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Bahler Brothers Blog

This blog addresses many of the questions, issues and design options for paver and wall installations.

Blog Feature

Landscaping  |  Retaining Wall

Do I Need a Retaining Wall on My Property?

Retaining walls are found around many homes, businesses and schools. But chances are, you’ve never really noticed them. Though they can be beautiful additions to a property, they serve a fundamental purpose: expanding your useable outdoor living space.

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Blog Feature

Landscaping  |  Pondless Waterfeature  |  Ponds  |  Water Feature  |  Water Garden

Using Water Features in Your Landscaping

Landscaping doesn’t have to be restricted to hardscapes and plantings. When you add a water feature, you open up your yard to much larger opportunities for visual impact. A water feature such as a pond invites many interesting visitors, like birds, dragonflies, frogs, and other wildlife, as well as offers a tranquil setting in which to relax and enjoy. But before you start digging, make sure you’re ready. Water features can take time, energy, and a healthy budget to install. This post will help you decide if a water feature is right for your home. Take our patio style quiz for insight and inspiration!

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Contractor Comparison Worksheet

Contractor Comparison Worksheet

Take the frustration out of comparing bids from different landscape contractors with our Contractor Comparison Checklist

Blog Feature

Fire Pit  |  Fireplace  |  Gas Fire Pit  |  Outdoor Fireplace

Outdoor Fireplace vs. Fire Pit: Find Your Ideal Solution

Incorporating a fire element into your outdoor living space will provide unbeatable ambiance and enjoyment. Whether your idea of the perfect night is roasting marshmallows with the kids or snuggling fireside with your sweetheart, an outdoor fire feature is sure to bring your entire patio space together.

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Blog Feature

Front Entrance Design  |  Landscape Lighting  |  Walkway

Walkways and Front Entrances

A warm and welcoming front walkway design is the perfect way to charm your guests, increase curb appeal, and add style to your front yard. Investing in a well designed walkway that compliments your home, your landscaping, and your style will not only increase your property value, but it will protect your lawn and provide an easy way for guests to reach your home.

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Blog Feature

Built-in Grill  |  Outdoor Kitchen  |  Patio Design

Outdoor Kitchens 101: Your Fundamental Design Considerations

You may not need a kitchen on your patio, but installing a grill, prep area or more can be an amazing and effective use of your space. An outdoor kitchen is a luxury that not only gives you more flexibility, but it’s a great way to spend more time in fresh air. The idea of designing a patio that offers comfort, beauty, relaxation and functionality may be overwhelming – especially if you don’t have the help of a landscape designer or outdoor living space specialist. But if you understand how to approach designing your outdoor kitchen, you’ll have a much easier time choosing the right elements.

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Blog Feature

Hardscaping  |  Patio  |  Patio Design  |  Project Design  |  landscape designer

Patio Designs That Truly Fit Your Space

If you look outside your window or walk in your backyard, you may envision a day when you can walk out onto a patio and relax on a warm summer day. Perhaps later in the evening you’ll grill a delicious meal and enjoy dinner with a side of fresh air. You may even be thinking as grand as swimming in a pool or lounging on a sundeck.

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Blog Feature

Patio Cost  |  Pavers

How much does a Paver Patio Cost?

UPDATED 4/24/18: That's a great question and one that we get on a regular basis.  The question I would pose to you is 'what are the functions you would like it to perform?'  Jen wrote a fabulous article for Bahler Brothers a while back called 6 Things to consider when designing a paver patio.  In this article, she lays out the thought process that a homeowner should consider when they begin to think about a patio. 

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Hardscape Cleaning and Maintenance  |  Paver Joint Sand  |  Polymer Sand

9 Expert Tips On Using Polymeric Sand

We’ve all seen those patios with the nice green border around each of the pavers. Appealing, right? We’ve also all seen patios with a ton of weeds or little anthills jutting out of the cracks in its border? It seems that everyone has come across one of these issues when dealing with pavers. The gorgeous weed- and ant-free paver driveway is the product of polymeric sand.

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Blog Feature

Landscaping  |  landscape designer

6 Reasons You Should Consider Hiring a Landscape Designer

As we are sure you have experienced, it’s very easy for a home renovation project to become overwhelming. Whether you are remodeling your kitchen or customizing your outdoor living space, before you know it things can become out of scope and way beyond your budget. When taking on an outdoor project, such as a patio, walkway, or custom landscape project, there are a variety of different factors that come into play to ensure your project goes smoothly and that you get the most value out of your investment. This is where a landscape designer can be of assistance!

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Blog Feature

Landscaping  |  Maintenance

Getting Your Yard in Shape: Proper Pruning Techniques

After the beating your yard took this winter, you’re probably looking at it, wondering how you’ll ever get it back in good shape. A few weeks ago, we shared some tips to help you get your yard ready for spring. There are many simple steps you can take to get your yard to where you want it to be for the warmer weather. And one of those steps is pruning.

