Contractor Tips Blog


Natural Stone: The Perfect Material to Spruce Up Your Outdoor Living Space

Posted in Landscaping

Is your outdoor space needing a makeover? If you want to update the outdoor areas of your home, consider using natural stone. Not only is this material durable and beautiful, it can add value to your home with its classic appeal. Here are some ways to use natural stone to spruce up your outdoor living space.

  • A travertine patio. Create a stylish patio with travertine pavers that are unique, easy to maintain and a gorgeous addition to any home. Travertine pavers come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors that can give your outdoor space an updated, trendy look.
  • Tumbled marble pool deck. Sunbathe on beautiful tumbled marble pavers for your pool deck, adding a classy touch to your outdoor relaxation area. Marble is perfect for a Mediterranean-style for your pool area.
  • Outdoor kitchen. Natural stone pavers are perfect for creating your outdoor kitchen for entertaining your guests. They are heat resistant and easy to clean, an excellent choice for building your counters and cabinets for your kitchen.
  • Fire pits. Enjoy late nights under the stars around your natural stone fire pit, a great addition to make your outdoor area warm all year round.
  • Cobbled walkways. Natural stone pavers or bricks are wonderful for walkways through your garden or backyard area.

Natural stone is very trendy right now for home design, inside and out. However, it is also a material that has a classic appeal that will be stylish for many years to come. Talk to your local natural stone paving company to explore ways to use this versatile material to add beauty to your outdoor living space.

Posted on behalf of:
Tri County Pavers & Design
3300 S Congress Ave
Boynton Beach, FL 33426


Types of Fire Pits

Posted in Landscaping

A fire pit is a great functional and aesthetic outdoor feature that can add charm and comfort to any backyard. These free-standing accessories can serve as the ideal centerpiece for an outdoor entertainment area such as a patio, and are used for cooking, or to provide warmth for you and your guests on a chilly day. There are several different types of fire pits:

1)      Wood burning versus gas burning

Fire pits may be powered with propane from a built-in tank or with natural gas through a gas line or pipe. With wood burning fire pits, seasoned, dry hardwood chips or logs are used for combustion. Many people covet wood burning fire pits for the pleasant visual and olfactory effects of kindled wood. A fire pit may be wood burning or gas burning regardless of the material or design of the fire pit.

2)      Assembled versus pre-made

Pre-made fire pits are those that are bought from a store and can include fire bowls or fire pit tables. These types of fire pits look like a large bowl set into a low table-like frame. They usually come with a cover and some may include a grill for cooking. Another type of pre-made fire pit is the chimenea fire pit, a type of enclosed, upright fireplace shaped like a bottle.  Pre-made fire pits are portable; in fact, some have wheels. Pre-made fire pits come in a variety of materials including ceramic, copper, cast iron, or terra cotta.

Assembled fire pits on the other hand are custom-made to fit a homeowner’s taste and specifications. They are built with stone pavers, concrete bricks, or cinderblocks, and are usually incorporated into a patio design. Most assembled fire pits look like a well-like enclosure resting near the ground. Do-it-yourself fire pit assembly is an option; however, landscaping companies also install custom fire pits. Assembled fire pits may be temporary or permanent. They can be built above ground or below the surface.

3)      Metal versus non-mental

Metals fire pits are most commonly made of copper or cast iron, although stainless steel and aluminum fire pits are also available. Cast iron fire pits are more economical than copper fire pits but do not last as long since they rust more quickly. Copper fire pits are prized for their natural finish.  Fire pits may also be made of non-metal materials such as ceramic or terra cotta. When it comes to cooking, non-metal fire pits require a metal grill for flame grilling.


Outdoor Fire Pit vs. Outdoor Fireplace

Posted in Landscaping

With fall in the air, you may be thinking about adding an outdoor fire pit or fireplace for outdoor entertaining and enjoyment.  Both of these are excellent alternative for providing a warm, attractive focal point for gathering and enjoying the crisp fall weather.  Imagine an evening under the stars sharing cocoa with friends and family next to a warm, inviting fire crackling in your beautiful stone fire pit or fireplace!

