F.A.Q.

When should we begin landscaping around our new home?

Many homeowners will be eager to commence beautifying and working on their lawn and backyards as soon as they move into the new home, but it is usually best to wait until the ground has settled before beginning. If you are not sure of the state of the soil in the yard, our experts can help to determine if the yard is ready for landscaping.

How much should I spend on landscaping?

A professional landscaper should, at a maximum, charge an amount between 10 and 20 percent of the value of the home. Even where only 5 percent of the value of the home is spent on landscaping, the overall value can rise significantly. It’s always best to enlist the help of a professional landscaper.

How long will a landscape project take?

There is a variation in the length of time landscaping projects take. Some of the variables are how complex the landscaping project can be. The laying of new sod will take one or two days, while the installation of a sprinkler system may take up to three days. Every job is different, and it is best to get an estimate for how long it will take to complete your project.

What will be done first on a landscaping project?

Every landscaping project will follow a different set of procedures depending on the complexity of work. The work required will determine the actions that will be carried out first and which to follow. However, we have a basic protocol to follow for all projects:

  • We will call the proper utility companies before we begin digging.
  • We will do a rough grading of your property.
  • We will plant any large trees that have been selected.
  • We will do the necessary excavating to build ponds or retaining walls or to place paving stones.
  • We will install any deck foundations that may be necessary.

What plants will grow best in Ottawa’s climate?

The choice of plants for the yard is dependent on the climate in the area that you live. Numerous trees and shrubs will grow well in the Ottawa climate. The amount of lighting in the yard and the type of soil in the yard will determine the growth of plants.

Some of the common popular trees here are hickory, oak, lilac, white cedar and maple trees. We will provide a guide to the numerous shrubs found in Ottawa to help homeowners selects plants for their yards.

How can you make our backyard more enjoyable?

You can make your large backyard more enjoyable through landscaping. For a start, you may need to plant a few trees to provide shade during the summer months. The plants will also make the yard have a pleasant appearance. Even though many people prefer to have flowers in the yard, others may opt to start a vegetable garden, which can be both attractive and practical.

A barbecue area can be added as well as an outdoor eating space that may have a patio or shelter. You may also prefer to have a gazebo in an accommodating style of choice and dependent on the use. Numerous other features can be added to the backyard, and we will help in creating the outdoor space of your dreams.

Why does my asphalt keep cracking?

Shifting of the ground under the pavement causes cracking of asphalt. Ground shifting is caused by humidity, which can permeate and damage the ground under the asphalt.

When water gets into the asphalt or the ground beneath the asphalt, it will freeze as temperatures drop and expand causing the asphalt to break. When the frozen water finally thaws, the pavement will buckle and develop cracks.

Why does an asphalt driveway need to be sealed?

The use of sealant on an asphalt driveway prevents damage that may be caused by the elements such as rain, snow, freezing, sun, etc. The asphalt will work very well in the first few years after pouring. After that, problems will begin appearing if the driveway is not adequately sealed.

Water is the main cause of damage to asphalt. The water freezes and expands which makes the asphalt expand. When the water thaws and shrinks, the asphalt cracks and is damaged.

Asphalt sealers have another advantage in that they ensure the asphalt surface is protected from the sun and does not fade. Stain resistant layer will prevent the formation of spots caused by oil and other fluids.

Sealers take the wear and tear caused by constant friction on the asphalt surface. In the absence of a sealer, the asphalt will erode easily and develop both cracks and holes.

How often does asphalt sealer need to be applied?

A driveway should be immediately sealed after it is first poured. Resealing should be done every two or three years. Advice is given against sealing the asphalt too often. Too many coatings of sealant make it prone to damage, peeling and cracking. The appropriate time to reseal the driveway is when the aggregate rocks’ color starts to show through.

What should I do after my driveway is paved?

In the days after the asphalt driveway has been installed, proper care is required to prevent damages. Since asphalt is petroleum-based, it is a semi-solid at the time of application and can be shifted by the elements such as heat and cold. Follow these important rules:

  • Do not park in the driveway for up to five days or more if it is sweltering outside.
  • Water the driveway to cool it when the weather is hot.
  • Place plywood under items such as chairs, ladders and other things that may stick into the asphalt.
  • Do not turn your car wheels when your car is stopped, as they may cause marks on the driveway.

What are interlocking concrete pavers?

Paving stones – referred to as pavers – are made out of precast concrete. They are strong and durable, which makes them ideal for pathways or driveways. Roads in ancient Rome were made with paving stones and are in existence even today. The pavers are joined and held in place with mortar or sand.

How do interlocking pavers work?