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Blog Feature

Outdoor Kitchen

The Must Have Appliances for Your Outdoor Kitchen

After a long day of work, the first thing most people want to do is get home and relax. Say it’s a nice day out and you want to sit out on your patio in your back yard, eat some dinner, and enjoy the rest of the evening. Instead of making trips in and out of the house, why not take the comfort of your kitchen outdoors with a new or updated back yard space that’s perfect for entertaining, cooking, and relaxing. Outdoor kitchens are a trend that we believe is here to stay but, if you’re not sure which appliances to include in your design, don’t worry! We’ve rounded up some of the ‘must have’ appliances and other features for your outdoor kitchen.

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Blog Feature

Pavers

The Pros and Cons of Paver Patios

In our years of business, we’ve heard a lot of misconceptions about paver patios. The internet is a valuable tool that contains a wealth of information. However, we’ve also found that not all of the information is accurate or showing the complete picture. When looking at paver patios, it seems that information can be skewed against them. We’ve seen firsthand that they are an excellent option for many people looking to spruce up their landscaping or outdoor living space. We’d like to bring a lot of the info together so that you can make your own choice. Read on to learn the real pros and cons of paver patios.

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Blog Feature

Erosion  |  Flood Protection  |  Rainwater Harvesting

[SlideShare] How to Control Water Run-Off With Lake-Wise Landscaping

As the April showers come to a close, you might be dealing with a nice swamp where your backyard used to be. But aside from the possible property damage a heavy downpour can cause, big storms can have a big effect on the environment as well. Therefore, it's necessary to plan for the rainy seasons to come with proper drainage solutions for your property. By making your landscapes more resistant to extreme weather, you can mitigate damaging soil erosion and manage water run off.  

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Blog Feature

Landscaping  |  Outdoor Living

How to Get Your Yard Ready for Spring

  Spring is here!  With all of the rain, snow and cold that the winter brought with it, we’re all anticipating that beautiful spring weather we look forward to in New England! Nature’s presence increases with each passing day. Sweet and pleasurable aromas follow us wherever we go as flowers and trees begin to bloom. As we open our windows and doors to let the Spring air in, thoughts turn to our own outdoor spaces. This is where we congregate, share and celebrate – so let's make sure we do what we can to enjoy our yards all season long. 

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Blog Feature

Hardscaping  |  Pavers

Why Sealing your Paver Patio is like Waxing Your Car

Often the question is posed to us; Why should I seal my paver patio regularly? Aren't pavers supposed to hold up without sealer? The short answer is yes, pavers are very durable and made to last a long time. However, with regular maintenance and care they will remain nicer and hold their value longer, the same as if you regularly maintain your vehicle.

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Blog Feature

Built-in Grill  |  How To  |  Maintenance  |  Outdoor Kitchen

How to Use and Maintain your Built-In Grill

Protect the investment you’ve put into your outdoor kitchen and built-in grill. Keeping the grill, other appliances and stainless steel cabinets clean and well maintained is going to help preserve your investment for many years to come. There are some minor issues that can occur when you own a gas grill – no matter how much you spend on it, things can go wrong and malfunction once in awhile. Here is a checklist of things to watch for and to include in your regular maintenance of the grill. Some of these tips are specific to the Summerset brand of grills, and some are more general and may apply to other brands as well.

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Landscaping

How Landscaping Complements Hardscapes

There are times when you know a new driveway, retaining wall, walkway or patio, would help you to maximize your outdoor space or make it more functional, but sometimes the beautifying landscaping portion can take a backseat. Here are some reasons you might want to consider giving some more thought to what landscaping can add to your hardscape and how the two can work together to give you a beautiful outcome.

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putting greens  |  synthetic turf

Can I have a Personalized Synthetic Putting Green in My Backyard?

Have you ever dreamed of being able to step into your backyard and practice your golfing? Your dream may be more realistic than you realize. Not only is it possible to have a personalized synthetic putting green in your backyard, it also comes with many benefits, not the least of which are the privacy and convenience to practice anytime you want to.

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Blog Feature

Come Alive Outside  |  Outdoor Living

Come Alive Outside: Games to Get the Whole Family Outdoors

We all know the importance of activity in a healthy lifestyle. While it's important for us as adults, it's equally important to teach our children about getting outside and getting some exercise. Of course, there's always exploring nature, hiking, the joy of finding a hidden stream, but there are also the times when you want something to do right in your own backyard. We will talk about some outdoor games, maybe some you even played as a child, to get the whole family outdoors and "Come Alive Outside".

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Blog Feature

Stamped Concrete

What They Won't Tell you About Stamped Concrete

Are you looking to add a patio or sidewalk to your outdoor space? With the different hardscape options available, it can be confusing and overwhelming to try to decide what option is the best for you long term. Stamped concrete is typically one of the less expensive options up front, however there are some long-term factors to keep in mind before you make your decision.

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Blog Feature

Fire Pit  |  Landscaping  |  Outdoor Fireplace  |  Outdoor Living

Landscape R.O.I. as high as 150%

This article is courtesy of TurfMagazine.com

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Blog Feature

Hardscaping  |  Pavers

What is Concrete Paver Sealer?

 

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Blog Feature

Cleaning  |  Hardscaping  |  Pavers

Why Should I Seal my Pavers?

