Smart Shoppers Guide to Outdoor Entertaining Areas

The Smart Shoppers Guide to Adding an Outdoor Entertainment Area -7 Tips to Bank on!
1. Dream Big, but then carefully consider your budget. Looking through magazines and planning or idea books is an awesome way to get ideas for your new space. One downside can be dreaming way beyond what is realistic for your budget. A quality product is achievable on any size budget.. The baseline for your consideration is what can you comfortably afford to spend? Having a plan before you begin is the best way to insure you love the end product.
2. Features and accessories can make a plain space spectacular! Design elements can easily be incorporated into your project without breaking your wallet. Wherever possible combine features to maximize efficiency space and time. For example, if you have a retaining wall around your fire pit, add a bench for seating. Want an outdoor kitchen and bar? Do both at the same time best utilizing your space and combining counter space. Water elements can be as simple as adding a bubbling fountain in your landscaping, a pond-less waterfall in a flower garden or a pond.
3. Decide on the scope of your project. How big does your paver patio need to be? Do you want steps and coordinating sidewalks? What about adding walls around existing landscaping? Are you going to add sod to give an immediate “finished” appearance? Determining your details on the front end saves time, money, and frustration on the back end. In most cases, it’s much easier to buy the materials and do the work in a sequential order rather than back tracking and adding to what was already completed. This of course is more time efficient which in turn keeps you to your budget.
4. Realistic time expectations go along with the scope of your project. This one may save more frustration than money, but is important to address. Quality work takes time. The company you choose should have an estimate of the time it will take his crew to complete your job which is then figured into your cost. Remember though, that even the best contractor is not in charge of the weather. One day of rain usually costs two days of work-the day it rains and then a day for the ground to dry.
5. Materials matter. The adage “you get what you pay for” certainly applies in terms of landscape and hardscape companies. Fortunately, for you as a consumer, there are multiple options available. There is sure to be an option in your price range! Quality Landscaping is able to suggest options based on your dreams and budget. Due diligence in selecting the best materials for your space and project will save you future headaches and money.
6. Choosing a reliable and reputable landscape company is your best defense against spending too much money. Select a landscaping company with a great reputation in the community and a history of quality work. Select a company that can do all aspects of your job such as irrigation, landscaping, and hardscaping. Ask if the company you are considering has a website with a portfolio, literature with pictures, written testimonials from customers? Ask if there is a cost involved in obtaining a quote. A reputable contractor will be happy to break down the pricing so that you know exactly what you will be paying for before you sign a contract. Another thing to look for is industry credentials. What companies do they represent? Being an “authorized dealer” is a difficult status to obtain which means the company is dedicated to it’s craft
7. If you are really interested in saving money, sooner is better than later! Take advantage of seasonal specials-getting discounts for early booking or bundling services. Ask if there are show specials and if yes, be prepared to take advantage of them. Getting on the schedule early means you have a great chance of enjoying your outdoor space while marshmallows can still be roasted and wine glasses toasted!
These awesome tips are provided by Quality Landscaping, LLC of Lexington Kentucky! Stop by their booth at the Home & Garden Show March 31-April 2 at the Lexington Center to learn more!

