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Holiday Lighting Tips

Holiday Lighting Tips From Sunrise Landscape and Design

house with outside holiday lighting design northern virginia

It may seem impossible, but the holiday season is right around the corner. It’s time to break out the hot cocoa, eat some cookies, and unpack the holiday decorations. At Sunrise, we love this time of year because it means we get to install holiday lighting for our clients. There’s nothing better than transforming a property into a holiday destination. If you are planning on creating your own holiday retreat this year, here are some holiday lighting tips for making the process simple and safe:

1. Decide where you want lights

It’s fun to light up entryways and windows on your home, as well as architectural elements, like your roof. You can also highlight paths, fencing, and landscaping features. You can brighten bushes with net lights and wrap strands around tree trunks to light your yard.

2. Measure and plan ahead

You don’t want to go to the store twice! Measure how much lighting you’ll need by taking a string and putting it wherever you want lights. If you know how long the string needs to be, you’ll know how many strands of lights you’ll need. As a general rule of thumb, trees require 100 lights per vertical foot (but larger trees could need more).

3. Choose your bulb size

Mini lights are the ones that look like candles and are only 5/8” tall. C6 bulbs are shaped like a strawberry and are ¾” in diameter, and 1 1/8” tall. C7 bulbs are a little rounder and are 1” in diameter, and 1 ½” tall. C9 bulbs are the largest, measuring 1 ¼” in diameter and 2 1/2” tall. If you see a G-series light, divide the number by 8 to get an idea of the diameter.

Evergreens often look best with bigger bulbs, while deciduous trees are excellent for mini lights or rope lights. Old-fashioned, larger bulbs are back in style, so mix up sizes for a more interesting holiday lighting look.

4. Determine whether you want incandescent or LED

LED lights cost a little more upfront but last much longer than incandescents. They also use only 10% of the electricity that incandescents do, which means less heat and less risk of fire. Although incandescents tend to be brighter, LED strings can compensate with more bulbs per string.

5. Ensure your lights are outdoor-safe

Your lights need to be waterproof if they are being used outside. Make sure everything you use for holiday lighting is marked for outdoor or indoor-outdoor use.

6. Purchase holders

Don’t damage your roof, trim, gutters, or trees by using tacks or nails to string your lights. Instead, invest in sturdy plastic clips and stakes to fasten your strings. Make sure your clips fit your bulb sizes, especially if you are using larger bulbs.

7. Strategize your strings

Test strands ahead of time and consider alternating strings over the same space for more illumination. When connecting strands, make sure to read the manufacturer recommendations; too many connections can create a fire hazard.

8. Plan extension cord placement

Bury extension cords or place them in areas where guests and family members won’t trip, and keep them away from water. Also make sure they are outdoor-safe, just like your lights.

9. Check outlets

You want to use ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets. These outlets will shut down the circuit if there’s too much current, keeping your home safe. You can have an electrician install one for you, or you can purchase a portable unit for temporary use.

10. Liven it up

Light spheres, animated lights, and lights that move to music are great ways to liven up your lawn (and your neighborhood).

Whether you’re looking to be the envy of the neighborhood or create a cozy, welcoming home for the holidays, use these holiday lighting tips to create a winter wonderland that will stay in your memory long after the holiday season.

Sunrise Landscape and Design is Northern Virginia’s premier landscaping company offering a full range of landscaping services including landscape design and maintenance. Contact us today for all your landscape and lawn care needs!

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Fall Lawn Renovation

The Dirt on Lawn Renovation

Front Lawn Renovation Northern Virginia Landscaping

Fall is the perfect time to rehabilitate your lawn. Lawn renovation can give your landscape the boost it needs to survive the winter and come back stronger than ever in the spring. It eradicates weeds, improves nutrition, and establishes new grass in areas that badly need it. If you would like a vibrant, healthier lawn, then lawn renovation might be exactly what you’ve been looking for.

How do I know if I need to renovate my lawn?

