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Recently constructed gas fire pit at a residential property in Loveland, CO.

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3 Best Materials for a Custom Fire Pit Installation

3 Best Materials for a Custom Fire Pit Installation

Let’s face it—we’re crazy about being outdoors. As the weather gets cooler one of our favorite ways to enjoy being outside (while staying at home) is by sitting around a beautiful fire pit and taking in the warmth of a fire. Picking the material for a custom fire pit is important both for function and aesthetics, so our crew at Alive Outside Landscaping has put together a list of the best materials for a fire pit installation.

Learn about brick, concrete pavers, and stacked stone and which might be best for your property in or around Fort Collins, Loveland, Windsor or nearby areas of northern Colorado.

Materials and construction of a custom fire pit.

Constructing a fire pit is a relatively simple process, but it takes a bit of skill to correctly design a fire pit that is safe while also looking good. The outer rim can be constructed with any number of materials (we’ll get to that in a minute), but the inside usually includes crushed stone.

Fire pits also include what is called a “cap” on top of the walls of the pit to increase stability and/or create a different aesthetic. Flagstone is one of our favorite materials for fire pit caps, and we can also use it as the base material for the center of the fire pit.

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Traditional brick

Brick fire pit construction at a home in Windsor, CO.

Brick is a traditional material for anything fire related. The material is naturally heat resistant and comes in a variety of colors and styles to suit your...

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Pavers vs. Stone vs. Brick for Your Patio or Walkway

Pavers vs. Stone vs. Brick for Your Patio or Walkway

Building a new patio or walkway comes with many choices, such as where to put them, what size or shape to make them, and what materials to use when building them. Picking the material of your patio or walkway is an incredibly important choice, which is why we at Alive Outside Landscaping put together this guide to learning about pavers, bricks, and stone.

Learn about these common materials and decide which one may be best suited for your property in Loveland, Fort Collins, Windsor, and other areas throughout northern Colorado.

Stone is the most expensive choice but will last forever with proper care.

A stone patio from above on a Fort Collins, CO property.

If you opt for stone, you will end up with a patio that is beautiful with a natural look and feel. Stone, however, is generally the more expensive option as it requires custom stonework and more labor to install. Pieces of stone do not come pre-cut and they have to be shaped on-site to create your patio and walkway. Types of natural stone you can choose are:

  • Flagstone
  • Limestone
  • Bluestone
  • Granite
  • And more!

With the proper care, a stone patio will last practically forever since it is made with such durable and long-lasting material.

Pavers offer versatile options when it comes to shapes, sizes, and patterns.

Custom paver walkway installed in front of a Windsor, CO home.

Concrete pavers are also a great choice for patios and walkways. These come in many different colors, sizes, shapes, and patterns. Pavers are designed to be interlocking so they are relatively easy to install after the proper prep ...

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Choosing the Best Materials for Your Outdoor Water Fountain

Choosing the Best Materials for Your Outdoor Water Fountain

When you start planning the installation of an outdoor water fountain for your home or business, you'll find that there is a wide variety of materials to choose from.

You must consider both synthetic and natural-looking materials and how they complement your surrounding landscape. You should also plan out if you want a primary material to dominate or if you want to incorporate a combination of several different materials. Here at Alive Outside Landscaping, we offer water fountain installation services to residential and commercial properties in Fort Collins, Windsor, and Loveland, CO.

If you want a water fountain for your property but aren't sure where to begin with the planning process, our water fountain contractors are here to help. Check out this guide on choosing the best materials for your outdoor water fountain.

Fiberglass is a very light material used in outdoor water fountains.

Fiberglass is one of the lightest materials available for use in outdoor water fountains. Despite its lightness, it is incredibly strong and won't break easily. However, if your landscape has a very open layout and experiences heavy wind, you may not want to use fiberglass alone, as your water fountain may be susceptible to blowing over.

If you live in an area with a lot of wind, you can plan your water fountain so it incorporates both fiberglass and heavier materials. This way, the weight of your water fountain will be adequately balanced and able to...

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A Guide to the 2020 Colorado Garden & Home Show

A Guide to the 2020 Colorado Garden & Home Show

One of our favorite events of the year is quickly approaching! From February 22 through March 1, 2020, the Colorado Garden and Home Show will take place at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. Hosted by the Colorado Garden Foundation, the 9-day show has more than 650 companies that exhibit and around 50,000 attendees. With over 400,000 square feet of the show to visit, it's important to plan out what you'll be seeing before you get there to maximize your time.

