Light has always perplexed and inspired humankind from the days of only starlight and campfires to modern electrical marvels. The beauty of light is unparalleled, and before electricity it was quite difficult to sustain lighting in homes or outdoors without a significant risk of fire. However, electricity creates a safe way to make your landscape beautiful in the dark without bringing the heat.
Your landscape is incredibly elegant in the daytime, so why not bring out the suave and glowing beauty of nighttime lighting to your masterfully designed soft and hardscapes? Lighting can turn your nighttime landscape into something from a dream- you may even have dreams about lighting after seeing the results!
Outdoor lighting is far better for your wallet than it used to be, and far better for the planet too! With waterproof, motion-sensing, solar-powered, and LED options in all styles and colors, there’s no stopping you from achieving the nightscape of your dreams! Installing outdoor lighting doesn’t have to be hard, and there are even options that don’t require wiring or battery changes but rather rely on the sun!
Outdoor lighting lets you stay outside for longer in the Summer and soak in the fresh night air without being drowned in darkness, and while you’re probably not likely to go outside at night much during the winter, you can still appreciate the beauty of your winter landscape and watch the lights dance on the glittering frost and snow of the colder months.
When it comes to looking for outdoor lighting for your home, the options are limitless, and the possibilities are only limited to your creativity. This flexibility can come in handy especially if you are a fan of decorating for the holiday season! Many LED lights (the most energy efficient) come in a wide array of colors, and some can even change colors at the push of a button! Holiday decorations have never been so easy!
Come to the Bright Side
Curb appeal is something that many home and business owners are constantly trying to improve. Simply put, curb appeal is how aesthetic your property is at first glance, this is especially important for selling or appraising your home or encouraging customers to visit your business as well as giving you the reputation as the neighbors with the nice house. You can build curb appeal by improving your home and property through a number of ways including landscaping and lighting.
Most homes and businesses do not have much in the way of nighttime curb appeal, but by installing outdoor lighting in a well-planned way, your property can look great at any time of the day making it the talk of the town in the best of ways! You love your property, let that shine by installing outdoor lighting!
Outdoor lighting is elegant and beautiful when planned and installed responsibly! The installation of outdoor lighting can show everyone how much you value your property, and this is a very important aspect of building curb appeal! If you need help creating a beautiful landscape or planning energy-efficient and beautiful outdoor lighting, contact Fritz Stonework & Retaining Walls today!
Whether you enjoy entertaining friends and family during the summer or winter months, or both, having an outdoor kitchen is a great feature to have. It provides a relaxing space to read a book, have conversations with the ones you love, or to just enjoy Mother Nature. However, as winter approaches, you need to make sure your outdoor kitchen is prepared for the colder temperatures. If you do not winterize your outdoor kitchen, expensive repairs might be in your future. The following guidelines will help make sure your outdoor kitchen and appliances will be ready to use when warmer temperatures return.
Take Care of Your Plumbing
Make sure you remove any water that is in the pipes and plumbing system. This can result in major problems, for when it begins to freeze outside, the water can also freeze which can cause the pipes to burst. If the pipes burst, you could end up with huge plumbing bills and flooding, making it unable for you to use your outdoor kitchen.
In order to clear your pipes, you will need to shut off all water supply lines going to the kitchen from the indoor plumbing system. Be sure to shut it off using a valve that is inside your house. This way the water does not rest in outdoor pipes.
When you have shut off the water, start draining the lines. Be sure you do not forget about water supply lines that are connected to refrigerators, ice makers, and sinks. The best way to clear water from lines is by using compressed carbon dioxide.
The last step is to make sure all of the drain valves are left open during winter. This will ensure that water does not remain in the pipes, which will also save you from expensive repairs.
Prepare Your Grill
Even if you plan on using your grill during the winter, it is a good idea to do a deep cleaning to make sure it is in good working condition for the summer. The following steps are a good guideline to follow when cleaning your grill.
- Use a degreaser to get rid of the grease that has built up
- Use a stainless steel polish to polish the grill
- Scrub areas that are still dirty with a metal grill brush
- Remove the grates and clean underneath the grill
- Season the cooking surfaces using vegetable oil to the grates. Heat the grill to 500F for 20 minutes
- If you are not using your grill during the winter, be sure to turn off the gas line
Depending on the quality of your grill and the materials it is made out of, you may not have to use a cover. However, if you do use a cover, make sure you use one that is made for your type of grill that allows moisture to get out.