You are a good candidate for lawn renovation if:

  • 20-40% of your lawn is bare, dead, or covered by weeds
  • Thatch – the organic layer of decomposing stems and roots at the soil surface – is greater than ½” thick

When is turf renovation a bad idea?

If your lawn has severe issues, it may be past the point of restoration and in need of replacement. If you have any of the following problems, consult a landscape professional before you waste precious time and energy trying to restore your lawn:

  • Over 50% of the lawn is dead or covered in weeds
  • Soil is unreasonably compacted
  • Previous efforts to alleviate thatch have been unsuccessful

How do I renovate my turf?

1. Get a soil test

A soil test will give you invaluable information about what’s going on under your lawn. Virginia Tech’s Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences offers a $10 soil test (http://www.soiltest.vt.edu/) for Virginia residents. They analyze your sample and provide a nutrient breakdown in return, detailing exactly what your grass needs for optimum health.

2. Replenish soil moisture

If you are coming off of a dry summer, soak your lawn to a depth of 6-8″ before you do anything else. The immersion will make the renewal process easier and more effective.

3. Remove weeds

Pull or kill weeds with an herbicide. Since most herbicides require up to two weeks to act, this step needs to be completed well in advance of seed application.

4. Enrich topsoil

The easiest way to enhance topsoil is to add compost to it. Other necessary nutrients that your soil needs will be listed in your soil report. If you choose not to do a soil test, adding nitrogen is always a good place to start.

Also take this time to fill in any holes or uneven spots in your yard.

5. Choose the right grass

Consult a knowledgeable source about what grows best in your climate. If your property has areas that vary from swampy to parched, or sunny to completely shaded, you may need to consider a mix of different grasses to complement your landscape.

6. Equip the soil

Rake or aerate the soil to break up thatch and remove debris.

7. Apply seed

Seed via hand or a spreader. It is best to go over an area in two different directions to make sure that seed hits at various angles.

If you are seeding on a hill or a place that experiences erosion, make sure that you cover the seed with some mulching material or weed-free straw to ensure that it stays in place.

8. Water

While you don’t want to drown your new seeds, you want to make sure that they stay moist. Water lightly twice a day – just enough to wet the surface of the soil.

9. Fertilize

Approximately four to five weeks after you seed, add phosphorous, potassium, and other nutrients to your turf based on your soil test results. If you haven’t purchased a test, you can use a standard fertilizer product.

10. Mow

Mowing actually encourages your new grass to grow, so once it is tall enough (3-4” tall), cut it with a sharp blade. Dull blades can rip new growth out by the roots, so be careful.

Make sure that you don’t cut your lawn shorter than 2-3”, depending on your grass type. If you cut it too short, the turf will burn up in the sun.

Your newly revived lawn will help block out noise pollution, improve the air you breathe, and increase your home’s curb appeal – along with many other benefits. If you think that your Northern Virginia turf needs to be revitalized but aren’t sure if you can tackle the project on your own, contact Sunrise today. We’d love to help.

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Fall Core Aeration and Overseeding

Why Core Aeration and Overseeding Are Important This Fall

As the cooler weather arrives, now is a good time to start thinking about what lies ahead for your landscaping. Two important maintenance practices should happen this season in Northern Virginia: fall core aeration and overseeding. Even though some homeowners ignore these steps, they are arguably the two most important things you can do to enhance the quality of your lawn this fall.

What is core aeration?

fall core aeration and overseeding

Core aeration is the process of removing tiny plugs – or cores – from your lawn. Usually done with a machine, the cores are roughly ½ to ¾ of an inch in diameter and 1 to 6 inches long. The holes are typically 2 to 6 inches apart, depending on the aeration machine used.

Another method of aeration called spiking involves pushing spikes into the ground without removing any cores. We do not recommend this method because it actually contributes to further lawn compaction and not aeration.

Why should you aerate your lawn?

Core aeration eases turf compaction. In Northern Virginia, the majority of our soil is mixed with native red clay. This clay is dense and heavy, making it hard for water, nutrients, and air to flow into the ground. Aeration lessens that density and makes it easier for the grass to get what it needs to grow. Basically, it gives your grass room to breathe – and eat and drink.