This is a question posed to us often. While pavers are a great choice for your hardscape surfaces, there are three main benefits to sealing them. The first is to prevent surface erosion, second is to keep them cleaner, and third is to help stabilize the joint sand. We will discuss each of these reasons in more depth below.

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Blog Feature

Landscaping  |  Trees

7 Great Ornamental Trees to Plant in Your Yard

Are you looking to add some ornamental trees to your yard or landscaping? When considering what to plant, the options can be overwhelming. We are going to discuss seven great options to consider adding to your outdoor space.

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Blog Feature

Landscape Lighting  |  Landscaping

Landscaping Your Front Yard: Taking Cues from your Home

When it comes to landscaping your front yard, the facade of your home can play a big role in what style, type of plants, and other landscape elements you may want to incorporate. From color to style, from architectural features to the mood you want to create, the structure of your home may have a bigger impact on your decisions than you may realize. Here are a few things to consider when getting ready to design your front yard landscaping.   Consider Color   If your home is neutral in color, you may want to choose a limited color scheme for your landscape to add visual appeal. Rich purple and pink flowering plants are great choices for beige, gray, or white homes; soft yellow is also a beautiful accent.

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Blog Feature

Water Feature

Pondless Water Feature: What it Can Do For Your Yard

There are few things more relaxing than the sound of water slowly trickling over rocks. While it would be nice to have a natural waterfall in your own backyard, that isn't very reasonable for most of us. Ponds are a nice addition to a yard, but sometimes there isn't the space or a pond sounds too time consuming with maintenance. Enter the pondless water feature. There is no reason why you can't enjoy the soothing effect and beauty of water from your own backyard! Let's take a look at the pondless water feature and see what it can do for your yard.

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Blog Feature

Hardscaping  |  Pavers

Hardscape Cleaning and Maintenance

    Is your joint sand failing signified by moss growth or wash out? Does your hardscape project not look as nice as when it was first installed? Are you experiencing efflorescence (whitish stains) on your pavers and walls? If so, hardscape cleaning and maintenance may be just right for you. Now is the time to Clean, Restore, Beautify and Protect your investment. Seal your recently installed job now to preserve its beauty, or have us restore your old, tired project like new again.  Call today to have the Paver Doctor prescribe just what your Patio, Walkway, Pool Surround or steps need to look and perform their best for years to come. Our High-Performance Joint Sands, Cleaners & Coatings will enhance the look and protect your investment from future wear, efflorescence, staining, and contaminants.   

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Blog Feature

Get Wise to Size: How to Furnish an Outdoor Room, Small to Spacious

  Put your garden slice or grand patio on the best-dressed list with furniture and features best suited to its square footage  

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Spring Patio Fix-Ups: 10 Wonderful Ways With Built-in Benches

  Maximize space and increase the welcome with a built-in bench that suits your patio or deck just right

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Driveways  |  Landscape Lighting  |  Landscaping  |  Walkway

Improving your Home's Curb Appeal

There are many ways to boost your home's curb appeal. Here are a few ideas to make your house the real show stopper on your street. 

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Blog Feature

Landscaping

Plants That Bring Visual Interest to your Winter Garden

If anyone else is like me up here in the Northeast, by this time of the year I am waiting, somewhat impatiently, for the time I can get out in my yard and feel the warm sun and soil. I will have to admit, though winter has it's own kind of beauty, with the freshly fallen snow making everything seem new and fresh, it can also be long and cold, and thinking of warmer days to come somehow gets me through. Thinking about spring and what to plant in my garden are also great coping mechanisms. With that being said, there are many plants that can still bring visual interest to your winter garden. Planning ahead now and deciding if any of these plants with visual interest in winter are right for your landscaping, will not only give you something to look forward to this spring, but will also leave you with much more to look at when the leaves fall again next year.

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Blog Feature

Outdoor Kitchen  |  Outdoor Living  |  Pergolas

How to Create your Dream Outdoor Kitchen

As we are becoming well aware, outdoor kitchens are becoming more and more popular.  “Outdoor kitchens have exploded in popularity because they provide an enjoyable space to cook and share food in the beauty of a garden environment,” says J. Gieo Peonsoneault, host and producer for The New American Landscape Channel, an online resource for the green industry. While your kitchen can be tailored to your budget and tastes, here are four things for anyone to consider while planning your dream outdoor cooking space.  Click here for many great outdoor kitchen ideas. 1. Evaluate your space and design a layout that works with your area and your budget. 2.  Decide which materials you would like to use for your floor, raised structure and counter tops. 3.  Think about your appliances, and what you would like to incorporate into your kitchen. 4.  Overhead roof type of structure, such as a pergola or a pavilion. The first thing to consider is the space you are working with and the most efficient layout for your space. You should also consider your indoor space while planning this. You want your kitchen to be visually appealing from the inside as well at outside. Your budget and preferences also need to be taken into account at this stage, but you need to think about how the layout can be the most efficient for your needs and wants.

