Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Pimp my Patio

Summer is just around the corner so its time to start thinking about enjoying warm summer nights lounging outdoors in your yard. How can you create a spectacular outdoor space? Here are some tips:

Whether you have a DECK or PATIO use these techniques to enhance the look and enjoyment of your outdoor space

  • Make a pattern: use different colored composite, wood stains or pavers to create a cool looking design on your deck or patio.
  • Fire pit: Who doesn't like roasted marshmallows? Fire pits can be added to decks or patios to create a fun and functional centerpiece
  • Outdoor Kitchen: Be the envy of your neighborhood with a built in outdoor kitchen. Granite counter tops and built in stone or concrete block storage will make your yard a luxurious extension of your house. Great for entertaining.
  • Pergola: For that fantasy magic garden effect, a pergola can transform your patio or deck from ordinary to extraordinary.
  • Built in Seating: A sitting wall or built in benches can be a great addition to any deck or patio. The extra seating is sure to come in handy for larger get togethers
  • Lighting: Everyone knows that lighting is a great way to create a certain mood. Use built in lighting to make your patio or deck more romantic and easier to use at night.
With these simple features, you can create an outdoor space that is sure to impress. Contact us if you are interested in installing any of the features listed. 301-603-1080

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

How does your Garden grow?

Do you like vegetables?

As a kid I hated them. I vividly remember spitting them out into napkins, surreptitiously scooping them into the trash, or using any other number of tactics to avoid eating them.

As an adult, I have learned that there are some vegetables that are not so abominable, dare I say even delicious.

Recently I have been reading a lot of recipe blogs. One of the roles I have tried to take on as a new mom is making delicious and healthy meals and what could be healthier than home grown organic vegetables. (Sure, my baby hasn't started solids yet, but all this practice can't hurt.)

If you have ever thought about making a vegetable garden, we can help with that. We can even put a nifty concrete block border around it to give it a sophisticated look and help prevent the erosion of the soil.

And what should you plant?

The possibilities are endless. Tomatoes, herbs, squash, and peppers are all pretty easy to grow.

Once you've got your garden going try using the vegetables in some healthy recipes.
Here is one of my favorite: ZACUSCA

This is my healthier take on a traditional Romanian dish (which is usually loaded with oil):

1 large eggplant
2 red peppers
1 large red onion
1 can of stewed tomatoes, drained (or tomato paste)
2 cloves of garlic
1tablespoon of oil
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Peel eggplant.
2. Chop all vegetables in to small cubes and place in a glass (9x13) pan.
3. Mince garlic and add it to the pan
4. Add stewed tomatoes and drizzle oil on top
5. Bake at 375 for 25 min. then stir
6. Bake at 375 for another 20-30 min.
7. Let cool, then blend in a food processor or blender (consistency should be chunky like salsa)
8. Add salt and pepper to taste
9. Enjoy!

You can use the zacusca as a spread, side dish and sometimes I even eat it as my main dish.
Try it and let me know if you enjoy it!

Monday, June 4, 2012

The truth about Concrete

Yes, I'll admit it. We DO install regular concrete and we do a great job of it. We are even certified to install decorative stamped concrete. But in spite of all this, it is usually our last recommendation to clients. Why, you ask... well here are a list of pros and cons:

Cost- one of the least expensive materials for hardscaping
Versatility- can be used for many different types of projects (walkways, retaining walls, driveways, flooring, etc.
Recyclable- Can be recylced

Cracks!- Concrete is bound to crack within a few years of installation. Why? Concrete is porous and as a result small beads of water can infiltrate it and create cracks when frozen.  Also, since concrete is generally poured in large rigid sections, it does not accommodate changes in the earth and thus cracks more easily.
Non-sustainable- Concrete covers the earth not only reducing the square footage of green area, but also preventing proper drainage since it is impervious. This can lead to run-off and erosion
No Warranty- Regular concrete, the material, almost never comes with a warranty, because it will crack over time. Materials like pavers come with a lifetime warranty so overall they are a better value.
Aesthetics- Concrete tends to look cold, hard and unappealing. Use pavers or natural stone for a more upscale look.

So what do we recommend for things like patios, walkways, retaining walls? Interlocking blocks and permeable pavers if possible. Yes they are slightly more expensive, but in the long run they are a much better value. They come with a lifetime warranty, look more attractive and are better for the environment.

Find out more about our services at
or CALL US 301-603-1080