Make Your Outdoor Decor Stand Out

Make Your Outdoor Decor Stand OutIt’s time to enjoy the sunshine, the water, and the great outdoors! Is your backyard ready for summer? When it comes to summertime decor, make the most out of your backyard area by creating a space that’s both inviting and lively. After all, you’ll be stuck indoors once the cold winds start to blow again, so enjoy this lazy summer time while you have it! If you aren’t sure how to tie your outdoor decor together, take a look at some of these top tips.

  • Choose a color scheme and stick with it. An all-white outdoor space can look great if you think that you can keep it all very clean (just choose fabrics that can withstand weather and are simple to wash). If you go this route, make sure that everything from couch and chair cushions to umbrellas are the same shade of white. Not into white? Why not try something super tropical? Vibrant colors like orange, blue, yellow, and red are always inviting when there’s intense summer heat, and there’s no time like the summertime to experiment with these colors.
  • Think about patterns: stripes, chevron, and other patterns can be a lot of fun and bring a lot of life to an outdoor space. If you don’t have a lot of patterns inside of your home, why not try this fun idea outside? You can even mix and match patterns if you keep with the same basic motif (chevron and stripes, for example).
  • Stop thinking of your outdoor space as extra space, and start thinking of it as an extension of your home. If you treat an outdoor area like a room with no walls, you can start to imagine certain areas of that space – like a living room-type area with a couch and chair, or a dining room type area with a table and an umbrella. Bringing fabrics and items like couches into the mix will help with this basic concept.
  • Build a wall. It would be nice to have a large sprawling outdoor space, right? But most of us don’t have that kind of luxury. If you live in an urban area, you can still create a good amount of privacy by building a tall wall or fence to enclose your secret outdoor area. If this barrier is large enough, your neighbors shouldn’t be able to see above or into your space, and this will make everything a lot cozier.
  • Consider some natural touches – you’re outdoors after all! Things like wood and wicker can bring a nice and natural feel to any outdoor space. You can also add items like potted plants, some hanging lamps, and even a coffee table or other item that you might reserve for indoors. All it really takes to make an outdoor space amazing is some imagination.
  • Think about adding some water features. Sometimes, a nice soothing fountain can be just the thing that you need to kick back and relax. Or, you can add a pool or other larger water feature to your home. Already have a pool? Why not add a slide or a fountain to the pool area? Water is naturally calming too, so you can really escape when you relax in your new outdoor area.

Getting Some Help With Outdoor Landscaping

A yard is only as magical as the things that surround it. So if your yard has seen better days or could benefit from something like a few new trees or some flowers to really set the space apart, call Mill Brothers in Colorado today for some landscaping help. We’d love to help you turn your outdoor area into an extension of your home!

Fall Lawn Care Tips

As the summer winds down, those hot winds will make way for cooler breezes, leaves, and the autumn sky. Fall can really be a beautiful time of year, and it’s also the perfect time to prepare your lawn for the winter. While most people don’t think of fall lawn care, taking a few extra steps to make sure that your lawn is ready for those winter snows will mean a better looking lawn come summertime. Here’s what you can do to prepare your lawn for the upcoming winter.

  • Keeping things going: a lot of homeowners stop watering the lawn, mowing, and doing all of those things that were done during the summer months. This is a mistake, since your lawn keeps growing and needs to be taken care of during the fall as well as during the summertime. So keep mowing, keep watering, and keep your lawn going until it is late into the fall. When it is time to stop working outdoors, lower your lawnmower blade settings to give your lawn a final close trim.
  • Take care of the leaves: most people hate raking leaves, and it’s understandable why this chore isn’t exactly one of the most fun things that you can do. But, getting rid of leaves will help your lawn come summertime. If you don’t want to rake all of those leaves up, you can simply use a lawnmower with a leaf collection bag. These lawnmower attachments are easy to use, and using one means that you won’t have to spend hours raking.
  • Fertilize your lawn: fall is the perfect time to fertilize your lawn. If you just fertilize once per year, do it during the fall months. Fall is the perfect time to fertilize your lawn because the grass doesn’t grow as quickly, but the roots and soil still absorb the fertilizer. So, if you are going to fertilize your lawn, choose the fall months to do so.
  • Make small repairs: if there are any spots on your lawn that need some extra attention, now is the time to do it. Fall can be seen as the time of year when you should make those small lawn care fixes that you may not have had the time to do during the summer months. Since the weather is cooler and things are easier to do right now, it’s a great time to fix all of those lawn care items that you never got to during the summertime.
  • Time to get rid of the weeds: weeds love the fall season because they drink up a lot of energy during this time, but it’s also a good time to spread that herbicide. While most people spread herbicide during the summertime, the fall is the best time of year to get rid of those weeds.
  • Aerate the soil: fall is also a good time to aerate the soil. Since most people do not think to aerate the soil during the fall months, you can rent an aerator at a lower price. This step might not be something that you think about doing often, but aerating the soil is a great way to prepare your lawn for those winter months, and for the summer months to come.