Cover or Seal if Needed
If you want to prevent wear, cracks, and stains due to cold temperatures and wet weather, then you might want to think about covering your appliances. However, keep in mind that covering surfaces and appliances allows for moisture to get confined under the cover and can cause more damage than if they were not covered. One tip is to call the manufacturer of the appliances to see how to best protect them.
Another way to protect surfaces from wear is to apply sealers and finishers. Make sure you have also taken everything out of cabinets and they are clear of dirt and debris. Use oil on wood cabinets and surfaces and a coat of stainless steel finish on stainless steel appliances. If you have stone countertops, be aware that weather can wear them down over time. You should buy sealers that are made specifically for stone to prevent any damage.
Winterize the Refrigerator and Ice Maker
The first thing you should do is turn the power off to both the refrigerator and ice maker. The water should already be shut off and the water lines running to the machines should be drained. Once you have done these, either unplug the refrigerator and ice maker or turn off their circuits in your home’s electrical panel. Afterwards, clean each one by following these steps:
- Clean out the ice maker’s storage bin and close the drain valve
- Take everything out of the refrigerator and clean it with soap and water
- Remove the front grill of each one and vacuum them out. When done, put the grills back on each one
- Do not cover either one, as this can contribute to a buildup of moisture which can damage the unit
Prepare Your Fire Pit
The first step to get your fire pit ready is to get rid of any debris, ash, and wood that may have gathered in the fire pit during the summer months. If your fire pit is ran by gas, be sure to turn off the supply. You may want to consider covering it with a cover that is weather resistant to keep out snow, leaves, and animals.
By taking the right precautions, you can be sure that your outdoor kitchen will be ready to go when summer comes back around. If you are in the beginning stages of thinking about designing an outdoor kitchen and have questions, please contact Fritz Stonework and Retaining Walls so we can help answer those questions and discuss the many options you can choose from.
You may be asking yourself, “What exactly are pavers?” Pavers are a way to add elegance, class, and style to your landscape. They are a natural paving material that is made without using artificial additives. They come in a variety of shapes and colors that have natural characteristics which result in a very aesthetically pleasing sight.
Being able to enjoy your backyard while relaxing in a defined, comfortable space is a priority for many people. It helps relieve stress and tension, it gives you a place to go when you need to take a breather, and it allows you to have some peace and quiet so you can just think about life. There are many ways that you can create this space, such as decks, screened-in porches, and pools. One other way is through patio pavers, which have many benefits for you to consider when deciding how you want to design your outdoor living space.
- Pavers decrease the area of your lawn, which means there is less yard maintenance for you to worry about.
- This feature will no doubt add value to your home if you ever decide to sell it. Since pavers are made from a natural clay material from the earth’s surface, they do not lose any of their color or finish, which helps increase the value of your home.
- Patio pavers are commonly known to be one of the most visually pleasing type of outdoor space.
- Pavers come in a variety of stones, colors, sizes, and styles, leaving you with the opportunity to customize your landscape the way you want to. You can choose from a natural slate texture and cobblestone that creates an old-world charm feeling to the classic style of brick.
- It is one of the most durable types of outdoor flooring that will last a long time.
- Pavers are tough and strong, making them resilient to cracking, root growth, frost, erosion, and breaking down from deicing salt.
- If your pavers do become damaged or stained, the necessary repairs are fast, easy, and do not cost a lot. You are able to remove the damaged paver only and replace it the same day. There are no complicated tools required for the replacement and it does not require a huge amount of labor.
- Patio pavers are friendly to the environment because they do not stop the natural flow of water and ground filtering processes. They allow water to drain through and allow the useful bacteria to remove any toxins before they get to any creeks or rivers.
- Pavers create a non-slip, permeable surface which is safer than deck and flooring materials.
- Installation of pavers is fast and can be laid in any type of moderate weather condition. This helps keep the cost, time management, and budgeting issues in check.
- Unlike concrete, you do not have to sit and wait before you can use the pavers. Pavers are ready to use as a driveway or patio as soon as they are set.
