Contractor’s Corner: Belgard University

Contractors play a pivotal role in helping homeowners bring their outdoor living visions to life. Each month, we’ll offer a Contractor’s Corner post to share tips to help our contractor partners offer even more to homeowners and their landscapes.

Staying ahead of the learning curve is essential to growing your business and Belgard University offers contractors an opportunity to expand their hardscape knowledge with both classroom and hands-on industry training.

2.18.13
Benefits include:
• Learn about innovative new products
• Earn industry certification
• Network with other industry professionals
• Participate in hands-on demonstrations
• Get insider tips on installation and industry trends
• Learn about business and marketing programs to help you succeed

New this year, a number of Belgard University events will feature Design Workshops hosted by industry leading expert and television personality Haig Seferian. Presentation topics include Design Principles and Elements, Form Composition, “Do’s and Don’ts,” and the “Golden Rules of Landscape Design.” Gain a thorough understanding of the design process and put those skills to work by creating individual designs while working directly with Haig and Belgard reps.

Registration is open for Belgard University events across the country:

Belgard University – Phoenix, AZ
Date: February 19, 2013
Venue: The Waterfront
5350 South Lakeshore Drive
Tempe, AZ 85283

Belgard University – Las Vegas, NV
Date: February 21, 2013
Venue: University of Nevada Cooperative Extension
8050 Paradise Road, Suite 105
Las Vegas, NV 89123

Belgard University – Southern California
Date: February 26, 2013
Venue: Sierra an Oldcastle Company
10714 Poplar Avenue
Fontana, CA 92337

Belgard University – Northern California
Date: February 28, 2013
Venue: Sierra an Oldcastle Company
4202 Gibraltar CT
Stockton, CA 95206

Belgard University – Overland Park, KS
Date: March 5, 2013
Venue: The Ritz Charles
9000 West 137th Street
Overland Park, KS 66221

Belgard University – Cleveland, OH
Date: March 14, 2013
Venue: Cuyahoga Community College
TBD
Cleveland, OH 44115

Belgard University – Addison, IL
Date: March 21, 2013
Venue: Medinah Banquets
550 N. Shriners Drive
Addison, IL 60101

Belgard University – Chaska, MN
Date: March 26, 2013
Venue: Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
3675 Arboretum Drive
Chaska, MN 55318

Belgard University – Menomonee Falls, WI
Date: March 28, 2013
Venue: Wacker Nueson
N92 W15000 Anthony Avenue
Menomonee Falls, WI 53051

Visit BelgardUniversity.com for more information.

Contractor’s Corner: New Products for 2013

Contractors play a pivotal role in helping homeowners bring their outdoor living visions to life. Each month, we’ll offer a Contractor’s Corner post to share tips to help our contractor partners offer even more to homeowners and their landscapes.

A new year brings new beginnings, new inspirations and new Belgard products, of course! We are excited to introduce new product offerings including Lafitt™ Grana Slab, Wellington Wall™ and Mega-Tandem™ Wall.

Lafitt™ Grana Slab
1.21.13 - 1
Lafitt Grana Slab pairs sleek, contemporary style with modern durability and design innovation. This three piece modular slab features large scale units and a smooth finish, providing increased area coverage with fewer pieces and giving every outdoor space a grand appearance.

Lafitt Grana Slab, which was used in the 2012 House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year, is regionally available with plans to expand nationwide soon.

Wellington Wall™
1.21.13 - 2
Wellington Wall system provides the rough-hewn appearance of hand-laid stone that will complement any hardscapes project. The versatile, multi-piece Wellington Wall system can be used to create attractive, curved or straight retaining and freestanding landscape walls and is great for use in a wide range of residential projects.

Wellington Wall can be used for either retaining or freestanding wall applications and requires no pattern for a random look. Wellington Wall is currently available in the Midwest.

Mega-Tandem™ Wall
1.21.13 - 3
Belgard is launching the newest innovation in segmental retaining wall design with Mega-Tandem Wall. Mega-Tandem can be used for residential or commercial applications. Walls may be built up to 10-feet high without reinforcement and 25-feet high with reinforcement.