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Landscape Lighting  |  Landscaping  |  Outdoor Kitchen  |  Outdoor Living  |  Water Feature

Create The Ultimate Outdoor Living Space

When you think of your ultimate backyard, what thoughts come to mind? Do you envision yourself gathered around your outdoor kitchen with family and friends for a picnic? Or do you see yourself roasting marshmallows over your fire pit in your own resort-like setting, with a water feature slowly trickling in the background? We are going to discuss 6 elements to help create the ultimate outdoor living space. Even if you currently have a patio or deck, here are some more ideas to maximize your outdoor experience.

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Landscape Lighting

What is Low Voltage Landscape Lighting?

The question what is low voltage landscape lighting can be broken down into two parts. #1- What is Low Voltage Landscape lighting, and #2- What are the benefits I can expect to receive from it?

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Blog Feature

Pavers

How Much does a Deck Cost vs a Paver Patio?

You are looking out the window at your backyard, and you start thinking to yourself, "I need to make my outdoor space more usable!" Or you are at a friends backyard barbeque wishing your own yard would function like this! But where do you start? How much does a deck cost? How much does a patio cost? Here is a brief overview of the cost comparisons.

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Blog Feature

Built-in Grill  |  Outdoor Kitchen  |  Patio  |  Pavers

How much does a built-in grill cost?

Built-in Grills are becoming more and more popular. In an economy that is making a recovery, we have seen a steady increase in the number of grills and outdoor kitchens we've been asked to install. So how much does a built-in grill cost to install? Well - It depends.

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Blog Feature

Outdoor Living  |  Pavers

What kind of Return on Investment can I get from my Outdoor Space?

         

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Outdoor Living

20 Outdoor Rooms with Entertaining Flair

20 Outdoor Rooms With Entertaining Flair

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Fire Pit  |  Outdoor Living  |  Overlay  |  Patio  |  Pavers  |  Project Design  |  Retaining Wall  |  Sitting Bench  |  Sitting Wall  |  Steps  |  Techo-Bloc  |  Transformation  |  Walkway

Paver Patio Face Lift

When you pull up to the the Hebert residence, one of the first things you notice is the large set of concrete steps leading up to their side entry, with a walkway leading only part way to the patio. When you take the walkway (or grass) to the back patio...you discover what used to be a beautiful patio years ago but now needs a little face lift.

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Blog Feature

Outdoor Living  |  Retaining Wall  |  Sitting Bench  |  Sitting Wall  |  Wall Design

What is a Sitting Wall?

So, what is a sitting wall? A sitting wall is a low wall built on a patio that can also serve as seating.  Typically built to the vertical height of approximately 18" to 21", a sitting wall is usually about 12" to 24" wide. This allows an individual to sit in a comfortable position.   

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Blog Feature

Excavation  |  Patio  |  Pavers

Why do you dig up so much ground for my patio?

There are many reasons that paver contractors, like us here at Bahler Brothers, dig up so much ground for our customer’s patios. The biggest reason is that in order for a paver patio to last, it must have a good base. The base must be free of biodegradable matter such as roots and other fill matter. 

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Blog Feature

Cleaning  |  Maintenance  |  Ponds  |  Water Feature

How to Prepare your Water Feature for the Upcoming Spring

When winter is turning and springtime is in the air, it is time to start thinking about getting your water garden back into operation. Don’t worry, the steps are very easy and almost anyone can do it.

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Blog Feature

Retaining Wall Installation  |  Retaining Walls  |  Wall Design

Why are Retaining Walls Falling Over?

There are many reasons why a retaining wall can fall over. In our industry most, if not all, manufacturers of interlocking block have cross-section sheets on how tall of a wall you can build with their block - in good soils (gravels and sands) and with level compacted backfill. Many times installers will exceed those recommended heights, or there ends up being a slope above the retaining walls which adds a significant amount of extra pressure. If this is the case you have three options:

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Blog Feature

Driveways  |  Non Permeable Pavement  |  Outdoor Living  |  Pavers

Permeable Pavers vs. Non-Permeable Pavers

 

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Blog Feature

Water Feature

How often do I need to refill my water feature?

How often do I need to refill my water feature is a question with many variables and factors. Below are a few questions that you may first want to ask yourself. What type of water feature is it, Fountainscape, Pondless Waterfeature, or Eco System Pond? How big is the pond? How long is the streambed? How many waterfalls are there? What climate are you in? What time of year is it? Is your water feature on the north or south side of your house? Is it in shade or full sun all day? Do you have an AutoFill? All of these are valid questions to ask yourself and relate directly to the rate of evaporation.  After a few months a water feature owner will begin to understand their own feature and the needs it has.  Evaporation is a big factor when this question arises. The more waterfalls and the longer the streambed the more evaporation will occur. 

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Blog Feature

Decks  |  Outdoor Living  |  Transformation

Can I replace my deck with a patio?

My deck is falling apart, and I don't know what to do with it!  Can I replace my deck with a patio? This question is posed to me quite often.  The short answer is: most times.  While most decks can simply be removed and a patio installed in its place, we need to step back and examine the project as a whole.  A couple of questions that you may want to ask yourself are:

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Blog Feature

Fire Pit  |  Patio  |  Patio Repairs  |  Pavers  |  Pool Patio  |  Poured Concrete  |  Reinstallation  |  Stamped Concrete

How can I Fix a Broken Pipe Under My Paver Pool Patio?

