Do you enjoy spending time outside with your friends and family?
How much does that cost?
The number one question / hesitation we receive from new customers here in the Lexington Ky area is related to cost in one way or another. In general a lot of people think that a patio or deck renovation is simply out of their budget. While this is sometimes the case, if you are serious about wanting a new outdoor living area planning is the first step to the process. After all how do you know you can't afford something when you don't know the cost?
1) - Planning Your Renovation
Planning your patio or deck renovation is much more than having a design / drawing created. The first step to planning your renovation should start with a brainstorming conversation with you and your family. This is the fun part so be sure to consider all ideas regardless of how far fetched they may be. Utilize online resources such as Houzz and Pinterest for ideas.
Questions to consider:
2) Timing of your project.
Spring is by far our busiest time of the year for customer phone calls. It seems that everyone has cabin fever and is excited about getting their new patio or deck renovated in the Spring / Early Summer. The harsh truth is that most quality companies are already scheduled through mid Summer / Early Fall by the time April showers arrive. Imagine the frustration that many customers experience when they find out they have to wait another 6 weeks to have the patio/deck that they have planned and dreamed about all Winter..
Fall & Winter is the best time to begin planning and contacting / interviewing potential contractors for your deck / patio renovation project! Please pause and read the previous statement again! By beginning your project planning in the Fall and Winter you can accomplish many things.
3) Hire a professional or D.I.Y.?
4) Choosing a professional?
There are numerous resources on the internet about how to hire a professional. My advice is to do your own research. Make sure that you research every company you will be inviting to your home before calling them. Research their online reviews, website, etc. For your convenience we have provided a list of questions you should ask potential contractors, Click here to review these questions.
Also, keep in mind that listing companies such as Home Advisor, Angies List, etc make money off of the contractors they refer. Just because a company is listed on a referral site does not mean that they are the right company for you and your project.
Whether you just need a couple of amenities such as a new deck bench, outdoor kitchen or patio fire pit or you will be considering a complete renovation of your Central Ky patio or deck start planning now and do your research. By beginning your planning in the Fall and Winter you will ensure a timely and wonderful backyard renovation you can enjoy all year long beginning in the Spring.
How do I Prepare my Pond/Water Feature for Fall-Winter here in the Central Kentucky Area (Lexington)
When you start to see Halloween decorations and trick-or-treat candy at your local stores it is a sure sign that the need for Fall Pond Maintenance is on its way. Whether you tackle this job yourself or you hire a professional here are some Fall pond maintenance tips to keep in mind when performing Fall Pond & Water Feature Maintenance.
It is important to note that preparing your pond for Fall and preparing it for Winter are 2 completely different tasks. Fall Preparation tasks generally take place in the September / Early October time here in the Lexington Kentucky area while Winter preparation generally occurs in November / Early December. We will focus our attention on Fall Pond Maintenance tasks and postpone addressing Winter tasks to November.
Note: If you own a Pondless Waterfall or Landscape Fountain you will only need to consider Netting your Stream / fountain and using our suggested Algae control products listed below.
As Fall approaches us here in the Central Kentucky area, there are several maintenance tasks to consider. It is likely that not all of these tasks will apply to your pond. However, it is important to make sure you consider all tasks to prevent potential catastrophic issues when the snow and ice arrive.
Cleaning Your Pond - Most of our customers have their pond completely drained and cleaned in the Spring of the year. However, in many cases your pond may need to be cleaned in he Fall as well. I always encourage customers to perform a visual test on their pond. If there is excessive sludge and debris or if you have had excessive string algae issues over the summer your pond (and more importantly your Fish) may need a Fall Pond Cleanout. excessive sludge and debris in the pond cause noxious gasses to build up over the Winter months and can cause fish health issues and even death. A Fall pond clean out is a great way to ensure your fish are safe and healthy all winter long. Also, since you are reducing the debris in your pond in the Fall it will make your Spring pond cleanout much easier and possibly unnecessary. If your pond looks generally clean we recommend a "Partial Pond Cleaning" for your pond. This simply entails removing all excessive leaves and debris in your pond and stream, cleaning your filters, etc. (Learn More)
Netting Your Pond - If you live in the Lexington / Central Kentucky area or a similar climate, we recommend installing a net over your pond. Many times the falling leaves can overwhelm your skimmer system and even worse smother your pond depriving your finned friends of much needed oxygen. Some leaves are already starting to fall so don’t delay netting your pond if you are in direct vicinity of trees. Additionally a pond net will help prevent predators such as the Blue Heron from feasting your pond fish this Winter!!
A pond net can greatly reduce the amount of debris and maintenance for ponds that are in direct vicinity of trees and falling leaves. Pond Frames are custom built with durable PVC piping and the netting is securely strapped to the frame to prevent sagging from the weight of leaves and debris that could ultimately suffocate your pond fish. (Learn More)
Aquatic Plants - Here in the Lexington / Central Kentucky are we refer to our landscaping plants as perennials & Annuals. Aquatic plants are much like landscaping plants in that we have tropical & hardy plants. Tropical plants (Zone 8 & Above) will need to be removed before winter while hardy plants simply need to be trimmed back. Trimming your hardy aquatic plants that begin going dormant as the weather cools helps to prevent the fall out debris from building in the bottom of your pond. Removing dying plants leaves will make your pond cleaning responsibilities easier. Decaying leaves and foliage produce toxic gases that can harm your fish so you want to remove this debris before winter rolls into town. You don’t need to remove every single last leaf, but try to remove the majority. (Learn More)
Predators - Fall is the perfect time for predators such as the dreaded Blue Heron or even Racoons to find your pond and turn you fish into a savory Halloween Snack!! After trimming your Water Lilies & other plants back you have fully exposed your finned friends to potential dangers. Many of our customers will net their pond in the Fall even if leaves are not an issue just to deter the Heron and other predators from making a quick meal out of your finned friends!!
Aeration / Pond De-icers - While this subject is more suitable for our Winter Pond Maintenance tips we feel that it is important to begin considering how you will aerate your pond this Winter. By planning and even installing components now you will save yourself some headache later. All too often we have customers calling when the temperature is sub freezing wanting a pond de-icer or aerator. If they had installed these items in October they would not be rushing to find a solution in January. Whats the old saying.. An ounce of prevention or something like that.. We will dive more into pond aeration in Novemeber but for now here are a couple of products we recommend for your pond this Winter (Learn More)
It is normal here in the Lexington / Central Kentucky area for us to have mild Winters. I have played golf several times on New Years Day thanks to 60 degree+ weather in January. While this is great for us the sporadic weather fluctuations sometimes reek havoc on our pond ecosystems. Often string algae blooms are common. Also, often pond water will become green/murky which creates more sludge and debris in your pond. Therefore, we encourage all of our customers to consider the IonGen system along with regularly using the Aquascape Cold water bacteria when water temperatures are above freezing..
H2O Designs has been designing, building and maintaining ponds, water features & Outdoor Living Areas in the Central area KY for over 13 years. In 2005, H2O Designs became Certified by Aquascape Inc. as a Certified Aquascape Contractor (CAC) and in 2010 they added their Outdoor Living By Design division