Join the Thousands Using
Belgard Style File

A few months ago, we launched the new Belgard website with a unique feature, the Belgard Style File. Since that time, over 12,000 Style Files have been created by more than 8,000 homeowners and contractors across the country.

How People are Benefiting from Belgard Style File
Style File allows you to collect, organize, and share ideas you love from the Belgard website. Web surfers can browse our image gallery, save photos for inspiration, explore styles and textures, and collaborate on projects with friends and professionals. Homeowners are using Style File to help with the planning, designing, and decision-making processes of outdoor living projects. At the same time, contractors and dealers are also using Style File to share design solution ideas and information with their customers.

stylefile_iconHow to Create Your Style File
If you haven’t already starting filing your ideas in your own Style File, simply click here to get started or click on the Style File icon (see image at right) in the upper right corner of any page on Belgard.com. Then select Sign Up and fill out a brief form (see image below). Select Get Started on the form to start collecting your ideas.

8.26.13 - 2Once you’ve set up your Style File profile or have logged in, simply click on the Start a New File button to create a new file and begin organizing your favorite photos, products, and contractor information. 8.26.13 - 3As you browse the website, click on the plus sign on any photo to add it to one of your Style Files. At any time, you can print one of your Style Files or share them with others via email, Pinterest, Twitter, or Facebook.

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New Year, New Yard

NewYardMost New Year resolutions tend to be about changing, growing, and investing in oneself for the better. We look inside and outside of ourselves to decide what we need to let go of, what we need to add, and what we need to improve upon to make life better for both ourselves and those around us.

“New yard” resolutions should take the same direction. It’s time to take stock of what you’d like to accomplish this year. Whether your goals are to increase your curb appeal, improve drainage, or create a new outdoor entertaining area, the process can sometimes seem overwhelming at first. Take it one step at a time.

Get inspired.

Sometimes we get so accustomed to how our yard currently looks, we have trouble imagining it any other way. It’s time to get clicking.

Set concrete goals.

When investing in your yard, you want to get the most return on that investment, both while you live in the home and once you sell it. Know why you want to make these changes. What goals are you trying to accomplish? How can you improve your environment and your lifestyle in a meaningful way? Think both long term and short term. If you have a larger overall plan that you want to phase out over time, save yourself time, money, and headaches by putting the entire plan together now.

Get expert advise.

Develop a relationship with an Authorized Belgard Contractor in your area who can help you with your long-term plan and knows what will work and won’t work with regards to your goals. For projects that will be phased out, a qualified contractor can help you pre-plan critical preliminary work that you will need to have in place for a later project down the road.

Get started.

Depending on where you live, January may not be the best time to start digging  in your yard. But, you can get started with some of the decision-making processes…choosing a contractor, working on a design, choosing pavers or retaining wall products, researching costs. Also talk to your Belgard Contractor about Belgard Preferred Payment, a same-as-cash payment program that allows you to spread payments over time on hardscapes, labor, and even additional items like furniture and appliances. Once your plan is in place, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running when the time comes.

Outdoor Living Gift Guide

When it comes to gift ideas, let’s face it, some folks are tough to shop for. If you’re looking for some unique gift ideas for the outdoor living enthusiast, we’ve compiled some of our favorites for you.

ButaneHeaterTabletop Butane Heater

Enjoy your outdoor living spaces during the colder months with this attractive portable heater that operates with removable butane cylinders. With 11,000 BTUs of warmth and a stylish bronze coating, it not only adds to the functionality of your outdoor living spaces during this time of year, it’s adds character, as well.

slide1Countertop Brick Oven

Turn any countertop into a gourmet outdoor kitchen with this powerful, yet economical, brick oven. Available in either domed or pyramid styles in either bronze or silver vein, the countertop version of Belgard’s brick oven offers the flavor of wood-fired cooking with a small footprint and is available in classic wood-burning and hybrid wood/gas models.

Smores RoastingRackS’mores Roasting Rack

No fireplace or fire pit? No problem! With this specialized roasting rack that includes marshmallow skewers and a graham cracker tray, you can make s’mores on a grill or in an oven. Ooey, gooey, melty goodness…either indoors or out.

Jalapeno Roasting RackJalapeno Pepper Roaster

For those who like to kick it up a notch, this pepper roasting rack also works with either a grill or an oven and allows you to create simple, zesty appetizers by stuffing jalapenos with various types of cheeses or other savory ingredients.

