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

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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.

A...

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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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The Perks of Adding Custom Landscaping to Your Property

The Perks of Adding Custom Landscaping to Your Property

When you purchase a new home, you're making a huge investment. We take pride in owning our own home, and therefore want to protect this investment and get the most out of it as possible.

Adding custom landscaping to your property is one way you can increase your home's value and get more out of your investment. Custom landscaping complements your home and adds valuable living space that provides endless enjoyment and relaxation benefits. Here are some benefits a custom landscape adds to your home in Fort Collins, Loveland, Windsor, and the surrounding Northern Colorado areas.


Custom Landscaping Complements Your Home

One perk to adding custom landscaping to your home is that the design aesthetic will perfectly match and complement your already existing architecture and style. If you have a modern house, a rustic landscape will clash with your home's aesthetics and actually detract from your home's value. However, a quaint cottage would pair perfectly with a rustic garden and increase the property's value. The same goes for your home.

Having a custom landscape designed by a professional company like Alive Outside Landscaping ensures your outdoor area will complement your home's current architectural style. Adding custom landscaping to your property can transform your home in such a unique way and bring a fresh new look and feel to your home without looking like a sore thumb that doesn't belong. When our landscaping contractors design...

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New Patios, Pergola, and Fire Pit in Denver

New Patios, Pergola, and Fire Pit in Denver

In our part of Colorado, we have beautiful scenery and weather to enjoy all the time—and that’s why we love helping people create beautiful outdoor living spaces all throughout the greater Denver area, including Fort Collins, Loveland, and Windsor.

When our clients called to help improve their outdoor living space for their Denver backyard, we were more than happy to assist in planning out and installing a design that looked gorgeous and also incorporated many natural elements of our state. At Alive Outside Landscaping, we have more than 30 years of experience and are also ICPI certified contractors so we are able to plan out and install the highest quality projects.


Installing a Custom Fire Pit Adds Value to a Home

One element our client wanted to add was a custom fire pit. Custom fire pits are a great addition to any outdoor living space, as they provide a great area to gather around for roasting marshmallows or extra warmth on chilly fall evenings. A fire feature can also add value to your home.

This fire pit was constructed from concrete blocks in the middle of one of their new patio areas so that the homeowners can set up furniture around it.


Patios, Pergola & Composite Deck Expands Living Space, Adds Depth to Property

This custom patio and pergola in Denver will provide years of enjoyment.

For this project, we constructed three patios that all merge together for a large outdoor living space. The first patio is attached directly to the home so that the homeowner and their family can directly step...

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How a Custom Patio Benefits Your Property

How a Custom Patio Benefits Your Property

Custom patios add value to your home and increase overall outdoor living space. More livable space means more room for relaxing and spending time with family in Fort Collins, Loveland, Windsor, and nearby areas in Colorado.

Our hardscapes are designed and built by our professionals with sturdy, long-lasting materials that provide a useful new living area capable of supporting quality furniture, cooking equipment, and more.


Custom Patios Offer a Good Return on Investment (ROI)

Adding a custom patio to your home offers a good return on investment or ROI. According to Supermoney.com, patios can provide a return that ranges from 30% - 60%. The return will depend upon property value and real estate trends in your area. If quality materials are used, and the patio is a central feature of the home the value can be even higher. Overall, the investment is a worthy one, which can make your home more attractive to a buyer if you choose to sell.


Custom Hardscapes Provide Extended Living Space

A patio we installed at a Loveland home.

When the weather is nice, families are often drawn to the outdoors to enjoy it. A custom patio ensures they have a place that's slightly elevated from the rest of the yard and provides a stable, level area for quality patio furniture.

When designed properly, drainage will be taken into consideration, sending water away from the patio. Outdoor furniture will stay cleaner and is designed to dispel heat, which adds extra comfort in your new outdoor...

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Why Your Outdoor Living Space Needs Custom Water Features

Why Your Outdoor Living Space Needs Custom Water Features

When you work to create a beautiful outdoor living space on your property, you want to create one that’s tranquil and seamlessly blends into the nature around your yard. Our spaces integrate native plants and boulders, but one other way we can put some more nature into your landscaping is by adding water features. Water features can add texture, sound, and other aspects.

Here are some ways that water features can accentuate your outdoor living space in Fort Collins, Loveland, Windsor, and surrounding areas in Colorado.


Water Features Complement Your Landscaping and Property

A custom waterfall and pond in Fort Collins, CO.

Water features, like ponds or waterfalls, can bring the bubbling sounds of nature to your doorstep. Another perk of custom water features is that they can be designed to fit any space. Bigger ponds are great for larger properties, whereas pondless waterfalls can fit into a smaller space. The pros at Alive Outside Landscaping can consult with you on where would be the best area to install a custom water feature. Often, they may fit into space in your yard that was going unused.

Another benefit of water features is that they can increase your property’s value, meaning they are a great return on investment.

There is some maintenance required for water features like ponds, as algae will accumulate if the feature isn’t cleaned. If you’re looking for one that doesn’t require as much maintenance, a smaller feature such as a pondless waterfall would be...

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New Retaining Wall, Custom Patio, Fire Pit, & Landscaping in Fort Collins, CO

New Retaining Wall, Custom Patio, Fire Pit, & Landscaping in Fort Collins, CO

Adding outdoor living space to your home in Fort Collins, CO, can increase property value and also give you extra space for entertaining friends and family. It’s a great way to create a space that you can love and enjoy all year.

When this homeowner came to us with a desire for an improved outdoor living space, we consulted with them on what their needs were and then designed a space that not only looks beautiful but is also highly functional.


Developing a Space to Fit the Homeowner’s Needs

Our homeowner wanted an outdoor living space for entertaining. They wanted to include a custom fire pit, build a retaining wall, add in some steps down to the rest of the yard, and put in a spot for their hot tub. We took these needs into consideration during the landscape design phase.


Constructing a Retaining Wall & Stone Steps

Our project for this Fort Collins customer included custom stone steps.

Retaining walls prevent soil erosion and also help with the overall aesthetics of a property. In this case, we added a retaining wall that also had a raised planter bed. This gives the homeowner an additional area where they can opt to add in more of our beautiful native Colorado plants.

This retaining wall that we built using concrete blocks served as the base for the rest of the project, as it helped to elevate the outdoor living space from the rest of the yard.

For easy access to the rest of the yard, we added in stone steps in the front and off to the side.


Creating a Custom Paver Patio

The...

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