Austin Outdoor Lighting

Austin Landscape lightingDrive around the palatial homes in Austin after sunset and you will notice several outdoor parties in progress. Texans love to entertain and what better place to do it than on their landscaped lawns in the cool evening breeze?

Of course the pleasure in entertaining your friends outdoors would be ruined if it were not for proper lightning. Landscapes and outdoor parties demand lighting that is just adequate and not too harsh. To set the proper party mood as well as highlight the beauty of your landscaped garden, the Austin Outdoor Lighting should preferably be a mix of two or more colors.

Select an Austin outdoor lighting company that has a landscaping division, a Austin Landscaping and Maintenance division and also an Austin outdoor lighting section (such as ourselves). We use a mix of latest and most appropriate technology to achieve spectacular results. More than technology, it is ingenuity that is the key to outdoor lighting. Mixing ingenuity with the most appropriate technology not only ensures adequacy of light, it also ensures that all the favorite features of your fantastic landscaped garden illuminate to advantage.

Rather than plan and design the lighting sitting in an office, the lighting architects should visit your Austin home and do the planning and Austin Landscaping on your Austin home premises itself. That is the only way to ensure spectacular results.

Safety with beauty

God forbid – the last thing you want is for your guests to be electrocuted. Electrical engineers need to ensure that all electrical lines are laid out in a safe manner using the correct material and following all local safety practices and procedures. The electrical sockets and switches used should not only be child safe, they should also be weather resistant, meaning they should not leak current even under damp conditions such as rain or when outdoor Austin Irrigation and Sprinkler system austin are operational. This does not mean that the electrical fixtures should be aseptic and boring to look at. Where required you can mix beauty with technology. These days you have a wide choice in outdoor electrical fixtures including beautiful full brass and painted porcelain lamps and switches.

The electrical engineers and technicians need to ensure that the outdoor lighting results in better safety, enhance the property value of your Austin home, highlight attractive features of your landscape and, boost curb appeal.

Upgrade or Repair Existing Outdoor Lighting Systems

If you have an outdoor lighting system that is more than 5 years old, you probably need to have it looked at for three reasons:

1. Wear and tear due to use and harsh environment (sunlight and high moisture).

2. Electrical technology undergoes a sea-change every 5 years or so. Today, you have Austin Landscape lighting systems that use LED’s that consume a fraction of the power, produce almost no heat, and offer cool illumination. Similarly, switch technology too has undergone a sea-change with non-invasive, remotely operated switches that also incorporate sensor technology.

3. Local rules and regulations often undergo change and it is a good idea to ensure your outdoor lighting continues to follow all local safety rules and procedures.

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Austin Landscaping Design

irrigation maintenance AustinUndertaking a landscaping design in Austin has its fair share of challenges. If you haven’t done any landscaping work in Austin before, you need to be aware that the abundance of rock and stone in Austin make it an extremely popular landscaping material. Locally quarried rock and stone not only blends well with the surroundings in Austin, they are also highly effective materials for any conventional or Austin hardscape solutions.

Locally quarried stone and rock works best in the construction of patios, terraces, partitions, walls, fire bowls, driveways and also walkways. Austin also has an abundance of fieldstone, granite, flagstone, decomposed marble, sandstone and even limestone. As you can imagine, each of these has different properties and surface colours. Austin landscaping professional will usually use two or more of these locally procured materials and blend them into one homogenous landscape.

Using imported material can often not only put your expensive landscape at odds with other houses in the neighbourhood, it can also be difficult and expensive to maintain.

Overall, Austin has a warm climate which means any plants and shrubs that are part of your landscape, will need a regular water supply. However, if you use local plants and shrubs, they will need less water as compared to (say) exotic imported flowering variety. Use the help of Austin based landscaping designers to implement an effective Austin rock installations. You can usually choose between manual and automated Austin hardscaping services. The latter is obviously more expensive and the electronics has a tendency to get ‘fried’ every other year. However, automated water irrigation system can save you considerable amount of time. It also reduces water wastage and best of all; you won’t have to compromise on holidays abroad.