Aeration also solves the problem of heavy thatch. Thatch is the blanket of tightly connected roots, stems, and leaves – both living and dead – that lays on top of your turf, just below the grass blades. Thatch is beneficial to your lawn when it stays thinner than ¾ of an inch. However, once it gets thicker, it actually harms your grass. The blanket blocks out sunlight, obstructs water and nutrients, and promotes disease. Core aeration breaks up the thatch and allows essential water and minerals into the lawn.

What is overseeding?

Overseeding is the practice of sowing new seed into your existing grass. A mechanical slit-seeder cuts tiny furrows for planting the seed through the thatch, or after core aeration. If performed along with core aeration, a cyclone-type seeder spreads the seed.

Why should you overseed your lawn?

As turf ages, it becomes more susceptible to diseases and insects. When you overseed, you can mix newer turfgrass varieties into your lawn. In addition to being disease and insect resistant, these new varieties have been engineered to withstand:

  • Drought
  • Heavy foot traffic
  • Shade

This new grass will make your lawn healthier and more stable as a whole, which means less watering and less fertilizing. It will also make your turf look fuller and thicker.

It is important to include fall core aeration and overseeding in your landscape maintenance tasks. They are well worth the time and effort to keep your Northern Virginia lawn healthy and beautiful. Contact Sunrise Landscape & Design to schedule your fall maintenance or visit our Core Aeration and Overseeding page for more information. Your lawn will thank you.

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Best Trees for Fall

Best Trees for Fall

One of the great joys of fall is being able to look out your window and watch the colors change right before your eyes. Planting some of the best trees for fall will create a beautiful and decorative way to enjoy the changing season. Although they may require a bit more time and care initially, in the long run trees are easier to care for than flowers or shrubs. There are many practical benefits to planting trees. Trees reduce storm runoff, provide your home with shade that could save you money on your cooling bills, reduce noise pollution, and produce about 260 lbs of oxygen per year. The aesthetic benefits carry tremendous value as well. Let’s look at a few of the best fall tree options to spruce up your yard this season.

Already ready to plant? Contact us for planting and other fall landscaping services. 

 

red fall maple tree leaves

The Maple Tree

These trees are the royalty of the fall foliage tour. Some folks drive hundreds of miles to look at the stunning color of these trees. The maple tree is a fast-grower and an excellent shade tree. The smaller version, the Japanese Maple, with its deep red leaves, creates a lovely landscape in both summer and autumn.

fall river birch trees with orange leaves

The River Birch

The River Birch turns a gorgeous color in fall, but what really makes it a star attraction is its beautiful bark.  They are also very tolerant of wet areas in your landscape, which makes it a versatile tree if you have drainage issues.

The Sunburst Honey Locust

This fast-growing, resilient tree would not only look great in front of your home, but requires little to no watering, tolerates road salt, and keeps its leaves, which makes for less of a mess. Its foliage starts out yellow, then turns light green and then back to yellow for fall. Pair this with a Japanese Maple and you have an Instagram-worthy landscape, with some practical benefits to boot.

yellow fall leaves on maidenhair ginkgo biloba tree

Maidenhair Trees (Ginkgo Biloba)

Maidenhair trees (Ginkgo biloba) are rock stars in their ability to adapt to small spaces and tolerate pollution. They are not easily susceptible to disease and are rarely attacked by insects. The beauty of their leaves is legendary, green in spring to gold in fall. However, the male species of the tree is highly allergenic so, when planting, be sure to stick with the female variety which does not produce pollen.

Arborvitae Trees

Aside from looking lush year-round, these trees act as a living privacy wall. Using vegetation to create “fencing” is an ecologically friendly, lovely, and subtle way to create boundaries. These trees are also extremely low-maintenance, requiring only basic feeding and watering, and occasional pruning for shape.

