Steps to Take When Hiring Patio Contractors in Maryland

As you consider your new patio, it’s important that you hire someone from a group of qualified patio contractors doing business in Maryland.  Here are steps you can take to make sure you are hiring the best patio contractor for the job.

  1. Check the patio contractors’ license. A legitimate local patio contractor will be licensed to work in Maryland.
  2. Check the patio contractors’ proof of insurance to protect yourself against liability for any damage that occurs as a result of the work.
  3. Seek recommendations for patio contractors from Maryland friends, neighbors, and co-workers.
  4. Look for patio contractors that have been in business locally for a long time.
  5. Read online reviews.
  6. Get names and contact info for your patio contractor’s previous clients, and call them. Ask about any problems and how the patio contractor handled things.
  7. Get consistent bids based on the same scope of work from the patio contractors, and get them in writing, with details.
  8. Go with your gut. If after all of these steps, something tells you that this isn’t the patio contractor for your Maryland home, don’t move forward. The most important criteria when hiring a contractor is choosing someone you trust.

Please be careful when hiring patio contractors for your Maryland home. You need a trustworthy patio contractor that is licensed to work in Maryland, and has been in business for years. The experts at East Coast Landscape Design have satisfied Maryland customers for over 30 years. Please contact East Coast Landscape Design today.

Irrigation Systems: Important to Landscape Health in Gaithersburg, MD

Irrigation systems can be very important in keeping landscapes healthy in Gaithersburg, MD. If you are tired of a lifeless looking landscape, or the hassle of watering your Gaithersburg, MD lawn yourself, a good automatic irrigation system is the solution.

Consider these benefits:

  • Maintaining a beautifully healthy landscape all season long, with your irrigation system delivering the right amount of water according to the specific needs of your landscape. Plus, irrigation systems can be adjusted to accommodate seasonal changes in Gaithersburg, MD.
  • Conserving water – irrigation systems that are properly installed and maintained will use less water than watering by hand.
  • Save time – automatic irrigation systems will do all the watering for you, no work required on your part.
  • Save Money – since irrigation systems conserve water and keep your plants healthy, your Gaithersburg, MD water bills will be lower, and you won’t have to replace your plants due to over/under watering.

For more information on irrigation systems in Gaithersburg, MD, please contact East Coast Landscape Design. For over 30 years, East Coast Landscape Design has been Gaithersburg, MD’s leading licensed landscape design company. Located in Montgomery County, Maryland since 1979, the company has designed and installed irrigation systems and other landscape projects. Please contact East Coast Landscape Design today for a consultation on irrigation systems in Gaithersburg, MD.

Don’t Forget the Driveway Design for Your Maryland Home

Driveway design is often an afterthought for homeowners in Maryland when building a new home or designing a landscape. However, the driveway occupies an important place in overall home and property design in Maryland. When planning your driveway, there are several things to consider.

Budget: In driveway design, it’s important to keep in mind initial costs and ongoing maintenance costs. For instance, gravel is the least expensive to begin with, but costs a lot to continually upkeep. While pavers are more expensive in the beginning, they end up costing very little to maintain for Maryland homes.

Curb Appeal: Driveway design can make a big impression on the look of your Maryland house. Certain materials complement certain architectural styles more than others.  A home that may look great with a driveway designed with pavers, but may look out of place with a gravel driveway.

Climate: Driveway design must take the Maryland climate into consideration. Some driveway materials may not be appropriate for the Maryland climate. Snow, humidity, rainfall and temperature changes are all factors that ought to influence your final decision.

Maintenance: Driveway design must take maintenance requirements into account. How often will the driveway need minor and major work, and is this something the Maryland homeowner can handle or are experts needed to maintain the driveway?

Durability: How long do you expect the driveway to last at your Maryland home? What kind of traffic will your driveway be getting?  Driveway durability not only depends on materials, you also need to take into consideration what kind of vehicles will use the driveway. You also need to understand what kind of maintenance is required to maximize lifespan of your driveway at your Maryland home.

Got questions about driveway design for your Maryland home? Please contact East Coast Landscape Design. We’ve been the driveway design experts in Maryland for 30 years, and we are happy discuss your driveway design options with you.

Arbor Day – Add a Tree (or Two or Three) to Your Landscaping in Bethesda, MD

Whether your plant a tree on Arbor Day – or select another beautiful day – you won’t regret adding a gorgeous tree (or two or three) to your landscaping in Landscaping in Bethesda, MD.

Trees Add Beauty and More
Besides adding to the beauty to your landscaping in Bethesda, MD, a tree also adds value to your home, filters pollutants, and adds clean oxygen.  Trees regulate the air temperature around them, through the evaporation of the water in leaves, and provide homes for song birds and other woodland creatures.

Shade trees can offer a comfortable and cool place to sit or play, and can part of a passive solar heating  and cooling plan. Deciduous trees help shade the yard and house during the hot summer months, and let the warm sunlight through when they lose their beautiful leaves in the fall and winter.  And who can beat the calming sound of the wind rustling through the trees?

Trees Help Mental and Physical Health
Speaking of a calming influence of trees, a recent study found that children who view nature from their window feel more patient and less frustrated about tasks. These children also have more enthusiasm for their school work, and feel more satisfaction with life.  A different study from the International Society of Arboriculture revealed that hospital patients recover faster when their room has a tree view.  Surgery patients who can see nature from their hospital rooms recover 10% faster and need less pain medicine than those patients who view brick walls.

