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The Importance of Irrigation Planning 7/18/2017

The Importance Of Irrigation Planning Ohio Valley Group July 2017One of the most important aspects of landscape design for homeowners to consider is irrigation planning. From choosing the right equipment and sprinklers to setting the amount of water, proper irrigation is essential. If you’re taking the time to do beautiful landscaping on your property, you need to make sure that it’s well watered.

Sprinkler location

The placement of sprinklers has to be carefully considered. Some areas will require more moisture than others, but all plants will need water to thrive. This is especially true during the hot summer months. It’s also important that areas of the lawn don’t receive too much water. Over-watering can turn your lawn and garden into a mud pit. Proper placement of the irrigation system will ensure that landscaping receives the right amount of moisture each day.

Professional installation

Once the placement of the sprinklers is decided upon, they must be professionally installed. This will ensure they function correctly. Irrigation specialists will know where and how to place the piping and sprinklers for your property to look healthy and attractive all year.

Quality equipment

The quality of the irrigation equipment that you install and use is almost as important as the placement. Each landscaping project requires specific types of pipes and sprinklers. An expert design-build team will know which types are ideal for your property and your specific needs. Don’t trust cheap, low quality equipment to function properly. You can maintain the look of your landscaping for years to come with high quality sprinklers.

 
An experienced and knowledgeable design-build firm will be able to come up with the irrigation plan that’s ideal for your property. You’ve invested in the landscaping to beautify your home, so be sure to invest in the proper irrigation system. Maintain the look of your lawn and gardens throughout the seasons with the right equipment placed in the right areas. Ohio Valley Group can help.

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Summer Design Trends 6/22/2017

Summer is the ideal time for enjoying your outdoor spaces with friends and family. The summer trends in landscaping for 2017 are keeping design build contractors busy with backyard styles like the ones highlighted below:

Natural Materials

Landscaping designers have been noticing the minimalist design, which has been dominating furniture, décor and hardscaping materials for years, is no longer in high demand. Instead, homeowners are gravitating towards more natural materials.

Requests for clean, geometric and modern designs are dwindling. More and more clients want a more old-fashioned, do-it-yourself look in their outdoor space. Natural materials incorporated in backyard landscaping designs often feature railway ties. These can be used to make free-form decks, swing seating and smaller outdoor furniture.

Active All-Age Play Spaces

An increasing number of family members are playing together in the backyard to keep active and create deeper bonds. This is evident in the increased request for play spaces for adults, children and even pets. The requests include basketball courts, tennis and Bocce courts. In addition to being great spaces to play, these areas help to prevent weeds.

Old and New Mash-Up

Many homeowners are no longer choosing one design style and sticking to it relentlessly; a number of outdoor lovers are mixing old and new. This popular trend in architecture and interiors is making its arrival in many backyards. Mixing styles was once a big taboo, however, it is now one of the popular summer trends of 2017. No longer is it about modern or traditional design but combining the two in a compelling manner. This can be done by incorporating modern elements in a traditional landscape or putting traditional elements in a modern backyard.

These are just a few of the summer trends that have been making their way into backyards everywhere this year. Contact Ohio Valley Group to create your ideal outdoor living space.

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What Should I Look for When Hiring a Landscape Designer? 5/16/2017

What Should I Look for When Hiring a Landscape Designer?

More and more people are enjoying outdoor living by choosing landscape designers to create functional spaces with multiple purposes, such as relaxation and entertainment. As a homeowner, selecting a landscape designer is a big decision. The right designer will have the knowledge, skills and experience to create beautiful, enjoyable spaces that increase your property value.

At Ohio Valley Group, we know choosing the right landscaping designer typically involves some amount of research. This is an essential part of the process, as it can help in saving you both time and money. Below are some tips on the traits to consider when selecting a landscape designer:

Knowledge and Experience

Spending time reviewing the portfolios of contractors you’re considering will give you an idea about their skills and abilities. Many landscapers have websites that showcase their creations. You also have the option of directly consulting with the designers and reviewing their portfolios. Learn about their reputation and how long they have been in business. The landscape design process is complex and relevant experience is required to successfully complete a project.

Follow-up/Maintenance Service Options

Choose a landscaping designer whose portfolio goes beyond the basics is necessary. Services like landscape lighting and overall maintenance are often requested. Not all landscaping professionals provide the same services, therefore, you should consider the availability of short-term or long-term maintenance contracts.

Local Climate Considerations

Weather conditions play a major role in landscaping design. As such, your chosen designer should have in-depth knowledge of your local climate. This includes being educated on local plants, trees, shrubs and flowers. He or she should also be aware of rain fall, snow fall and the intensity of sunlight.

Do not speed through the process of hiring a landscape designer, wasting time and money. The success of your yard renovation is dependent upon your selection. Get in touch with our design-build experts to explore your options.