 

Trees provide much more than aesthetic beauty to your landscape, they are tremendous “givers” to the environment. If you were to plant a tree today, in five years your energy bill could decrease by 3%, according to the Center for Urban Forest Research. Mature trees also increase property values. Landscaping on the whole is a worthwhile investment in your home, but this is especially true when there are mature trees involved. Planting some of the best trees for fall colors this season will continue to provide both environmental and aesthetic benefits for years to come.

 

About us:

Sunrise Landscape and Design is Northern Virginia’s best landscaping company, offering a full range of landscaping services. Our landscape and design services include hardscapes, water features, irrigation, and landscape lighting. We also offer property maintenance services that will keep your landscape vibrant and healthy year round with mulching, edging, fall turf care, seasonal cleanups, lawn mowing, and tree care. We serve the following locations: Ashburn, Belmont Ridge, Brambleton, Broadlands, Centreville, Chantilly, Great Falls, Herndon, Lansdowne, Leesburg, McLean, Oakton, Potomac Falls, Reston, South Riding, Sterling, Vienna, Aldie, and Willowsford.

Ready to enjoy the colors of the season by planting some of the best trees for fall? Schedule your fall landscaping services with us.

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Fall Landscaping Tips

Fall Landscaping Tips

With summer coming to a close, most yards can benefit from fall landscaping services. Northern Virginia is known for incredible fall seasons and this is also when grass “powers up” by absorbing moisture and nutrients to prepare for its dormancy in winter. Taking care of your grass in the fall will have a huge impact on how beautiful it looks in the spring.We compiled a list of fall landscaping tips to help you prepare your grass this season.

Need help preparing your yard for the winter? Schedule your fall landscaping services with us.

Backyard patio and landscaping services in Leesburg

Tips for preparing your grass for the fall and winter

Rake

Grab that rake and attack those leaves. You’ll notice that leaves don’t wait until the official start of Autumn to fall in Northern Virginia. You’ll find your lawn scattered with tree confetti as early as August. As soon as they begin to fall, rake. If leaves are left on the ground for too long, they will become matted down with rain and begin to suffocate your grass and possibly lead to fungal disease in your lawn.

Aeration and Overseeding

Contact us about soil aeration. We have the equipment and expertise to properly prepare your soil. This service is crucial to allow the soil to absorb water, fertilizer and nutrients. Again, this will be needed through winter so that when the first thaw of spring arrives, your lawn will be ready to thrive. Don’t forget to water! You won’t need as much water as during the summer months, but grass still needs water to survive through the winter.

Fertilize

Fall is the best time to fertilize. Though the growth of grass slows down considerably in the fall, the roots continue to thrive.  Applying the right mix of fertilizer during the fall is essential to building food reserves and strengthening roots for the upcoming year. A proper, even coat of fertilizer now, will yield big results in the spring.

Mow

Don’t put away that mower! Lower the blade and continue to mow, as necessary through the fall and winter; this will result in less brown patches.

Trouble spots?

Bald grass spots should be fixed during the fall. Spreading a thick layer of a mixture of organic mulch, grass seed and fertilizer to the spots that your grass seems to have abandoned, and watering thoroughly, will make a huge difference in the rebirth of your grass in the spring. Additionally, overseeding, or planting grass seed directly on existing soil is another way to improve the density and color of your lawn in Spring. Overseeding is best done in conjunction with soil aeration. Visit our core aeration and overseeding page for more information on this service.

Grass isn’t the only thing in power-up mode during fall and winter. Weeds are too. This is the time to attack them with herbicide. Dandelions have no place on the lush green lawn you’re cultivating for spring.

Northern Virginia Lawn Services

Following these fall landscaping tips will keep your yard healthy and prepared for the coming winter months. If fall is a busy time of year for you, contact us! Our team of experts is standing by to provide fall landscaping services tailored-made to your property. The time and effort you put into your yard now will help ensure a gorgeous yard in the spring. Our services are available in the following locations: Ashburn, Belmont Ridge, Brambleton, Broadlands, Centreville, Chantilly, Great Falls, Herndon, Lansdowne, Leesburg, McLean, Oakton, Potomac Falls, Reston, South Riding, Sterling, Vienna, Aldie, or Willowsford.

