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All posts tagged Scottsdale custom landscape

Landscape Architects Distinguishes Professionals

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.


Fall In Arizona Is Perfect Backyard Firepit Weather

Dream Retreats backyard firepitWith the crisp chill of autumn upon us, an evening of sitting around a campfire might sound inviting.  Open fires aren’t allowed in most Arizona towns, but backyard firepits and patio fireplaces are.

Although a gas firepit or fireplace lacks the reality of a true fire, it can still put out a very convincing flame.  However, a gas firepit or fireplace will heat consistently, unlike a wood-burning fire.  Maintenance is minimal compared to all the work that goes into taking care of a wood-burning firepit or patio fireplace.  The convenience of it is what makes it so appealing to many people.  Anybody who enjoys the warmth and ambiance of flickering flames, but doesn’t want the hassle of buying wood and cleaning ashes should consider a gas patio fireplace or backyard firepit.

Patio Fireplace by Dream RetreatsThe landscape design possibilities are endless for incorporating fire into your backyard landscape and outdoor living space.  Instead of the metal bowl with last night’s charred remains, imagine a custom, artistically crafted stone structure.  By day, it is a stunning, creative backyard landscape feature.  When lit at night, it surprises, pleases, and warms guests without masking intoxicating garden fragrances.

Buyer Beware! Is Your Arizona Landscape Contractor An ICPI Certified Paver Installer?

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.

Landscape Pavers: Great Hardscape for Pool Decks & Patios

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 for a patio & patio extension

Thin Overlay Pavers used for a pool deck

Thin Overlay Pavers used for a pool deck