What is curb appeal and why does it matter?
Curb appeal is what people think or feel the first time they see your house from the street—or view it online. The more appealing your home’s exterior looks, the more homebuyers will want to see what’s inside. Of course, selling your house isn’t the only reason why curb appeal matters. It can also help you make a positive impression around your neighborhood. What follows are some curb appeal ideas to increase the curb appeal of your house, and in some cases, its value.
This can be as simple as changing the color of the front door or as extensive as repainting your home’s exterior. Either way, your house will look colorful and well-maintained.
Curb appeal landscaping
When it comes to curb appeal, the landscape in your front yard is as important as the façade of your house. Prune back hedges and trees; remove weeds, underbrush and dead plant material; mulch around trees and beds; fertilize your lawn areas; and bring in some color by planting flowering plants and shrubs. Or, you could just engage an experienced landscape/hardscape professional.
Low voltage, LED outdoor lighting turns nighttime into magic time. It’s a wonderful way to highlight the beauty of your house and landscape after dark. Illuminating the focal points around your house and garden creates a hard-to-resist invitation to explore.
Take curb appeal up a notch by installing a custom, interlocking, paver-stone driveway. Pavers come in a variety of styles to match your home’s architecture, including Mediterranean, Spanish, Contemporary and Traditional. They’re available in an array of colors and patterns, too. For enduring value and long-lasting beauty, a paver-stone driveway can add charm and appeal to your property.
A lush, green lawn always stands out. With artificial turf, you can enjoy yours all year round. Artificial turf is used in professional sporting arenas where minimal maintenance and everlasting green beauty is essential.
Both stylish and functional, a fire pit centered on a front yard paver patio creates an inviting feel for neighbors and guests. Host weekly s’mores roasting parties with your neighbors and their kids. Enjoy having a place to relax by the fire while you watch your little ones ride bikes or skateboards in the evenings.
Front Courtyard pergolas
A covered pergola is an extension of your home and the perfect feature for any outdoor living area. Whether you need to add shade or a protective area from wind or rain, a pergola is the perfect place to enjoy the best of outdoor living, while enhancing the curb appeal of your landscape.
Create an attractive focal point for your yard or patio by adding a custom-designed water feature. Who can resist the peaceful, tranquil sound of gently trickling water?
Get expert help
Thinking about enhancing your home’s look? Hopefully, this article gave you some curb appeal ideas. Now it’s time to talk to an experienced hardscape designer about your options. System Pavers is one of America’s leading designers and installers of outdoor living systems. They offer financing options that can help you create a stunning first impression for your home.
Warm up your backyard with a cozy stone fire pit
There’s something about a handcrafted stone fire pit that draws people together. It’s a comfortable place to stay warm and cozy on chilly nights. An inviting place to relax with family and friends. A special place to leave the everyday world behind. Is a backyard fire pit right for your patio? This article can help you decide.
Extend your season
You can do a lot around an outdoor fire pit. Its warm glow can prolong the time you and your family enjoy the outdoors. Depending on your climate, your fire pit can go from fall to early spring. That makes it the perfect place for an outdoor party—or simply enjoying a mug of warm cider under the stars.
Match your style
Stone fire pits are custom designed to go with your home’s exterior architectural style. Natural stone is available in many patterns, colors and textures. That helps your fire pit blend in with your existing walkways, driveways, decks, retaining walls and other outdoor design elements.
Comfort is custom built into your fire pit area. You can opt for stone benches and tables. Or leave room for a grouping of stylish outdoor patio furniture.
You can do more than just sit around an outdoor fire pit—you can also barbecue over them. All you need is a round grill grate that fits over the top of the pit and rests on the stone edge. You’ll find plenty of delicious recipes online. If your taste runs more to roasted marshmallows, s’mores or hot dogs on a stick, you won’t need the grate.
Play it safe
When installed properly, fire pits add beauty and warmth to your outdoor space. But remember, fire is still fire. So, make sure your fire pit is positioned correctly. Check with your local government, as cities, counties and communities have differing ordinances about the positioning of home fire pits. It’s also a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher handy.
