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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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Landscape Tips To Maintain Healthy Grass All Year 9/28/2016

shutterstock_398657578Healthy grass can be maintained all throughout the year; however, it will require some amount of effort. The best way to maintain a healthy lawn is to work from the bottom up. Below are some landscaping tips you can you to achieve healthy grass year round:

Establish a Substantial Soil Foundation. Grass thrives well in soil that contain a neutral pH. It is also important that the soil has the right amounts of potassium salts, phosphorus and nitrogen for the region. If the soil is not right, there will be problems throughout the year. Additionally, you will be wasting money on soil amendments like fertilizers that will not work properly. This is because the soil is too alkaline or too acidic.

Less is More. Start your lawn care in February or April, depending on where you live; in southern parts of the United States, February is ideal for starting lawn care. During these times, the temperature of the soil supports weed growth but the unwanted plants is yet to get a foothold. Begin a six-week schedule for applying lawn chemical. This should start with a fertilizer containing a pre-emergent herbicide. You can move on to using a straight fertilizer with a high content of nitrogen. Spot-spray on separate, selective weed as required.

Invigorate Your Lawn. Correct mowing and edging are also great methods of maintaining healthy grass year round. An extremely dense lawn might require spring dethatching. This enables the soil to breathe and allows nitrogen exchange, which is a good place to get your lawn started. Buy or rent a power rake to avoid breaking your back with a manual rake.

Clean up is very important. Blow or sweep away excess fertilizer from driveways and walkways on the grass. This will prevent the chemical from being washed into public waterways.

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Love Your Lawn Care this Fall 8/30/2016

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 11.58.07 AMIt is important to show your lawn some love in the fall. This will significantly impact how it performs during the spring and summer of next year. Falling in love with your lawn care is a great way of ensuring that you do not neglect your yard as the leaves fall and the temperature gets cooler. Below are some lawn care tips that can be used to prepare for a beautiful yard next year:

Water. Incorporating constant irrigation into your lawn care routine this fall is essential. During the cooler months, ensure your lawn gets a minimum of one inch of water each week. Even if the lawn has gone dormant, this is vital because if it gets too dry, it could become damaged. When applied early in the mornings, deep and infrequent watering treatments will supply the best results.

Fertilize. The winter season can be an extremely stressful period for your lawn. Ensure that it is fed a wholesome helping of nutrients in the fall. This will help it to become more resistant to damaging frosts and frigid temperatures. Applying a slow-release mixture will assist in strengthening the root system of your lawn, making it more resilient to the brutality of the winter weather.

Aerate. A core aeration treatment before winter will literally provide your lawn with a breather. Aeration removes soil cores and punches holes in the turf. This decreases soil compaction and allows the lawn to breathe more freely. More importantly, it enables the root system to gain more access to moisture, oxygen and vital nutrients. This helps the lawn to become greener, lusher, denser and more resistant to weeds.

These tips are great to incorporate into your lawn care routine this fall. Showing your landscape love during this period will guarantee great results when spring rolls back around.

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Summer 2016 Landscaping Trends 8/5/2016

Waterfall&PergolaThe outdoor design and landscaping trends for summer 2016 are truly a reflection of the lifestyle trends happening all around. Below are some 2016 summer landscaping trends:

Sustainable Design. Less turf grass, drought-tolerant plants and low-maintenance gardens are now the norm in landscape design. It is now customary for many homeowners to incorporate a sustainable design into their landscaping plan. This is done for both environmental and economic reasons.

Incorporating Edibles. Blended gardens that integrate ornamentals and edibles do double duty. They provide a remarkable alternative to turf grass. They also supply homeowners with a bountiful harvest of fruit, herbs and vegetables.

A Touch of the Indoors. There are now waterproof and fade-resistant outdoor fabrics made from acrylic fibers that can transform outdoor furniture into masterpieces. Homeowners now have the option of creating permanent outdoor living spaces with comfortable fabrics and furniture pieces.

Featured Water. The sound of water on the property can soothe the hassles of life away. Fortunately, there are water features ranging from high-end water walls to inexpensive self-contained systems that will keep you on trend.

