The goal of most homeowners is to make their property look great and be a functional space for living, working, and enjoying time with family and friends. On the inside of the home, there are many easy and semi-permanent solutions such as painting the walls, installing new furniture, or remodeling the kitchen. Many people are not aware of the diversity of improvements to the outdoor element of the property that can be installed.
Stonework is not limited to rudimentary patios or unimpressive retaining walls- an experienced mason can accomplish great works of functional art that will leave a lasting impression on your property. Besides the personal and family benefits of installing stonework, another reason to consider making this investment in your outdoor space is curb appeal. This is how your home looks to others (neighbors or potential buyers) at first glance. Stonework will entice them to find out more about you and your property!
Stonework for All Properties
All stonework can be customized with materials, colors, and designs. It isn’t limited to simple rock pathways anymore. There are tons of materials that can make the job simpler and even weather resistant than actual stone in some cases. Pavers are a good example of this; they are pre-formed concrete blocks that come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. The great thing about pavers is that they fit together perfectly, meaning your pathway, patio, or retaining wall will be free of irregular cracking and resist weather damage very effectively!
Stonework is certainly an investment that you may have to save up for, but there are many options that have been created specifically to save time and money while remaining of the highest quality to protect your investment. These projects also do not have to be huge; they can be as simple as an elegant patio or effective retaining wall that reduces erosion and keeps your soil in place. You could even have a fire pit installed for any future neighborhood and family events!
The Importance of Curb Appeal
Curb appeal is one of the biggest reasons to invest in stonework beyond its functionality and beauty- especially if you are selling your property or consider selling it in the future. Stonework is rather permanent and very resistant to weather damage making it age gracefully and remain strong even after years of use. Buyers and neighbors love to see beautiful homes, and those with a functional outdoor space are highly desired especially now that people are trying to get outside more.
Your next home improvement project can be elegantly set in stone, and there is no better time than now to get started planning for and designing your hardscape! Stonework is a lasting investment in your property whether the project is small or large, your outdoor space will greatly benefit from it, and you will love the ability to have more outdoor family time, a natural workspace, greater curb appeal, and the best spot in the neighborhood to hang out! With an experienced masonry team like Fritz Stonework, all your hardscape dreams can come to life! Call them today for more information at (636) 861-1530.
When the weather outside is no longer frightful, a contained outdoor fire would be delightful. The snow and cold are almost gone, and springtime is the best time to prepare your property for summer! Just like planting a garden and reaping the benefits in the summer, planting elegant stonework early means you get to use and appreciate it all summer long!
The number of improvements that can be accomplished through stonework is incredibly vast and limited only to your creativity. With a solid investment like stonework that will be there just as beautifully for years to come, it’s time to get ready to get outside for the summer, and there’s no better way to prepare for that than by making your outdoor space uniquely yours!
Fireplaces and Outdoor Kitchens
Kicking back by the fire on a warm summer evening is something that almost everyone loves to do- by installing a fireplace right in your backyard, you’ll be able to unwind and relax more easily! Fireplaces and fire pits are semi-permanent additions to your property meaning they will remain beautiful and functional for years to come. Installing an outdoor kitchen is another way to ring in the summertime. You can cook in the great outdoors with all the functionality of an indoor kitchen!
Patio and Poolside
Do you need a new patio or poolside space? It’s best to install these in the springtime so you can save all of that summer sun for jumping into the pool or reclining on your new patio. Your pool or patio can easily become the talk of the town for its elegant design and solid construction. Your neighbors will be anxiously awaiting the next invite to the pool or hang out on the patio!
Time for Sunshine!
Summertime is the best time of the year in our team’s opinion, and we would love to help you prepare your property for getting outside during the warm days that are just around the corner! Planning a beautiful stonework installation is easy with Fritz Stonework as we have experienced masons and designers that will help you out along the way to make sure everything is perfect.
We will help you make this summer the best one yet and leave a lasting impression on your property that will remain gorgeous for years! Stonework is a great investment in your home as it increases curb appeal for many years and adds an entirely new level of functionality to your home! With a newly designed outdoor space, there will be nothing stopping you from relaxing or playing outdoors, and you can have peace of mind because this is a rock-solid investment!
Getting outside and enjoying the fresh air is crucial in times like these, and there is no better way to experience nature than by bringing it closer to home! With a comfortable patio and a beautiful stone fireplace, fire pit, or kitchen, you will be able to relax outdoors in no time. All these summertime plans are possible with Fritz Stonework, the leading stonework provider in St. Louis! Call today to find out more information!
As you look out your back door, what do you see? Do you see space that has been cluttered with various items? Or do you see an empty yard that could benefit from some kind of landscape and décor? Whatever it may be, every backyard has great potential to be grand and a place you can be proud of. You can make your outdoor living space a place to entertain or simply a place for you to relax after a long day. The following examples are ways that you can improve your backyard to create your own outdoor oasis.