Get expert help
Thinking about enhancing your outdoor living area by installing a natural stone fire pit? It’s not really a DIY project. Instead, talk to an experienced hardscape designer about your options. System Pavers is one of America’s leading designers and installers of outdoor living systems, including beautiful, customized fire pits.
Top three reasons to install an outdoor fireplace
An elegant stone fireplace is just as charming and impressive outside as it is indoors—and just as functional. You can gather around it to stay warm, entertain, cook or just relax in comfort. It’s also a popular design option that increases the value of your home and allows you to spend more time enjoying the outdoors year-round.* Aside from its attractiveness and versatility, there are three great reasons to opt for an outdoor fireplace.
A crackling outdoor stone fireplace draws people to its warm ambience in an irresistible and inviting way. Whether you choose a wood, gas or propane-burning stone fireplace, you’ll find it provides a reliable and comfortable heat source making it convenient for everyday use. It also makes it possible for you to enjoy the outdoors in any area and any season, even during the coldest months of the year.
Sitting around a fire is the perfect place to catch up, mix and mingle, swap stories, share a romantic evening and cook a good meal. It creates additional entertainment space in a cozy environment that can be as large or as small as you want. A simple accessory such as a fire grate makes preparing meals for your family and guests a snap. And remember, toasting marshmallows never goes out of style.
Bask in luxury
An outdoor fireplace can be completely customized to match each homeowner’s unique design preferences and outdoor living lifestyle. So, creating the perfect luxurious look to complement other outdoor décor elements that you may already have is easy. Companies like System Pavers offer fireplaces in both natural stone and Capri limestone that can be designed to fit into any size yard or outdoor space. Plus, outdoor fireplaces are a unique feature that will set your home apart.
Six ways to turn an ordinary backyard into your dream entertaining space
There are so many seasons and reasons to celebrate. With patio paving stones you can create an impressive outdoor living and entertaining space your guests will remember for years to come. An outdoor stone fireplace sets both the mood and the temperature. Add in an outdoor kitchen and you might as well set the table for dinner. Here are a few ideas to create your space.
Spend the day outdoors for sure. But don’t neglect your nocturnal side. A blanket of stars against a night sky creates the perfect backdrop for an outdoor party. Of course, lighting is always key. Consider installing twinkling LED lights around your entertaining space to create an ambient glow. For a really special occasion, you could even hang a chandelier.
Set the mood
An outdoor dining table is a great way to take the party outside and comfortably accommodate a large dinner party or extra guests. Add some simple decorations, a rustic outdoor place setting, a piece of art or potted plant and even some repurposed indoor furniture and you have a magical setting in which to entertain.
Music to your ears
Whether you set up outdoor speakers or just take out your phone or laptop, the right music completes the picture. Nothing gets the party started like your favorite music playing in the background, carried along with the breeze as you entertain.
Fire up the delight
Outdoor fireplaces and fire pits are a sure way to add a warm and inviting ambience to the party. They’re one of the most popular outdoor living features. It’s easy to see why. The flames bend, dance and blow in the wind in the most soothing and mesmerizing ways, and during the colder months they keep you warm to boot. A reputable company like System Pavers can help you plan, design, finance and install the fireplace of your dreams.
Cozy up to your guests
Set up tables in separate areas to encourage guests to roam from areas with fireplace seating to a drink cart or appetizer station in the outdoor kitchen. Create distinct seating areas to encourage conversation, and set out comfortable cushions on the chairs to encourage people to linger. For wintertime entertaining, scatter a few blankets and throws around so that guests remain comfortable no matter how far they are seated from the stone pavers fireplace, outdoor stove or fire pit.
Cook up a storm
Of delicious food, that is. Nothing heats up the party as much as taking the whole celebration—cooking included—outside. With an outdoor kitchen you can prep, cook, serve and enjoy the company of your guests without missing a beat. Your outdoor kitchen can be as simple as a grill and seating area or you can go all out with a full kitchen complete with built-in appliances and seating. Either way, investing in an outdoor kitchen pays off in wonderful memories year-round.
