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Industry Organization Spotlight: Interlocking Concrete Paver Institute

Posted on August 20, 2019 by Suzanne Carroll

Since 1993, the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute (ICPI) has served as the leading trade organization of the segmental concrete paving industry in North America. ICPI’s 1,100 members come from across the United States and Canada. They work as paver manufacturers, installation contractors, designers and suppliers.

ICPI positions itself as the industry’s leading authority on best practices and technical expertise for paver installation and maintenance. The organization’s primary goals are to promote greater use of segmental pavers in residential, commercial and public settings, and to improve the skills and standards of those working in the industry. Read more

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Improve Your Home and Garden with Decorative Pavers

Posted on July 09, 2019 by Suzanne Carroll

Installing pavers in your driveway or patio area is a great way to improve your home’s curb appeal, increase your home’s value and create something that reflects your unique style. In this article, we’ll discuss the advantages of decorative pavers and explore ways to use them creatively. Read more

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Posted in: Hardscaping
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Yard-Wise: 6 Ways to Improve Your Property’s Exterior Efficiency

Posted on August 22, 2017 by James Florence

Like many Bay Area homeowners, you’ve probably taken measures to reduce your home’s water and energy usage, such as installing water-saving plumbing fixtures and switching to LED lighting. However, you may have overlooked another part of your property: your yard. From your garden to your pool, there are several areas where you can save water and energy by improving your exterior efficiency. Consider the following measures:

Improve irrigation
If you’re using an outdated sprinkler system to water your lawn and garden, you may be wasting water every day. Traditional sprinkler heads are known for their inefficiency, losing a substantial amount of the water they distribute to wind and sun evaporation. Fortunately, you can easily upgrade your system for a surprisingly low cost. Read more

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Posted in: Energy Efficiency, Landscaping Tips
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All About Outdoor Kitchens

Posted on August 09, 2016 by James Florence

With the beautiful weather in the Bay Area, it’s no wonder that one of the biggest local home improvement trends is to extend one’s living space to the outside with add-ons like decks and covered patios. However, even though these exterior additions are great, you can take your alfresco experience to a whole new level by building an outdoor kitchen, which will allow you to prepare meals and dine under the sun or stars. To learn about the process of outdoor kitchen construction, we’re joined by North Bay Area landscaping contractor Alain Joske.

Plan way in advance. An outdoor kitchen isn’t built overnight—it’s a lengthy process, and the actual construction is often the shortest part. Read more

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Posted in: Decks and Patios, Consumers, Home Tips, Home Improvement, Landscaping Tips
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Is a Sunshade Right for Your Needs?

Posted on April 14, 2016 by Jennifer Chan

Guest post by Jennifer Filzen, Marketing Representative at Acme Sunshades Enterprise Inc, a Diamond Certified company.

Let’s say you own a restaurant and want to create an outdoor dining space for your customers. You can have any type of pergola, sunshade or awning built for you, but there are several things to consider before making a final decision.

Is your outdoor area surrounded by lots of trees? Too many trees could blow a heavy pile of leaves on top of your sunshade and cause it to collapse. If you want an outdoor area with a sunshade, you should consider a retractable shade that you can move out of the way in the event of rain or wind. Read more

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Posted in: Window Coverings, Uncategorized, Home Tips, Home Improvement
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Party on the Patio: How to Get Your Yard Set for Summer Fun

Posted on May 05, 2015 by James Florence

If you’re like most Bay Area residents, as the long days and balmy evenings of summer set in, you’ll want to be spending as much time as possible outside. An outdoor living space can serve a variety of functions, whether an ambient setting to entertain guests or a relaxing oasis for lounging during your annual staycation. In order to get the most enjoyment out of your space, however, you’ll first need to get it clean and functional again after having sat unused all winter. Here are a few aspects likely to require your attention:

Swimming Pool
Following its winter dormancy, your swimming pool needs a bit of maintenance to get it ready for summer use. Read more

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Posted in: Decks and Patios, Consumers, Home Tips
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How to Refinish Your Deck

Posted on April 01, 2014 by James Florence

Between winter rain and summer sun, a wood deck can take quite a beating, which is why annual maintenance is crucial to keep it looking and functioning optimally. With increases in both temperature and daylight hours, spring is the ideal time to refinish your deck in preparation of summer leisure. Here are the steps to take to achieve a properly refinished deck:

Preliminary cleaning
Start by sweeping the deck with a stiff broom. Use a hammer or drill to countersink all nails or screws, particularly those which have started to protrude. Next, fill a bucket with soapy water and use a scrub brush to scour the deck boards and railings. When finished, Read more

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Posted in: Decks and Patios, Home Tips
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