The face of Mega-Tandem has a texture reminiscent of natural stone. The front veneer panels are attached by connecting members to a back panel and the wall system is filled with net aggregates for structural integrity. Design versatility allows for radiuses and right angle corners with 2.5 degree setback. Mega-Tandem will be released in late spring of 2013.

Enter to Win a Chicago Brick Oven!

1.2.13

We’re celebrating Notre Dame’s contention for the BCS Championship with Coach Lou Holtz by giving our Facebook fans a chance to enter to win a Chicago Brick Oven.

Visit the Belgard Facebook page and watch Coach Lou’s video, then follow the link to submit your guess for how many pavers are in Coach’s driveway. You’re allowed to vote once a day, so be sure to submit your guess each day until January 7.

Grand prize: Chicago Brick Oven and a Belgard Outdoor Cooking Starter Kit
First runner-up: Lou Holtz-autographed Notre Dame Fighting Irish t-shirt and a Belgard Outdoor Cooking Starter Kit.
Second runner-up: A Belgard Outdoor Cooking Starter Kit.

One lucky fan who “shares” the contest video on their personal Facebook page will be randomly selected to win a Notre Dame grill set courtesy of Belgard.

Each day we’ll be sharing a new hint on our Facebook page to help you get closer to the answer. We’ll keep a running list of the daily hints right here on the blog so you can catch up with the action.

Good luck!

Daily Hints
Daily Hint #1: It’s more than the number of NCAA members.
Daily Hint #2: Coach Lou’s driveway features 4X8 Holland Stone pavers.
Daily Hint #3: One Notre Dame fan is inspired by Coach Lou and gets ready for the big game. Luckily, he’ll have less pavers to paint than Lou. (see photo on Facebook page)
Daily Hint #4: It’s more than the year Notre Dame was founded.
Daily Hint #5: It’s more than the year the Irish won their first championship.
Daily Hint #6: It’s less than the number of fans on the Notre Dame Football Facebook page.
Daily Hint #7: The parking area in Coach’s driveway is less than 3,000 square feet.
Daily Hint #8: It’s more than the number of miles round trip between Notre Dame and Miami.
Daily Hint #9: It’s less than Notre Dame’s alumni.
Daily Hint #10: It’s less than the highest attendance for a National Championship Game.
Daily Hint #11: It’s more than square feet of the Notre Dame locker room.
Daily Hint #12: It’s more than the number of Belgard Facebook fans.
Daily Hint #13: It’s less than the seating capacity of Notre Dame Stadium.
Daily Hint #14: It’s more than the addition of seats to Notre Dame Stadium in 1997.
Final Hint: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCLJYcfu_q8

Contractor’s Corner: Hardscape North America Preview

Contractors play a pivotal role in helping homeowners bring their outdoor living visions to life. Each month, we’ll offer a Contractor’s Corner post to share tips to help our contractor partners offer even more to homeowners and their landscapes.

This month, we’re gearing up for the 2012 Hardscape North America (HNA) show October 24 through 26 in Louisville, Ky. Here’s a preview of what you can expect from Belgard at this year’s show:

Race for the Outdoor Space
Three Belgard Hardscapes candidates, representing Walls, Pavers, and Permeable Pavers will square off at the HNA show in hopes of winning your vote for the President of Hardscapes.

Here’s an introduction from each of the three candidates vying for your vote:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbCLAJqKkNs&w=560&h=315]

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbXy91SsatA&w=560&h=315]

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnoIfLEaUs4&w=560&h=315]

Not going to this year’s HNA show? Not to worry, you can cast your absentee ballot online at our Facebook page. To learn more about the Race for the Outdoor Space election, read the FAQs, click here.

Enter for a Chance to Win a Harley-Davidson Motorcycle
When you register to vote in the Race for the Outdoor Space election at Belgard’s outdoor booth (#7452D), you will be entered for a chance to ride home in style on a brand new Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

To register, you will be taken through a brief product validation showcasing the latest and greatest from all three parties—Pavers, Permeable Pavers and Walls—where you will be stamped by each party as a registered voter while you enjoy fresh cooked pizza. You must have a stamp from each of the three parties to turn in your registration card at Belgard’s indoor booth (#1216) for a chance to win the Harley-Davidson.

The winner will be announced on Friday, October 26 at the Belgard indoor booth (#1216) at approximately 3 p.m.

