Now is a great time to host an outdoor get-together! The kids are out of school, the evening weather is nice, and the pool is refreshing. A few tips for planning your next outdoor party.
Choose a Theme – Selecting a theme for your get-together helps create a festive atmosphere. All-American BBQ with burgers and hot dogs to celebrate Independence Day, or margaritas and a mariachi band for a fiesta.
Make Guests Comfortable – Offers guests a beverage upon their arrival, and provide seating to accomodate the crowd you’re expecting.
Keep Food Simple – Use your backyard BBQ for preparing most of the food. It’s usually easier with less mess and gives you the opportunity to socialize while preparing the food.
Keep The Conversation Flowing – Brainstorm topics to bring up should the conversation turn stale.
Picture Memories – Snap photos before and during the party. Before pictures will be your reference of what you did with your party decor and set-up. Party pics will inspire you to have your next get-together!
Relax and Have Fun – Remember it’s a party. Relax and enjoy yourself!
The Arizona weather is nice enough to enjoy the outdoors almost year round. So why not extend your home by creating an extension of your home into outdoor living spaces? Why stay indoors when so much of the time you can be outdoors enjoying additional open spaces that surround your home? Generally, you will spend more of your outdoor time in the backyard of your home so let’s focus on things that can be done to create a Dream Retreat backyard.
A pool can be one entertainment option in spring/summer months. Landscape pavers are a popular option being used for Arizona pool decks. There are endless Arizona backyard design options that would be great compliment to a backyard pool. A grill area, pergola, recreational activities, and a water feature are just a few of the options that could enhance your Arizona backyard design.
Building an outdoor barbeque area can include not only a grill but flat cooking or burner surfaces, refrigerators, sinks, storage areas and more. Your outdoor BBQ area can have a sit around bar so guests and family members can sit and enjoy themselves while the grilling is being done.
For Arizona fall/winter enjoyment adding a patio fireplace or backyard firepit would enhance your outdoor living enjoyment, not to mention increase your home value. If you prefer some water recreation in the cooler months an above ground spa is a great idea. Whatever backyard design options you choose, they are all great areas of your extended living space to enjoy a warm cup of coffee, hot cocoa or your favorite beverage.
With the optimal weather we have in Arizona almost year round, you can enjoy your home with thousands of additional square feet in your backyard!
In today’s belt-tightening economy, homeowners want the best bang for their buck and a certified landscape architect can bring that to the table. Hiring a certified professional landscape architect offers home owners peace-of-mind knowing they are investing in their home with the help of a certified leader in the landscape design field. Certified landscape architects distinguish themselves from competition. They show that they are a cut above those who are not certified, and only know plants or just put a sign on their truck.
With “staycations” on the rise for many homeowners, clients are looking for landscape experts they can trust. An Arizona certified landscape architect is a professional who will deliver the highest standard of design possible. They will have expert knowledge in Arizona plants, landscape lighting, outdoor living spaces, firepits, outdoor bbq grills, and outdoor fireplaces. In addition to having expert knowledge of the elements that create a professional landscape, they also will offer the best possible layout to create the most effective use of space and great visual appeal.
At Dream Retreats Landscape & Design, our designs are created by an Arizona certified landscape architect. As a result, we have a competitive edge because we give our clients confidence that their landscape design has been prepared by a professional with the skill, knowledge and education to execute an Arizona landscape plan properly from start to finish. Dream Retreats Landscape & Design has been landscaping Arizona for over twenty years. We are an Accredited Business with the Better Business Bureau earning an A+ rating. We always offer free consultations to discuss your landscape vision. By being an Arizona certified landscape architect we raise the bar of professionalism in Arizona landscape design and construction.
In today’s economy, staycations are becoming increasingly popular, and many people are trying to add value to their homes. One way to make your family’s time at home more enjoyable as well as increase the home’s value is by creating a backyard oasis for relaxing and entertaining.
Owning a swimming pool means you already have a head start on your outdoor retreat. You can escape to your own backyard for a fun family gathering or have a party to entertain friends. Also many homebuyers will be delighted to see that you have a pool should you decide to put your house on the market. Updating your swimming pool and/or the surrounding landscaping will take your backyard oasis to a new level.
First, decide on the overall look and feel you want for your Arizona outdoor living space. Do you want to keep things casual or would you prefer a more formal space? Would you rather have lots of color or does monochromatic color scheme fit your taste better?
Next, consider which elements of Arizona outdoor living will fit your lifestyle and budget. If you want to keep things simple, consider:
If you want your new Arizona backyard landscape to be more lavish, ideas include:
Many backyard renovations are ongoing efforts, but as long as you plan strategically so you know what the finished design should look like, nearly any project you take on will both increase your family’s enjoyment of the outdoor living space and add value to your home.
With the current recession that plagues us; there is growing concern of the number of unqualified landscapers that are working within the landscape contracting industry. Concern of unqualified landscape contractors is growing within many Homeowner Association Communities who are trying to uphold standards regarding landscapes within their communities to aid in maintaining home values in an already challenging housing industry. HOA’s aren’t the only segment that this concern is growing among, many licensed, experienced landscape contractors and manufacturers of building materials are also being affected by unqualified “landscapers.” Professional landscape contractors are being undercut in bidding wars with these so called landscapers along with manufacturers are being affected by the bad name their product is getting because these “landscapers” will almost always blame the product not the installation when their work begins to turn bad.