Let There Be Light. Today’s landscape lighting systems have the capacity of expanding the outdoor space, while lowering utility bills. One of the hot trends this summer is having lighting systems that can be controlled from a cell phone app. As such, your lights can be on exactly when you need them to be.

Fire It Up. Fire pits, fire pots and fire tables are all designed to create great places for each member of the family to safely enjoy. There are simple, functional and affordable designs for homeowners with smaller budgets. There are also elaborate statement pieces that can remarkably transform the vibe of your personal hideaway.

These 2016 summer trends are sure to improve the look of your outdoor space and add value to your property.

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Summer Tips For Your Outdoor Home 7/19/2016

11133987_1076471915715214_7666254604008273390_oSummer is the season for outdoor lovers. During this time of year, it is important to have a space that welcomes guests and provides a personal retreat. By performing some landscaping or construction in the backyard, this space can be a wonderful oasis or entertaining venue. Here are some summer tips that will extend your living space into the outdoors.

Color is Everything. Summer is a time for vibrant colors. It is important to decorate your home with bright hues. The landscapers at The Ohio Valley Group recommend plants and accessories that bring a beautiful “beachy” or tropical setting to your backyard. With the correct foliage and landscaping theme, your home’s exterior will exude the feelings of summer.

Pergola. To add a sense of privacy to your backyard, a pergola will be ideal. Patio lovers will enjoy a unique retreat that provides shade without a disconnect from the rest of the space. It is possible to build a breezy gazebo or an enclosed pavilion that is perfect for summer entertaining.

Cook Outdoors. When it is too hot to heat your home’s interior oven, you can entertain and prepare a delicious meal in your outdoor kitchen. With your grill and stone oven, prepare pizza, steaks, burgers, and kabobs for your guests. When the evening gets cool, light your fire pit and toast marshmallows. These accessories offer a wonderful space to gather with your friends and family and enjoy the summer season.

Relax in Style. Nothing says summer like a pool. Kids can splash around, and adults can lounge with a drink in their hands. No matter the size of your yard, the experts at The Ohio Valley Group will design something that complements the space. For an island atmosphere, create a tiki bar as well.

If you want to discover more tips for your outdoor home, visit The Ohio Valley Group. These experts will help you make the most of your outdoor space. To schedule a consultation, call 440-543-0500.

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The Benefits of Backyard Renovations and Pools with Ohio Valley Group 6/28/2016

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 11.21.32 AMThe Ohio Valley Group has over two decades of experience performing residential outdoor improvements for homeowners. As summer has started, it is time to get your backyard and pool ready. Here are the benefits of hiring our company for your backyard and pool renovations.

Increased Safety. When you are hosting evening parties or enjoying some time on your deck at night, you want your property to be adequately lit. Without the correct amount of illumination, it is possible to trip, fall, and become injured. Also, lighting is vital to security. We make sure to provide lights that keeps strangers from lurking around your home without being noticed. Clients gain peace of mind knowing we have been recognized by Kichler Lighting as a Premier Lighting Pro, so everyone is in good hands.

Beautiful Aesthetics. At Ohio Valley Group, we are dedicated to heightening the aesthetics of all clients’ backyards. We specialize in ecoscapes and patio designs. Our landscaping designs are sustainable and environmentally friendly. Our features conserve natural resources while adding beauty and function to your yard.

We offer numerous alternatives to pavers and blacktop. Our stamped concrete resembles brick, cobblestone, and other natural items. While it appears unique and expensive, it is quite easy on your wallet. For a one-of-a-kind addition to your home, we can install a stunning water feature. We work with each client to create something that impresses the eyes and brings a sense of peace to a residence.

Heightens Efficiency. When a home is energy efficient, utility bills will be lowered. At Ohio valley Group, we want to help you save money each month. Pools and spas offer relaxation and fun, but they can use a great deal of water and energy. Our construction specialists create paradise-like environments that include water and energy efficient technologies that lower your monthly expenses.

More Fun with Family and Friends. Summer is the perfect time for outdoor entertaining. Nothing is better than preparing a delicious meal on the grill to share with family and friends. We consult with clients to design the ideal exterior bars, kitchens, and fire pits. We offer top opulence with elegant stainless cabinets, granite countertops, wine refrigerators, and pizza ovens. These features make it possible to eat, drink, and converse while enjoying nature’s bounty.