New Product Introductions
This year’s HNA attendees will get a first look at some of our newest products, including Medina Slab. Medina Slab pairs sleek, contemporary style with modern durability and design innovation. This four piece modular slab features large scale units and a smooth finish, providing increased area coverage with fewer pieces and giving every outdoor space a grand appearance.

Introduced this year, Medina Slab was used in the 2012 House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year and we plan to expand production in 2013.

Finding Inspiration through Social Media

Home décor inspiration can come from anywhere – art, magazines, museums, and even social media. If you’ve never considered using social media as a research tool for finding home décor ideas, here are some tips for Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter:

Facebook
Facebook is a great hub for sharing photos, links, design tips and videos all in one place. By “liking” pages on Facebook, their latest posts appear in your news feed delivering the latest and greatest in outdoor living and home décor to your digital doorstep. If you visit Belgard on Facebook, you can see new styles in hardscapes, find events near you, beautiful backyard and patio photos, and much more.

Coastal Living, House Beautiful and Domino are a few examples of Facebook pages that inspire and delight.

Pinterest
One of our favorite new social networks is Pinterest – a very visual site with a strong lean towards home décor. On Pinterest, the pictures do all the talking. And that’s why our Pinterest page is full of inspiration boards to help you plan the outdoor lifestyle of your dreams – from patios, pool decks, fire pits and fireplaces, and even recipes for outdoor cooking. For example, you can follow Belgard on Pinterest and repin the photos that speak to you. New to Pinterest? Simply hover over the picture you like, click ‘Repin’ and put it on one of your boards or create a new board. It’s easy and free to set up an account, and it becomes a virtual organizer for all your design inspiration.

Some other Pinterest pages that we think are excellent resources for outdoor living and home décor inspiration are: Sunset Magazine, One Kings Lane and Whole Foods, which has lots of yummy recipes for outdoor cooking.

Twitter
Twitter is a dynamic place for conversations and the latest, most up-to-date information. It is a fast-paced environment in which dialogue and sharing of ideas is encouraged. With a 140 character limit, tweets must be short and to the point, containing only the most important information. Conversation is key on Twitter so it’s a great place to get home décor tips and advice and ask questions of those you follow.

Follow Belgard on Twitter to learn more about outdoor living trends, and check out these Twitter accounts to stay up-to-date on trends and outdoor design tips: This Old House, Lonny and Freshome.

Inspiration in the Face of Challenge

Aimee Copeland became a household name this past spring when a fall from a zip-line resulted in a necrotizing fasciitis infection that caused the 24 year old to lose both hands, one leg and one foot to amputation. But Aimee also quickly became a hero – to her family and friends who saw her fight to survive this deadly disease, to her doctors who saw her defy the odds in recovery and rehabilitation, and this week to us when she let us work with Pulte Homes and other community businesses to transform her home and yard to a place that will offer her healing in body and spirit when she’s discharged from the hospital next week.

An amazing collaboration of businesses, community and friends renovated Aimee’s family’s home in Georgia – you can read the full story in this article from the Atlanta Journal Constitution – to make it more accessible and navigable for her in her wheelchair and with prosthetics. Phoenix Landscape and Belgard’s Georgia Masonry Supply did the same for the outdoors, which now includes a donated Harmony Elements fireplace – the modular unit was pre-built and could be installed within hours instead of weeks to keep the project on track for completion – and planters whose Weston Stone® creates a beautiful structure that can serve as a flower or vegetable garden.


So why is she our hero? Because we always appreciate the opportunity to give back to our community, and this story in our Georgia backyard is especially compelling. But also for this: when Phoenix Landscape showed the family his designs with planters that would be low enough for Aimee to reach into from her wheelchair, Aimee asked that the planters instead be built to standard height so that she could lift herself from wheelchair to the wall seating to be more in the midst of her outdoor oasis.


Aimee Copeland’s determination throughout this trying ordeal is humbling, and her hopes for the future are inspiring.

We are incredibly proud to have been part of this event, and we thank Pulte Homes and Phoenix Landscape for inviting Belgard and GMS to be part of the Aimee’s Wings team.

*Get every new post delivered to your Inbox! Click on the “+Follow” button in the bottom right corner of your screen and enter your email address to get notifications each time we have a new blog post.*