What Are Hard Landscaping Materials?

In landscape design and architecture, hard landscaping materials refer to construction materials that a designer or architect uses to enhance the landscape design. Some examples of hard landscaping materials include stones, bricks, gravel, concrete, glass, and the like. The matching term soft landscaping materials refers to the plants.

Here are some common hard landscaping materials to get you familiar with these important elements in your landscape design:

Pavers are widely used in landscaping. There is a wide range of pavers to choose from to suit different areas in your home such as a patio, driveway, walkway, pool area atc. Pavers are also used as edging or as stepping stones. Pavers can be made of stone, brick, concrete, grass, and other materials. They come in all sorts of colors, shapes, patterns, and sizes. It is up to you or your landscape designer to choose which kind will fit your landscape theme or style.

Another common hard material for landscaping is crushed rock, which is also available in various sizes and colors. Crushed volcanic rock is a popular choice. Its red color gives a rustic appeal to the landscape. Other kinds of crushed rock include gravel, sandstone, quartz, limestone and others. Crushed rock is versatile, very low-maintenance, and affordable. They are commonly used for paths, driveways and drainage areas.

For constructing decks, steps, edges, walls, pergolas or gazebos, the most widely used material is timber. It is relatively inexpensive, easy to procure and work with. Consider using salvaged or recycled timber instead of new ones. You can re-use this material so make sure not to waste it.

Soils are valuable hard landscaping materials. To improve soil condition in the yard or garden, add organic fertilizing matter or compost. Remember to choose plants that match or thrive on the type of soil that area has.

Because of the broad range of hard landscaping materials, choosing the right product can be overwhelming and confusing. Just remember to select materials that will both go well with the site, the plants, other hard landscaping materials and the overall theme of the garden. For instance, materials made of steel and metal may not go well with an Asian inspired garden. Highly reflective materials are not ideal for areas that get a lot of sunlight. There are also certain pavers that are suitable only for light foot traffic and should not be used on driveways. You should also make sure that the hard landscaping materials you use are durable enough to withstand the type of weather and climate in your area.

Choosing the right hard landscaping materials is very important to a landscape designer. It is just like choosing the floor or fixtures in a house. The landscape designer must ensure that the hard landscaping materials will work together to truly enhance the surroundings.

Benefits Of Metal Buildings For Commercial Use

Many companies are currently making use of steel materials to design different kinds of commercial structures. Such buildings normally incorporate various architectural methods, patterns and fabrics. Metals are considered to offer the longer lasting solution for designing, constructing and putting up different tension systems. Metal buildings for commercial use are considered to be durable and strong to be able to withstand tones of weight. These high quality materials are considered to be best for making window and door frames and different structural applications in the construction industry.

Furthermore, there is specialized steel that is perfectly designed for both commercial and industrial purposes. Some of these sectors where metallic materials are generally used in recent times includes recreational and leisure buildings to accommodate many users. They are hugely popular in large warehouse which require larger space and strong foundation. Metal structures for public use require materials which are of high quality and international standard. Such buildings are normally built to conform to the local regulations and requirements.

In addition, modern offices are built by steel with the view of providing space and flexible utility. The idea is to accommodate most of the office work and other productive work. Such facilities can be used for storage, conferences and meeting places, kitchens and other needs. Such buildings take less time to erect compared to other structures made from wood, stone or even bricks.

Therefore, erecting structures using metallic materials will save you lots of money and time. The use of materials such as these is currently being used all over the world to build commercial premises. It is easier to add other amenities on to it such as windows, ceiling lights, ventilation and other architectural designs.

Metal buildings are customized to meet the demands that a modern consumer needs and the growth of business enterprises. This type of premises is mostly preferred in the commercial sectors because is affordable and can serve many functions. Apart from businesses, they are also used to serve the function of educational purposes, community work and as portable facilities.

They are popularly being used to house student unions at the university campuses, used to provide temporal offices and accommodations in construction sites or provide extra space for specific public functions. Meanwhile, the construction of such structures would still require extensive structural work which includes wiring, duct work and plumbing as the core foundation which has to be followed with other functional designs including interior and exterior designs.

One of the most commonly designed type of metal building is the clear span normally referred to as the interior space of any construction structure. The roof of this kind of structure is sustained through the borders of framework used and the walls of the structural elements.

The main reason behind the increase of metal structures for commercial use is because of the rise in cost of construction. They are considered to be less expensive and can be customized for any use compared to the more traditional structures that uses stones, bricks or wood. Above all, they are quite safer and not susceptible to fire.

Adorn Your Home With the Best Art in Stone

What is that makes a house grand? What is it that makes the house look classy and a class apart – all at the same time? It is natural stone. It is not hard to see that why man is so fond of stone – history has it that the early man lived in caves and perhaps it is from there when the stone fetish started. Of course, wood and bricks were the dominant building blocks of a home until steel came along. However, in these days due to restrictions in stone mining and using them for building homes is not what one would call a good economic sense. The reasons are not hard to guess. It is way pricey, it is heavier to move, construction is way slower and they are a bit too ‘heavy’ on the looks. However, with little use of combination of natural stones, one can make their home look a class apart.

Marble and Granite Touch to Your Dream Home

They are used almost in every flooring and construction of countertops. The reason is that the marble makes a rock-solid flooring at the same time giving it the elegant glaze with durability that nothing else can match. With granite, it is more used in table tops and kitchen countertops and liberally used even in bathroom designing.