About us:

Sunrise Landscape and Design is Northern Virginia’s premier landscaping company offering a full range of landscaping services.  Our landscape and design services include hardscapes, water features, irrigation and landscape lighting.  Our property maintenance services will keep your Northern Virginia landscape vibrant and healthy year-round with mulching, edging, garden cleanups, lawn mowing, tree pruning and mosquito/deer control.  Contact us today for all your landscape and lawn care needs!

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Drainage and Erosion Solutions in Northern Virginia

Winter Landscaping Projects – Drainage and Erosion Solutions

Winter is actually a great time to schedule a professional to provide drainage and erosion solutions.  One problem to solve off-season and in between snow storms is yard drainage. Not only will it help keep water away from your foundation as snow melts, but if you get it fixed in the winter, you’ll be ready for those spring storms with their heavy downpours.

French drain with rock and a bridge

French Drain

One of the most common drainage and erosion solutions is a French drain. Thought to have originated from simple ditches, the French drain is simply a trench filled with gravel or rock containing a perforated pipe that redirects surface water and groundwater away from an area. They are used to solve a variety of issues, from keeping water away from foundations to relieving groundwater pressure behind retaining walls. If you have an area of your yard that simply takes forever to dry, then a French drain may be your solution.

Grading

Sometimes grading is one of the better drainage and erosion solutions for homes in Northern Virginia. Many builders pay little attention to how they grade lots when building new homes, which is a common challenge for residents in Ashburn, Leesburg, Willowsford and Herndon, where an extensive amount of new building is happening. This could leave you with water flowing right into your basement every time it rains. Grading simply adjusts the slope of your yard to a level that will move groundwater away from your home, instead of towards it.

Swale

If a French drain isn’t an option and grading doesn’t fit the problem, then maybe you need a swale. Swales are basically ditches, or places where a landscaper purposefully intersects two slopes in order to create a place to hold water. Swales can really be as simple as a ditch, but they can also be much more complex and purposeful. They can solve a variety of dilemmas, from capturing water for agricultural purposes to stopping erosion through diversion ditches.

If one of your properties landscape issues is drainage, contact Sunrise Landscape and Design to find the drainage solution that works best for you this winter. Our qualified landscape professionals can guide you through French drains, grading, and swales, so that together, we can find the answer that is right for your property.  Winter really is a great time to address those important yard projects and prepare yourself, your yard, and your home for the wet days just around the corner.

French drain with river rock

Sunrise Landscape and Design is Northern Virginia’s premier landscaping company offering a full range of landscaping services.  Our landscape and design services include hardscapes, water features, irrigation and landscape lighting.  Our property maintenance services will keep your Northern Virginia landscape vibrant and healthy year-round with mulching, edging, garden cleanups, lawn mowing, tree pruning and mosquito/deer control.  Contact us today for all your landscape and lawn care needs!

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What are those bumps on my branches

What to do about bumps on branches

Bumps on branches, leaves or stems, that may be a range of colors and sizes, but certainly don’t seem like they are part of the plant, can be concerning when looking at your landscape. Many people mistake this condition for a fungal disease. It’s more often actually a type of insect known as scale.

There are over 150 individual types of scale insects present in the state of Virginia. Some have little to no impact on plant health. Others can severely damage or even kill valuable landscape plants, shrubs, and trees. Scale causes damage by attaching to the plant and sucking water and nutrients from its bark or leaves. This takes away from the resources available to support the growth and health of the plant. A heavy infestation can even kill an entire shrub or group of shrubs if left untreated.

