Thursday, August 4, 2016

Escape the summer heat in your own Pool...

The Summertime is here! Getting the Kids to the pool everyday should be no problem. Grap the bags, floats, cooler with lunch, sun block, towels, don't forget the bandaids, favorite toys and throw it all in the car. Four hours go by and the kids are beat at you need to lug all the stuff you brought and throw it back in the car except this time your help is half asleep dragging the towel...

Wouldn't it be easier to just open the back door? Pools are not only great for cooling off from the summer heat. The benefits are endless. 

Exercise. Swimming laps in the pool for just 30 minutes will save you hours at the gym running on a treadmill not to mention cardio endurance. We can get into cold water blood flow at another time... Your not stuck in one position and are able to stretch and unwind from your busy life while burning calories. 

Stress and Anxiety. The water can be very relaxing. Next time your under water, pay attention to the silence, it can be very peaceful. Taking the weight off of your bones and calmly treading water can be a big stress reliever. 

Family time. When designing your pool, we will keep family in mind and include waterfalls and deck jets, an outdoor kitchen area to dine and play games and if you want, a slide. At night your pool will really come to life with the use of colored lights and landscape lighting. Put the kids to sleep and have a romantic evening by the pool. 

Vacation at Home. Make your back yard an oasis. I have had customers tell me "you made my backyard look like a 5 star resort". Anything is possible. Give me pictures of things you liked on the islands or at the beach and we can incorporate those ideas into your design. 

I can go on and on about the benefits of pool ownership, especially with the equipment available these days, Your pool will almost take care of its self. Call NRC today and let's start designing the pool you have been dreaming of. 

NRC Landscape Construction

Monday, February 1, 2016

Spring Is Closer Than You Think... Time to Design That Patio!

Spring is closer than you think. Okay, maybe it's wishful thinking... I know we have some time before going barefoot outside and getting your hands in the soil but why not start planning. Now is the time to start thinking about your outdoor living space. Wether it's a Patio, Pool or Outdoor Room, you don't want to be rushed because you waited until the busy season.

Here are some tips when you start thinking about your new outdoor space.
A patio is a great place to entertain and relax. I have been designing outdoor living spaces for a long time now. I have designed some very unique and functional outdoor spaces in my day. I have also seen other patios that were not well planned. The top three mistakes I have seen other designers make can turn the space into a nonfunctional and sometimes dangerous space that becomes a nuisance other than an addition to your living space.
The first is size. When it comes to patios the saying "size matters" does not really apply. I have had customers tell me they have the space and budget for a large patio. After asking the customer some questions I start to realize they will not be using a quarter the patio they originally wanted. We can then add more features to the patio like walls, lighting, structures or landscaping and still stay on budget. You also want to be careful to not make the patio too small. Think about the future and what kind of outdoor furniture you may want to add to your patio. Also, make sure you leave space for an extra table if you plan on entertaining.
The second, steps. Adding elevations to a patio will create a great looking space and works well when installed on yards with different grades. Be very careful when placing your steps in the design. If your not careful, the step can become a trip hazard and actually make the functional space on the patio smaller and only half your patio will be usable. If you would like a patio with elevations, we will draw your furniture to scale and place it on the patio to insure you have room to maneuver and enjoy the area surrounding the furniture or other items you would like placed on the patio.
Third is a big one, Landscaping and Lighting. Time and time again I see a great looking patio that could look even better if it had some landscaping or lighting to complement it. When planning a budget for your new space don't overlook the landscaping. It can more expensive than you think. The landscaping, when designed properly, will provide shade, a designated lighting point and of course color and texture. We use trees and large shrubs as backdrops for our uplighting to give the patio some ambient light. It will also give off some really neat shadows. The landscaping can be used for drainage and water control as well. A well designed patio at night should have enough ambient light for a person to navigate without the use of spotlights and flood lights. Uplight's and path lights can be added after the patio is built. Step lights and wall lights are a different story. Most wall or step lights are installed when the wall or step is being built. Remember that a patio can be an addition to your home and should be used the same during the day or at night.
These are just a few design obstacles out of many that need to be addressed when designing and investing into a outdoor space.  NRC is here to help you threw the whole process. We will make sure your ideas are considered. The space will be designed around the way you and your family will be using it. Call us today for your no cost design at 703-926-4113 or visit us online. I hope this gives you some things to think about when you start deigning your new outdoor space!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Techo-Bloc Show

I'm at the Techo Bloc Showcase 2016 and this years product line is looking great! Techo Bloc has always had great pruducts with unique textures and styles but this year they are rolling out with products that are open doors to new possibilities in the world of outdoor living. If you have a patio in need of an update and do not want to completely start over, they have come up with an outdoor tile that can be mortared to an existing concrete slab. They are made for exterior installations and will not be dangerous when wet. They also added many different finishes on their original pavers. If you need a retaining wall but want a modern look. Check out the graphix wall. It acts as a retaining wall but has very cool look that is clean and adds a great elevation. The possibilities are endless with Techo Bloc. Now is the time to start planning that patio or outdoor living space. Call NRC Landscape Construction today to set up your free estimate and 3D design. Talk soon!

