How Can Pavers Increase the Value of a Home?



There are many improvements that you can make to your home throughout the interior and exterior, but one of the most beneficial improvements may be to add pavers to various areas of your front and back yards. Pavers can be used in a number of ways to improve the aesthetic look of your space, to add functional benefits and ultimately to increase the value of your home. With a closer look at how pavers can be used throughout your yard, you may decide that paver projects are next on your to-do list.

Beautifying Your Flower Beds
There are many materials that you can use to delineate flower beds with a lovely border, but pavers have unique qualities that make them superior to many other types of materials. First, these can be stacked on top of each other to add height to the flower beds. For example, they can help to terrace an uneven lawn, and the end points of the terracing can include gorgeous flower beds for a dramatic effect. In addition, the actual flower beds can be terraced upward or downward to create a beautiful cascading effect. Even basic flower beds outlined with one or two levels of pavers can give the flower beds a finished look that may not be achieved with other materials.

Adding Functional Improvements
While some types of pavers can be used for flower beds, others can be used for flat features, such as patios and walkways. These can drastically improve the look of your space by replacing worn out or muddy foot paths in high traffic areas as well as weather-beaten wooden decks. Pavers generally are easy to install and maintain, and they will not show signs of wear when exposed to foot traffic, the elements or other factors. These can be used to add functional outdoor living spaces where none exist, and they can even be installed to add stair steps for your safety if you have a steep incline on your property.

The Value of Curb Appeal
The fact is that pavers can be used in many ways to beautify the property and to add function. You can install patio areas, walkways, flower beds, terracing and other features throughout the front and back yards. While these all may serve a functional purpose, they also can enhance curb appeal dramatically. The value of a home is directly tied to its curb appeal, and these paved areas can help you to sell your property for a higher value and even to sell it more quickly if you choose to list the property in the future. Simply consider how much more appealing a home with a gorgeous landscaping design is in comparison to a home that has not been improved in this way.

If you are not happy with certain areas of your yard, take time to think about how the use of pavers can improve the space. You can also consult with a hardscaping company for more information about the options and for personalized advice about how pavers can be used creatively in your yard.

What Does It Mean for a Fireplace to be Re-faced?



Home owners looking to do some home improvement projects often scour the Web in search of the best upgrade, only to run across the term “fireplace re-facing” over and over again. What exactly does that mean? Is it a useful or valuable remodel for the house? How does it work?

The premise of re-facing a fireplace is exactly what it sounds like. The fireplace’s original exterior, or “face,” is replaced with something else. This could be a simple upgrade to something that looks a little newer, or it can be a huge remodel that completely changes the look. Popular fireplace re-placing options include stone, glass, tile, and marble. If your fireplace has always looked a little drab to you, this could be just what you need to make your living room cozier than ever.

The first step is deciding what materials you want. A quick Google image search of “re-faced fireplaces” will show you a variety of options and how they look when finished. When you find one you like, click to access the image website and find out what they used, and you’ve got a great starting point. There are features that may add an extra cost to the project, such as adding fireplace doors or a new mantel, so you can decide if you want to spend the extra dough on these or not.

If you’re not sure you have the money to buy the materials necessary for a full re-facing, consider a cheaper alternative, like simply painting the fireplace. It may not be as glamorous as you were looking for, but it’s much cheaper and can still give it a new look. For some home owners, it works as a great temporary upgrade until they can afford their dream look.

Pricing will vary depending on the size of your fireplace, the materials you want, and whether you do it yourself or bring in a contractor. You can sometimes buy DIY re-facing kits for a little less than it would cost someone to do it for you, but if you haven’t had experience re-facing fireplaces before, it’s best to hire someone else. It’s all too easy to mess something up, and then you have to bring in someone anyway to fix it, and in the end you haven’t saved any money at all.

The re-facing process begins by preparing the fireplace surface, cleaning up dents and scratches to make it easier to apply the new material. Once the fireplace is completely repaired, then the re-facing begins. The tile, stone, or other material is applied to the fireplace face, typically using mortar.

The process can be slightly different for every material chosen. While materials like marble and glass often come in one solid piece that you attach all at once, stone, brick, and tile require specific placement of each piece. To ensure you get the look you want, try creating a pattern with the pieces on the floor. When you hit a pattern you like, you can then recreate it on the fireplace.

Re-facing a fireplace definitely adds some value to the house — everyone wants a home where they can curl up in front of an attractive fireplace! It’s a great remodeling project to tackle, and you’ll feel the effects of the new look right away.

How Can a Fireplace be Enhanced?



The fireplace is often the first thing noticed when you enter a room. If you find out that your fireplace isn’t all that it could be, you may be unsure of what options you have available them to update the fireplace. You’d be surprised at how many options you have available to you to transform your home and make it your very own space.

Take the mantle to the next level

The mantles can do much more than hold a picture or two. While you may make great use of your mantle during the seasonal, winter months, your fireplace may not be doing much for the room the rest of the year. Position a stunning painting above the fireplace, and add several heirlooms to the top of the fireplace that complement the portrait.

Consider adding a façade

Unfortunately, many new homes come with a simple fireplace that blends in with the surroundings. Sometimes you have to take a risk and make your fireplace stand out more. Consider adding a façade around the fireplace to make the wall pop. There are all types of different wooden, stone, granite and all types of decorative options to give the fireplace a makeover.

Remove some clutter

If there is a lot of clutter on the fireplace, it may be difficult to really see what the fireplace has to offer. Removing several pieces may be all that is needed to improve the appearance of your fireplace. It is hard to find a theme if the fireplace if full of too much clutter. Make sure to have no more than four pieces on the mantle.

