For today’s homeowners, landscaping has become an important and often expensive priority. Experts note that more than $40 billion dollars are spent every year on equipment, design, plants, and maintenance for our yards. While any residential real estate developer or home builder will attest to the importance of landscaping for potential buyers, there are great ways for homeowners to reduce this maintenance with better planning.
Need some inspiration for sprucing up your home’s landscaping while reducing its maintenance? Click here to talk to an expert at Acme Brick.
Water Is Becoming Scarce
While there are differing opinions as to the cause, the drought conditions in many areas are not subject to opinion. They exist and this has caused the price of water to rise. Irrigation of lawns, shrubs, trees, and flowerbeds require a great deal of water, and having a strategy for reducing this can result in substantial savings for homeowners.
According to this article, a homeowner should “water a yard early in the morning and soak the ground thoroughly so that it penetrates to at least 3 inches. While the amount of water needed will vary depending on the climate, the weather, and the time of year, the general rule of thumb is to make sure a lawn receives 1 inch of water per week during dry conditions.
“To provide your lawn with one inch of water takes a little more than a half a gallon per square foot (0.623 gallon to be more exact). That means that every 10’x10’ area will require over 62 gallons of water. That doesn’t sound like much until you consider that a 100’ x 100’ lawn uses 6,230 gallons of water every time you turn on the sprinklers!”
The price of a gallon of water varies from city to city, but according to the Environmental Protection Agency the average American family spends $1,000 a year on this resource. Weekly irrigation can drive this expense even higher. Plus, once landscaping is planted, it must be regularly maintained. This results in additional expenses for fuel, equipment, and associated items. Finally, the drought conditions have resulted in mandatory metering restrictions and outright bans on residential watering.
“Faced with these expenses and the amount of time a beautiful lawn takes to maintain, many homeowners are changing the way they landscape their yards,” Britt Stokes of Acme Brick said. “One of the most popular products we sell is GrassTex synthetic turf. There is no irrigation needed, no mowing and therefore no fuel required. It’s easy clean-up of pet waste and the lawn is beautiful year-round. Plus, when water expenses are considered, the investment in this synthetic turf can be returned relatively quickly.
“Another water-saving product is our clay pavers. When they are used in a garden or flowerbed, they allow rain to pass through to the soil where plants are growing, rather than the type of run-off that results from concrete or other non-porous materials.”
In areas where the weather gets a little toasty in the spring and summer, many families enjoy spending time in the pool. Acme Brick has introduced a low-maintenance and durable innovation for the coping – capping the edge or shell - of the backyard pool.
Stokes notes, “The Marion Ceramics BrickTile offers an appealing and superior alternative to quarry tile, brick pavers, or concrete pavers. Marion Ceramics use the finest clays, shale, and raw materials, which are fine ground to produce the smooth wire cut texture. The wire cut texture is the perfect balance between safety and ease of clean-up - smooth, yet optimum in slip-resistance even when wet.
“With our BrickTile, you can avoid the danger of slippery quarry tile as well as minimizing the rougher characteristics of traditional brick pavers. For designers and homeowners, the aesthetics possible with our classic brick shape and beautiful colors are just as important as the technical excellence of our products.”
Five More Great Landscaping Ideas
One of the best places to find inspiration for low-maintenance home landscaping ideas is the design website Lonny. Its editors recently compiled a collection of “DIY hacks” that may inspire homeowners to spend even more time at home, and outside. You can also find 12 additional DIY ideas from Acme Brick here.
1. Entertain with a Backyard Bar
For more backyard design ideas than you could ever imagine, the online magazine Jungalow is a great resource. Writer/artist Justina Blakeney shared her idea for a unique bar for outdoor entertaining space in this publication. She attached a floating shelf to the facade of her home — right below a window — and placed two stools underneath. She also added some beautiful bulbs to the mix.
2. Enjoy the Breeze with a Tree Swing
Is there anything more charming than a tree swing? Lonny notes that “installing one in your own yard is a lot easier than it seems.” Amanda of “Love & Renovations” made hers from scratch by attaching a wood seat to a very sturdy tree branch with some thick rope. Click here to see how she built this old-school charming swing.
3. Freshen Up with an Outdoor Shower
Few things are more boring than taking a shower. You stand there, get wet, lather up and rinse. However, leave it to Tabitha Blue, who writes the blog “Fresh Mommy” to make taking a shower an entirely different experience. Plus, it is as simple as buying a shower head, hooking it up to a garden hose, building a little fence for privacy, and laying some Acme clay pavers. Rinse and repeat. Here’s how to build a simple, low-maintenance and inexpensive outdoor shower.
4. Outdoor Furniture Is Important
Just as with the interior of a home, strategic placement of furniture can make a small space seem larger. “I always recommend tucking an outdoor sectional into a corner on your patio or deck to maximize floor space, plus provide an abundance of seating," says David Dillion, creative and design director of Yardbird.
5. Get Smart with Patio Lighting
Products such as “Nest” forever changed the way interior thermostats efficiently heat and cool homes, and “smart technology” has become ubiquitous. According to Lonny, Legrand's GFCI smart outdoor switch allows customers to schedule their lighting sessions around the clock.”
More Inspiration to Come
Outdoor entertainment spaces are some of the hottest areas of the home, and Acme Brick is introducing remarkable outdoor tile products for low-maintenance and luxurious living. In our next post, we’ll introduce you to revolutionary ceramic tiles that will forever change the way you look at the backyard.