Want to explore adding a tree (or two or three) to your landscaping in Bethesda, MD?  Please contact East Coast Landscape Design. Whether you want to create a sophisticated backyard landscape, a peaceful outdoor room, an English rose garden, or you want to update your existing landscaping in Bethesda, MD, the trained professional landscapers of the East Coast Landscape Design team and owner, Mark Simpson, are here to make your dreams a reality.

Five Things to Do This Spring for Water Features in Silver Spring, MD

Spring time maintenance for water features in Silver Spring, MD is not just about removing the winter weather protection, and turning on the pump. While spring time maintenance for water features in Silver Spring, MD doesn’t require a great deal of time or energy to complete, there still are some things you’re going to need to do.

  1. Remove the netting or and other mechanical devices used to protect the feature for the winter.
  2. Clean all around the feature; if you need to clean the entire pond because of a bad winter remember to remove the fish from the water before draining. Clean the entire feature with clean water and refill and replace the fish to their new home.
  3. If you have fish, start feeding them again. Do your fish look healthy? Now is the time to fix any problems or disease your fish have.
  4. Check your plants; replace plants that didn’t survive, and divide some of your plants if they have gotten too large for the area. Don’t fertilize your plants at this time; wait until after flowering.
  5. Place the filter and pumps back into place and fill the feature with the recommended amount of water and start the pump.

For more information on water feature maintenance in Silver Spring, MD – or to add water feature of your own in Silver Spring, MD – please contact East Coast Landscape Design. The East Coast Landscape Design team utilizes 3 decades of experience along with safety- tested protocols to create natural water features in various types of landscape in Silver Spring, and throughout Maryland.

Four Things to Consider About Retaining Walls in Rockville, MD

Retaining walls hold back soil when there is a difference in earth elevation. Many retaining walls in Rockville, MD are used to terrace yards with steep slopes, to help create usable outdoor space, and to control erosion. Low retaining walls are mostly used as planting beds and can add interest to an otherwise flat yard.

It’s important to have a basic understanding of what goes into proper retaining wall design before you hire someone to build a landscape retaining wall on your property.  Here are four things to consider:

  1. Base: a retaining wall must be built on a suitable base, set below ground level. The taller a wall is, the further below ground level it should be set. In order to support the rest of the wall, a good base should consist of compacted soil and at least a six inch layer of compacted sand and gravel.
  2. Backfill: a retaining wall must have properly compacted backfill dirt behind the wall. There should be at least 12 inches of granular backfill (gravel or a similar aggregate) installed directly behind the wall in order to provide proper drainage. Compacted native soil can be used to backfill the rest of the space behind the wall. If you intend to do landscaping behind the wall, a 6+ inch layer of native soil should also be placed over the gravel fill.
  3. Drainage: efficient drainage is important, since water can’t pass through most retaining walls. Drainage problems can cause bulging or cracking in your retaining wall. How to ensure proper drainage of water from behind a retaining wall? You can require that your landscaping contractor backfills at least a foot of space behind the wall with gravel. You can also have a perforated pipe installed along the inside, or backfilled, bottom of the wall. Be sure to ask your landscaping contractor if weep holes will be needed to allow water to drain through the wall.
  4. Height: the height of a retaining wall determines the load it can bear and how much extra reinforcement will be necessary. Residential retaining walls are usually built between 3 and 4 feet high, because that height provides excellent strength without requiring additional reinforcements.

For more information on retaining walls in Rockville, MD, please contact East Coast Landscape Design, the Washington D.C. area’s leading licensed landscape design company. Located in Montgomery County, Maryland since 1979, the company, under the leadership of President Mark Simpson, has designed and installed landscape projects, including patios, outdoor kitchens, driveways, and retaining walls.

Tips for Making Your Kensington, MD Patio Perfect

You’ve seen some of those fabulous patios on TV or the Web – and East Coast Landscape Design can create the Kensington, MD patio of your dreams. Here are some tips to add those finishing touches that make your patio perfect for you and your family.

Make your patio an extension of your home.

  • Make your outdoor seating comfortable and stylish.
  • Coordinate your outdoor colors – furniture cushions and accessories with plants and flowers.
  • Add lighting – like interesting lanterns – to your patio
  • Add a fire-pit or chiminea together around on those chilly nights.
  • Add ways to cool off –  add a pergola with vines, plant a tree or add a simple canopy for shade

Create privacy by incorporating several view-blocking techniques.

  • Plant hedges and using fences or walls to create your private sanctuary
  • Create a curved pathway to your “hidden” patio.
  • A virtual wall of planters at the back of the patio creates a soothing hedge.
  • A stucco wall around the patio makes it feel even more enclosed and intimate.
  • Add bamboo panels for an inexpensive way to create privacy.

Create a view with a beautiful focal point, and make your patio a destination.

  • A well-designed formal garden creates a perfect backdrop for luxury seating.
  • A fountain creates pleasant and soothing background sounds.
  • Surround the patio with fragrant flowers, such as roses, for even more sensory appeal.
  • A flowering small tree, such as a dogwood, that adds shade and extra interest.

Rest assured that the experienced professionals at East Coast Landscape Design can design and build your Kensington, MD dream patio. East Coast Landscape Design uses a wide variety of materials including stone, brick pavers, interlocking bricks, and stamped concrete. These experts will work with you to select materials for your Kensington, MD patio that compliment your home, providing seamless function and style. Please contact East Coast Landscape Design today at 301-421-4141.