Patio repairs are less complicated with a paver patio. Have you ever had to make repairs under a patio or walkway? There are many utilities and other underground obstructions that can affect either one:

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Blog Feature

Retaining Wall  |  Retaining Wall Installation  |  Wall Design

How high can a retaining wall be built?

This question is often asked by many home owners.

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Blog Feature

Built-in Grill  |  Driveways  |  Fireplace  |  Gas Fire Pit  |  Outdoor Kitchen  |  Outdoor Living  |  Patio  |  Pavers  |  Pool Patio  |  Project Design  |  Raised Patio  |  Retaining Wall  |  Retaining Walls  |  Steps  |  Transformation  |  Wall Design

Donoghue Transformation

Working with this customer was an incredible joy. They were not satisfied with their yard as it was so they called us in to help them out. It was amazing to watch this transformation unfold and now you can too!

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Outdoor Living  |  Pavers

How to pick the Right Floor for your Garden Room

How to Pick the Right Floor for Your Garden Room Kitchen designs, bathroom designs, and more ∨ From a designer chair and desk to bulletin boards and credenza, create your dream home office. With the help of a bath designer, revamp your bland bathroom with a walk-in shower stall, multiple bath sinks and new bathroom cabinets.

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Blog Feature

Pavers

Exposed Aggregate Concrete vs. Pavers

EXPOSED AGGREGATE CONCRETE Exposed aggregate is a term that describes one way to dress or finish poured-in-place concrete. They literally will pour the concrete from a mixer truck, trowel it and then let it set up just a little bit. They then take an acid and wash off the top cream of the cement, exposing the rock and minerals they’ve added to the mix (the aggregate).

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Blog Feature

Retaining Wall Cost  |  Retaining Walls

How much do Retaining Walls Cost?

 One of the first questions potential customers want to know when they call our company is : How much does a retaining wall cost? Although this is a very difficult question to answer over the phone, I will try to do my best here to explain some general pricing guidelines.

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Blog Feature

Choosing a Contractor  |  Comparing Contractors  |  Patio Cost  |  Pavers  |  Retaining Wall Cost

Comparing Bids Between Landscape Contractors

So you want a new patio or walkway, and you're doing your research to pick 3 contractors to talk to. After all, it is the smart and responsible way to go about having a project built. All that is great, but do you know how to look for the differences between the bids, installation methods and the services that each one will give you? What information is going to help you make the right choice? This can be very intimidating for anyone, but especially for someone not in the consruction field, familiar with building terms and methods.

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Choosing a Contractor  |  Outdoor Living  |  Pavers  |  Project Design

Your Landscaping Project: What are You Getting?

How do you know what your project will look like when you sign on the dotted line? Creating your backyard oasis is not something to take lightly. It is a considerable investment and takes time to create the perfect plan. Almost every time you choose a contractor to have a project done at your home, a contract is involved. Of course you want to read through it to know exactly what you are going to be getting for your money. So why should a landscape contract be any different? When a construction project is involved, we always want to know what the contractor is going to do and have a drawing to give us some idea of what they plan to do. In the landscaping business especially, it is important to know exactly what your landscape plan and design entails. How can you know what's going to be built if you don't have a drawing or designed                                                               plan?

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Blog Feature

Landscape Lighting  |  Project Design

Landscape Lighting Examples by Others

Outdoor Lighting to Make Your Home and Landscape Glow Houzz- Kitchen Remodel, Bathroom Remodel and More »

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Outdoor Living  |  Water Feature  |  Water Garden

Imagine the Water Garden Dream

If you can imagine it, you can achieve it...  -William Ward Imagination is one of the most powerful tools that has ever been given to mankind.  If Thomas Edison had no imagination, we could still be living without electric lights, or microphones, or megaphones, or...   The greastest thing about imagination is that it can become a dream, and dreams can be shared.  When a person has a dream they have two choices, to share, or not to share their particular dream. 

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Outdoor Living  |  Ponds  |  Water Feature

What is Aquascaping?

Wikipedia defines aquascaping as "the craft of arranging aquatic plants, as well as rocks, stones, cavework, or driftwood, in an aesthetically pleasing manner..."   This holds true in the aquarium world as well as in the water feature world.  Since I am not very well versed in the aquarium world, we'll just stick to the outdoor water feature industry.  So in layman's terms, what is aquascaping? My definition of aquascaping is: using water gardening to fill a void in someone's life that they didn't know existed. 

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Blog Feature

Fire Pit  |  Fireplace  |  Gas Fire Pit  |  Outdoor Fireplace  |  Outdoor Living

The Gas Fire Pit.

Fire pits are an absolutely wonderful thing when you're happy, sad, alone, with somebody, etc... Whether you're with a group of people or maybe by yourself, a fire is always welcome company.  A good majority of people love the smell of wood smoke and the crackle of a fire, but it's not always for everyone.  Some folks just love the warmth of the fire without all of the headaches and hassles of the wood.  For this reason, the gas fire pit came into being.

