Landscape Contractor / Design Build Maintain

AUG 2017

LC/DBM provides landscape contractors with Educational, Imaginative and Practical information about their business, their employees, their machines and their projects.

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44 LC DBM >> This home has two chimneys made of red brick that did not complement the new look of the landscape. Tearing them apart and rebuilding with new bricks would have been cost- prohibitive, so Mitch Kalamian of Solena Landscapes opted for a grout rub instead. "We took colored cement powder, grout, and water, and mixed them together without any rocks. We rubbed the exist- ing bricks with the mixture so that it would change the color," he explained. "It makes it look like it's brand new and meant to be with the house." "Not too many people know that trick, but we've been using it a lot to change themes," Kalamian said. "It's inexpensive to do and can change the whole look completely." The color isn't limited to shades of gray – Kalamian spoke of a recent project where they transformed red bricks to brown tones to create a Mediterranean vibe. A Brick of a Different Color the existing, overgrown plant material, and compacting the ground. "We keep it in house," Kalamian said. "My guys are trained and know how to do all of this stuff." He does this for two main reasons: schedul - ing and quality control. The customer only has to communicate with one person throughout the process. The Last Word In addition to the design and installation of this yard, Solena Land- scape offers high-end maintenance contracts. A crew visits this yard weekly and, in addition to the gardening service, wipes down the patio furniture, cleans up animal waste, and cleans the barbecue and rain gutters. As needed, they will replace seasonal plantings and change out night lighting. "It's important to start with a really good design, and then of course always use the highest end materials," advised Kalamian. "These hardscape elements are not foolproof and nobody's perfect," he continued. "Concrete cracks, things settle, wood splits and breaks apart and can get termite damage. So it's important that you follow the best business practices possible and the best installation practices possible so that you have the best longevity for each of these projects." Solena Landscape won an award for this project from their chapter of the California Landscape Contractors Association in 2016. LC DBM Left A wooden deck was used for this area to break up the materials and keep the overall Cape Cod inspiration for the yard. One end is capped with a bar and the other with a fire pit constructed out of concrete masonry block veneered with stone and stucco. Left, Below The Belgard 'Mega- Lafitte' pavers in this area were installed over road base and a 1-1/2" layer of sand that was compacted and screeded to make it level. Polymeric sand was swept into the joints. The barbecue island was constructed of CMU blocks that were scratch coated and stuccoed. A poured-in-place monolithic countertop was polished with a special masonry sandpaper to make it look like granite and feel like glass. It was sealed to retain the color and resist stains.

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