When designing your irrigation system for your landscape, it might also be a good idea to consult a local gardener or botanist because you need to know the exact quantity of water and watering techniques for each type of floral bed, ground cover and trees. Each Austin Irrigation or watering system should be customized and adapted to the exact needs of the landscape and the plants in it. As mentioned previously, Austin has a large variety of hardy plant species that grow well and have an excellent root system that requires far less water than the imported varieties.

One area that often gets neglected when designing a landscape in Austin is lighting. Strategically placed lights not only add functionality and purpose, they also add beauty to your landscape. Your landscape will be appreciated not only during the day but also during the night – just don’t forget to turn on the lights!

Like elsewhere, homes in Austin too have a mix of large expensive mansions and moderate size houses with fairly decent landscapes. Before you sit down to design the landscape for your home in Austin, visit your neighbourhood and eyeball the various landscapes you see. These could be a source of some excellent designs for your own landscaping ideas.

Trees, plants and shrubs help reduce surrounding temperature. Adding a landscape to your home in Austin will not only add beauty, it can also help reduce your air conditioning expenditure.

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Austin Landscape and Maintenance

Austin Landscaping and MaintenanceA landscape is more than just shrubs, trees, grass, dirt and pathways – it is an extension of your living space and your first contact with the Earth outside your house. A lovely tree lined and shrub covered green landscape is very soothing and invites you to kick off your shoes and connect with nature. The greenery is particularly soothing in the harsh Austin temperatures. This perhaps explains why so many houses in Austin opt for landscaping.

A landscape however, requires maintenance. It requires water, mulching, trimming, cleaning, mowing, fertilizing and so on. More often than not, this is more than one family can handle. Also, landscape maintenance requires knowledge least you unknowingly block drains or worse, ruin perfectly good soil.

In terms of maintenance, there are many things that a landscape in Austin would require including:

Landscape Aeration and Composting

Aeration and composting is extremely vital for the good health of your landscape. When you add compost and aerate the landscape of your Austin home, you are essentially oxygenating the roots of the plants and through compost, adding vital nutrients to it.

Aerating the soil is achieved through digging around the roots of the trees, plants and shrubs. The digging is done in such a way that the soil is tilted without causing any damage to the roots. Aeration can be achieved through mechanization i.e. special machines that punch holes into the soil or through the old fashioned way using a hand tool such as a spade.

Aerating the soil also enhances microbial activity in the soil which directly results in increased nitrogen content – a natural fertilizer. Aerating also decreases soil runoff because the water gets absorbed into the soil rather than just flow over it.

Manual and Automated Landscape Irrigation and Sprinklers

Manually watering the entire landscape daily generally results in a lot of wastage. We end up putting more water (or less) than is required. An Austin based landscaping professional on the other hand, will know exactly how much water is required for each plant type and accordingly instruct and supervise the installation of the most appropriate landscape irrigation and Austin Misting Systems. This ensures that all trees, plants, grass and shrubs in your landscape receive the correct quantity of water.

Furthermore, you could opt for manually operated landscape irrigation and sprinklers (you just have to turn them on) or automated irrigation and sprinklers. These are controlled via electro mechanical devices connected to digital timers. They ensure your landscape is hydrated daily and by the correct quantum of water. Human presence is not required.

Maintenance for your Austin landscape

You can either opt to undertake the landscape maintenance yourself or hire a full service company for all your Residential Landscaping Austin work including mulching, trimming, cleaning, mowing, fertilizing, and aerating.

A full service Austin Landscaping Design company will also look after your irrigation and sprinkler system. A landscaping crew arrives at regular intervals, undertakes all periodic tasks and also checks the irrigation and sprinkler installations, tweaks it and replaces parts where required.

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How to Plan out your Landscaping

Austin hardscape solutions

Bought a large place with tremendous potential for a lawn in the front but didn’t know how to go about it? You’ve come to the right place. Landscaping 101 will show you just how easy it is to get a beautiful lawn going and develop it over a period of time.

Landscapes add big value and curb appeal to your home. With adequate water and moderate climate, it grows well in all seasons and does not cost a great deal of money. Here’s how to get started with your landscaping plans.

Plan your Landscape

1. To plan your landscape, walk to the opposite side of the road and view your property -if possible, ideally from a slight height.

