Contractor’s Corner: Before & After Makeover Spotlight

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 week, we’re spotlighting a breathtaking installation by Sheller Lawn & Landscape in Liberty, Missouri. Craig Sheller, owner of Sheller Lawn & Landscape gave us a behind-the-scenes look at how this beautiful patio came together.


Q. Where is this location?
A. Cameron, Missouri. The house was on 15 acres of grass with a pond that really became a backdrop to this scene.

Q. What was the homeowner looking for?
A. The homeowner wanted a conversation area with fire feature as a focal point. She didn’t want a large, spread out area, but rather an intimate space for a handful of guests. There was also a swimming pool on the property and she wanted this patio to serve as a quiet retreat away from the rest of the yard.

Q. Were there any challenges to this particular project?
A. No challenges that we couldn’t handle. This installation was in early spring so there were a few weather delays with rain and snow showers. The homeowner was on somewhat of a tight deadline, she wanted to be able to use the space for upcoming graduation and birthday parties. The Belgard® Elements fireplace was the perfect choice due to its modular nature making it an easy, fast installation.

Q. What pavers were used?
A. Mega-Arbel® makes up the majority of this patio with a square inlay of Urbana®. The rectangular design in the center echoes the design on the fireplace.

Q. What trends are catching homeowners’ interest?
A. Lately we’ve had a lot of projects with fire features. Homeowners really like the idea of a focal point with function. Fire pits are especially popular as a large group can easily gather around.

Before

During Construction

After

Contractor’s Corner: Small Projects that Make a Huge Difference

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.

The current economic climate has had a varied effect on the outdoor living construction industry. With the housing market slump, many homeowners have opted for home improvements in lieu of relocation. In addition, we’ve seen the rise of the touted “staycation,” termed for families that opt to continued vacation at home.

Despite the fact that outdoor kitchens and living rooms add more value to the home for less cost than under-beam construction, many homeowners shy away from their dream scenario for fear of overextending the budget. Learning how to properly design and phase a modular outdoor living project not only can help contractors capitalize on industry trends, but it can create long-term relationships that result in increased business over the long run.

When planning, it’s important to know where each element of the design will be placed so that you can account for pre-construction needs. Put together a plan for phasing the project that takes into account both budget requirements and the existing landscape. A typical scenario would be to install the flat surfaces first, then build up, and then embellish. For example, if a design includes a patio with an outdoor kitchen, a fireplace, and seat walls, your plan may look like this:

• Phase I: Patio
• Phase II: Kitchen
• Phase III: Fireplace
• Phase IV: Seat walls, lighting, and sound

Steering homeowners towards small projects in a phased approach leads to a huge difference in the long run, both for their backyard and your business! Click here for more information on building customers for life.

Contractor’s Corner: Design Centers Help Your Customers Bring Vision to Life

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 want to delve into design. Knowing exactly what your customer is looking for can be challenging, especially if the homeowners themselves don’t yet have a clear vision. A design center can be a source of inspiration to homeowners and help them realize their ideal outdoor living space.

What is a Design Center?

Design Centers are outdoor living idea showplaces where Belgard® products are staged to mimic real life scenes. Design Centers are a convenient resource to showcase Belgard premium pavers and wall products as well as design elements, including modular fireplaces, brick ovens and outdoor kitchens. Design Centers are the perfect place for your customers to be inspired and obtain ideas to create their own outdoor living retreat.

Directing your customers to a Belgard Design Center lets them see product in real life settings and showcases how different outdoor living elements can work together to create a beautiful, customizable space. Design centers are a place to get ideas, not product or materials.

Where are Belgard Design Centers?

Currently, there are eight Belgard Design Centers in Calif., Fla., Ga., Ind., Kan., Mass., Nev. and Tenn. To find a design center near you, visit: www.belgard.com/locator

Don’t see a design center where you live? Belgard will soon be adding more design center locations throughout the country – stay tuned!

Other Resources

The Belgard Design Studio helps you turn potential sales into actual sales by creating a 3-D virtual tour of homeowners’ dream outdoor living plans. Contractors and dealers can choose from four levels of service. The free service offers a number of existing design plans that already include 3-D animated fly-throughs, 2-D photorealistic screenshots, pro screenshots, and Belgard product materials lists. Or, submit your existing plan and have your designs converted into 3-D images with animation. Custom services start at $99 and vary depending on the project. Visit www.BelgardDesignStudio.com for more information.