Flameless CandlesRemote Control LED Candles

Light up the night with indoor/outdoor battery-operated candles, with the added convenience of a remote controller to turn them all on and off with ease. Mix and match various sizes and styles, including antique-style lanterns, to create an eclectic look.

Recipe of the Month:
Cranberry & Sweet Potato Bread

berry-bread-ck-222580-xThis month’s recipe is a healthy and delicious quick bread that will help you get a headstart on your New Year’s resolutions. Perfect for baking in either a traditional or brick oven, this dish works well as either a breakfast item or an after-dinner treat both before and after the holidays. Wrapped in cellophane with a twine bow, it also makes an excellent homemade gift for the neighbors.

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup no-sugar-added canned mashed sweet potato
3/4 cup egg substitute
1/3 cup orange juice
1/4 cup margarine, melted
1 cup chopped cranberries
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons sliced almonds

.  .  .

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Combine sweet potato, egg substitute, orange juice, and margarine in a bowl; add to dry ingredients. Stir just until moist. Fold in cranberries.

Spoon batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray; sprinkle almonds over batter. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Let cool completely on wire rack.

Image and recipe courtesy of cooking light. photo by howard l. puckett.

 

Product Spotlight: Belgard Elements Fireplace Collection

preassembledAn outdoor fireplace makes a stunning focal point and favorite gathering spot for any outdoor living room, however building a custom outdoor fireplace can be a time-consuming and disruptive project.

Installation3The Belgard Elements collection of outdoor fireplaces have simplified the process by moving the majority of the construction to a factory setting. Belgard factory-built fireplaces are shipped in sections and quickly installed with a bobcat in a matter of hours, as compared to the days or weeks it would take to build one from scratch on site. This efficient construction process not only greatly reduces the installation time, but reduces overall costs, as well. Each fireplace is available in wood-burning, natural gas, or liquid propane configurations, and each line in the Belgard Elements collection also includes coordinating pieces that can be used to create a cohesive outdoor living design, like outdoor kitchen units, wood boxes, and water features.

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Belgard Elements Bristol FireplaceBristol Fireplace

The Bristol Series is constructed with tumbled Weston® Stone walls with architectural accents of Arbel® and Urbana® Stone pavers. The rustic look of the Bristol line blends well in any landscape. Coordinating pieces include an arched hearth, wood boxes, brick oven, grill island, water features, and more.

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Belgard Hardscapes 2009 PhotographyBrighton Fireplace

For those who like the look of Bristol, but are looking for a more economical alternative, the Brighton Series is also constructed of Weston Stone, but offers simpler accents and features a smaller, built-in hearth. The Bristol fireplace is available with or without the chimney top and offers optional matching wood boxes.

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Belgard 2012 ~ Northfield BlockBordeaux Fireplace

The latest addition to the Elements line, the Bordeaux Series marries sleek contemporary styling with rustic charm by combining the stacked-stone appearance of Lamina® Stone with the limestone accents of Cordova Stone™.  Coordinating pieces include a grill island, wood boxes, and a brick oven.

For more information on Belgard Elements Fireplaces, click here to find a contractor or dealer near you.

Preventing Deicing Downfalls

OutdoorFireplaceThe recent blast of arctic air sent temperatures plummeting across the country, setting the stage for what has been predicted to be a colder than average winter with higher than average snowfalls. Many of you in high snowfall areas have probably already started stocking up on deicing agents for your walkways and driveways, which can sometimes have a corrosive effect and diminish the beauty of paved surfaces.

By choosing Belgard Hardscapes for your paver driveway, walkway or patio, you’ve already taken the first step to increasing resistance to the long-term corrosive effects of deicing materials. Belgard pavers are manufactured to be more resistant to salt absorption than asphalt and solid concrete, as well as more resistant to cracking caused by shifting temperatures.

746To ensure long-term resistance to the downfalls of deicing, regularly maintain pavers with sealers for additional protection and follow these tips:

  • Mix salts with sand prior to application
  • Don’t over-salt
  • Use salt for melting ice only, not snow removal
  • Once loose, remove ice to avoid salt buildup
  • Wash residue from pavers in the spring

For more information on caring for pavers in cold climates, click here.