Need Help?

Fall Lawn Care TipsThere’s a lot to do when it comes to fall lawn care, and sometimes you don’t have the time to do it all. We understand that fall means other things too (like bringing the kids back to school), and that’s why we are here to help. If you need assistance with your lawn during the fall months, don’t hesitate to contact us. We will be more than happy to come out to your home to help with landscaping and to prepare your lawn for the winter months, so that next summer your lawn looks great. Call us today for more information!

Ways to Make Your Outdoor Space Luxurious

Ways to Make Your Outdoor Space LuxuriousAfter a long and cold winter, most of us want to spend as much time as possible outdoors. Sitting in a lawn chair in the sun is a great way to get some sun and relax, but you can really turn your backyard into a luxury oasis with a bit of time and some well placed investments. Are you ready to step things up a notch when it comes to your outdoor living space in Fort Collins? Great! We have some tips for you!

Do you have a porch? You can turn any porch into a fabulous getaway by adding some white wicker furniture, colorful pillows, and even a few curtains to the space. If you think of your porch as an extension of your home and decorate accordingly, you can really turn that area into something unique and special that you will love spending time in all summer long (don’t forget the lemonade!).

Create an outdoor dining space that looks like it came out of the pages of a magazine. You can use stacked stones to create a plateau surface, or hire a company like Mill Brothers to pour a concrete slab to use as a dining room surface. All you need once that’s done is a great and large outdoor table and some chairs – the beauty of an outdoor dining room is that you don’t need to buy matching chairs! Just buy chairs that look amazing.

A hidden garden or dining space. Using shrubs and other large greenery, you can create a small and secrete hideaway anywhere in your backyard. Kids will love this secret space, and it’s also a great romantic place for you to meet with your loved one and sip some cocktails on a breezy summer night.

Plant some trees. It’s true that trees take time to grow, but planting some trees now will benefit your backyard in the future. If you have cut down a lot of trees or just want some more privacy, choose tall and lush trees that will fill in your yard easily (and hide your yard from the neighbors). If you aren’t sure what kinds of trees to plant, ask us! We would be more than happy to help you pick out some trees and to dig holes and plant those trees for you.

Fix old rock walls or add new ones. If you live in an area where there are rock walls, you can fix these up simply by repairing crumbling stones. Rock wall repair might be a lot of work, but it’s nothing that our team can’t handle. Plus, there’s a lot of benefit to a rock wall – privacy, some quaintness added to your yard, and a rustic look that goes hand in hand with almost any outdoor decor.

What about an amazing outdoor grill space? You might have a barbeque now, but a massive outdoor grill will really heat things up! You can buy a grill that includes burners, a grill, and even a rotisserie station. Plus, we can create a brick patio or other area that shows off your outdoor kitchen and makes that new grill pop.

If you have a pool area, do you have bricks or stones that surround your pool? If not, this might be something for you to seriously consider. This way, your pool will stand out with the help of the stones and bricks, and you will get that completed backyard look.

Let Us Help You!

A lot of backyard work can be back breaking, but there’s why we are here! Call us today for a free estimate, and we will come out to your home and look around. There’s a lot that you can do with your backyard, and we can’t wait to help you!

Best Way to Treat Your Decks

A deck is a great addition to any home. Many days can be spent outside sitting on a deck, and relaxing during warmer weather. Like anything else, it’s important to take care of your decks in order to ensure that they last a long time. If you want to make sure that your decks look great all the time, here are some of the things that you can do.

  • First, clean your deck. Decks get dirty during high traffic months, and it’s hard to clean a deck that has been inlaid with dirt and debris. So the first step in making sure that your decks last a long time is to clean your decks thoroughly with a special deck cleaner. Once your decks have been cleaned completely, you can then begin to repair any damage.
  • Using a water-repellent finish is a good idea, since this type of finish will protect your deck from future scrapes for at least one more year.

Doing It Yourself

Should you treat your deck yourself or hire a professional to do it? This is the question that you will have to ask yourself before you proceed with any deck repair. How can you decide whether or not to hire professionals? Here are some considerations.

