Thursday
Apr052012

Homeowner's "Do-It-Yourself" Question...

Typically, with the Depiction Software and the DJSquireDesigns.com project, we tend to work with hardscape, paver, landscape and decorative concrete contractors.

Occasionally, we get questions from homeowners, and thought I'd share my responses to a weekend warrior request...

"I have a few friends who along with myself, have been talking about doing some smaller outdoor projects, and have been wondering, what kind of projects we could do and at what price."

Would have to say, back patio’s are one of the easiest ways to get started, especially if it’s an area where you don’t have to remove existing concrete.  (Of course, if you had the cracked concrete, sweat equity with a bunch of hardworking guys will take care of that.)  If your group also added a water feature at the patio side and maybe an arbor, you’d all have quite a project… and learn some lessons too.  ;-D

As to cost, hard to say.  Depends on how clever you are at sourcing deals.

Chances are you will definitely cost out hardscape materials at places like Home Depot and Lowes, but do think “outside the box” and contact local paver distributors.  Sometimes they will have paver specials on overstock and you may find acceptable deals.  A paver distributer in your area can better help you with special Do-It-Yourself costs. 

(Just remember… source local… because shipping heavy pallets of pavers can cost.)

Also, I suggest you investigate Belgard (top end pricing) just so you know what to compare paver quality and colors against. 

Click on your state to see colors and patterns available in your area:

http://belgard.biz/colorsmap.php

You can search for dealers near you here:

http://belgard.biz/dealers_search.php

Some hardscape contractors that purchase products from you local area distributors may have overstock that they want to get rid of.  Chances are, the distributors might know of some they can refer you to.

Additional cost thoughts...

You’ll find that local and regional paver prices (and all the variables associated with an installation) shift and change considerably: depending upon the contractor, the manufacturer’s product used, the distribution center prices where jobsite products are purchased, the region, and seasonal fluctuations, etc.   Then there are the installation extras that you’ll need to pay attention to, such as: pallets and broken pallets of stones, stone sizes and types required for specific patterns, soldier course borders, circle patterns, base rock, bedding sand, joint sand, edge restraints, sealers, other related materials, and even local building codes.

(Confusing, eh?)

 

IDEAS…

Personally, I get ideas and inspiration by watching the landscape type shows on HGTV

Take a look at the “Outdoors” section of their HGTV website:

http://www.hgtv.com/outdoors/index.html

 

Some of the programs I like to watch…

that you can watch online with Full Episodes

are:

The Outdoor Room with Jamie Durie

http://www.hgtv.com/the-outdoor-room-with-jamie-durie/show/index.html

Curb Appeal

http://www.hgtv.com/curb-appeal/show/index.html

Curb Appeal: The Block

http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv-curb-appeal-the-block2/videos/index.html

and…

Yard Crashers

http://www.hgtv.com/yard-crashers/show/index.html

 

Something to consider...

IMAGING SERVICES…

Useful for assisting in the design of your own yard – or pavers and landscape at a place of business – is to have an image created of your design ideas, or to have us “design” some ideas for you.  If an “after” image of your yard would help you show various contractors or family members, business partners, etc., your design ideas, then this service may be for you.

Shamless plug: djsquiredesigns.com/pricing

 

Yet another option…

GOOGLE SKETCHUP…

If you are semi tech-savvy, and a do-it-yourself kind of weekend warrior… then there is a free version of the 3D Google Sketchup software that you can learn to manipulate with lots of pre-built models from the Google Warehouse.  It does have a bit of a learning curve associated with it.  

Personally, I think Depiction’s Imaging software is far easier to learn and more realistic looking since you are working with actual photos… but then… I am biased.  ;-D

Find out more and download the non “Pro” Google Sketchup version:

http://sketchup.google.com/intl/en/

Google Warehouse:

http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/

Google Sketchup Training

http://sketchup.google.com/intl/en/training/

Google Sketchup Community

http://sketchup.google.com/intl/en/community/

 

FINALLY, FOR INSPIRATION…

 

Worth the look…

This New Jersey contractor's website shows off lots of Before and After computer images:

Jardin Passion:

www.jardinpassion.com

NOTE – Viewing Directions:  Mouse over the “Photo Galley” category and then select the “Computer Imaging” tab.  Click on any of the thumbnail images and a larger image window will popup.  Give it a couple seconds and it will “slideshow” between Jim's Before and After pictures.  You can click on “Next” in the upper right-hand area of the larger window to advance to the next set of pictures.  

 

For additional inspiration, also take a look at a Unilock Online Visualizer Depiction Software created:

http://ivp.depictionsoftware.com/unilock/default.asp

And… you can take a look at the Photo Galleries on my own Imaging Services for contractors and homeowners website:

http://www.djsquiredesigns.com/photogallery

 

That help?

Best of good luck with your Home (and/or Business) Improvement project!

~ Diane

 

 

 

 

Tuesday
Apr032012

Singing Plants...

For landscape... garden... and plant lovers...

Singing Plants at Damanhur | Des plantes qui jouent de la musique

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXhhAXjKmIU&feature=channel

Fascinating!

 

Wednesday
Mar282012

Cob and Clay Homes...

Just enjoy this YouTube link for cob and clay houses:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0MvMg7fmv0&feature=share

 

Friday
Mar162012

Pinterest.com... A Place To Capture Photo Ideas...

Playing with my own design ideas boards on Pinterest… where you can “collect” photos of design ideas when you see them from around the Net…

http://pinterest.com/djsquiredesigns

Friday
Mar162012

Source For Capturing Client Presentations...

Thanks to Guy at Four Seasons Landscaping...

http://www.clientdream.com

In case you are ever looking for a client presentation & design system.

According to their site... "Client Dream makes it easy to present designs, videos, proposals, and more to your clients. Simply create a project, upload the desired files, and email a link to your client. Your client can then review your proposals and design ideas, request changes, ask questions, and more."

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