When you want to reap the benefits of backyard and pool renovations, consult with the experts at Ohio Valley Group. To schedule a consultation, call 440-543-0500. We will help transform your home into a hidden oasis.

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How To: Create The Ultimate Backyard For Your Family & Friends 5/3/2016

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 4.13.56 PMThe outdoors provide an ideal setting to expand the living space. It also provides homeowners with an amazing space in which they can entertain family and friends. Below are some guidelines that can be used to create the ultimate backyard for your loved ones:

Ideal Lighting. A properly-lit backyard will make the space usable at all hours of the day. There are lighting solutions that can be installed to create different moods. Additionally, lights can be specifically placed in the yard to provide function and highlight special elements of the landscaping design.

Effortless Indoor/Outdoor Access. Creating an effortless way to get into the backyard from inside the house will provide a feeling that the outdoors is a natural extension of the living space. For example, sliding glass doors can be installed to open onto patios that lead into the outdoor space. This ultimately makes the backyard easier to enjoy and it also encourages more frequent usage of the space.

Outdoor Kitchen and Dining Space. Any backyard can benefit from an outdoor kitchen and a place to eat. The ‘kitchen’ could be a simple barbecue area, a complete, elaborate outdoor kitchen with all the bells and whistles or anything in between. The amenities you choose will be only limited by your personal preferences and your budget. Having a designated area to eat with your loved ones is a great way to enjoy the beauty of your outdoor space.

Relaxation Spots. Designating a relaxation area in the backyard is a great way to pass time whether alone or with one or more loved ones. This area can be used to kick back and enjoy your favorite book, music or the surrounding beauty provided by nature. If the view from your backyard is particularly spectacular, relaxing and enjoying the sights is a great way to unwind from a hectic day. Placing your relaxation spot near a water feature could further enhance the outdoors of your home.

Landscaping and Creating Gardens. The inclusion of certain landscaping details like garden areas in the backyard is a great way to add color and texture to the yard. Garden beds can also be set up to grow vegetables that add to the overall ambiance of the space. The backyard can also be splendidly transformed with the addition of trees, shrubs and bushes.

Designing and creating the ultimate backyard will make it a welcoming space in which loved ones can gather and enjoy sharing each other’s company.

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Springtime Tips For Your Outdoor Patio 4/4/2016

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 4.11.27 PMAs the days lengthen and get warmer, homeowners begin turning their thoughts to their outdoor living spaces. Those areas can take a beating during winter, necessitating a springtime cleanup in order to get the space ready for summer entertaining. Now is the time to assess what needs to be done, while the weather is warm enough, but well before you’ll use your patio daily. By following these tips now, you’ll ensure that your patio will be bright and inviting for the coming season.

Trim Dead Branches and Sweep. Prune broken or dead branches from bushes and trees near your patio and sweep away leaves prior to washing the area to make the job easier.

Whisk Away Dirt and Grime. Winter winds can bring mud, leaves and other debris onto your patio. Chances are your furniture, if left outside, also is looking dingy. One of the first things that patio lovers should do is thoroughly clean the patio surface with a hose and broom. Mix dish washing soap with warm water in bucket and then spray furniture with a hose. Scrub chairs and sofa with a nylon scrub brush and then thoroughly rinse. Let the furniture dry off in the grass. You may need to wipe water that gets trapped in metal supports. Select a sunny day for your work to speed drying time. If the patio surface or furniture is particularly grimy, consider using a power washer.

Assess Lighting. If you have permanent outdoor lighting, check to see that all fixtures are working. Like greenery, some may not have survived the winter. Spring is a good time to replace old bulbs with more efficient LED fixtures or even replace them with solar Tiki torches that will add a bit of fun to your outdoor festivities. If you use overhead light strands, make sure that all bulbs are working.

Planters. Wooden planters fall apart after several years. Discard questionable ones and check for cracks in ceramic containers. Replace as appropriate.

Food and Beverage. Light your grill to ensure that it is working properly and clean the grates before the year’s first barbecue. Consider adding an outdoor beverage center than can double as storage to make entertaining more enjoyable.

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