Nick with NRC 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Snow & Ice Removal Tips...

Old man winter is almost here and it looks to be a bad one. Before you grab anything that says "Ice Melt", you may want to read this first. Here are some tips for you when it comes to snow & ice removal.
Concrete has great strength under pressure. Our houses sit on it, we drive on it, we depend on it. It does however have a weakness. Salt. It is kryptonite for concrete. Why is salt bad for concrete? Concrete is porous when installed. It soaks up moisture like a sponge. Salt, when diluted and absorbed, will eat up the concrete and cause what is called spalling. Spalling is caused by water freezing inside the concrete. Salt makes this worst by not only eating away at the concrete to allow water to absorb easier but salt also attracts water. Sealing your concrete helps prevent spalling but make sure you do this long after a rainfall and only in temperatures well above 50 deg. If you seal concrete with moisture still inside it can cause massive spalling when it freezes. If you need to get rid of ice on your steps or on concrete, make sure you use a product that does not contain any traces of salt. The best thing to use is Magnesium. I have a great source for some if you need it. Oh, and please don't slam your metal shovel into the ice and try to "chop" it. You will not be happy with the results when it melts.
Keep in mind that any ice melt product including salt needs moisture to activate it. If it is -3 deg. outside with no sun, you can dump the whole bag out and it wont do anything. Keep an eye on the temps and wait to put it down so you don't waist it. A little bit goes a long way...

Another problem that has come up over the last couple of years is the pre-treatment of the roads. I am sure you have seen the white lines on the roads a day before the storm. It is liquid sodium chloride, aka, liquid salt. After driving threw a snowstorm the snow will get stuck in your wheel wells. When you park your car on your concrete driveway, the snow starts to melt and drips onto the driveway causing spalling. I have seen this first hand. Try to get the snow off of your car before parking in on concrete or in the garage. Also, if you see the truck applying the Sodium chloride, stay away from him. It is very bad for your cars paint job!

Snow removal. Please remember to use the plastic shovels when removing snow from pavers and concrete. The metal shovels can chip and crack decorative surfaces. If you plan on having a plow truck do the work for you, please tell them they need to use a rubber blade on the snow plow.

As always feel free to call or email if you need anything and Good luck this winter!

Nick with NRC.

Firepit Season Is Upon Us...

Time to light up that firepit or outdoor fireplace! Before setting a blaze, remember to inspect your fireplace or firepit to make sure it is ready for action. Animals love to cozy up inside the chimneys and under piles of debris. Keep an eye out for nests and babies. Remember to always start your fires naturally. That means that throwing a bottle of gasoline on a pile of wood to start your fire is a no no. Its not only against the law, but it is also dangerous. The gas may be on the pile of wood but the fumes are settling to the bottom of the firepit. When they ignite... KABOOM! A firepit is designed to bring people together, not blow them away. Also, if you need gasoline to start a fire, that just means that the wood has not seasoned enough. If it does light it will produce a large amount of smoke and send your guests running. Wood that is properly seasoned will light with a couple of pieces of cardboard. You can use cedar shims or a starter log as well. I personally collect my junk mail threw out the year and use that. As long as it is dry it will do the job.

NRC Landscape Construction designs and installs very unique and functional fireplaces and firepits that are strategically placed on a patio or in a yard to funtion properly. If you plan on making your own this year, here are a couple of tips. Make sure you do your homework. The list of materials that can be used is short and must be able to withstand the heat. Natural stone is a material that is NOT on that list. Natural stone will pop and send very sharp, extremely hot shards flying across the yard and can cause serious injury. If you do use natural stone, make sure they are large boulders and keep plenty of distance between the fire and the stone. Of course you can always call us and have us build one for you. This way you can set a blaze and enjoy the night. Call NRC or email us at to set up an appointment for your firepit or outdoor fireplace today and enjoy it by the Holidays! 

Nick with NRC.

Pool Renovation

Thank you for a great Summer!
We had a great summer with a lot of very happy customers enjoying their new outdoor spaces. Fall is here and if you want to enjoy your pool next summer, now is the time to renovate. Lets get a design going!