best bet may be to head to the backyard.

But sophistication counts, researchers found. Homes that featured a curated, professional look scored significantly better among buyers.

Meanwhile, landscape updates perform well on cost-versus-value reports as well. Decks, in particular, fare well along these measures.

In 2016, a midrange deck recouped 75 percent of its cost to install, beating out both bathroom and kitchen remodels. For context, the overall cost-versus-value rate for improvement projects in 2016 came in at around 64 percent.

That means you stand to reap substantial benefits by investing in your lawn and outdoor living spaces. In fact, some experts indicate that a $20,000 backyard update investment here could net around $200,000 when you resell.

That means every 1$ you put into the backyard is worth 10$ in improved value. Still, some improvements perform better than others, and it pays to stay up on outdoor trends.

Here are a couple of projects that will do the most for your home’s bottom line.
 

Turn Your Backyard Into An Extension Of Your Home

Updated backyard that can boost property

Landscaping and interior design experts both have been excited recently about the concept of the outdoor living area. The idea is to create spaces perfect for leisure and enjoying pleasant weather and nights spent with loved ones.

Meanwhile, open indoor rooms with large windows and glass doors give full views of your landscaping and outdoor panoramas.

To get the look for your outdoor space, extend your patio out past its current boundaries. You can implement circular cutouts for trees, shrubs, or attractive flower beds, lined with pavers. For the ideal outdoor hosting spot, add a dry stone fire pit or an outdoor kitchen with a stone countertop and grill.

Boost property value - outdoor kitchen

 

Boost Your Property Value—Without Growing Your Home’s Water Footprint

Backyards offer a chance to show off your home’s water efficiency, as well. Irrigation systems labeled with the EPA’s WaterSense seal carry weight among environmentally-minded homeowners.

This is especially important if you want to resell or add value to your home. As you might predict, interest in water-efficient properties soars during periods of drought.

But homes labeled with any kind of green certification tend to do well on the market. One study noticed a nine percent premium for properties carrying such labels. Using EPA-certified products lends credibility to any water-efficiency claims your realtor makes to potential buyers.

Surveys consistently demonstrate home shoppers’ rising interest in green properties. For instance, in one such study, an overwhelming amount of homeowners—up to 94 percent—who had purchased a green home in the past said they’d readily recommend such properties to a friend.

What’s more, 91 percent said they would definitely choose a green home if they were to relocate. Fifty-five percent said it didn’t even matter to them that their green home cost a little more than a conventional home.

Many of the most advanced irrigation controls are WiFi-connected and programmed to pull in data from local weather forecasts to prevent overwatering when it rains. They also time sprinkler use so that it’s just enough for the local climate. This can reduce water use by as 8,800 gallons annually, according to the EPA.

Another great eco-conscious option is permeable pavements. These allow for the proper percolation for surface water into the ground and reduce the risk and severity of flooding. Hence, they are great solution when designed as a means for water harvesting. In colder climates, they speed up the melting process of snow, reduce winter hazards and cost-savings on de-icing salt and snow removal.

backyard update

 

Many states/municipalities encourage the use of permeable pavements by offering tax incentives and utility fee reductions. You may want to check with your local government to see if they offer local incentives for their use.

Succulents or ornamental grasses can give a backyard an edgy flair and reduce the home’s water footprint. They’re lovely when paired with stone pathways or in flower beds built with retaining walls. They also beautifully complement the hardscaping projects mentioned in the section above.
 

Outdoor Lighting: More Than a Security Feature

backyard update can boost property value

 

Many high-end outdoor spaces now concentrate on lighting, even when the sun starts to fall.

Surveys show that 84 percent of respondents consider a home’s landscaping to be a determining factor in whether or not to purchase a home. Outdoor lighting helps you make the most of this and adds sophistication to your property, no matter what time of day you wind up showing it.

Dramatic uplighting highlights unique architectural features on your home. It can also draw attention to ponds and fountains, trees, fences, and other eye-catching areas in your yard.

Meanwhile, downlighting adds a welcoming feel to patios and other exterior seating. And there’s a lot more to it than floodlights. Circle cored LED paver lights can be concealed in your walkways and bounders. This allows you to add bright accents along paths or walls for extra ambience in your exterior living spaces.

For an enchanting look, try the LED lights that look like miniature sculptures. For a more classic look, opt for the LED string lights controlled via WiFi.

 

Make It Count with the Professional Touch

Uplighting landscaping features for dramatic effect is an art all to its own. For that reason, you may want to consult with a professional for this part of your landscaping efforts.

Complicated landscaping designs like installing water features, retaining walls, and hardscaping projects can often use a trained eye and a little expertise. Professional landscapers can advise you on the best types of designs to fit your climate and outdoor aesthetic. They’ll also have experience pulling permits if they’re required for your larger projects.

A landscaper can also take the guesswork out of construction jobs, such as hardscaped seating, fire pits, paths and stone walls, and tiered courtyards and garden walls.

Typically, professionals charge between $50 to $75 an hour. Still, most will draw up designs for you to DIY if you want to save money and do some of the hard labor yourself.

Smart landscaping, better lighting, and enviable stone features will give professional polish to your exteriors.

But watch out—you may just make the neighbors jealous!