Introducing Belgard Design Studio

Landscape designers and contractors looking to increase their closure rate and boost profit margins have a new sales tool available at the click of a mouse.  The new Belgard Design Studio has completed testing of the pilot program, and the online studio is now available for open participation. Contractors who participated in the pilot program achieved an average closure rate of 85%, and jobs closed utilizing the Belgard Design Studio boasted higher margins and fewer complications than other projects. Bring your designs to life and help clients visualize how the Belgard and Harmony Elements product lines can transform their backyards.

4 Levels of Service Available:

  • FREE: Download each of 12 free backyard design plans from our online design library. Each design includes 3-D animated fly-throughs, 2-D photorealistic screen shots from various views, project dimensions, and materials lists.
  • BASIC SERVICE: Already have a design in mind? Send us your 2-D drawings, and we’ll convert the image to 3-D renderings. Cost: Starting at $99.
  • DELUXE SERVICE: Basic service plus 3 photorealistic screen shots, project dimensions, and materials list. Cost: Starting at $199.
  • PREMIER SERVICE: Deluxe service plus fly-through animation and a jump drive. Cost: Starting at $299.

“The purpose of this program is to help contractors save time and sell more by allowing clients to get a real vision of how they will live in the space,” says Belgard V.P. of Marketing, Ken O’Neill. “Two-dimensional drawings really only show specs, they are flat and lifeless. 3-D renderings and animation allow the homeowner to visually walk through the space and account for traffic flow, outdoor furnishings, landscaping, lighting, colors, and a host of other factors. They can also get a better idea of how to phase out their dream scenario, which creates a long-term relationship between the contractor and the homeowner, ensuring not only a higher probability of closing this sale, but also future sales down the road.”

Participants in the pilot program agree. “Belgard’s 3-D renderings really got the client’s attention,” says Derek Harwood of Lee’s Landscaping & Design of Minneapolis, MN. “Access to the Design Studio gives me a competitive edge over others bidding for the job. And, I can pick and choose the projects that I know will benefit from a 3-D rendering.”

Additional designs are currently in development for the free online design library. Basic, Deluxe, and Premier services are 3-D conversion services for your existing 2-D designs. Custom design services are not available at this time. Turn-around time on 3-D conversion services varies depending on the scope of the project.

For additional information, please visit www.belgard.com/designstudio.

Belgard Joins Holmes Magazine 2010 Tour

The Holmes Magazine, the Magazine to Make It Right, 2010 Tour featuring Mike Holmes, host of Holmes On Homes® on HGTV, takes off this week and Belgard Hardscapes will be there every mile of the way.

The 2010 tour kicks off in Nashville on Nov. 18, then heads south to Atlanta (11/19) before bussing up the east coast to Charlotte (11/20), Richmond (11/21) and New York City (11/22). A pre-Thanksgiving stop in Pittsburgh (11/24) precedes its final stop in Chicago for a Black Friday event on Nov. 26.

Holmes is best known as host of Holmes on Homes® on HGTV where he helps rescue homeowners from repair and renovation disasters. The Holmes Magazine Tour is the promotional launch of the new consumer magazine being offered in the US.

Mike Holmes will be present at each tour location to sign autographs and meet fans, while Belgard representatives will be in attendance to interact with event goers and handout giveaways.

“This is a great opportunity to interact in a fun way with our customers and to make more homeowners aware of the benefits of adding an outdoor living space to their home,” says Ken O’Neill, vice-president of marketing for Belgard.

While Holmes primarily concentrates on home repairs, Belgard sees the tour as an opportunity to connect with homeowners who may also be interested in adding value and enjoyment through a new or renovated outdoor living space. And as the country’s premier outdoor hardscapes provider, Belgard is ready to assist homeowners however they may need it.

Catch daily updates and follow The Holmes Magazine 2010 Tour online through the Outdoor Living by Belgard Facebook page. For additional information on the tour, visit www.belgard.com.