Adding pavers can only bring about positive things, including adding beauty to your landscape and joy to you and your family. If you are interested in making pavers a part of your home, give Fritz Stonework and Retaining Walls a call today at (636)-861-1530 so we can help you pick out the style of pavers that best suits your personality.
Stone structures such as retaining walls and outdoor living spaces are extremely durable, long lasting investments. However, like most things around your house, stonework needs a little bit of maintenance if you want to keep it in the best condition. What you specifically need to watch out for is any degradation to your stonework that could be caused by the changes that Winter and Fall bring. With that in mind, you’ll need to know how to properly protect and clean your stonework as we enter into that season.
Protect Your Stonework by Removing Leaves and Debris
Trees around stonework can create a beautiful effect. However, if leaves, twigs, and branches are left on stone for too long you could find more than just an aesthetic problem come Springtime. If you leave organic matter on stonework, a couple of potential problems can arise. As the leaves begin to decay, mold and mildew form, which can lead to moisture and dirt getting trapped in the mortar or staining the stonework itself. Moisture will work its way into the mortar and won’t be able to escape if heavy amounts of leaves remain on the stonework. The next time a freeze hits, that moisture will expand in the mortar and could lead to structural problems with your stonework patio or retaining wall.
Clean Your Stonework to Ensure That They Last
After you have removed any organic material that might have fallen onto your stonework, it’s time to clean. Cleaning stonework requires time, patience, and proper knowledge of how to do it safely. Improper cleaning can lead to aesthetic and structural problems with your stonework. Following industry guidelines is recommended.
Stonework Cleaning Process:
- First you are going to inspect your stonework for damage. If there is substantial damage to either stonework or mortar, consider calling an expert before attempting a repair or cleaning the area. Improper cleaning of deterioration or cracks can lead to further issues with your stonework. Avoid cleaning structural damage if you aren’t an expert.
- Begin cleaning with water in a small inconspicuous spot. If this cleaning is to your satisfaction continue onto larger areas.
- Only use gentle water pressure when cleaning stone or mortar. Pressure washing can remove mortar easily. Only use a pressure washer on a low setting while constantly moving the nozzle.
- If cleaning with water alone is not enough, you can add a mild detergent to a water mixture. Additionally, use a soft nylon brush to spot clean trouble areas, such as discoloration or encrustation formations.
- If you are still not satisfied with your cleaning progress, there are specific chemicals and abrasive cleaners for stonework available. Please use caution and consider calling an expert if this step becomes necessary.
If you have followed these steps and feel that your stonework could use expert care, look to Fritz Stonework and Retaining Walls. Hiring a professional can save you time and money in the long run. Stonework maintenance is often something homeowners can take care of themselves, but if you ever feel you could be doing more harm than good, it’s time to call Fritz Stonework and Retaining Walls. Call 636-861-1530 for service in the greater St. Louis area or learn more about Fritz Stonework here.
Stonework outdoor spaces have long been held in high esteem for their durability, added value to a home, and, most importantly, the beautiful gathering place it makes for family and friends. During COVID-19, there has been a dramatic rise in home improvements. As people spend more and more time at home, they have seen the need to adapt their homes into more than just a living space. A home can be a destination in itself. A place to entertain family and friends without the need for going to a restaurant or a bar. Stonework such as patios, walkways, and fire pits can give your home that extra touch that makes your family and friends feel as though they are visiting a destination rather than someone’s home.
Why Should I Choose Stonework for My Outdoor Space?
Stonework is long lasting and has a timeless appeal to it. Where wood degrades and styles change, stonework will endure and have lasting appeal long past current trends. Here are four reasons why stonework is the best choice for updating your outdoor living space.
- Low Maintenance: There’s very little maintenance to be done with stonework patios, walkways, and fire pits. If installed correctly, stonework not only last for decades, it will look good for decades. Stonework keeps its appearance throughout the years with basic maintenance that most homeowners can accomplish. Simply keep leaves, twigs, branches, and other organic material from accumulating on your stonework. Keeping organic material from decaying on your stonework prevents any discoloring on the stones and prevents moisture from entering into the mortar.
