Patio planning: Hear from an expert

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Planning an outdoor space begins with an idea. A fun picnic on a friend’s Hardscape or a relaxing time at a poolside bar on vacation inspires us to recreate those feelings in our own backyards. So you want an outdoor space. What’s the next step in the planning process?

Pastries on the patio - a new Thanksgiving tradition

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Sometimes traditions start spontaneously, by the mere repetition of them. Other traditions are formed instantly, when a great event leaves guests wanting more. This year, make your Thanksgiving or any holiday dinner stand out by starting a “Pastries on the Patio” party that no-one will forget.

Cast Veneer Stone: Adding color and texture to living spaces

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You don’t need a psychology degree to know that color affects us. Fast food joints use bright yellows, oranges and reds to convey energy and encourage customers to eat quickly. Cafés use dark greens, browns, blues or maroons to give an air of sophistication and comfort. If you do have a degree in psychology, you know color’s use and influence on our behavior is a popular area of research for scientists in the field. Hundreds of studies examine how we interact with the subtle messages of color.

All the leaves…

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The hues of October are in full burst mode on the eastern seaboard. The blazing oranges and sunny golds can take one’s breath away. Even the crunch under your feet when the leaves come floating down on the cool autumn breeze is a welcome sound of the season.

Gardening and other patio prep for the fall

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To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow - Audrey Hepburn There is a certain wonder when it comes to creating something. A little effort often provides a magical result: a seed into a bloom; an empty room into a haven; a spark into a fire. The fall isn’t only about hunkering down for the winter. It’s a boom-time for creative endeavors. A little preparation will go a long way in creating an inspiring environment for the autumn months. Here’s a checklist of outdoor tasks to help foster more fun outdoors.

Marathon Season - Plump up on the patio

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In the fall season, the heat of summer turns into the heat of the runner as the marathon months begin. Sunny days with crisp air and cooler temperatures are a runner’s dream. You can help support the runners in your life by hosting a “carb load” on your patio

From muggy to mugs: warm drinks for fall cocktails on the patio

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"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers." — L.M. Montgomery, in Anne of Green Gables In the Autumn, the sun sets earlier and earlier, giving us the opportunity to stargaze with friends long before bedtime. Serving some traditional fall drinks is a great way to host a happy hour out on the patio. The crisp fall air is a welcome break from the muggy summer heat and it is simply invigorating. Fresh air is good for us in all seasons. Grab a few blankets, coffee mugs, throw some sticks in the fire pit and head outside to breathe it all in.

Fire from the hearth: Which type of fire pit is right for your hardscape?

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The cooler nights, the changing leaves, the crackling of a fire… the wonderful sights and sounds of the Fall season are back in full swing. Sitting together “out back”, faces lit only by the warm glow of a fire and enjoying each other’s company is the cozy scene we all love. One fire pit can warm up a whole crowd in your outdoor space (but it’s nice to wrap up cozy blankets as well!). Wood burning smells wafting through the air are a comforting reminder of all the fun the fall has in store for us.

Oktoberfest Outdoors: Beer tasting to launch the Fall

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According to the website NationalDayCalendar.com, September 28th, 2016 is National Have A Beer Day. This coincides with the end of the annual Oktoberfest celebrations in Munich, Bavaria, Germany (yes, the end - years ago the festival was moved up a few weeks to take advantage of the warmer September weather). The first weekend of October is the closing of the official Oktoberfest, but it’s still a good time for us to break out the brews and party on the patio.

Outdoor rooms can have ceilings, too

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“Outdoor room” doesn’t have to mean “out in the open.” There are many options for covering your patio space. Summer officially ended this week, but you still can catch some rays. While you’re admiring a beautiful sunset and reminiscing on a hot season well spent, lend some thought to the coming summer’s heat. The time to plan improvements to next summer’s Hardscape is now. Big projects like pergolas or gazebos take weeks if not months to plan and install. Think of “shade design” today while the sun’s intense heat is still around.

Own your turf: what you need to know about sod

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In the Northeast corridor, the best time to re-turf your landscape is now. In the late summer and early fall, temperatures get cooler and the humidity steadily increases. These two factors are necessary for the successful installation and ongoing health of new turf. While we may think the spring season is the best time to think about next summer’s lawn, September and October are the real months for sod installation.

Hardscaping for a Hero

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In the Spring of 2016 we told you about a great group of teens and young adults who were planning to build a patio for a wounded veteran out of donated materials from EP Henry. Guess what? The patio is done! And the vet has already heard special requests from his little ones. Read on for details and pictures.

How to eke out more summer

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Don’t say goodbye to the season just yet. Late summer can be the best time to get outside. American culture seems to treat Labor Day as the official end of summer. It isn’t, really, as the Summer season ends at sunset on Sept. 20. While it’s common to treat the beginning of the school semester as the start of Fall, you can eke out some more summer experiences with the family in these next few weeks. Keeping up with a few summer standards will help everyone transition into the new routines.

9/11 Memorial

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Little town gets big relic to include in a 9/11 Memorial. EP Henry was there to help. About 120 miles south of One World Trade in New York City and a stone’s throw from Atlantic City, NJ, the little town of Absecon will dedicate a $200,000 September 11th memorial built with the largest relic saved from the Twin Towers. EP Henry was honored to be a part of it.

Communicating with your contractor

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In 1894, Labor Day became a US federal holiday. It was created to celebrate the craftsmen of the early labor movement and their contribution to this nation. Now, Labor Day marks the end of summer and the beginning of a new school year for the kids. Let’s honor the roots of the holiday by looking at ways to make the contractor-client relationship on your next Hardscape or home-improvement project a productive one.

Grilling Big for Labor Day

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Labor Day is coming up. Those of us lucky enough to have outdoor living spaces will undoubtedly find people gathering on our patios this weekend (whether we invite them or not!). Labor Day is one of those holidays where we simply plan to grill big.