Outdoor fireplaces and outdoor fire pits both have advantages.  The right one for you depends on your situation and what you plan to do with it.  A fire pit can be made in a wide range of attractive styles. There are portable fire pits made of copper or cast iron, but a permanent fire pit is usually made of stone or brick and since they offer 360 degrees entertainment, they often become the centerpiece of an outdoor entertainment area such as a patio.

Fire pits offer warmth and the ambiance of soft lighting and can even be used for cooking if equipped with a grate.  Fire pits are generally less expensive to build than fireplaces and require little, if any maintenance.

An outdoor fireplace is generally a more dramatic outdoor hardscape feature.  They are larger and more expensive than fire pits, but in addition to being freestanding, they can be incorporated into other structures including covered outdoor entertainment areas such as screened porches.  Like fire pits, they provide warmth, light, and ambiance and can easily be equipped for cooking.

An outdoor fireplace usually offers 180 degrees of entertainment although they can be constructed with the front and back open and placed in the middle of an area rather than the side or corner.  Fireplaces are less affected by breezes and less likely to blow smoke and ash on you and your guests.


Considerations for Outdoor Kitchens

Posted in Landscaping

Outdoor kitchens are all the rage these days and for good reason.  A custom outdoor kitchen is an excellent addition to any home for outdoor entertaining.  They add beauty and value to your home while providing years of enjoyment and pleasure.

Before you call your contractor, take a few minutes to consider what you want to get from your outdoor kitchen.  Careful planning now can avoid overspending for an outdoor kitchen that is more elaborate than you will ever need or failing to incorporate features in your outdoor kitchen that will limit your enjoyment.

First, think about how much you plan to use the outdoor kitchen.  Will it be for regularly entertaining large numbers of guests or just occasionally entertaining a few friends and family?  An outdoor kitchen can cost anywhere from one thousand to fifty thousand dollars depending on the size and amount of equipment included in the design.  You want a design that complements the beauty of your home, but try to align your budget with the amount of enjoyment you anticipate getting from the outdoor kitchen over the years.

Next, decide where you want to put the outdoor kitchen.  Most outdoor kitchens are located close to the home to allow for convenient outdoor entertaining and to minimize wiring and plumbing considerations.  However, try to place the grill where the smoke will tend to blow away from the house and your guests.

As you begin construction, don’t try to cut corners on the equipment, plumbing or electrical installations.  Outdoor equipment has to withstand exposure to the weather and your plumbing and electrical components should be specifically designed for outdoor use.  An experienced outdoor kitchen contractor will be able to help you design and build a beautiful, durable outdoor kitchen that meets your needs within your budget.


Contractor Licensing and Insurance Considerations

Posted in Landscaping

When selecting a contractor for handling a home renovation, landscaping, roofing, or any other home improvement project, protect yourself by making sure that you are dealing with a reputable local contractor who is fully licensed and insured.

Almost anyone slap a magnetic sign on the side of their truck and claim to be a contractor, but if you want a professional, high quality job done with a minimum of hassle, you want to make sure that you are working with an experienced professional contractor like Tri County Pavers and Design, a Florida contractor that does excellent work in the design and construction of custom outdoor kitchens and other landscaping work.

Before hiring the contractor, ask to see their license and proof of insurance.  They should have both liability insurance and workers compensation insurance.  Their liability insurance will protect you if the contractor damages your property or your neighbor’s property while working on your home. 

Workers compensation insurance protects you against claims by their workers who may be injured on the job.  Remodeling and landscaping work can be hazardous and workers can easily be injured.  If the contractor does not have workers compensation insurance, you could be on the hook for the worker’s injuries.  Your homeowner’s insurance may cover such injuries, but you would still be responsible for the deductible and handling the claims.

Save yourself some headaches by only dealing with a professional landscape contractor like Tri County Pavers and Design.  You will not only get top quality workmanship, but you will avoid any potential hassles.

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