Rain purifies the air, and cleanses the ground. It can be polite, or a terrible force of nature to be feared. New hardscape designs always include a drainage plan, and installers meticulously carry out those plans.
On a driveway, rain combined with improper drainage leads to erosion and possibly even wash outs. These unacceptable safety hazards drive the meticulous nature of designers and installers when it comes to drainage plans. I consider this to be a reactive behavior in construction. Continue reading “Rainwater Collection Systems for Driveways”
When you choose to install or remodel a swimming pool, you’ve decided you want something different. It’s different than the existing yard, but also different from the other yards in your community. You’ve got a vision, and want someone to bring it to life (and possibly even spice it up a bit).
You’ve come to the right blog! Genesis has been an outdoor-remodel design company since 1993, including both pool installs and remodels. Not only does Genesis provide professional designs, but also the construction experience and knowledge to execute the design. Inexperienced designers can overlook pivotal, yet small, issues in the design process. Some of these issues include the heat island effect, traction of the deck surface, and planning for future landscaping or construction additions.
Dark pavement gets hot quickly, and radiates heat into the yard. Called the “heat island” effect, a surplus of paved areas can raise the temperature of the home by 5-7 degrees F. The scientific reason for this phenomenon includes the albedo rating of the paving material. Albedo means solar-reflectivity, and lighter paving material is more reflective. You can read more about albedo and solar-reflectivity on this article: Environmental Benefit Of Interlocking Pavers. With interlocking pavers, the home owner can choose a beautiful blend of light colored stones, getting the full benefit of high albedo ratings without sacrificing on aesthetic beauty.
Interlocking concrete stones also offer superior traction, even when wet. Because of their modular nature, the edges of the stones provide a great textural rhythm for maintaining grip.
Paving stones also lend themselves to future construction and additions unlike any other paving material. When a utility line below the pavement surface must be accessed in order to lay new plumbing for landscaping, the stones can simply be “unzipped”. Concrete must be cut with a saw or jackhammer, creating an awful mess and noise. Also, paving stones can be seamed with future paved areas or additions, such as a pergola or hot tub. If you have big plans and small budget, consider creating one portion of your vision at a time. This allows you to make headway on the design, and increase the value of the property. By choosing Genesis for this work, you’re building a relationship with professional who understands this crucial investment for your home.
To schedule a free in-home estimate, call Genesis at 888.389.5533 toll free, or visit our free estimate page.
We searched our image database to bring you some of the most interesting patio designs that incorporate natural stone designs. Natural stone, while very beautiful, can also be more expensive than manufactured stone. To provide the best service to our customers, we often suggest natural appearing stone or using natural stone as an accent to concrete pavers.
Take a look at these photos and let us know what you think in the comments section below. Hope you enjoy!
Genesis is a home remodeling specialist serving Southern California since 1993. For a free in-home consultation call us at 888.389.5533, or visit our free estimate page.
Families in the United states use about 400 million gallons of water a year, 30% of which goes towards outdoor uses. That’s about 120 million gallons of water a year that nobody drinks or showers with. (via EPA.gov) In another study sponsored by the California Department of Water Resources, data shows that 54% of California households use more than the theoretical irrigation requirement (view pdf). This monumental waste factor reduces the availability of drinking water and adds to California’s water sustainability problem. (Check out this article by Time U.S.)
California instituted several programs to curb urban and residential water usage, such as the “Flex Our Water” campaign http://www.saveourh2o.org/. Many of the tips and best practices include using localized plants, creating a water plan, and maintaining water systems.
Artificial Turf represents an alternative solution to curb outdoor water use and maintain the beautiful green lawn cherished by homeowners.
In the past, artificial turf found it’s home in sports arenas. Recent product advancements bring the synthetic ground-cover into residential spaces. Artificial turf used to create fake-looking lawns spotted from a mile away, and were not generally considered a wise design choice. Softer and more realistic than ever, it’s hard to tell the difference between artificial and real grass in a side by side comparison. For me the secret is in the thatch.
The term “thatch” describes the organic material in natural grass that builds up over time. Lawn clippings, dead grass, leaves, and sticks from nearby foliage make up this organic ground cover. Artificial turf generates no waste and requires no maintenance, but also contained no thatch. Until now.
Responding to market pressures, manufacturers began creating synthetic turf with thatch included (see figure 1). Coming in brown, green, or both, the thatch looks full and healthy.
The reader may ask, “Ok, so it looks alright. But how does it feel? Isn’t artificial turf plastic and hard?”
The reader would be right. Synthetic grass used to be hard. Advances in product manufacturing, however, make synthetic fibers softer than ever. An artificial lawn can actually be softer than a real lawn. Un-watered lawns become crispy, but artificial turf stays soft and green 365 days a year without pesticides, fertilizers, or water.
Environmental impacts of synthetic grass often concern home owners. Does this new style of turf hurt the planet?
Artificial turf excels in many areas of environmental sustainability including water runoff, protecting native soil bacterias, and recycle-ability.The perforated backing on artificial turf allows water and air to pass freely through the grass. This would sustains the natural organisms in the soil, and avoid flooding during rainy seasons. Also, the gravel and sand base which supports the grass helps maintain the flow of oxygen through air and water to the soil. The gravel absorbs water more quickly than native soil and helps reduce water runoff and flooding. Manufacturers often use recycled materials to make synthetic grass, and artificial turf can be recycled after it’s life in service. What a great list of features!
California offers big incentives for switching to artificial turf. The SoCal WaterSmart $1 /sq.ft. rebate for turf replacement includes artificial turf and permeable paver installations. Visit the site to learn about the rebate system and how to take advantage of it: socalwatersmart.com
If you’re interested in learning more about artificial turf, or want to install at your home, visit genesisturfworks.com or call 888.389.5533. We’d love to share our enthusiasm about this wonderful product!