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Appreciation Letter

We, at Transblue, take pride in our work. We are always happy to satisfy our clients – it is our main goal. Recently we received an appreciation letter from AVW Home Owner Association:

“I neglected to thank you for the update on the two projects we had in the pipeline (Greenbelt Maintenance, and the Bark Project).  Thank you very much for the updates here, from what I can tell, the property is looking terrific!  Also, I appreciate you sharing the summer work schedule for the maintenance team. 

Definitely appreciate all the you and TB do for us, we are very thankful and grateful for the hard work in making our community look so good.

Thank you!

Andrew”

Words like these motivate and keep us going!

 

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What do you need to know about pavers installation?

pavers

If you considered pavers as addition to your home, you probably heard that they might move after the installation, which is not something that you want to experience.

Here is what you need to know about installation process (and you can discuss it with your vendor), so this won’t happen to you:

  1. Base – This is the most important part. Without a good base, your pavers can start moving around before you know it. For the high-quality base, you need a solid gravel, about 6” deep, plus 1” of sand or small crushed gravel and height of your pavers, of course (which adds up to approximately 10” depth). After digging is done, existing soil must be compacted. Next important part is drainage. You don’t want puddles of water under your pavers, because with time it will destroy the base.
  2. Sleeving – Sleeve is a pipe that allows to run any type of wiring or irrigation in the future. This will protect you from being in situation when you need to choose – “wires or pavers?”. Sleeve helps to add anything to your backyard in a smooth manner.
  3. Quality matters – Correctly installed pavers should last for decades, so you should pick good quality materials for your pavers which will look good even 10 years after the installation. Otherwise, what is the point of all hard work that you put into the installation? Also, don’t forget about thickness of your pavers. You don’t want something too thin, if you want it to last. Good recommended thickness of pavers is 1.5” – 2”.
  4. Edging – After pavers are set and look good, edges need to be taken care of, because edges is most vulnerable part or the paver construction. Paver restraint and spikes (or pins) need to be installed outside right up next to the paver to hold it in place. The edging also should have gravel underneath.
  5. Polymeric sand – will prevent weed from growing in between pavers.
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New, fresher backyard in Seattle, WA

One more project is done and one more happy house owner!

Fresh, green grass – perfect for party-gathering and enjoying sunshine

New Fence was also installed

 

In the process

Before

  

 What exactly did we do? Here is a scope of work

Grading / Back of Property

1. Removed up to 20 yards of topsoil.

2. Slope and grade hillside.

3. Installed natural boulder rock steps along side of hillside grass / fence line.

Landscape Miscellaneous Items / Back of Property

1. Demo and removed failed boulder water feature (20’x20’).

2. Demo and removed lower yard concrete and landscape (1900 sq. ft.)

3. Removed 10 x plantings around back yard landscape.

4. Installed 3 x zone of irrigation for turf/ 1 zone in back yard, 2 zones in front yard.

5. Installed 2600 sq. ft. of new sod.

6. Demo and disposed of concrete steps leading to lower yard. (19’x4’)

Cedar Estate Fencing / Back of Property

1. Demo and removed all fencing and landscape needed for new installation.

2. Installed pressure treated cedar posts every 8’ in concrete.

3. Installed 250’ x 6’ cedar slat rail with 2 x swing gate at each side of property.

4. Fencing tiered with landscape.

5. Removed and disposed of all landscape and construction debris.

 

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Concrete types, part -2

Colored Concrete

Let’s continue talk about concrete types, because there is more!

Broom Finished Concrete

This is, as you may say, regular way to do and finish a concrete. Of course, there is a smooth finish, but broom finished provides a high-traction surface and better drainage (note, broom marks should always be running towards the drain). However, if you don’t care about drainage, you can create decorative effects by running the broom texture in various directions.

And lastly, colored concrete

Concrete doesn’t have to be grey. They are so many different colors and products to color concrete – it is amazing. Colored concrete cost more than plain grey, but it worth an investment. Prices are not crazy-biting, but the result will look wonderful. It can help your concrete patio or walkway to match your overall design.

Some of the products can be used on existing concrete too, which is a great news, if you don’t want to install new concrete element, instead of the old one.

So how concrete gets colored? Color for the concrete is not a paint, dye or stain; it is pigments. Pigments are available in powder, liquid or granular forms. Iron oxide pigment particles are 10 times smaller than a particle of the cement. When color pigment is added to the cement based mix, the smaller pigment particles cover the larger cement particle.

 

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Concrete types, part -1

If you are thinking about a concrete patio or a new driveway, it is good to know what are the concrete types and what kind of concrete you can have.

Exposed aggregate concrete

What can it be and how can you expose it? Exposed aggregate concrete is a type of decorative concrete, which reveals the true beauty of concrete. It is not only looks very good, but also is durable and skid-resistant material.

Exposed aggregate concrete is achieved by removing the top layer of cement paste and revealing the underlying aggregate.

Advantages of Exposed Aggregate Concrete:

  1. It does not doesn’t cost a lot, to create this decorative effect, because not much additional materials needed. Basically, you need a surface retardant, sprayer and a garden hose.
  2. It is a fairly easy task to do and not require long time or specific professional to do it.
  3. There are various types, colors and sizes for the exposed décor
  4. It also blends well with other decorative concrete
  5. Almost no maintenance is required, except some occasional cleaning with water

Three Basic Methods used for aggregate exposed concrete:

Monolithic – the aggregates are batched right into the concrete truck at the concrete plant. This method is the easiest and most commonly used. Smaller aggregate is typically called Pea stone.

Seeded – immediately after the concrete is placed the decorative aggregates are broadcast, or hand placed, onto the surface of the concrete and floated in by hand.

Overlay – this method is used on existing concrete that is in a good shape. Aggregates are mixed into the overlay topping material and applied to the old concrete to give it a new look.

The “secret” to exposing the aggregates is keeping the top layer of cement paste soft while the underlying concrete hardens. This is done by spraying on a surface retardant immediately after installing the concrete and aggregates. A few hours later soft cement paste can be rinsed away with a garden hose and the aggregate is exposed on the surface.

The biggest benefit of the exposed aggregate compared to other decorative styles, is that this method looks terrific, but has the lowest cost.

Stamped Concrete

Stamped concrete also can be called textured or imprinted concrete. It is a concrete that replicates stones such as flagstone, tile brick and even wood. This type of decoration is perfect for pool decks, driveways, entries and patios.

Stamped concrete is a very popular option among homeowners because if offers wide variety of patterns and colors, and with all that it is much cheaper than real flagstone or pavers.

So how stamped concrete is made? The main part is to do a pattern. After you pour a concrete, and it isn’t fully dried, you need to use texture press, so you stamped your concrete with a pattern that you had chosen.