8 ways to brighten up your nighttime landscape
Low voltage, LED outdoor lighting turns nighttime into magic time. It’s a wonderful way to highlight the beauty of your house and landscape after dark—not only adding dramatic effects, but also safety and security features. What follows is a guide to the popular types of landscape lighting available.
Uplighting refers to light fixtures installed at ground level and pointed upwards. As landscape lighting, it’s used to illuminate the trunks of trees, foundation plantings and focal points around your house and garden.
Downlighting, also called moon lighting, shines light downward from above. Mounted high on a tree or other tall structure, down lights can illuminate functional areas like patios or BBQ islands.
Spotlighting is a terrific way to highlight interesting focal points in a garden or front yard, such as a water feature or a cement statue.
4. Path lighting
In outdoor lighting applications, path lighting has a two-fold purpose. One is to guide people on the path to prevent stumbling or tripping in the dark. The other is to create an inviting trail for walkers to follow or explore. In the latter case, lights are staggered from one side to the other to make the pathway more intriguing.
Silhouetting is a landscape lighting technique used to highlight a focal point in your landscape by aiming light at the backside of the focal point. This is known as backlighting. It makes the object stand out in black to the viewer. For the best effect, be sure to hide the light source from view.
Grazing is an outdoor lighting technique for highlighting textured walls or stonework. Small lights, attached at the top or bottom of the wall surface and aimed up or down, create a rich interplay of light and shadow. Great for jagged stone walls.
Washing bathes large flat surfaces, like walls or hedges, in ambient outdoor light. The aim here is to cast a soft glow over the entire area. Wide-beam floodlights are best for this technique.
Shadowing is the opposite of silhouetting and works best in front of a wall. Instead of backlighting an object, such as a tree, it’s lit from the front, which casts a dark shadow of the tree on the wall. Shadowing gives things a larger-than-life appearance.
Glow with a pro
Incorporating the eight LED outdoor lighting techniques above into your nighttime landscape can be a daunting and complex DIY undertaking. For aesthetics as well as installation, you’re better off using the services of an expert lighting designer, like the experienced professionals at System Pavers. They can help you capture and enhance your home's nighttime curb appeal.
5 reasons why your home needs a paver driveway
If you thought your driveway was simply a place to park your car or access your garage, think again. It’s a great, big and often overlooked, opportunity to enhance the aesthetic appeal and long-term value of your home.* And those are just a few of the benefits. Here are our top 5 reasons to consider a paver driveway:
Choosing paving stones for your driveway is a long-term investment that will give you decades of use. The enhanced look of driveway pavers will boost your curb appeal cred, signify whole-home quality and help preserve the value of your property.*
Interlocking pavers were invented by the Dutch after World War II, when their main paving product, brick, was in short supply. Today, 50 years later, many of these European paver roads are still around. Modern pavers are made of sand, gravel, Portland cement and water and are 3X more durable than poured concrete driveways.*
According to the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute, the benefits of pavers include:*
- longer pavement life
- Reduced maintenance costs
- Longer replacement cycle
A well-designed and correctly installed paving stone driveway will keep its beauty for generations—without any major maintenance involved. They are engineered to withstand all weather conditions, eliminate cracking across the field, resist de-icing salts, endure winter freezes and thaws, and are easy to clean and repair when needed.
Superior design choices
Planning your stone pavers driveway design is like being a kid in a candy store. They come in so many different colors, shapes, styles and patterns, creating your stone paver driveway really is an individualized experience and unique design result.
For information on stone paver driveway designs, talk to a professional like the people at System Pavers. And take advantage of promotional financing offers. Click here for details.