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Built-in Grill  |  Landscape Lighting  |  Outdoor Kitchen  |  Outdoor Living  |  Patio  |  Pavers  |  Retaining Wall  |  Sitting Wall

Complete Yard Transformation: Paver patio and walkway

"The professionalism and thoroughness with which our job was done was most impressive beginning with the sales/marketing and design team to the workers on site." The first time this customer came into our design center for an appointment we knew we were going to have a blast. We clicked right away and the process began. They wanted to redo not only their front yard but their back yard too. Through many many questions from an engineer to lauging at his many jokes, the design came together beautifully! After many appointments and picking out the perfect pavers, the plans were set and ready to go!

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Blog Feature

Choosing a Contractor  |  Driveways  |  Pavers  |  Techo-Bloc

Paver Driveway: Customer Journal

Driveway, walk, front steps, drainage, and grading project. Completed June 18-22, 2012

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Blog Feature

Fire Pit  |  Landscape Lighting  |  Outdoor Living  |  Pavers  |  Raised Patio  |  Retaining Wall  |  Retaining Wall Cost  |  Retaining Walls  |  Sitting Wall  |  Techo-Bloc

Wow! From Pool to Paver Patio

Wow! From Pool to Paver Patio. Wow! What a transformation! This customer came to us and said he was sick of the gunnite pool. His kids were all grown up and it was time to create a space they could not only entertain in, but also could enjoy by themselves. The stone wall that was holding up the hill side was also leaning forward and needing to be replaced before it got any worse. We sat down with him and worked on many designs, and finally came up with the perfect plan. Remove the pool, install a multi-level paver patio with a fire pit, landscape lighting, an area for their hot tub and landscape beds.  

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Patio  |  Ponds  |  Water Feature

Paver Patio Replaces Worn Out Deck

Deck-be-gone! This customer came to us and informed us that they were sick of their deck and it was all torn out. They needed a raised paver patio. Of course we thought that was a great idea and we started designing and planning right away. When the plans were complete, we had a raised patio using Techo-Bloc's Blu 60. Multiple sets of Rosetta steps leading to the pool, a waterfall, and low voltage landscape lighting.

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Blog Feature

Outdoor Living  |  Pavers

Patio Design Basics - Considering 4 Different Design Techniques

The other day I was reading through some literature that I received at a trade show or seminar given by one of the paver manufacturers in our area and discovered this great little booklet called Design Basics. It was put together by Belgard Hardscapes, and the more I read of it the more I found that hey, this is exactly how we try to work through the design of a project with our customers. So here's some of what the booklet had to say...

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Arbors Direct  |  Fiberglass Pergolas  |  Outdoor Living  |  Pergolas

Why Fiberglass Pergolas are the Best

Fiberglass is one of three main types of materials used to build pergolas. Strength, appearance, resistance and stability by far outweight wood or vinyl structures. We have found, by installing all three types, that fiberglass pergolas truly are the best. To find out more about where we get our pergolas, check out Arbors Direct web site.

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Landscape Lighting  |  Outdoor Living  |  Patio  |  Pavers  |  Sitting Wall  |  Steps  |  Techo-Bloc

A Place for Everyone - Paver Patio Installation

This paver patio installation was simple but brought much more character to the customer's front porch area. They use their front porch a lot, but it wasn't big enough. They also wanted to  include an area "just for mom", have steps stepping down the hill leading to the pool area, and have a small path through the herb garden to access the hose faucet. Some landscape lighting was also added. Here is what we came up with, resulting in a very satisfied customer!

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Fire Pit  |  Pavers

Dancing Circles - A Paver Patio Design Takes Form

This project was our first project on the calendar this year. It was a pleasure working with this couple who love to read and enjoy the outdoors. We designed them a paver patio with the works.

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Water Feature

Waterscaping Your Landscape

Many images come to mind when I think of ways to relax and unwind after a long day or week of work.  There are places that we can go to relax such as a beach, a park, or a pond.  Is there any type of correlation between these places?  Yep-Water.  So if you are traveling to get to these places to enjoy this type of recreation, why not bring it home to you in the form of a water feature?

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Ponds  |  Water Feature

Aquascapes Releases 2012 Catalog

Ahhh Spring... I love this time of year.  The frost is coming out of the ground, the sun is warmer, the days are longer, the bulbs are poking their heads out, and the manufacturers are releasing their new catalogs.  I always look forward to the unveiling of the new latest and greatest that these guys come out with.

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Pavers

The Top 7 Problems and Solutions for Interlocking Concrete Pavers

Over the 27 years that Bahler Brothers has been in the paver installation business, we have seen pretty much anything that can go wrong. We like to think we've learned a thing or two from those experiences. One thing that we've noticed over the years is that there are a few common issues people have with their paver installations. In this post, we've laid out the 7 most common problems that we find with interlocking concrete pavers installations in Connecticut, as well as the solutions that you can use to fix them.