Time:

The biggest consideration when it comes to deck treatment is whether or not you have the time to complete a treatment. It will take one to two days to properly wash a deck with a pressure washer, and then another two to three days to let the deck dry completely. Even if a deck looks like it is dry after one day, it’s important to let it dry for those two days. Water can seep into wood and it won’t necessarily dry quickly enough to apply the sealant.

Cost:

The cost of renting a pressure washer and paying for the materials can vary, but you can expect to spend a few hundred dollars on treating your deck properly.

Running Around:

In order to rent a pressure washer and apply sealant, you will have to run around town to do so. This means putting a washer into your truck or car, buying the right sealant, and getting everything to your home in order to complete the task properly.

So, really, the question is whether or not you have the time to properly wash and seal your deck, and whether or not you want to do the legwork. If you don’t have the time, you can hire a professional to take care of your decks for you. If you do decide to hire a professional, make sure that you ask for references, and that you hire someone that has experience working with decks.

Best Way to Treat Your DecksSome landscapers aren’t well-versed in working with decks, so you’ll want to find someone that has done this kind of work before. Ask around, look for reviews, and make sure that you hire a professional that has experience working with decks – otherwise, you may be better off doing it yourself! At Mill Brothers Landscaping in Fort Collins, we have experience working with decks. Not only can we clean and treat your decks, but we can also repair any decks that have seen better days. If you happen to need a deck, we can do that for you too – and we will treat it right away, so that it last for the summer season.

Decks have to be upkept every year in order to stay in top shape. From sand and the scraping of chair against a deck during the summertime to general wear and tear, your decks need treatment.

Simple Lawn Care Tips

Most people would like to have a picture perfect lawn, but it’s hard to know where to start. How do you make your grass green? What about landscaping? Where do you begin with that? If you are just starting to pay attention to your lawn, or have a new lawn to play with, now’s the season to begin making that lawn perfect! Take a look at our top simple lawn care tips. Simple Lawn Care Tips

  • Learn about the soil that you have. There’s a reason why some parts of the world produce excellent produce and other parts of the world are known for excellent wine – it all has to do with the type of soil available. Your soil might not be the same as your neighbors, and soil can even fluctuate according to where it is on your property. Testing your soil is as simple as getting a small test kit from your local hardware store and following the instructions. Once you learn what kind of soil you have, you will be able to better determine how to to treat it.
  • Sod or hand seed. If you have the money to spend, you can place sod on your lawn all around, which will kickstart your lawn and create a greener space. But, sod can be expensive if you have a lot of area to cover. If you don’t want to spend money on sod, the other option is to hand-seed your space. Ask at your local hardware store about hydroseeding, which is a technique that’s quite popular with industrial farmers.
  • Learn when to cut your lawn. It’s not necessary to cut your lawn every week. In fact, cutting your lawn too short will not promote a green and lush lawn. Instead of cutting the law as short as possible, place the mower on the highest setting, so that the lawn is not cut too short, which can cause burning and other problems. Let your lawn grow slightly tall, and then cut the grass using only the highest setting.
  • Fertilize your lawn in spring and fall. Using a fertilizer that is rich in iron, copper, and sulfur is the best way to go. Most people skip the fertilizer step, but a lawn needs nutrients just like people and flowers do. Before you cut or water or add anything to your lawn, spread some fertilizer over the area, and let it seep into your lawn before doing anything else.
  • Water your lawn once per week, and make sure that you are watering the roots of your grass deep enough. This means analyzing your soil to determine what kind of soil that you have, and then watering according to soil type. The trick is to water deep into the roots, so that your entire lawn gets an adequate amount of water.
  • Let your lawn breathe. A lot of people make the mistake of putting tents and other pieces of furniture on a lawn all summer long. Once you remove those items, the grass underneath the lawn will become coarse and dry. You can repair this grass, but it will take extra effort. Let your lawn breathe once in a while by moving furniture around and not leaving an item like a tent on your lawn for a long time.

A Lot of Work!

Lawns are a lot of work. If you don’t have the time or energy to spend on your lawn every week or weekend, consider hiring the professional landscaping crew at Mill Brothers. We are experts when it comes to lawn care, and there’s no time like the present to start prepping your perfect lawn. Call us to book a consultation appointment today!

Types of Fire Pits for Your Home

If you have been looking at fire pits, you may have noticed that there are quite a few different types of these structures. It really is possible to find any kind of fire pit from those that are standard to those that are entirely unique. To help you narrow down the selection, here are some of the most popular types of fire pits, and whether or not they will work for you.

Wood Burning Fire Pits: if you’re in search of all the comfort of a good old campground fire without camping, a wood burning fire pit is what you want. You will get the smell of wood burning, that crackling noise that wood makes when it does burn, and those amazing flames that will prompt you to break out the marshmallows. Outdoor wood burning fire pits are also a great way to add a fun element to your backyard. We love these fire pits!

