I have a good friend (who I didn't build for) that was moving into his new home and it wasn't until he attempted to turn into his garage that he realized his driveway wasn't safe. To summarize, he spent close to 2 months in a hotel with his family, delayed by the reconstruction of his driveway. When you think in terms of how to build a project, there is a build within a build. It's called site preparation. Sometimes, its very straight forward and logical, but often it takes careful consideration and thought. I've attached some photos because recently, I've had a whole slew of very involved site prep projects and it can be frustrating for the home owner who is so anxious to build and doesn't understand why we go through all of this in the first place. The reason is simple, if we can start off with safety, access, material staging areas and protection of job site- the whole thing will be better. I've spent days pondering on driveways before, thinking about every last detail from how the family will safely get to their home to guest parking and even the kids taking out the trash. It all matters because once this step is decided upon it's hard to go back. In addition, the overall project seems to travel much faster because there is a global plan here greater than just the house. You involve all components as best you can for an overall family experience that is better. You can't put that on a brochure on why you are a better builder necessarily, but I really feel like that's our role. We need to use our expertise to help people plan for things if we can, that they might not see in advance. So next time you are near a job site and see the gravel based road, the access, the staging areas, etc. pay attention to the project within the project. One other thing and this is a side bar, January is almost over, hope your New Year's Resolutions are still going well for you. Let's get to work and go build something.
Over the years I have come to prefer mixing materials when the budget allows for an outdoor pool and patio space. If you have a concrete patio, and a concrete pool deck it can look great but there are options available if you want to mix materials. In the past we have used wood decks, but honestly the maintenance and upkeep when mixed with the water can be somewhat costly and frequent. Pictured here is an outdoor covered patio with pool feature not in the picture. We added this artificial turf here as a material break between concrete and pool deck. I am really surprised that more folks aren't trying artificial turf as it has come a long way. This turf actually has a thatch layer at the base, which adds to the realness and the best part is you don't have to worry about watering or weed eating. It also features perforated holes at the bottom, so it is pet and rain -friendly. This turf was purchased at Costco, and it is a little expensive initially but the long term maintenance and upkeep is a bonus. We were going to do the entire lawn but last minute got a little nervous on what the home owners might say since it's a little progressive but I am glad we did it and it's both interesting and useful to look at and enjoy. All this requires for maintenance is occasional brushing and watering to rinse of any unwanted dirt or dust but other than that not much. It can get a little hot in direct sun, but you can wet it down a little or wait for the sun to drop.
From the desk of....
Thoughts, tips and musings from the folks at M&F