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3 Helpful Irrigation System Maintenance Tips 4/21/2017

A well-maintained landscape can enhance beauty and add value to your property.  An irrigation system plays an immense role in keeping your landscape and outdoor space in tip-top shape.  If an irrigation system is incorporated into the layout of your property, it is vital that you ensure it is functioning properly.  Below are 3 useful tips to assist you in maintaining your system:
Sprinkler Head
The sprinkler head is the part of the underground irrigation system you can actually see. This is the best place to start. Visually inspect each sprinkler head to check for impediments like clogs. After affirming nothing is preventing the sprinkler heads from flowing, you can move on to see if they are faced towards the right direction.
Examine Your Water Pressure
Your irrigation system could perform below par if your water pressure is not functioning optimally.  If it is too high, the desired area will not be properly covered by your sprinklers. Signs of this include rapidly misting or rotating sprinkler heads.
Additionally, low water pressure could result in your system under-performing.  If there are dry areas or the sprinkler heads are improperly rising or rotating, a low-pressure problem could be to blame. To resolve water pressure issues, contact an irrigation professional and schedule an inspection.
Check for Leaks
Detecting leaks can be challenging. Though uncommon, leaks can occur in the pipes of your system.  Leak indicators include overgrown areas, patches of grass that are greener than others and unexplained damp spots. If waterlogged areas are around the heads, though, this is not an automatic indication of a leak. Standing water around sprinkler heads could signal misalignment or damage to the sprinkler head.
As you see from these tips, irrigation system maintenance does not have to be complicated.  Basic care can keep the water flowing and keep your landscaping looking immaculate and beautiful.
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Spring is the Perfect Time to Start Your Maintenance Projects 3/29/2017

As the weather starts to warm up, the conditions are ideal for getting started on lawn maintenance and spring landscaping. To ensure that your property looks great in the months ahead, you’ll need to prepare your grass, gardens and patios as soon as the final frost is over. Here are a few reasons why now is the best time to begin your spring projects:

Favorable conditions. The cool days of early spring are perfect for prepping your property and planning out your big projects. While rain showers may keep you from starting anything too ambitious, you can still design your landscaping and hardscaping plans and purchase materials. Get the tools that you’ll need, start seeds for a vegetable garden, and get your hose hooked up outside. Once the long, hot days of summer set in, you’ll have missed the chance to enjoy the more pleasant weather conditions that spring offers.

Getting acclimated. Planting in the spring after the last cold front of winter gives your plants the opportunity to acclimate to the environment. Once you get them in the ground, it will take some time and care to help them thrive. Follow the care guidelines closely, as each plant has it’s own requirements in terms of water and sunlight needed.

Plenty of options. Local nurseries and hardware stores with garden centers will start to get seasonal plants in stock. It’s the perfect time to browse the options that are best suited for your region. Take a trip to the nursery to get a better idea of what you’d like to plant in your garden this year.

If you’re interested in a complete landscape makeover, contact The Ohio Valley Group to get a free estimate.

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Home Landscaping Design Tips 2/27/2017

Spring is the perfect season to start preparing your property for a beautiful landscape design. With some thought and consideration for what you want and the space that you have to work with, you can come up with an ideal plan. Here are some landscaping tips that homeowners can use in the design and planning process:

Plan ahead. Before you go shopping for plants, mulch, and garden decor, create a plan. Take measurements so you know exactly how much space you have to work with. Think about the placement for the various plants that you buy. Select the best spots for shrubs, bushes, and flowers, and don’t forget to take the shade and sunlit areas into consideration. Different plants will have different requirements for the amount of sunlight and shade that they need in order to grow and thrive.

Add color. When choosing plants, make sure that you add vibrant colors to really make your property pop. Each season brings different conditions for various flowers, so try to plant a variety of types. Plant flowers along the front of your house to greet guests with cheerful annuals and perennials.

Create focal points. Make a few areas that will serve as focal points from different angles and views. It should be something that’s visually appealing and draws the eye in, such a colorful flowering shrub, a tree, or even a decorative feature like a lawn ornament or statue. Other features to consider for focal points include a fountain, birdbath, or even a walkway lined with attractive plants.

Opt for low maintenance. Since you probably won’t want to spend all of your free time outdoors tending to your landscaping, opt for a low maintenance design. Don’t use too many different types of plants, and choose types that are easy to trim and maintain. With a beautiful and simple design, you’ll be able to enjoy the look of your property all year long.

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Tree and Stump Removal Winter Safety Tips 1/13/2017

shutterstock_212265283The winter season can be accompanied by heavy snowfall and high winds. This could cause branches to snap from the weight of snow or ice. Even more dangerously, big trees could be brought down causing immense danger to lives and properties. As such, there are safety measures that should be exercised before and after winter storms to maximize safety. Below are some safety tips for tree removal:

Remove Hazardous Limbs and Dead Wood Before a Winter Storm. Trees are typically considered hazardous based on the compliance code of each state. When deemed unsafe, they should be removed as they could cause injuries or property damage. Keeping your property safe should be an ongoing project. This can be done by scheduling property maintenance with a professional company that specializes in tree services. Not only will this enhance the health of the trees, it will boost the safety and value of your property.