Some of the team from Alive Outside Landscaping will be there and we can't wait. If you're attending the show, here are some highlights you need to be sure to check out—and come visit us at booth #1462 while you're there.

You can tour more than an acre of landscaped gardens.

Around 5,500 square feet of the show will feature gardens designed by local companies. The garden, presented by Bellco, will feature beautiful native plants and can give you ideas of what you'd like to see in your yard. Gardens designed by high school students, college students, and landscaping professionals will encompass a wide variety of tastes. We will be just around the corner from the Colorado State University garden, so take a tour of their landscaped garden and then come see us to talk about what elements you want to add to your business or home landscaping.

The 9NEWS Hot Products Zone will spotlight new products that your home can benefit from!

Another area we're excited to check out is the 9NEWS...

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5 Reasons to Plan Your Next Landscape Project in Winter

5 Reasons to Plan Your Next Landscape Project in Winter

Though a lot of growth doesn't happen in the winter, you shouldn't forget about your property's landscape. In fact, with the colder months upon us, you should be considering how to revitalize your property with a softscaping or hardscaping feature.

Consider the following benefits of planning for your next landscape project in the winter in Colorado areas such as Loveland, Fort Collins, Windsor, and nearby cities.

1. In the winter, there is ample time available for planning your next landscape project.

Settling on a landscape project is a big decision to make. In the winter, you have ample time available for planning. Take advantage of this calm season and any time you have off to plan out what you want for your landscape project. Consider factors like:

  • What plants will look good on your property
  • The size and scale of your project
  • The inclusion of water features and outdoor lighting

If you are unsure of where to begin the planning process, our team is available to help. We offer expert suggestions while still incorporating exactly what you want for the final product. Give us a call to see what we can do for your landscape.

2. Planning your next landscape project in the winter leaves you with more softscaping options.

The winter is the off-season for landscape contractors. If you reach out to expert landscape contractors like us at Alive Outside Landscaping, we can ensure we will have the plants, trees, and shrubs that you...

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Outdoor Fireplaces vs. Fire Pits

Outdoor Fireplaces vs. Fire Pits

Adding a fire feature to your yard can provide a beautiful focal point as well as add ambiance to your outdoor living space. But deciding which type of fire feature to use can be a tough decision. Both can add warmth and heat on a cool evening, but they are very different in terms of size, structure, and other aspects.

If you own property in Fort Collins, Loveland, Windsor, or surrounding Colorado areas and are considering putting a fire feature into your outdoor living space, here are some things to consider when comparing outdoor fireplaces vs. fire pits.

Outdoor Fire Pits Allow for More Interaction Around the Fire

Outdoor fire pit with seating on a custom stone patio in Fort Collins, CO.

One large perk of an outdoor fire pit is that when it's typically built, it's in a shape that allows for people to sit around the fire and interact. Often, a fire pit build will also include a matching stone seating wall. Fire pits are a great element for families with children who may want to sit outside roasting hot dogs or marshmallows. The smoke from the fire pit can also serve as a natural way to repel pests like mosquitoes, as they do not like smoke and will stay away from it.

Fire pits can be made in a circular shape, but also square, rectangular, or oval, depending on the property owner's preference. Typically, they are around three feet in diameter but as our fire pits are completely custom, they can be any size desired. A fire pit can be gas or wood-burning and can be located pretty much anywhere on the...

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Project Case Study: New Patio, Retaining Wall, Fire Pit, & Water Feature in Fort Collins, CO

Project Case Study: New Patio, Retaining Wall, Fire Pit, & Water Feature in Fort Collins, CO

In our area of Colorado, we have fantastic weather, beautiful scenery, and active wildlife. So when we heard from one of our clients in Fort Collins that they wanted to add on a new fantastic outdoor living space to maximize their enjoyment of the outdoors, we were thrilled to help.

We sat down with the clients and planned out exactly what they wanted to see—and the end result was a gorgeous outdoor living space that addressed everything they were looking for. Take a look to see the additions we made to their space and learn about the benefits of these features.

Custom Paver Patio & Walkway Extends Livable Area, Adds Functional Space to the Yard

Custom outdoor paver patio with seating wall and gas fire pit in Fort Collins, CO.

The first element we added was a custom paver patio and walkway. This feature works to tie everything together and really create a cohesive feel throughout the space. We chose a darker grey color for the pavers so that they would match well with the exterior of the home. This patio gives the homeowners a great area to extend their livable area with some functional space where they can add patio furniture and entertain guests during the year.