Adding lighting, such as candlelit scones, to your backyard can create a lovely glow to your peaceful nights or dinner parties. Another type of lighting you could add is solar lights around your garden, which requires little maintenance but offers maximum impact.
Design Different Living Areas
When you have separate areas to eat and relax, you are providing your guests with comfortability. Using outdoor rugs and lighting will make segments around your yard that invites your guests to sit and stay awhile. Another way to define these areas is to add outdoor furniture.
A fire pit can be useful all year round. It is ideal for those lazy summer nights where can roast hot dogs and make smores. During the winter, you can wrap up in a warm blanket, drink hot chocolate, and read a book without getting cold. No matter what the season, a fire pit will help you make memories and have fun.
Plotted Plants and Herbs
Plants and herbs can spruce up any yard very easily. Not only are they beautiful to look at, but they can also provide a wonderful fragrance while you are enjoying the outdoors.
Install a Flagstone Patio
Flagstone patios allow you to have more living space. They provide a very natural, organic look because of their shape and earthy tones. Flagstone patios are also durable and last for years.
Install a Fountain
Fountains are always a beautiful sight to see and provide relaxation from the sound of the flowing water. They add to the ambiance of your oasis and come in a variety of shapes and styles to fit your needs and the theme of your patio.
Add Rugs and Pillows
Rugs and pillows provide a sense of comfort. They are an inexpensive way to dress up your patio furniture and outdoor space all the while adding color to increase the atmosphere.
Install Alternative Seating
Besides chairs and sofas, hammocks are another great seating option for you and your guests. It is a great place to spend time taking a nap or reading a great book. If you do not have a tree to hang it from, you can find hammock stands that work anywhere.
Adding décor to anything is a way to express who you are. It also helps your guests feel at home. Consider hanging something on the columns of your patio or on a wall. You could also add statues, sculptures, or trellises, as well as filled vases to sit on tables.
You don’t need to have acres of outdoor living space in order to have a place you can relax and enjoy your friends and family’s company. It’s all about what makes you feel at peace and having a place you are proud to call your own where you can build memories. Fritz Stonework and Retaining Walls wants to help you achieve that goal. There are many other options you can add to your backyard in order to maximize it. Call us today at (636) 861-1530 so we can discuss those options and choose what best suits your needs.
Whether you have paving around your garden or as a part of your backyard oasis, you want to keep it in great condition. After all, you probably spent your hard earned money to make sure your outdoor space was relaxing and inviting. Therefore, if you neglect your paving, it will start to deteriorate and your landscaping could become an eyesore. Here are a few ways to keep your paving looking beautiful.
Applying a sealer will protect not only your paving but also your patio from the damages that harsh weather can cause. The main focus of a sealer is to stop water from getting in and permeating throughout the stone or concrete. Make sure you read the labels of the sealer you are considering buying. There are many different types of sealers and choosing the wrong one could damage your stone instead of protect it.
Have a Good Cleaning Regimen
Even when you use a sealer you need to be committed to keeping your paving stones clean. When you brush regularly, you will clean away dirt, dust, and debris that would eventually build up. Keeping them clean will help your stones look new at all times. Pay close attention to the crevices between the stones. If you notice small weeds starting to peek through, hard brushing will break them keep them from growing and spreading. Also, if you stay up-to-date on cleaning, you will be able to see if the sealer is beginning to wear away. This will give you the opportunity to reseal it before the water starts seeping in.
If you did not live in your house when the paving was laid, then you may not know if a weed control membrane or landscape fabric was laid. The only way you will know is if weeds begin to appear all over the place. Consistently weeding and making sure the weeds are pulled out by the roots will help ensure that the weeds will not grow back.
You may come across some cases where the weeds are overtaken and you need to use weedkiller. Once the weeds have been completely eliminated, it might be worth looking into getting the gaps between the stones filled to stop this from happening again.
No one ever wants their landscape to be an eyesore, whether it’s pavers, retaining walls, or plants. These outdoor features help you and your family to feel relaxed after a long day at work and provide an inviting atmosphere for get togethers. When it comes to pavers, Fritz Stonework and Retaining Walls are experts at making sure your stones are in tip top shape. Call us today if you have questions regarding how to clean your paving stones and to keep them looking new.
For some people, the fall and winter seasons are a nice welcoming change to the hot summer temperatures. However, what comes along with fall and winter is weather that includes moisture, such as rain and snow. For as long as structures have been in existence, moisture has been the main cause for its deterioration. Moisture in all forms affect how well the building materials function.
The way masonry systems are designed should prevent the intrusion of moisture into the building’s interior. It should also keep the building’s structural components safe. If there is any structural break, then your building could be compromised. Masonry units that are made poorly are among the most common failure points. These include mortar joints, hairline cracks, parapet, and door and window details. Water can also come through by vapor condensation and can enter the structure as a result of poor work. The lack of proper drainage can exacerbate the impact of any type of moisture that makes its way through; therefore, creating major damage to the building.