Use Professional Services. Tree removal is an extremely dangerous job. Therefore, homeowners should always use the services of professionals to eliminate the risk of becoming seriously injured or worse. Tree removal experts take out many trees and stumps all through the year. They use various precautions and safety measures to safeguard themselves against becoming injured from falling limbs and other dangers. However, even with their training and level of expertise, some of these professionals still become injured when carrying out their jobs.

Tool Safety is Essential. Tree removal tools like wood chippers and chainsaws can be dangerous, if used incorrectly. In a split second, the smallest distraction could cause an ax or chainsaw to inflict severe damage. Therefore, it is best to leave the task of removing trees and stumps to the professionals with the right clothing and expertise.

Following these winter safety tips could go a far way in keeping your loved ones and property safe.

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Careful Cutting—Working in a Winter Wonderland 12/27/2016

winter-1791370_1920If landscaping winter projects are on your to-do list, keep in mind that they can be dangerous if they aren’t done properly. It’s important to take precautions and stay safe while working outside. Here are some smart safety tips to keep in mind:

Wear protective gear. Personal protective gear is a must when cutting wood in any season, but in the winter it’s especially necessary due to the cold. Be sure to wear gloves, a hat under a helmet, hearing protection, and safety goggles to cover your eyes. A warm jacket and chaps will keep your body safer from the elements and the risks of using a chainsaw and cutting wood.

Check the conditions. In the winter, the ground is likely to be frozen and it could be slippery in some areas. When cutting wood with a chainsaw, you want to be sure that you have solid footing and aren’t on a slippery surface. Proper footwear with good traction is a must. If you can avoid it, don’t work outside when it’s very windy, snowing, or when there’s freezing rain coming down. Ideally, you want to be outside when there’s little to no wind and the conditions are calm.

Store equipment properly. If you’re going to be cutting wood with a chainsaw, make sure that it’s been properly stored. The sprocket cover should be clean and free from moisture. Try to keep the fuel tank dry, and remove any snow surrounding it before getting started. The throttle trigger should also be free of snow. You want your equipment to be as dry as possible in order to ensure that it functions properly and safely.

Hire professionals. The very best way to ensure your safety is by hiring professionals to take care of all of your wood cutting and winter landscaping needs. The Ohio Valley Group has extensive experience and the right skills to carry out the job properly and safely. Save yourself the time and the trouble, and simply call in the professionals. You’ll stay safe, and they will too, because they have the right equipment and skills to do so.

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Holiday Entertaining in Your 3 Seasons Room 11/23/2016

screen-shot-2016-11-23-at-10-48-53-amA 3 seasons room is a great space for entertaining during the holidays. It allows you to accommodate all the guests you host, and gives your guests the feeling of being outdoors without having to bundle up. Here are some helpful tips to make your 3 seasons room ready for your holiday guests:
Warm it up. In the colder months, a 3 seasons room can become chilly. Many are not built with an HVAC system like the other rooms in the house, therefore you have to provide other ways to warm it up. Make sure that you keep the room cozy and comfortable with a space heater. An appropriately sized space heater can help you achieve the ideal temperature for entertaining. The sun can serve as a natural warmer as well, so keep the windows free of shades or curtains and allow the sun to enter.
Serve snacks. While the main course may be served in your dining room, serving snacks around your home before the meal is always a good idea. Place trays of finger foods around your 3 seasons room, and if space allows, create a small bar area for beverages. This will allow everyone to enjoy some quality time chatting and relaxing before sitting down to eat.
Keep it comfortable. Any time that you’re having friends and family over for a meal, you want to make sure that they’re comfortable. That means not only keeping the temperature at the right level, but also providing plenty of seating. Depending on the size of the room, you’ll want to have extra chairs available for your guests. Choose furniture that fits well in the space, and take out anything that isn’t serving a purpose when you’re entertaining. Your guests will appreciate the time and attention you give to this space, and you’ll appreciate the extra room for entertaining.
Happy Holidays!
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Outdoor Entertaining for Fall 10/26/2016

ohio-valley20110830_4815_6_7_1As the temperature begins to change, our trees start to glow with beautiful autumn colors. Having a few trees in your landscape can provide a natural, colorful backdrop for outdoor entertainment. Here are some tips you can implement to host the perfect fall get-together with friends and family in your outdoor living space.

Before you pick a date for your next outdoor party, make sure that your yard and surrounding garden beds are neat and well-maintained. Clear each area of errant leaves. If you don’t want to throw the leaves away, pile them in a corner of your yard for your children to enjoy! And when you have guests over, their children can enjoy it as well.

A fire pit is an ideal addition to any outdoor entertainer’s toolkit. This feature can make a world of difference when the temperatures begin to drop. It provides your patio with a cozy feel and allows you to bring the indoors outside. Add a bag of marshmallows, chocolate bars and graham crackers to give your guests a treat to enjoy while they spend time on your patio.

An outdoor grill and kitchen will only enhance your entertainment capabilities alongside the fall beauty. Outdoor kitchens are perfect for both warm and cool temperature entertainment. They also double your kitchen space if you are making a lot of food for guests! Include plenty of seating and surface space for food and drinks to make your area more functional and inviting.

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