Pick a great painting

If you do not want to choose between multiple figurines or if you just aren’t a big fan of pictures, pick a great painting to hang above the mantle. The painting should really complement existing décor in the home. The painting should be modern if the existing furniture in the home is that style. Make sure that the painting really pops if the fireplace is going to be the focal point of the room.

Add contrast to fireplace

Transform the fireplace with a fresh coat of paint. You have several interior design options available to you. You can change the colors of the entire wall where the fireplace is located. You can also decide to focus exclusively on the fireplace itself and add a fresh coat of paint for it. The paint chosen for the job should be something unexpected.

The fireplace can be dressed up in several different ways to make it stand out. If you have ever wondered what can be done to give the fireplace a makeover, these changes are easy enough to make. Take your fireplace from fab to drab by implementing a change or two to make your area stand our more.

What are Three Tips that Can Enhance the Look of a Patio Deck?



Patio decks are a great way to spend time outdoors with our family and friends. Most home decks accent the backyard and provide a perfect surrounding for a cookout, but is your patio boring? Is your deck what is making people want to leave the party early? Today we are going to look at three ways we can enhance our outdoor living space, and make our loved ones want to enjoy the serenity of our backyard patio forever.

1. Colorful Accents

Make sure your patio stands out. Neutral colors may look nice, but this is our backyard patio, not the middle of the woods. If we are using browns and blacks, make sure to include some reds or purples. A very easy way to do this is make your cushions pop. Make sure to add pillows to your patio furniture as well. Durable and colorful accent pillows made from fun outdoor fabrics are easy to find and will stand up to any weather, rain or shine.

Spice up your deck with an accent rug. Accessorizing with an outdoor rug adds to the feel of the patio, bringing comfort and helping tie in the overall color scheme. As an added bonus this would also help with people dragging mud and debris into the house.

While we are adding accents, let’s not forget about vases and planters. Mix and match plants with vases so they accentuate each other. You can also make a vertical jump and place some hanging planters, which can fill empty space that you may want to avoid.

2. Daytime Shade

In most situations when we are going to be using our patio the sun will be blazing. We need to make sure our company is comfortable, and not on the verge of getting burnt or suffering from heat exhaustion.

The vast outdoor fabrics make it incredibly easy to create shade on your deck without sacrificing any vistas you wish to maintain. Today’s all-weather fabrics come in a multitude of stylish patterns and colors to splash everything from umbrellas, cushions, and accent pillows to sun shades. Most accents are inexpensive and easy to swap out whenever your heart desires.

Outdoor fabric panels can also be used to shade the deck and us from the beaming sun. This brilliant accent provides function and can be used to compliment the rest of the patio. A skirt made from outdoor fabrics can also be used to hide such things as the outdoor sink’s plumbing area.

3. Deck Lighting

We all hope for evenings on the deck spent with our loved ones looking at the stars, so let’s provide them with some comfort and make sure they feel safe. Nighttime lighting does not need to be bright. The goal should be to mimic the light levels typically provided by a full moon allowing us to still gaze at the stars.

Contrast paint colors on the stairs and add mini lights to the steps and handrail posts to make it easy to ascend and descend at night. If your deck spends its days in the sun, consider installing solar-powered lights to save on energy.

Those are just three ideas to make your patio into an outdoor temptation for any gathering. Use your creative side and make your deck into a blissful oasis.

Are Pool Patios Slippery When Paved?



Paving around a pool is a great way to keep your water cleaner and more free from debris. Without grass, dirt, and plant matter so close to the water, grass clippings and fallen leaves find their way to the patio surface instead of becoming something else to skim from your pool. However, many parents with kids hesitate to pave their poolside area because of the fear that a running child on a slippery surface can increase the chance of accidental drowning. paving a poolside area mean that you must risk slippery surfaces? Not necessarily. Here are the pros and cons of paving poolside, and what it takes to have all of the benefits and none of the drawbacks of a hardscaped area near water.

What Causes Slippery Surfaces?
Paved areas around pools are very popular in the southwest, where the air is dry and little vegetation is around to fall and rot on an unkempt area. However, in the Northeast, sea air, humid temperatures, and the regular alternating hot weather with rain, new problems appear. The slippery surfaces are due to growth on the paving. Moss will appear on areas with moisture and shade, and algae can make these surfaces slippery if there is sun and constant water. Rotting grass clippings or fallen leaves can create a moldy surface, too, if they are left in an area where they can’t dry thoroughly or aren’t cleaned off. Water on a clean paved surface will be less slippery than a rainy street or sidewalk.

How Do I Prevent Slippery Paving?
Like any yard component, paved areas that are maintained will not be slippery. Regular cleaning of pavers will keep them free of growth, and therefore free of slipperiness. In addition, proper planning can make this a much lower maintenance surface to clean. Some tips to make this less slippery include keeping gutters above the paved surfaces clear of debris so overspill doesn’t constantly drip and wet the pavers. Also, creating a small shrub barrier between a cut lawn and the pavers will keep most of the clipped grass from landing on your patio. Using a leaf blower after mowing can accomplish this as well, but won’t stop the grass that comes with tiny running feet from lawn to patio. Finally, locating your paved pool area in the sunniest place possible will not only keep mold from growing in the shade, but will also keep both patio and pool more free of falling leaves. If you are still concerned about slippery running on the pavers, some well placed obstacles like planters and chairs may be enough to break up any running momentum that can result in a child putting him or herself in danger.

Is This Too Much Maintenance?
A paved area requires less time to maintain than a lawn. A good sweep or leaf blowing instead of a mow, and an occasional good wash with soap and water (spring and fall are often more than enough to keep it looking good and clean).