Outdoor Fireplace

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Enhance your Landscape Design with Hardscape

True to form, March came in like a lion and hopefully will go out like a lamb. With the one two punch of sleet and snow last week, we can safely say that it is time to start planning for the upcoming warm weather. As important as it is to prepare your lawn, trees and plants for the arrival of spring, it is just as important to start thinking about what you want your outdoor living space to look like. If you are planning on entertaining friends and family outside in the warm sunshine, ask yourself this; do I have the look and functionality of a great outdoor living space to host the ultimate BBQ? If your answer is no, it is time to add hardscapes and structures to your home in Loudoun or Fairfax Counties. Creating an outdoor living space can be done in any size yard. It is as simple as incorporating structures and features that blend seamlessly into your existing landscape to create the look that it has always been there. Adding a new patio with pergola that gently holds draping will provide a place to sit and drink your morning coffee, enjoy dinner al fresco and offers shade from the hot summer sun. Gaze up at the stars while listening to music with friends in a custom constructed gazebo that contains wireless speakers and a peekaboo roof. For the ultimate grill master, constructing an outdoor kitchen with a built in grill on a patio with enough room to entertain your friends and family will have you be the envy of your neighborhood. Add stone or brick pavers to create a walkway or path around your backyard oasis to easily navigate through

Should I Build a Patio or Deck?

Limited space and the demand for efficiency are usually the primary reasons to build a deck. Town homes and Condominiums almost always utilize decks because building a patio takes up too much yard space. If you are in a single family home, however, a patio is a great way to create a warm, welcoming place to entertain and dine. Patios have several advantages to decks, the first being long term maintenance. Most patios that are properly installed require almost no maintenance in the long term. Decks require routine maintenance in the form of pressure washing, staining, and replacing rotted or warped boards. Patios allow the living space to be integrated into the landscape more elegantly compared to decks. Decks are separated from the landscape because of their square shape, railings, color and height. Patios can be curvaceous, organic, and crafted from natural stone to blend into the surroundings. Normally, patios are built at ground/grade level; decks are usually above grade level and leave the people using the deck more exposed to the elements and prying neighbors. By being built on the ground level, patios are easily integrated into the landscape by the use of adapted shrubs and perennials. A ceiling can easily be implemented by planting trees nearby for shade and visual enclosure. To create a truly comfortable outdoor room, patios offer the warmth of an outdoor fireplace or fire pit. Combine the fireplace with a patio, a nice set of outdoor furniture, a soft landscape surround, and you’ll have an outdoor addition to your home to enjoy year round. Sunrise has a team of Landscape Designers who can meet with you to discuss your landscape needs and dreams. Any of our experienced designers will

A Landscape Consultation

When I meet with a potential new client to discuss a project that they may have in mind for their residence, whether it be hardscape, landscaping, a water feature, lighting or a combination the appointment often falls into two distinctly different experiences. Often the homeowner will quickly come outside moving around the property pointing out various locations and issues and then ask when they could expect an estimate. While this might work for a small, quick proposal, there is another version of this appointment that I prefer. Many of my best new, and previous, clients will invite me inside and we will begin with some small talk to get to know each other and see if Sunrise might be a good fit for the work. There could be neighborhood restrictions, family interests or concerns, or even the family pet to consider before we get down to the nitty gritty of the proposal. I often share a picture book filled with various jobs Sunrise has completed and catalogs that have examples of the materials Sunrise often uses in their jobs. I encourage and welcome the opportunity to see any pictures or ideas the homeowner has saved on their tablet or gathered from magazines. I can then get a sense of their tastes and find out how they envision the space or areas being used. It is then much easier developing a program and maybe even involving them in the design process. By working together, we can best serve our Sunrise landscape + design customers. Our ultimate goal is for the client to be so pleased with the installation and experience that they will not consider calling anyone else when the next project is being considered and

Just Because You Have a Knife …

does that make you a surgeon? I am amazed and embarrassed by certain companies that call themselves landscapers.  It makes it difficult for consumers to understand what constitutes a reputable company vs some guy who bought a mower and says he is a landscaper. There are a few things that can help determine the value of the company that the consumer can hire such as the following: -Does the company have any certifications? -How long has the company been in business? -What are the employee's qualifications? -Is their website informative and does it give a good perspective of the company? -Are there online reviews that add insight to the companies professionalism? -Do they answer the phone and/or return calls in a timely manner? -Do they have the proper insurance, business licenses and credentials? While this may sound like a lot of information to consider I think it is crucial for protecting the biggest investment most of us have, our home. Landscaping done poorly, or wrong, can cost you a lot in the end. Poor plant choices can damage structures and create excessive maintenance costs along with actually bringing down your properties value.  Conversely good quality craftsmanship and planning can actually greatly improve the value and desirability of your home when you go to sell. It can also add to years of enjoyment, family bonding and usefulness of your property. So, I repeat my question do you want a true surgeon to operate on you or just some guy with a knife?                 Call Sunrise 703-544-0028

Build it Right the First Time …

It will cost you less in the long run. One of the best ways to expand your home’s outdoor living space is to provide a hard surface for seating and entertaining. Patios can provide space to do almost anything you would want to do indoors, but also provide an opportunity for grilling, toasting marshmallows over a fire pit, or enjoying the fresh air and nature around you. They keep your home cleaner by preventing mud, grass and other plant debris from being tracked into the house. A patio also adds value to your home, not only by its added utility, but also to your home’s re-sale value by up to 10%. With all of these benefits, a patio can be a very desirable addition to your landscape. However, when many homeowners look into building a patio themselves, they realize the amount of time and hard work that is involved in the construction process is far greater than they realized. They then call various landscape companies for cost estimates, and end up choosing the lowest priced proposal. The problem with choosing the lowest priced bid is that you usually get what you pay for. Generally, you can gauge the quality of a product by its price; think Mercedes versus Kia.  Both products may get the job done, but only one will continue to work well for 15 years or more. The same is true when comparing building methods of patios. One estimate may be $2,500, another $4,500, while the other is $5,000, most likely, the higher priced patios are going to maintain their integrity for a longer period of time. You should also know beforehand how the patio will be built, not just what it will

Extend the Outdoor Season

With the days getting shorter and the temperatures dropping, you may be resigning yourself to hunkering down indoors until spring. That does not have to be the case; there are ways to spend time outdoors, or on your patio, even in colder weather. Have you ever considered a fireplace or fire pit? There are fabricated units such as the ‘Foyer’ fireplace from Techo-Bloc, or this fire pit kit from E.P. Henry. We can also build custom units such as the ones below that can be viewed on our website. A fireplace can not only provide warmth and atmosphere in chillier weather but everyone knows how much children love roasting marshmallows.  The prolonged darkness can also be battled through the use of a low-voltage lighting system. Your residence and landscaping can be lit in ways to provide many dramatic effects. Lighting your walkways and patio can not only be useful but offer increased safety as well. The product that we use most often is Unique Lighting Systems, they have developed numerous innovations in the field and when you hold one of their fixtures in your hand you will understand the value and how they can have a lifetime  guaranty.     Sunrise Landscape + Design has experienced designers and installers that can make these projects into a reality for you so that you can ‘extend the outdoor season’. If you would like more information on how we can extend your outdoor season check out our website or give us a call at 703.544.0028.