Gas-Burning Fire Pit Adds Ambiance & Increases Enjoyment During the Cooler Months

Another feature the homeowners wanted to see was a gas-burning fire pit. In the area of Colorado that includes Fort Collins, Loveland, and Windsor, we definitely get cooler weather once fall and winter hit. The fire pit gives them and their guests a chance to...

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Tips on Preparing Your Outdoor Living Space for Winter Weather

Tips on Preparing Your Outdoor Living Space for Winter Weather

You’ve invested a lot of time and money into your outdoor living space, therefore it’s important to make sure these areas stay in good shape all year long, especially through the harsh, unforgiving cold months. Winter is one of the hardest times on your outdoor living spaces as the excess moisture and freezing temperatures can cause many issues.

From cleaning your patio and deck to shutting off water to outdoor utilities, here are some tips on how to prepare your outdoor living space for winter weather in Fort Collins, Loveland, Windsor, and the nearby areas.

Remove or Cover Outdoor Furniture & Grills

Winter weather can be very tough on your outdoor furniture and grills. To protect these items from the cold, make sure to cover them with heavy-duty vinyl covers to keep them safe and dry all winter. Look for covers that are water-resistant to prevent water damage to fabric and wood. If you don’t plan on using your furniture or other large items throughout the winter, then pack them up and store them away in a safe, dry place. Completely clear away all tables, chairs, and grills and store them in your garage, shed, or other safe area. You can also opt to buy winter furniture that is weather-resistant and can withstand the cold weather.

Clean Grills & Outdoor Appliances

Cleaned grill in an outdoor kitchen for a home in Loveland, CO.

When the cold weather starts to blow in, many people do not think about cleaning their grill, stovetops, and other outdoor appliances. This is...

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Reasons to Consider Adding a Custom Fire Pit or Fireplace to Your Yard

Reasons to Consider Adding a Custom Fire Pit or Fireplace to Your Yard

Adding a custom fire pit or fireplace to your yard provides many benefits. From increased property value to extended outdoor livability and comfort, outdoor fire features are a great investment for your home.

Here are some reasons to consider adding a custom fire pit or fireplace to your yard in Fort Collins, Loveland, Windsor, and the surrounding areas.

A Fire Pit or Fireplace Creates a Focal Point and Enhances the Outdoor Environment

A fire pit in Loveland, CO.

Adding custom landscaping or hardscaping to your yard always enhances your surroundings, and the same is true for a custom fire feature. Fire pits and fireplaces create a beautiful gathering space for family and friends to gather and becomes a focal point for your outdoor living space. No matter what type of fire feature you choose or what shape it is, a fire pit or fireplace creates a delightfully stunning design anchor in your yard and enhances the area’s natural beauty, even when not in use. Custom hardscaping, like an expertly crafted outdoor fire feature, draws attention to your home’s architecture and enhances the surrounding environment.

Outdoor Fire Features Extend the Livability and Comfort of Outdoor Spaces

An outdoor fire feature allows you to comfortably enjoy your outdoor environment throughout the year, even during cold months and at night. The heat that emanates from your fire pit or fireplace provides enough warmth to comfortably warm those who sit around the fire.


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How Retaining Walls Complement Your Property

How Retaining Walls Complement Your Property

Retaining walls are a technical name for a beautiful and practical landscaping feature. We commonly recommend them to customers for both their useful qualities and aesthetic qualities. We find that customers love the way they address erosion and protect the foundation of their property. They also use the walls as added privacy or transform them into raised landscape beds to benefit their natural surroundings. We’ve been building such walls in the hills of Fort Collins, Loveland, and Windsor in Colorado for over 30 years.

Retaining Walls Help Prevent Erosion

If you’ve already put time and investment into your lawn and property, whether that means fertilization and weed control or landscaping, then retaining walls will help protect that investment. The walls, when planned well, redirect water from rain and runoff so it doesn’t pool and affect the important areas of your lawn and cause erosion. Soil erosion is subtle but powerful— the entire state of Iowa lost 15 million tons of soil to erosion in 2014.

In more extreme cases, redirecting water also prevents flooding that can damage your home and ruin important belongings inside.

Walls are made out of durable hardscaping materials like:

  • Sandstone
  • Granite
  • Limestone

Retaining walls are commonly built out of stone blocks. These materials will ensure that your new retaining walls are a lasting investment that benefits your property for decades to come.

Erosion ...

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