Gas or Propane Fire Pits: these types of fire pits are kind of like a gas or propane grill. You will need to purchase the fuel to go along with this type of fire pit, though, so keep that in mind if you are trying to keep costs down. The other downside to a gas pit is that you won’t get that wood smell, but that’s entirely a personal preference.

Material Types

There are as many materials that create great fire pits as there are fire pit options. Here are some of the more popular choices.

Stone: stone fire pits look really great, but stone is heavy to move around. So, only choose stone if you know where you will put your fire pit, and if you don’t plan to move it around often.

Tile: we love the look of tile fire pits as much as stone, but tile is also a rather permanent material to use unless it is placed on the side of a metal fire pit.

Metals: you can choose stainless steel or copper fire pits too. Stainless fire pits are a good idea, since this material is rust and weather resistant. Copper looks amazing as well, and it’s also fairly resistant to various types of weather and temperature.

Brick: in most cases, brick fire pits are custom made. As with stone, brick is heavy to move, so it’s best to build a brick fire pit into a permanent place. Brick does look really nice though, so it’s a good option to consider if you want something that adds to the overall decor of your backyard, and you don’t mind the fact that you can’t move a built-in brick structure.

Why You Should Hire Us to Put In Your Fire Pit

Fire pit
Custom fire pit completed by Mill Brothers

Fire pits are great, and we think you should have one if you want one! But, we also want to caution you against putting in a fire pit on your own. It’s not that we don’t think you can do it, but you do have to be careful where you place the fire pit. If you put it too close to various objects or parts of your home, you could have a fire hazard. Additionally, fire pits that are custom built have to be made correctly, or you will have to patch and replace that fire pit in just a short period of time. At Mill Brothers in Fort Collins, we guarantee our work, and we promise that the fire pit we put in for you will last a very long time!
Before it gets too hot this summer, call us to put in your fire pit. We look forward to hearing from you, and to working with you!

How to Hire a Landscaper

 

How to Hire a Landscaper
Custom Landscaping Completed by Mill Brothers

If your thumb isn’t exactly green, but you would like your yard to be, hiring a landscaper might be a wise idea. Landscapers know how to work with all kinds of terrain, and you can easily have the outdoor space that you want if you hire the right people for the job. The hardest part about hiring a landscaper is actually finding one that you can both trust and that will get the job done correctly.

How do you hire the right landscaper for your yard work? Here are some helpful tips.

  • Find out what kind of state and professional license the landscaper you are thinking about hiring holds. You’ll want to make sure that licenses are valid, and that the landscapers you are about to hire are legitimate when it comes to legal paperwork.
  • Make sure that the landscapers you hire are licensed properly. Why? If you hire a contractor that works under the table with no license, you may save money in the short run. But what happens when your deck starts to crumble or the fire pit that was built starts to cave in? You will have no legal recourse if the work done does not fulfill the contract or was done poorly. This isn’t a good place to be in, and you will have to hire another contractor to fix the damage done – this will cost you more in the long run.
  • It never hurts to look up a company’s standing with the Better Business Bureau. You can also check around on reviews sites like Yelp to see how other people have rated the company that you are considering hiring. If the company gets negative marks across the board, you may want to stay away from that company completely. If the company just has a few negative remarks but mostly positive remarks, it’s worth finding out more.
  • Does the company has previous experience building what you want to have created? Let’s say that you want the landscapers you hire to build two decks onto your home, but that company has never built a deck before. How do you know if they will do a good job? It’s better to hire a company with experience, or ask a newer contractor to show you work that was previously done in school or elsewhere. This way, you can determine whether or not past work matches the work that you want to have done.
  • Look over a contract carefully. You’ll want to find out who is responsible for things like city zoning, and who has to get the right paperwork completed. Don’t assume that a contracting company does it all for you. Instead, carefully read over what the company expects of you (and what they will do), and ask questions if something doesn’t make sense to you.
  • Keep in mind that sometimes costs can change when it comes to landscaping. While a moving company (for example) might be able to give you an exact estimate up front, the cost of landscaping may fluctuate. Find out what prices may vary and by how much, and make sure that those rates make sense to you. If not, ask why the prices will vary, and how much you need to budget to make things happen. If costs seem outrageous to you, find a new company.

There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to hiring a landscaping company. Perhaps the most important thing, though, is experience followed by reputation. If the company you are working with doesn’t know how to build the things that you need or complete the work you need to have done, find another company to work with. At Mill Brothers, we have extensive experience will all kinds of landscaping contracts. Call us today to find out more!