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Pavers  |  Rainwater Harvesting  |  Techo-Bloc  |  Water Feature

Rainwater Harvesting Systems

In todays society we need to conserve water.  According to a Gallup poll in March 2008 Americans rated their level of worry about each of 12 environmental concerns, the top 4 all related to the quality of water.  Harvesting rainwater is better all around for you, your children, grandchildren and the generations to come.  A quality company who is the leading innovator of water features Aquascape, Inc. has designed a revolutionary system known as the RainXchange sytem.  Harvesting rainwater helps to avoid strict watering schedules during droughts and reduce water bills.  Recycled rainwater is also better for the plants in your yard because no chemicals are added to rainwater.  The water feature created from the system enhances the yard and increases value.  Tying the downspouts into the system will recycle the rain water which falls on the roof.  One inch of rain on a 2,000 sf. house is the equalivent of 1,250 gallons of water.  According to the DEP website, Connecticut recieves on average 45 inches of rain.  Just in one year on one roof that is 2,000 sf, harvesting the rainwater from just the roof alone would recycle 56,250 gallons.  Harvesting the rainwater that falls on the driveway by using a Permeable pavement system would increase the amount of gallons conserved.  For a short video on the installation of a rainwater harvesting system click here.  Use the RainXchange system to get up to 12 LEED points on a "Green Project". Related Articles: Permeable Pavers vs. Non-Permeable Pavers Advancements in Permeable Pavements Permeable Pavements Study

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Driveways  |  Non Permeable Pavement  |  Patio  |  Pavers  |  Pool Patio  |  Rainwater Harvesting  |  Techo-Bloc  |  Unilock  |  Water Feature

Advancements in Permeable Pavements

Over the last 20 years we have seen major advancements in permeable pavements.  The first permeable paver was introduced here in North America in 1989.

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Driveways  |  Environmental Protection Agency  |  Pavers  |  Rainwater Harvesting

Permeable Pavements Study

The topic written about in this post is the effects of runoff water to the water supply and the “Eco-Friendly” permeable pavements.  The article may be too technical for some but may be engaging for the engineering type. 

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Retaining Walls  |  Sitting Wall  |  Unilock

Unilock on Launching Pad with NEW Retaining Wall Product

Many of us have either seen clips like this on TV, the internet, or have witnessed it in real life.  It is the sights and sounds of man-kinds' advancements in the world of technology and innovation.  Sending a man into space is not only an incredible feat, but it also brings a new sense of respect for nature and it's beauty.

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Pavers  |  Retaining Wall

What is the white stuff on my pavers and retaining walls?

The concrete industry calls it Efflorescence. It is a natural byproduct of the concrete manufacturing process.

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Choosing a Contractor  |  Driveways  |  Pavers

The Benefits of Paver Driveways

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Steps  |  Techo-Bloc

Techo-Bloc Rocks the Market with Great NEW Materials

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Blog Feature

Outdoor Kitchen  |  Outdoor Living

The Versatility of an Outdoor Bar

Do I have to have a bar if I install an outdoor kitchen?  This question comes to me often as I am designing a patio for a homeowner.  The short answer is 'no'.  As we design outdoor kitchens, we begin by looking at the homeowner's lifestyle.  That in of itself may determine whether a bar or serving counter is applicable to the situation.  If the grill is a place of solitude after a long day's work, or just another appliance to get a meal prepared, then a bar probably is not necessary.

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Retaining Wall  |  Sitting Wall

Newest Rage with Retaining Wall Block

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Water Feature

Examples of Pondless Waterfalls

  When I think of a waterfall, there are multiple mental images that come to me.  Sometimes I think of a small brook quietly trickling over the rocks in a wooded setting, or maybe the crashing sound as a river cascades over the edge of a mountain, or the even sound of a perfect sheet of water falling into a pool.  No matter which image pops into my mind, it always gives a sense of relaxation, rejuvination, and even healing.  What if those same feelings, sounds, and sights could be found in your back yard?      

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Choosing a Contractor

How to Choose a GOOD Contractor

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Landscape Lighting  |  Outdoor Living

The Benefits of Landscape Lighting

One of the fastest growing sections of the landscaping industry is the incorporation of low voltage landscape lighting.  This may be a surprise to some, but as you drive around at night, if you look, you will see an increased amount of businesses and residences softly lit.  There are a number of benefits associated with the introduction of low voltage lighting to one's home or business.

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Outdoor Living  |  Pool Patio  |  Raised Patio

What is Outdoor Living?

What is Outdoor Living... Oh the beauty of a simple question. The interesting part of this question is that everyone you ask will give you a different answer.  I asked a number of people what came to their mind when I said the words 'outdoor living'.  The answers ranged from 'pool areas' to 'sitting areas' to 'patios' to 'outdoor furniture' etc.  So what exactly is Outdoor Living?

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Pavers  |  Polymer Sand

What is Joint Sand for Pavers?

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Choosing a Contractor  |  Outdoor Living  |  Patio Cost

Quality Workmanship for a Paver Patio. Is it worth the price?

How do we know when to pay a little more for something and know it’s worth it??? There are many reasons as to why we buy something, and yet it always comes down to a few questions...

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Fireplace  |  Outdoor Fireplace  |  Outdoor Living

Outdoor Fireplace

am·bi·ance also am·bi·ence  (mb-ns, ä-byäs)n.   The special atmosphere or mood created by a particular environment:

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Choosing a Contractor  |  Outdoor Living  |  Pavers

5 Things You Should Know BEFORE You Receive a Paver Patio Estimate

  So this is the year that you decided that it was time for that paver patio project you've been thinking about. That is great, because if that's the fact, this article was written specifically for you! 