There are numerous unlicensed, unqualified, uninsured landscape contractors within the Phoenix area that many homeowners are hiring to provide landscaping services especially in the area of concrete thin overlay landscape paver installations for new driveways, patio’s, sidewalks and pool decks.
Dream Retreats landscape paver pool deck
Landscape pavers are an alternate to poured concrete surfaces that provide brilliant color, shapes and sizes that can provide “curb appeal” and value to homeowners. There are currently several different manufacturers here in the Phoenix area that produce superior products at reduced prices due to the collapse of the building industry.
The success of any landscape paver project depends on the willingness of the installer to install landcape pavers correctly. This often seems to be the big problem! Almost all paver installations should be installed over 2″ of base material (referred to as ABC) that needs to be compacted with 1/2″ to 1″of finish sand over the ABC to provide a proper bedding platform on which the pavers rest. To do otherwise results in project failure (heaving and shifting movements that look like ocean waves) that often gets blamed on the paver itself, when in fact it is the installation process. If paver projects are installed correctly by a licensed, experienced contractor, they will provide a lifetime of beauty and functional service.
There are a flood of purported contractors that leave business cards on homeowner doors. Many of these are people that have no business being in business. The only attraction they present to the unsuspecting homeowner is the cheap price. Many of the prices we see out there are below the cost of what a legitimate installer can charge, let along the idea of making a profit to enable them to stay in business. Usually it takes a year or so for paver project failures to present themselves- by then the cheap-guy in long gone. Try calling him to stop by to correct the problem – more than likely he is long gone and you are stuck with a mess. The blame for these failures are then unfairly placed on the pavers themselves.
Dream Retreats landscape paver patio
Thankfully, there is an organization named “I.C.P.I. of Arizona” short for “Interconnecting Concrete Paver Institute” that can provide homeowners with certified and licensed contractors to call for bids. Dream Retreats is a landscape contractor that serves the Phoenix area that is ICPI Certified. At Dream Retreats we have gone through the professional training and certification through the ICPI Institute. We will provide to homeowners the professional proper installation of landscape pavers.
Water conservation continues to be a major theme of Arizona homeowners’ landscape designs. One obvious reason is because of the hot, dry climate in Arizona . Another reason is that the state’s population has continued to grow over the last few decades, making the best use of our water resources critical. A popular landscape design option for Arizona homeowners continues to be bringing the beauty of the natural Sonoran desert into their frontyard and backyard landscaping. Xeriscape landscape designs use plants that require minimal or no irrigation.
Arizona Landscape & Design by Dream Retreats
At Dream Retreats Landscape & Design we take pride in designing and constructing beautiful and functional Arizona landscape environments that fit our customers needs. Homeowners from Scottsdale to Gilbert/Chandler, Queen Creek to Phoenix, and Mesa to Peoria can count on a professional landscape design and construction. Our attention to customer service sets us apart from our competitors. Dream Retreats is an Arizona Licensed Landscape Contractor. We are licensed, bonded and an Accredited Better Business Bureau member with an A+ rating.
Are you tired of looking at your ugly gray concrete patio? Or how about your cracking and peeling pool deck coating? Are you worried about the cost and mess involved in removing all that concrete in order to update your pool deck or landscape? Well I have a great solution for you to beautify your front or backyard landscape or redo your pool deck without having to go through all the cost and hassle. The latest products in the market are the new thin overlay paverslandscape pavers. These pool deck landscape thin overlay pavers can be placed right over the top of your concrete patio or pool deck. They can also be used to extend any patio or pool deck!
The best choices for pool decks are the new white cement thin overlay pavers from Arizona Block or the travertine pavers. Both are cool on your feet, look great, and have coping pieces that finish around the pool without having to remove the pool deck or damage the tile or pool interior.
If you’re considering extending your current patio to create a larger outdoor living space, thin overlay landscape pavers are a great. The paver can be placed on the existing concrete and then extended out into the yard on a prepared crushed granite sub-base. This is a great way to beautify your current patio as well as achieve the appearance of a larger overall space since it’s all one type of material.
In either case, using thin overlay landscape pavers is a great way to improve your landscape patio, or pool deck without the hassle of removing the existing concrete. Check out these jobs we did in Scottsdale and Chandler.
Thin Overlay Pavers for a patio & patio extension
Thin Overlay Pavers used for a pool deck
Are you getting ready to tackle a large landscape design and installation project? If the type of work you need done requires a licensed landscape contractor, does the landscape contractor you are looking at have a license?
Not having a valid license is a BIG red flag. Many “contractors” refuse to get licensed because they do not want to operate a legitimate business, which requires hiring legal employees, paying workers compensation and other insurance, charging and paying sales taxes or reporting such income to the IRS. They operate under the table and may often make a deal with you if you pay them cash. This type of attitude and mentality is a reflection of their follow through with your job. Would you trust them to stand behind their work? How can you file a complaint if something goes wrong? (You can’t).
That is why Dream Retreats Landscape is a Licensed Arizona Landscape Contractor and is registered both with the BBB and with the Arizona Registrar of Contractors. Dream Retreats Landscape is an Accredited Business with an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
You need to check to see if the license is in good standing for any landscape contractor that you are looking to hire. Do they have any complaints? If so, were they resolved? Check to verify that the person who gave you their license is the same as that indicated with the state records. We want to make sure all of our clients are protected, which is why we encourage all of our landscape design clients to contact the state agency that has our license on record.
Dream Retreats is your Arizona East Valley’s Premier Licensed Landscape Contractors. Give us a call today!