Seven reasons why artificial turf is a smart choice
A lush, green, healthy-looking lawn is every homeowner’s dream. But it takes a lot of time, work and money to grow and keep up. So, it’s no surprise that an increasing number of homeowners are choosing artificial turf for their front and back yards. They’d rather spend their time enjoying their lawn than taking care of it. Considering artificial turf for your home? Here’s what you can expect:
Artificial turf is a lush, natural groundcover that looks and feels just like real grass and never gets unsightly weeds or brown patches. Most people who see the latest generation of synthetic grass from companies like System Pavers are convinced it’s real. Available in a variety of blade lengths, colors and texture, artificial turf also comes in different styles of grass types to match what is common in your area.
After artificial turf installation, you’ll never have to mow, fertilize or water your lawn again. There’s virtually no upkeep. All you do is have it installed and behold its beauty from every vantage point. It stays looking as fresh and green as the day you put it in. You can also kick off your shoes and enjoy the remarkably real feel.
A live lawn creates a lot of problems for the environment, starting with its ongoing need for water. The average American waters their lawn with a whopping 21,600 gallons of water per year. Collectively, we use about 3 million metric tons of synthetic lawn fertilizer per year, and 70 million pounds of pesticides and herbicides. Even cutting the grass with gas-powered motors creates the same smog-forming emissions as cars do—not to mention the problem of disposing grass clippings in landfills. On the other hand, artificial turf is recognized as a material that contributes to sustainable building, and meets LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) guidelines in several categories.*
Tough and durable
In addition to being safe, artificial turf has the big advantage of being very difficult to damage. So, you can let your kids and pets play in the yard worry-free. It’s generally treated with UV coating to prevent fading and discoloration, can include an anti-microbial to resist bacterial growth, and can be designed with drainage holes to keep water from building up.
Many professional sports and athletic fields use artificial turf, and for good reason. It provides a consistent, year-round, all-weather playing surface built to take extended use. Synthetic turf is designed with resilient materials like rubber infill and polyethylene monofilament for extra strength and durability. And if it can hold up to a bunch of NFL players tearing it up all season long, you can bet it’s up to your family’s needs.
Artificial turf is porous so water drains right through it—just like real grass. Plus, with specially built drainage holes, from companies like System Pavers, water sheds quickly and efficiently and never pools on the surface of the turf.
After the initial cost to install artificial turf, there’s no lawn maintenance costs whatsoever. No mowing, seeding, sodding, edging, weeding or fertilizing products to pay for and no weekly or monthly lawn services to pay for the life of the turf. You also avoid monthly watering bills that can be costly.
For help planning your artificial turf project, always talk to a professional like the people at System Pavers. And be sure to ask about financing options.
Beauty is only half the story
You can’t talk about driveway paving stones without first acknowledging that they make a beautiful visual statement. Plus, they can help add to the aesthetic appeal and value of your home. But beauty aside, there are plenty of hard-working reasons that make driveway pavers a solid choice.
Pavers come in a wide variety of colors, shapes, styles and patterns, so each homeowner can create a unique and personalized driveway look. That extensive choice also helps you find just the right paver to fit in with the style of your home and yard.
A well-built paving stone driveway can create a stronger driveway than poured concrete. Unlike traditional materials, driveway pavers are built to withstand the elements. They can endure dramatic shifts in temperature and humidity without cracking, chipping, splitting or buckling. Plus, when wet, driveway pavers provide more traction than poured concrete.*
Driveway paving stones are usually interlocking. This creates an even stronger surface so the driveway can withstand the heavy wear and tear of cars, trucks and even RVs. Interlocking stones speed up the installation process and also make it easier to remove individual pavers, if necessary, for repairs or replacement.
Beyond being able to withstand the elements in any climate, a properly installed and maintained paver driveway will last for decades. Far longer than the life of poured concrete or asphalt driveways.*
Perhaps best of all, interlocking driveway pavers require very little upkeep. Just occasionally sweep them with a broom and rinse them off with a garden hose now and then and they’ll remain a beautiful, distinctive feature of your home for years to come.