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Pavers  |  Polymer Sand

What is Polymer Sand for Pavers?

Have you ever seen a paver patio that had weeds or moss growing in the joints? How about areas with a lot of ant hills following the paver joints? Or entire sections of a paver area that had no sand in the joints whatsoever - because it had all washed out? These are all things we have seen, and they're maybe the reason you haven't wanted pavers. And yet... you really like the look of a beautiful stone patio or driveway with an accenting border - it's just gorgeous. There's hope. Pavers no longer have to be such an eyesore or so much maintenance. We can now use polymeric sand (or poly sand, as we like to call it).

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Patio Cost  |  Pavers

The Price Per Square Foot Myth for Paver Installation

The most common question we get asked when considering a paver project is, “How much does it cost per square foot to install pavers?” Unfortunately, there is no simple answer. Sure, we can do calculations all day long to figure out that last week we installed a 430 sf patio for Mrs. Jones for $9,245.00, and with some quick math, we know that it was installed for $21.50 per square foot. But what about next door? We installed a walkway last week for the Smiths and the price per square foot was closer to $28.00. What gives? Why did the Smiths have to pay so much more? And what goes into the pricing for each job?

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Pavers

How to Install Pavers in CT

Although this article is fairly brief, it is the basic foundation for building a long lasting paver project in CT. 

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Pavers

A Side-By-Side Comparison of Stamped Concrete and Pavers

When making an investment in your exterior landscaping, all factors need to be taken into account. Your walkways, driveways, and patios all provide a sense of style and value to your property, and need to be considered when upgrading. With so many options for your patios and walkways, we want to "pave the way" and explain some key differences between the most popular solutions: Pavers and Stamped Concrete.  As two attractive and affordable outdoor options, we’ll discover how they stack up against each other in terms of aesthetic appeal, safety, upkeep, and cost. We'll let you decide which is better for your patio, pool patio or walkway.

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Built-in Grill  |  Outdoor Kitchen  |  Pavers

How do I plan my Outdoor Kitchen?

Ahhh, food.  This is one of my favorite topics. I love to eat... really, just about anything. But, I also enjoy the time of preparing the scrumptious food item(s).  Although I love my indoor kitchen, there really isn't anything better than grilling that favorite steak or kabob with a few friends on a beautiful summer evening.

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Outdoor Living  |  Patio  |  Pavers  |  Sitting Wall

What is a Sitting Wall?

Take a scenic drive through the back roads of New England and you will inevitably spot some of the 240,000 miles of stone walls built by 19th-century farmers trying to define the border of their properties.

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Outdoor Living  |  Water Feature  |  Winterize Water Feature

Getting my fountain ready for winter

Shorter days and chilly nights point to that time of year... winter.  Although winter has a few low points, it also affords many bonuses.  Things such as good books in front of crackling fires, family game nights, hot cocoa, snowflakes lazily falling through the air, and of course my personal favorite... Christmas!     Before any of this can happen though, we have to prepare our homes for the freezing temps.  Of the different things that we need to winterize, our garden fountains are one of the most crucial.  If you fail to winterize your water feature, water could freeze inside the pump. The result is that it will crack and damage the vital parts that make the machine operate correctly. If you damage the pump, it may have to be replaced. Fountains that have concrete or cast stone parts are also at a higher risk of cracking.  

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Outdoor Living  |  Water Feature  |  Winterize Water Feature

Winterizing Pondless Water Features

Here we are again.  It's that time of the year where we are preparing the yard for Old Man Winter to make his seasonal debut.  For some of us, he already made his presence very well known...  Yah, don't remind me. Of the different things that we need to winterize, pondless water features are one of the most crucial.  If you fail to winterize your water feature, water could freeze inside the pump. The result is that it will crack and damage the vital parts that make the machine operate correctly. If you damage the pump, it may have to be replaced.

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Pavers

How to Prepare Your Concrete Pavers for Winter

If you have concrete pavers or are thinking about having some installed, you might be asking, "What do I need to do to them to get ready for winter?" Although concrete pavers are designed to hold up well through winter weather and the impact of frost, snow and ice, there are a few things you might consider taking before winter arrives.

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Fire Pit  |  Fireplace  |  Outdoor Living  |  Pavers  |  Sitting Wall

That Good Ole' Fire Pit

What comes to mind when you think of a cool crisp fall evening?  Maybe it's caramel apples with a steaming cup of hot cider, or maybe, if you're anything like me, it's frantically running around my yard putting things away that the kids left out before it gets dark.  When that's over, it sure would be nice to relax a little on my patio, but it's just a bit too chilly for that... or is it?

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Retaining Walls  |  Wall Design

4 Things to Consider when planning a Retaining Wall Project

Retaining walls are the most used vertical design element in a landscape. They are highly functional but can have a beauty and grace all their own. The companys making the block materials used are looking more and more like natural stone and rock outcroppings.

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Outdoor Living  |  Patio  |  Pavers

6 Things to consider when designing a beautiful Paver Patio

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