- Weatherproof: Stonework performs well in any season and looks the same all year. Where wooden deck will expand and contract with the seasons, stonework does not move seasonally. Where ground contact will eventually rot even pressure-treated lumber, stonework will not rot. A stonework patio will also never get blown away in a tornado or in strong winds like a wooden deck can. The weight of stonework, and it being flush into the ground, prevents wind from ever uprooting your investment.
- Design: Stonework comes in a variety of styles and colors. Expert stonework installers can help you decide on a design that fits your home and needs. Merging stonework pathways, patios, and fireplaces can seem like an impossible task to a homeowner, but experienced professionals can help bring your dream backyard alive.
- Adds Value to Your Home: Stonework is one of those few investments that you can make to your home that will age gracefully. The material itself is permanent and the aesthetic of stonework never goes out of style. If you ever decide to sell your home, buyers will pay more for a home that has a stonework outdoor space. Stonework won’t be a liability if you go to sell your home like a decaying and dilapidated wooden deck would be. But the “value” of an outdoor space doesn’t have to be solely in its resale value. If you decide not to sell your home, you still have the value of an outdoor space that you, your friends, and your family can benefit from. You might find yourself spending more time outside enjoying the fresh air and the people important to you.
COVID-19 isn’t stopping others from getting the most out of life at home. In a season where home improvement is on the rise, make your home improvement one that lasts. Choosing stonework for your patio, walkway, or fire pit is an improvement that you won’t come to regret. Choosing trusted professionals in the industry is just as important as making the right choice in your home improvement options. Serving the greater St. Louis region for over 30 years, Fritz Stonework and Retaining Walls is the best choice if you’re considering updating your outdoor space. Call Fritz Stonework at 636-861-1530 or learn more about Fritz Stonework here.
Rocks are pretty much everywhere, but when they are artfully arranged by an expert mason, they can make your home into something extraordinary! Beautiful stonework is a way to customize your home and make it uniquely yours while increasing its value as well!
Outdoor kitchens, stone pathways, fountains, and other functional and elegant implements in your outdoor space can provide you with a perfect place for social gatherings as well as a placid escape from the hustle and bustle of life indoors!
We’ve all seen incredibly beautiful homes and estates that have incredible interiors and even more impressive exteriors. They radiate a sense of class and civility that seems out of reach for most people, but let me tell you a secret, your home can become the brightest in the neighborhood by hiring an experienced mason!
For millennia, people have been building stone structures to decorate their living spaces, and during prosperous times the stone installments became incredibly ornate! Now that we’re in modern times, you can beautify your home in ways that the Romans could only dream of!
Stonework is incredibly pleasing to the eye- it brings your home closer to nature by highlighting the natural beauty of stone and arranging it in a way that is functional, creative, and permanent. When paired with other natural elements, such as shrubs and trees, you can create a natural oasis in your own back yard!
Whether it be improving your driveway, building artful retaining walls, installing a firepit, or stone poolside seating, an experienced mason can design handsome and practical additions to your outdoor space!
Increased Home Value
Owning a home is a big responsibility, but it is also an incredible opportunity to customize it and make it your own! Installing stonework is a way to artistically improve the exterior of your home which in turn improves its value!
Investing in your home by adding stonework will pay off greatly by increasing curb appeal which is basically the face of your home. This would be incredibly useful if you are ever considering selling your home, as beautiful homes are more likely to be sold quickly!
Stonework can also be incredibly beneficial to your home by adding increased stability through the implementation of retaining walls. Retaining walls provide support to the ground and can prevent settling and other damage to your home.
Whether it is beauty or practicality you seek, stonework can offer both! This can increase the value of your home by providing a unique and low-maintenance feature to your property!
There are unlimited options when it comes to installing stonework. You can work with an experienced mason to design an attractive and distinctive feature to your property that will show off your own personal style!
Making your home suit your preferences is one of the amazing virtues of owning your home. Your home is supposed to be unique and lovely, and this is something that can be accomplished by working with an experienced mason.
Stonework rocks (pun intended), and it can make your home look absolutely fantastic without breaking the bank! Fritz Stoneworks is an incredibly experienced team of masons that can provide you with beautiful and functional natural stone additions to your property.
Fritz Stoneworks has over 31 years of experience creating customized outdoor spaces! Call them at 636-861-1530 to learn more about all the wonderful stonework they can add to your home!