Scale insects often have a very specific plant they prefer, others are more open-minded and will attach to a wide range of different groups of plants. One shrub that has drawn attention for being prone to infestation and damage by scale insects in our region is cherry laurel. This versatile evergreen plant has several forms that are common and beautiful in many applications, and it is seen all over, in large hedges for screening, and more compact foundation plantings. It’s a great plant. But yet, it is prone to a scale that attaches to the stems and in many cases causes die-back or death of plants.  Another common landscape shrub affected by scale is Euonymus. This scale is particularly unsightly as it can cover the leaves as well as stems of the plant. Both these and other common scale insects in our region do NOT have to be viewed as a catastrophe for your garden. If observed and diagnosed in a reasonable amount of time, each scale can be treated and controlled to prevent frustrating and expensive losses.

Treatment of scale varies widely depending on the type of scale and time of year. Soft scales have a soft covering over their bodies that can be penetrated by appropriate chemical controls. Armored scales secrete a hard covering over their bodies as adults that protect the scale while it feeds on your plants. This armor is impenetrable to certain common pesticides; therefore one must approach treatment in an intelligent and informed manner that is appropriate to the situation. Identifying the specific pest that you have and knowing its unique life cycle and vulnerabilities will enable you to successfully treat your problem. You can use resources provided by the Virginia and Maryland Extension services to help identify your pest and also recommended treatment. Many effective products are available for purchase and application by homeowners.

You can always count on us at Sunrise Landscape and Design to monitor your property and treat for any potential issues, such as scale. We offer a range of options to provide you with Integrated Pest Management services. Our garden visits, and IPM treatments are both aspects of care that help monitor, identify and treat problems in a timely manner so that you won’t have to worry about those strange bumps turning into big issues. We work with you year-round to protect your investment in your home and landscape. Contact us to get a landscaping quote today.

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The Importance of Trees in Your Landscape

Trees are just as crucial to your Northern Virginia landscape design project as a vibrant, healthy lawn. They benefit both the environment and the communities in which they are planted, saving energy and cleaning the air we breathe. Trees create jobs, provide protection from the elements, and even support healing.

Aesthetically appealing areas.

Trees are beautiful. They can define your driveway or become a focal point in your yard (with the help of landscape lighting). They also mark the seasons, giving us gorgeous flowers in the spring and brilliant foliage in the fall. Trees can enhance any landscape.

Natural Food Producers

Trees are a wonderful source of both beauty and food, including apples, cherries and nuts. They give us beautiful flowers in the spring and delicious fruit in the fall, which is fun for the picking. Check out Winchester, Virginia both at apple blossom time in the spring and apple picking time in the fall.  At times, it boasts the largest apple storage in the world!  Northern Virginia is also famous for its beautiful flowering cherry trees.

Wildlife Refuges

Trees make great homes. They provide housing for all kinds of wildlife – from birds and bees to squirrels and Monarch butterflies. Trees also help out another kind of “wildlife”: children. Treehouses and tire swings offer all kinds of fun during the warmer months. And for older “wildlife,” two shade trees can create a great hammock spot for napping and reading.

Places of peace.

Trees provide healing. Studies show that patients with views of trees heal better (and faster) than other patients. Children with ADHD also benefit from trees, showing fewer symptoms when they have access to nature.

Energy Savers and Creators

Trees help save the environment. They can cool our homes, streets, and cities by up to 10˚F. This temperature reduction allows homeowners and city governments to save money on cooling costs during the hot summer months. And when we are using less energy to cool our homes and businesses, we are saving fossil fuels and other resources that can potentially pollute the planet.

Protectors against the Unwanted

Trees are nature’s superheroes. Their shade protects us against harmful UV-B rays and blocks us (and our homes) from dust and other unwanted particulates. Trees also shield us from the wind and minimize glares and reflections. If planted properly, they can also reduce noise pollution from airports and loud streets.

If you live near a busy highway, or you want a little privacy, trees are an excellent way to block out unsightly views. Many fast-growing trees can conceal better than fencing – and they are more cost effective.  In most cases, they also look nicer than big, bulky fences.

Nature’s Air and Water Filters

Trees are large sponges. They absorb pollutants (and odors) on their leaves and bark and filter particulates out of the air. Through photosynthesis, trees convert carbon dioxide into clean oxygen for us to breathe. It is estimated that an acre of mature trees can produce oxygen for 18 people over the course of a year.