Interlocking pavers are placed on leveled sand. Every paving stone has an edge restraint made of concrete, plastic, aluminum or concrete. Pavers are set in place and then compacted together. For the interlocking to be achieved, masonry sand is applied to the joints three or four times and compacted. No setting is required and allows that the concrete paving stones can be driven or walked on immediately after they are put in place.

Will weeds grow out from between the pavers?

Sealing pavers will prevent the likelihood of weeds growing from the spaces between the pavers. Sealing prevents exposure to the sun and spores from growing in between the joints. Where the paving stones are not sealed, the use of a power washer, herbicide or stiff brush will help get rid of any growth. Keep in mind that the use of these methods displaces the sand, making it necessary to replace it.

What causes the white residue on pavers?

The white residue on paving stone is due to the reaction between water and calcium oxide. The white substance that forms on the surface of the pavers is calcium hydroxide.

The reaction between the calcium hydroxide and the calcium dioxide in the air will form calcium carbonate or efflorescence. This efflorescence will eventually wear away, or you can wash it off with proper cleaning supplies.

Should sealer be applied to the paving stones?

Sealing the paving stones protects them from stains, fading, and growth of weeds from between the stones. It will also keep efflorescence from happening, and maintenance remains minimal.

What is polymeric sand?

Polymeric sand is composed of graded sand and binding agent. Polymeric sand is designed for use in interlocking pavers and is only applied when the weather is dry. It is resistant to weeds and insects after it has been cured.

What costs are associated with owning a deck?

The construction of the deck will demand the construction charges as well as maintenance costs for the deck. The construction costs often vary depending on the type and quality of wood that is chosen. The maintenance costs involve cleaning and staining the surfaces, and will vary depending on the type of surface and products used.

High-priced deck materials may cost more at construction but will require less maintenance and last longer. If you choose to construct the deck with pavers or stone, they provide durability and require little upkeep to keep them in top condition.

Do I need railing around my deck?

The railing is required for decks that are taller than 24 inches, but regulations in other jurisdictions demand that decks taller than 18 inches should have the railing. Ensure that you check with your local city or county building department to find out your building codes and requirements in your area.

What time of year is best to build a deck?

Your deck can be built at any time of the year, although fall and winter are not very busy times for us. However, we can still have your deck constructed promptly during the colder period. Spring and summer are the high seasons, and you may have to wait for weeks or months before your project is even started.

How should I go about cleaning my deck?

A general hosing down of dirt and dust on the deck can be enough. However, more thorough cleaning is recommended, twice or more per year. You can clean your deck easily with hot water and bicarbonate laundry detergent, and scrub it with a brush. Rinse it all off before it dries.

For cedar or redwood decks, oxalic acid should be used instead. If your deck is especially dirty, you will need to use a pressure washer. You must make sure to use a fan-tip nozzle. Ensure that you do not use high pressure or hold the nozzle too close to the deck.

What are the proper steps for keeping my deck looking great?

  1. Clean up any spills and debris right away to avoid staining.
  2. Use cleaners only as directed.
  3. Test cleaners on a small area before using on the rest of the deck.
  4. Do not mix cleaners.
  5. Do not use harsh solvents like acetone, benzene, carbon tetrachloride, gasoline or paint thinner.
  6. Do not sand the surface to remove stains.
  7. Clean leaves from between the boards to prevent them from causing the wood to rot.
  8. Do not use a metal shovel when removing snow or ice.
  9. Clean the area under your deck to maintain air flow.
  10. Keep mats under metal objects or grills to prevent rust stains and spills.

How do vinyl fences compare with wood fences?

You can choose vinyl fencing even though it costs more, but will last longer and require little maintenance. While the boards should be replaced periodically, vinyl is typically more durable.Vinyl fences do not require painting or staining, and do not come with the problems of rusting nails, rotting or splintering.

What kind of fence will work well around a pool?

The type of fence for your pool is determined by the legal requirements in your municipality. You should ask for details from your local building permit office to know the recommended type of fencing. Most often, the pool fence must be at least four feet tall. The requirement in some areas is that high fences are constructed and that it should have cemented posts or self-closing gates.

Should all of my fence posts be cemented?

Cementing all posts is not a requirement for most fences. However, it is a requirement for industrial-type fencing. For most types of fencing, proper fence anchoring is achieved when the posts at the ends, and gates are cemented. Cement the fence posts if the ground is soft or sandy, and if the building code in your locality demands it.

What causes pressure-treated wood to split or crack?

Wood will naturally crack or split even when it is pressure-treated. Moisture is a major cause of damage to wood.