When unwelcome moisture seeps through, masonry units and mortar can crack. Thermal expansion can be a result when water gets into brick, concrete, and natural stone. Thermal expansion can cause the surface to peel, pop out, or flake off. This is also known as spalling, which is caused by too much moisture in the masonry that puts pressure outward. Spalling can ultimately result in large sections of the masonry to crumble and fall off, which will lead to structural damage.
Too much moisture cam also result in the wall rotting, which is very unaesthetic and an unhealthy condition. The insulation can also disintegrate along with staining of the interior finishes. Other effects may include the deterioration and/or corrosion of the wood/steel backup studs, cladding, ties and reinforcements. If this is left unattended to, the excess water can cause an increase and spread of additional structural degradation and complete structural failure.
When there is excess moisture seeping through the masonry, efflorescence is a main problem. Efflorescence is a white, powdery, crystalline deposit that forms on the surfaces of masonry, stucco, and concrete. Efflorescence is caused when salt within the masonry unit itself has been dissolved due to too much moisture and has made its way to the surface of a porous material. It then forms the white, powdery, crystalline deposit as the water evaporates.
In order for efflorescence to happen, three problems must be present.
- There has to be water-soluble salts somewhere in the wall
- There must be enough moisture in the wall to render the salts into a soluble solution
- There must be a way for the soluble salts to move their way through to the surface so the moisture can evaporate, getting rid of the salts so they can crystallize causing efflorescence
Just because sulfates may be present in a masonry wall, it does not mean efflorescence will occur. The sulfates must be dissolved by water in order for it to happy. If there is no moisture then the sulfates will not find their way to the surface. However, there are certain conditions that will aggravate the possible creation of efflorescence. For example, if a block is exposed to cold, rainy weather during storage or if the structure has been poorly designed in regards to drainage and moisture control, then efflorescence is more likely to occur.
Health and Safety
Too much moisture can cause bacteria to grow which can create new odors or worsen current ones. The effects of growing bacteria can cause existing conditions to become worse, such as asthma and allergies. These bacteria have also been known to cause cancer and birth defects.
Managing moisture is a top priority when designing and building, especially here at Fritz Stonework & Retaining Walls. It is important to us that you and your family are safe from any potential harm. We work hard to make sure your masonry is up-to-par and lasts for many years to come. Contact us to today at (631) 861-1530 so we can help you create your masterpiece.
Once you have a beautiful patio built to your specifications, you want to be able to enjoy it all year round. Or if you are thinking of having a patio or outdoor living space built, then you might want to think about some items to include for the winter time to help you stay warm. Here are a few ideas that could help you enjoy your time outside all year round.
Invest in a Fire Pit
Fire pits are a very common way of staying warm and toasty as the temperatures drop. They create a practical, warm atmosphere that you can enjoy with friends and family. Fire pits now offer a smoke-free gas flame and different structures, shapes and designs to match any patio. Masonry and stonework projects can also provide a nice decorative addition to your fire pit.
Put Out Blankets
Adding blankets to an outdoor space is not only simple, but also inexpensive. They can create a warm, comfortable outdoor retreat that will make you want to sit on your patio with a warm drink in your hand. Invest in warm blankets that will have you enjoying some quiet time or time with friends and family.
Create a Cover
Creating a cover for your patio can offer some much-needed refuge from the cold weather. Covers for your patio make cold temperatures more tolerable and help keep out the rain, snow, and wind. Covers can enhance your outdoor living experience and increase the amount of time you spend outside.
Soak It All Up
What’s more relaxing than a nice warm soak outside while you star gaze? Adding a hot tub to your patio can make spending time in the cooler temperature more enjoyable. If you’re not a fan of the water, try adding a sauna. Saunas also provide shelter and make an attractive addition to your outdoor space.
Patio Heaters and Fireplaces
If you are unsure about a fire pit, an alternative option would be a patio heater or built-in fireplace. Even though a fireplace is a bigger investment than a fire pit, they do produce a large amount of heat. A fireplace is the most expensive option; however, they are very attractive and available in gas or wood-burning. Patio heaters can be mounted or stand-alone and are offered in electrical or propane. Electrical patio heaters are expensive to run but easy to use.
It doesn’t matter if it’s raining, snowing, or the sun is out, you want to be able to use your patio and outdoor living space as much as possible. The winter months make it difficult to do so; however, by adding things to make it a more warm, comfortable, and welcoming environment, you will want to spend time all of your spare time outside. Here at Fritz Stonework and Retaining Walls we take pride in what we do and have provided quality service for over 31 years. Contact us today at (636) 861-1530 so our expert staff can help you design a beautiful outdoor living space that meets your needs.