Those sponges also prevent water evaporation and decrease water runoff. By channeling storm water down into the earth, trees save pollutants from flowing into oceans and other water sources. When you chop them up as mulch, the trees can filter water as it runs into the ground, helping to clean groundwater naturally. Last, but not least, since trees reduce runoff, they cut down on erosion and aid in holding soil in place.

There’s no doubt that trees are an investment in our future. They grace us with their charm and beauty year-round and provide numerous benefits to people and the planet. If you are ready to add some trees to your yard, contact Sunrise Landscape and Design today for a refreshing perspective on your landscape.

Sunrise Landscape and Design is Northern Virginia’s premier landscaping company offering a full range of landscaping services. Our landscape and design services include hardscapes, water features, irrigation and landscape lighting. Our property maintenance services will keep your landscape vibrant and healthy year-round with mulching, edging, garden cleanups, lawn mowing, tree pruning and mosquito/deer control. Contact us today for all your landscape and lawn care needs!

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Outdoor Fireplaces | Northern Virginia

patio with lighting and fireplace in northern virginia

Who wouldn’t love curling up next to an outdoor fireplace on a chilly Northern Virginia fall evening? Or hanging out in your backyard year-round, enjoying s’mores while chatting with family and friends? Summer may be coming to an end, but there’s nothing stopping you from turning your summertime oasis into a four-season refuge.

Outdoor Fireplaces

A fireplace can be custom-designed and installed by a masonry expert, enabling you to choose the design that works best for your patio and your budget. They can be incorporated into your space for more of a “built-in” look or completely freestanding, creating a new seating area for your outdoor area. The facades can be brick, stone, marble, or even a type of fire-resistant glass. They can also be gas or wood-burning, depending on your preference.

If you love details, consider features like built-in wood storage, reclaimed wood mantels, bench-height hearths, and soft, subtle lighting. You can even incorporate a pizza oven for hours of family fun.

Fire Pits

If you have a smaller space, a fire pit may work better as your heat source. They are extremely popular, so the options are endless. You can build one into your space like a fireplace, customizing it to your needs, or you can purchase one at your local hardware store and simply unpack it from a box. While masonry fire pits offer unique details like stone facades and built-in seating, pre-built kits can be extremely affordable and easy to set up. Pits are generally either wood or gas, and can come in their traditional shape or in the form of a table, urn, or tabletop accent. They can also be incorporated with water features for an extra-special focal point.

Chimineas

Chimineas are also ideal for small spaces. Unlike the open, 360-degree design of a fire pit, chimineas are more like fireplaces. They are traditionally made out of clay and shaped like large vases, but now you can find them in materials like sheet steel, copper, cast aluminum, or cast iron. By feeding wood into their bellies, you can achieve a very clean-burning and efficient fire. The only drawback of chimineas is durability. Cast aluminum tends to last longer than other materials but beware of finishes that are prone to rust, warping, and cracking.

Patio Heaters

Patio heaters are also available in many varieties and styles. They may not seem as comforting as a blazing fire, but they can still provide decent warmth during cold-weather months. Heaters can be free-standing, tabletop, or wall-mounted, and typically run on natural gas, propane, or electricity.

Outdoor Kitchens

There’s no rule that says you must “rough it” if you want to spend time outdoors. An outdoor kitchen is another excellent way to season-proof your patio, making it a place to entertain and relax no matter what the weather is. Kitchens can be custom-designed to meet your needs with features like refrigerators, counters, cabinets, dishwashers, wine coolers, and sinks. You can incorporate grills, cooktops, and pretty much anything else you would find in your standard indoor kitchen. To make it blend in with the rest of your space, your contractor will finish it off with stone, tile, brick, or stucco.

Extend your living space this fall.

There’s no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy your investment year-round. Before the holiday parties begin and snow hits the ground, find a way to make your outdoor space work year-round. Contact us to schedule a free estimate.

Want to learn more about outdoor living spaces? Click here.