The glaze and shine that these two ancient stones can give is simply unparalleled. A shine that does not look too awkward for your eyes and is high on aesthetic appeal! Kitchen is one place where the stones are used quite liberally. The reason is that granite is always classy and is easy to clean too. Moreover, it is not reactive and heat-resistant quite a bit. With a polished granite slab, you need not worry about oil/liquid spills or even with some powdery material. The pores are virtually non-existent in a polished granite top; remember the mirror like shine on the table top? When it comes to kitchen cabinets, hardwood is the best deal. It is light as well as it is strong enough to bear the kitchen beating that it may be subjected to. Laminated hardwood cabinets look classy and can resist dust and grime that may eventually settle on them.

Throughout the home, marble flooring are a must have if you want to bring ‘that’ elegant look throughout your home. Strangely it is marble flooring that best complements your walls and the artistic lampshades that you chose over others. Even with ultramodern designs, marble flooring looks the best. Marble flooring tiles are the in thing today mainly because they are easy to fabricate and easier to transport and lay on the floor. They can be cut to desired shapes and sizes as per requirement.

As one popular saying goes in the construction department – dreams are made of marble and granite in the home building industry. It is not hard to see the reason as why they are so popular.

Interior Decorating Ideas – New Trends in Flooring

Actually, the trends in flooring have been pretty consistent over the years. Homeowners seem to like hard surfaces like wood and tile but the softer options like carpeting are also still very popular and gaining in popularity. Each approach has plusses and minuses, read on to learn more. Today we are focusing primarily on the harder options like wood.

If you think of your room as a six-sided cube, the floor will automatically become a part of the decorative scheme, serving as the anchor for everything which goes above it. Most (but by no means all) rooms have two floor coverings, one hard and one soft. The choice of a particular type of flooring is determined by how you plan on using the room. Hard floor coverings are divided into two groups: rigid and resilient.

Hard Surface Flooring Options

Hallways, living rooms, dining rooms, kitchens, bedrooms, and bathrooms all call for particular types of floor coverings. In fact, every room in your house has a hard surface flooring, which is either rigid or resilient, depending on the amount of wear and tear to which the room will be subjected.

Rigid flooring includes both soft and hard wood, marble, stone, brick, terrazzo, and mosaic and ceramic tile. Resilient flooring, which affords a certain amount of springiness, includes vinyl tile, rubber tile, cork tile, and linoleum. Here are just a few of the options available to you:

Brick – Brick can be used with great success in country kitchens, dining rooms, and living rooms. Brick is also excellent for the floor of a hall, vestibule, sun porch, lanai, or patio, as well as for garden paths.

Terrazzo – Terrazzo (poured concrete made with chips of marble) was developed by the Romans and used extensively by them in private and public buildings. It is practical for halls and bathrooms and for other areas which get a great deal of wear. Although not used today as often as it was 20 years ago, it is relatively inexpensive and very durable.

Mosaic and ceramic tile – Floors with mosaic tile use designs created with colored chips of stone, glass, or marble. In Roman times, mosaic-tiled floors also served as heating devices. Underneath the floor, there was a network of small canals through which, in winter, hot water was sluiced to keep the occupants of the house warm. However, you probably don’t have a canal under your home…lol

In recent years, there has been a renaissance in the use of ceramic tile due to new colors and patterns. Used formerly only in bathrooms and kitchens, tile is now finding its way into the rest of the

Hardwood floors – Nothing is more attractive than a large expanse of well-polished hardwood flooring, whether oak, maple, birch, beech, or pecan. The best approach for using hardwood floors is to stain them dark brown or brown-black. Dark floors are an ideal base for a colored carpet or an Oriental rug.

Softwood floors – Softwood floors of pine or other wood are usually found in older homes. Such floors are worth preserving, as they are not easily come by today. Keep them well polished.

The type of flooring you choose is going to stay with you for 10-20 years. Before you buy, or make a decision, make sure you do your research, weigh the pros and cons. And make a choice that you will still be happy with years from now.

Landscaping Materials – Plants, Lumber and Stone

There are many different types of landscaping materials available to anyone and you do not have to be a landscaping professional. Do-it-yourself landscaping has become popular and materials that were once available only to contractors and landscapers are now available to the general public. There are now many more stores that supply exotic landscaping materials then there once was. If you have an area to landscape and can lift, dig and use a shovel then you can create an attractive design using plants and other landscaping material.

Walls and pathways can be very pleasing and can be fully integrated into your design. These features are usually made using stone landscaping material. Materials needed for paving, retaining walls and dry setting are much more extensive than just using brick. Design stones, textured patio paving and artic granite can be combined to form many different patterns. You can access information on planning and stone laying online and you will soon discover that these types of projects are easier then you first thought.

When you use landscaping materials that create a lovely outdoor area you will be spending more time outdoors than before. Decks that were originally wood are now being ripped up and replaced with stones, creating a relaxing outdoor patio.

Patio Deck Materials

Other landscaping materials have progressed much further for boards and lumber than the old green-treated wood. There are other options available if you cannot afford to replace your old lumber with the newer wood materials. Boards can now be found made of recycled materials that look better than natural lumber and these recycled boards will last much longer than regular wood.

Plastic boarding can be found in a wide range of colors that can be nicely accessorized with greenery and other outdoor plants. There are also many natural stains available if you decide to use natural wood for your patio deck. When using a grain on wood it is important to apply a waterproof coating, as this will provide long-term protection for you patio deck.

Stone materials can also be used on patio decks and should not be limited to only paths and walls. Stones can be used as stand-alone attractions, such as a large rock surrounded by shrubs and plants. You can also use stone for a variety of seating ideas. Stone landscaping material are popular choices to bring life to a dull yard. Besides using stone your design should also include trees, flowers, shrubs and plants to create an attractive outdoor area.

No matter what landscaping material you decide to use you should always make sure that your design blends in with the surroundings. It is important to enhance your home with landscaping and create a comfortable area where you can relax. You can enhance interesting features and create shady lounging points. You do not want your yard to be too busy so remember to keep things simply and create a lush look with greenery and potted plants.