2. Go back into your house and look up the internet or magazines / books on landscape designs. Since you have a good idea what the front of your property looks like, it should be easy to choose a design that with some modification will suit your property.

3. Next, bring out your camera or smartphone and revisit the opposite side of the road and this time, imagine the selected landscape design as applied to your property. Don’t hurry. Take your time scrutinizing every square foot or meter of your property. Take a few pictures of your property.

4. Go back into your house and print the pictures you’ve just taken. Print them in a large format (A4 size should do nicely).

5. Visit the local council office to make sure you’ve understood and taken into account any local laws and regulations governing landscaping.

6. Use a pencil to sketch the outline of your lawn and pathways. Will there be a children’s play area? If so, sketch that in. Anything that isn’t there at the moment and you would like it to be a part of the landscape should be sketched in. Similarly, use photo editing software to erase anything that is currently there but you plan to have it removed once the landscape is done. Add notes and ideas to the paper. If something strikes you, put it down or you may not remember it later and take help form Austin Landscaping Design.

You now have the makings of a plan. You can take these drafts and visit the neighbourhood draftsman to have your sketches formally rendered – your landscape master plan is now ready.

With your master plan in hand, visit the Austin landscaping professional and show him (or her) your plans and also mention your budget for the whole thing. Listen to what they have to say – from their experience they may point out some problem areas or offer better ways of achieving some things. Most Austin landscape contractor will also be happy to give you a free quote for the work.

When you are ready to have them start on your landscape, ask for a contract and read it carefully. Usually these are Austin Landscaping standard service contracts but if you think it prudent, you can hire a lawyer to go over it.

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Austin Lawn Pro – Your First Landscape Plan

A good landscape plan has four important ingredients; function, maintenance, cost, and visual impact (in that order). Most folks tend to pay close attention to maintenance and cost and very little attention to other factors.

So let’s begin at the top – Adding Functionality to the Landscape

Ask yourself why you want to landscape your property because the answer to this all important question has ramifications on the other ingredients to landscaping. Your answer needs to be clear and precise.

You need to understand that a landscape is a part of your house – correction, it is an extension of your house but without the roof. In that sense it has to be highly functional with pathways, driveways, gutters, play areas and so on. Do your kids like to bounce a ball around? Do you have kids that love to cycle all day? Does your daughter love the Jacuzzi or maybe the trampoline? Therefore think functionality – you will need to factor in all these things.

Your landscape might look beautiful on paper but if it clashes with the functioning of your family members you could have major problems ahead. Similarly if you have pets especially dogs, your shrubs could be in trouble. This is not to say you can’t have shrubs – just that it needs to be planned carefully and in some detail.

An important aspect of functionality is to ensure that every square inch of your landscape is visible – preferably from the kitchen so that mom can keep an eye on the kids and also ensure the dog doesn’t bother the Pizza delivery boy or the postman.

Understanding Landscape Maintenance

An elaborate landscape covering a very large area of land will also by extension require extensive maintenance especially if your landscape includes large trees. So while planning your landscape factor in the time that would be required to maintain the property and whether you can maintain it yourself or will need to hire help.

Shrubs will require trimming, fertilizers, mulching, watering, pest control and so on. Also, anything incorporated into the lawn area (benches, slides, swings) increases maintenance time. Fortunately you can also hire a weekly gardening service to perform all duties.

Your maintenance time and effort may increase or decrease depending on how well the drainage works. Bad or improperly installed drains can cause major maintenance headaches.

Costing for your Landscape

Once you’ve factored in the functionality and maintenance, calculating the cost of your landscape is easier. Unless you are an expert at it, it would be best to hire a landscape professional. Most will be happy to look at your plans, hear you out and provide a free quote for job.

Visualizing your landscape

Take a few pictures of your property and print them out in a large (A4) format. Visualize your landscape. You already know the cost of your plans. Draw a sketch of your landscape directly on the picture you’ve printed taking care to work everything in. Once you have got everything in, visit a draftsman and have him convert your plans into an engineering design that makes sense to a foreman.

If you are hiring an  he would probably be happy to go over your draft plans, formalize and execute it for you.

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