For information on installing a paver driveway, talk to a professional like the people at System Pavers. And take advantage of promotional financing offers. Click here for details
4 simple tips for keeping artificial turf looking its best*
There’s nothing like enjoying the beauty and satisfaction of a lush, green lawn. And with artificial turf, keeping up that well-manicured look is low maintenance as well. There’s no need to mow, fertilize or water artificial turf to keep it looking good. But there are a few simple tricks to keeping your artificial turf looking its best for years to come.
Clear it off
While artificial turf is low maintenance, keeping it looking fresh and inviting may occasionally call for some minimal work on your part. Maintain a clean, well-groomed look by using a leaf blower or rake to remove fallen leaves, branches and any other debris that occasionally falls on your artificial turf.
Spray it down
A nice rain shower now and then is all many homeowners need to keep their artificial turf clean. But if you live in a low-rainfall area, a quick spray with a hose will get rid of any dust, dirt and pollen that has built up. Stay away from power washers though, they could damage your artificial turf.
Fluff it up
It takes a lot to flatten artificial turf. But where there’s a lot of foot traffic or substantial items like pools and heavy lawn furniture, a little brushing can do wonders. Brushing or raking your low-maintenance lawn redistributes the blades so that they will wear more evenly and last longer. Use a brush with synthetic bristles rather than metal and brush in different directions to make your yard look more natural. Keep it easy on yourself though and just concentrate on brushing your busiest areas.
Wash it out
Don’t worry about staining your lawn as most spills can be washed away simply with water. For those tougher stains (and occasional pet odors), use a mild soap with lukewarm water, try an enzymatic cleaner or use equal parts vinegar and water to get it out. Follow up by rinsing the area thoroughly.
For help planning, installing or maintaining your artificial turf lawn, talk to a professional like the people at System Pavers. And take advantage of promotional financing offers. Click here for details.
Why your backyard design needs a focal point
Whether you’ve finalized your backyard design or are still in the planning stages, make sure you incorporate a strong focal point. In landscaping, a focal point draws the viewer’s eyes to a specific location. Why is that important? Picture a vast field of green growing corn. Wherever you look you see the same thing. There’s no highlight or point of interest to draw you in. While that might be okay for a cornfield, it’s not for your backyard design plan. This article is about using a water feature to create a beautiful focal point that enhances the look of your entire outdoor living space.
How focal points work
Used in garden landscapes, a focal point is an element that grabs a viewer’s attention or creates a distinct line of sight. It adds balance and meaning to your design. It tells the viewer, here’s the place to begin. Water features are one of the most popular elements used as focal points in backyard designs and landscapes.
Types of water features
A water feature is any landscape element that incorporates moving water. It could be a fish pond, a stone or ceramic urn fountain, a tiered waterfall, bubbling rocks or columns, or a stone wall spillover.
Where to place your water feature
Water features are great backyard ideas. They add a timeless, classic feel to your outdoor living area. They’re a wonderful addition to any landscape plan. Since a water feature emphasizes the area around it, place it where you want viewers’ eye to go first. Balance is important. Try to center the water feature in the garden rather than situating it off to the side. Avoid placing the water feature where it can catch runoff water or falling leaves.
Add a finishing touch or two
Of course, a properly placed water feature is only one part of a new backyard design. You should also consider enhancing your outdoor space by adding other exciting features, like dramatic outdoor lighting, a comfortable, inviting pergola or a cozy fire bowl.
Water features come with benefits
There are several reasons why water features are so appealing. First, water features add a lovely, eye-catching focal point in any backyard design and garden setting. Second, the tranquil sounds of flowing water not only sooth and relax you, but also help block background noise. Third, water features need little maintenance. Fourth, water features can not only increase the curb appeal of your property, but also its desirability.
How to install a water feature
Talk to an experienced hardscape designer about your options. System Pavers is one of America’s leading designers and installers of outdoor living systems, including beautiful, customized water features and other backyard designs. Every fountain style comes in an array of materials, sizes and finishes. With System Pavers, your customization options are virtually limitless.
What’s more, System Pavers offers promotional financing on all their hardscapes, including water features. Click here for details.