Greenbuild 2010

Join Belgard® Hardscapes and Oldcastle® Architectural at the U.S. Green Building Council® 2010 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo. This three-day event is the largest gathering of representatives from all sectors of the green building movement and will take place November 17-19 at McCormick Place West in Chicago, Illinois. This showcase of the latest in green building innovation will feature over 100 education sessions and workshops, over 1800 exhibit booths, and an array of inspiring speakers—including a keynote address from retired four-star general, Gen. Colin Powell, USA (Ret.).

Oldcastle® Architectural Booth #167
Oldcastle® is committed to the green building movement and provides a wide range of green building products for both residential and commercial use. Our booth will feature the following green product lines:

Belgard® Hardscapes Environmental Collection: Subterra & Aqua-Roc
These permeable pavers can be used in both residential and commercial applications to vastly improve drainage or as part of a self-contained irrigation system.

Trenwyth® Architectural Masonry: Verastone® & PRAIRIE Stone
Leaders in the commercial construction industry, Trenwyth’s green products provide numerous opportunities for obtaining LEED® credits and certification.

Suretouch® Masonry System
This groundbreaking patented cladding system offers the beauty of natural stone or brick with quicker installation than traditional masonry, all while improving the look, value, durability and energy efficiency of any home or commercial property.

Quik-Brik Structural Veneer
Increase energy efficiency and decrease commercial construction time and costs with the look of brick and the strength and efficiency of concrete.

Oldcastle® Green Block
Produced by Chicago’s own Northfield-Bend, this commercial block is produced with 20% post-consumer recycled glass aggregate, the equivalent of eight glass bottles per block.

Special guest, Mark Wilhelm of Green Ideas will be presenting Green Options in the Oldcastle Architectural booth #167 at 11am on Wednesday and at 10am and 2pm on Thursday.

For more information on the expo visit www.greenbuildexpo.org

Sunset Magazine’s Quick Cheese Fondue

Photo courtesy of Sunset Publishing Corp., by Thomas J. Story

Heat oven to 500°.

Place a 1/2-lb piece of slightly oozy brie cheese in a 2 to 3-cup shallow baking dish and bake until melted, 4 to 5 minutes.

Grind black pepper corn on top.

Set dish on a heatproof surface and serve with toasted baguette slices, walnut bread, or sliced apples and pears.

2010 HNA | GIE+EXPO

Belgard is gearing up for the upcoming Hardscape North America (HNA) Trade Show to be held in conjunction with the Green Industry and Equipment (GIE) Expo in Louisville, KY, October 28-30 at the Kentucky Exposition Center.  The two shows will combine efforts to offer participants expanded education opportunities and workshops. Joining forces for the first time, this combination of the green industry, power equipment and permeable concrete pavers exemplifies the movement towards integration of softscapes and hardscapes in sustainable environmental designs.

As a platinum HNA sponsor, Belgard Hardscapes will have a number of offerings both in the indoor and outdoor arenas.

Indoor Booth (# 1218)

·      Outdoor Living display featuring new products from the Belgard Elements collection by Harmony Outdoor Living, Inc

·       2011 Belgard University overview and registration

Outdoor Booth (# 7368D)

·       Belgard Mobile Showroom

·       Chicago Brick Ovens from the Bristol collection, a Nottingham outdoor fire pit and a Brighton outdoor fireplace.

·       Pizza cooking demos Thursday and Friday from 10a-5p

Stop by our booths to chat with industry professionals about creating inspiring outdoor living spaces with Belgard pavers. We hope to see you at the show!

SRW Training – Houston, TX

Please join us for a Segmental Retaining Wall training course!

Topics the training will cover include:

  • Introduction to SRW components
  • Soils information
  • Design concepts
  • Construction and inspection
November 2, 2010
9:00am – 12:00pm
Gander Mountain
19820 Hempstead Road
Houston, TX 77065
(SE corner of Hwy 6 and 290)

To register, please contact Joyce Cammack at 800-792-3216

In today’s economy, staying ahead of the learning curve is absolutely essential to growing your business. Belgard has introduced Belgard University to offer trade professionals a unique opportunity to expand their hardscapes knowledge. Both new and existing Belgard customers can benefit from the basic and advanced levels of classroom and hands-on industry training provided at Belgard University. Our focused classes supply the resources needed to help grow your business.