Seven Clever Tips for Saving Money When You Remodel

When you remodel your home, it can be one of the most stress-inducing times of your life. There are a few steps that you can take before, during and after a remodel that will relieve a lot of the pressure and eliminate any surprises.
I cannot make you any guarantees, but I am confident in these seven home remodeling tips that can make your journey to your dream home much smoother.
1. Small can be big too.
First, you should know that a small addition can be just as expensive as a large one. The time and expense of a remodel – hiring a contractor, getting the correct permits, performing the demolition – are going to be incorporated regardless of the project’s size. You should never underestimate the cost of a renovation project even if it is just a small addition. You should be cautious of being frugal. Saving some money will not do you any good if you have to spend money again to work on the same project later. We strive to provide as much value to the customer as we can which is why we have a built in cost estimation tool on our website for you to use free of charge.
2. Take your time with all of the planning.
Make sure you consider everything that you want and prepare detailed plans with your contractor or architect. You should make sure this happens before you begin any demolition or construction. Did you know that most homeowners wait for the warmer weather of spring to start remodeling? If you were to start your renovation around January through March, you could land some better deals. Dry air and frozen ground are excellent conditions to build a new foundation.
3. Can you dig here?
Another important thing that you should take into consideration is the zoning and development regulations in your area. Be cautious of the permits that are required. It may be very tempting to get started as soon as possible but make sure you plan everything down to the last detail if possible. We are a licensed and bonded company, so naturally, we will take care of all of this for you!
4. Try not to turn your house into something that it is not meant to be.
This tip is simple, but it speaks volumes. If it seems like your renovation plans start getting so ambitious that you are transforming your house into a bigger entirely different home, perhaps it may be wise to just move into a bigger house.
5. Remodeling is a slow process, and things take time.
Take your time and factor in lots of time to complete the project in a reasonable time frame. In general, the realistic amount of time for a remodel depends on the size of the space. If we have to upgrade or change the plumbing or electric, then the project timeline could be extended indefinitely. Ideally, we say that we can complete a project within a two to six-month time frame.
6. Reuse some materials.
Ask us if we have any materials that have been left over from past jobs! Bathrooms and kitchens are the two areas that are the most desirable to renovate. They are quite costly and can range from $5,000-$20,000. There are a couple of ways that you can save some money on these costly projects so ill let you in on a few tips. As far as the bathroom is concerned a fresh coat of paint can go a long way. In the kitchen, you can replace cabinet and drawer knobs with more modern hardware and update your appliances to give your kitchen a more expensive feel. We have included some of the current rates and frequently asked questions for some of the most common jobs on our website to save you time.
7. Get more than one opinion!
Sure we may be great, but you should always have and consider your options when you are looking to take on a project of any magnitude. If you already have several quotes in hand companies will be much more willing to strike a deal with you to win your business. Narrow down your options and have a minimum of three written estimates to compare things such as costs and timelines. We are willing to make you feel as comfortable as possible. We have no problem working out a payment plan with you that is tied to the project’s progression.

Visit the San Antonio Home & Garden Show, February 24-26, and see MGR Remodeling for more remodeling expertise and many other local professionals who can help you get your projects solved!

Landscaping Can Change Your Life & Health… No, Really… Here's How


There are many environmentally sound reasons to landscape.
Professionally designed and well-maintained landscapes protect water quality, reduce soil erosion, improve air quality and lower air temperatures in the summer, which is a huge perk here in Texas!
There are many personal health reasons to landscape.
What we hear most from prospective landscaping clients is that they want to create an outdoor friendly space for themselves, family and friends. Having access to a beautiful environment for relaxing and entertaining will improve your quality of life and decrease your stress level.
There are many economic reasons to landscape.
A professionally designed and installed landscape does more than just make your home look great and cause your neighbors to stare. It increases the value of your home. By a lot. Depending on factors such as starting value, neighborhood and season, study after study shows that landscaping is a much better return on your investment than other home remodeling projects such as kitchens and bathrooms.
“First impressions are as important for houses as they are for people.
If you are considering selling, good landscape design can add up to 20% of value to your home.” Bob Villa
“Forget wiring your new home for audio, video and data. Pass on the upgraded kitchen cabinets. Say no to thicker carpets. If you really want to add lasting value, opt for landscaping.”
LEW SICHELMAN, Herald Tribune
Landscaping. Worth every penny… and then some!
THIS WEEKEND! Come to the Collin County Home & Garden Show & talk with the folks at Flowers’ Garden & Landscapes to learn more!

The Wall Wizard is scheduled to Edutain at many of our Fall Shows! Brian Santos to share painting tips and tricks in Corpus, San Antonio and El Paso!

Brian_Santos_clearback2Learn painting tips and tricks and how to hang wall coverings in a flash with seminars all weekend from Brian Santos.
Santos, a fourth-generation painting contractor and author of best-selling how-to books, uses “edutaining” demonstrations in his television appearances and how-to’s for industry giants like Sherwin-Williams, Imperial Wall coverings, Home Depot and Lowe’s, and at home and garden shows throughout the world to create wall magic whether it be with paint, paper, or fabric.
Over a more than 25 year touring career, Santos has developed a series of “Wizard Workshops” that educate and empower audiences with simple tips, tricks, and techniques to help them tackle projects around the house with confidence.
Catch Brian’s “Wizard Workshop” to say “I can” to your next painting projects, he will show you how a trash bag, some lip balm and cling wrap all become painting tools, in ways you never could have imagined and you already have them laying around the house!