The Value of Iconic Palm Trees

Palm trees are well known for their countless varieties and gorgeous Tampa landscaping contributions, especially in tropical climates where palm trees can be found in abundance. These trees are also considered very valuable for what they offer to society, like palm oil, coconuts, and their very versatile leaves. But one community in San Fernando, California recently learned just how important their own palm trees are to their community.

palm trees california

In October 2015, a contractor mistakenly cut down six mature and iconic palm trees that had lined a strip of the Brand Boulevard median in the San Fernando community for decades, sparking immediate outrage among residents and city officials. In fact, the residents were so saddened by the loss of the beautiful trees that they ordered a vigil and decorated the site with grave markers.

Even San Fernando’s elected officials seemed taken aback by the turn of events and insisted that a mistake had been made. So who’s to blame? As with any public error, fingers were pointed in many different directions without anyone able to pin-down exactly how such a major error occurred. Local activists called for a grand turnout at the City Council meeting, and many people insisted that City Hall fix the problem without costing taxpayer’s extra expenses.

The Tampa palm tree landscaping plans for the project that resulted in the slaying of the palm trees did not include anything about cutting trees down. According to the paperwork, the project involved removing turf, shrubs, and outdated irrigations systems to be replaced with weather-based irrigation and 18 new trees, including six new palms. Instead, six were chopped to the ground.

The good news, of course, is that the palms can be replaced and Brand Boulevard can maintain its status as an iconic landmark in the community, but many residents feel that they’ve been robbed of a rich piece of history. Some people have even offered to donate the palm trees from their own yards!

Why Does Concrete Crack, and How Can It Be Prevented?

cracked concrete

Concrete is a staple in our society from roads and driveways to pool surfaces and even kitchen countertops. It’s strong, durable, versatile, and affordable, so it’s no wonder that concrete is a builder’s best friend. But concrete has a propensity to crack. It’s not always inevitable, and certain preventable cracks never have to occur at all. We spoke with the owner of Jireh Construction, a Seattle asphalt company, for more information about concrete and why it can crack over time.

Shrinkage Cracks

Small, fine cracks called hairline cracks are often caused by shrinkage, when water evaporates from the concrete mix as it hardens. With less concrete volume, the material simply can’t fill the space needed, so the concrete literally pulls apart in an attempt to spread as far as possible.

Concrete is more likely to develop shrinkage cracks when poured in excessively hot weather since the heat will accelerate water evaporation. This is totally avoidable with a quality sealcoating Seattle construction company that will monitor water and mix radio and use fiber additives to minimize cracks.

Control Joints

Known as separations in the outer layer of the concrete, control joints provide a purposefully weak location across the concrete where hairline cracks can occur without harming the appearance of the surface.

Expansion Cracks            

These cracks are left between concrete and other materials, like brick, to ensure that the concrete can expand in hot weather. Without proper expansion cracks, the force of two static objects like bricks and concrete meeting will force considerable cracking over time.

Natural Causes

Tree roots serve as a main cause of concrete cracks when concrete is placed too close to the tree. Freeze and thaw cycles can also harm concrete with the continual wear and tear. Soil movement is also a culprit as the foundation under concrete shifts and alters.

While nature can’t be controlled, concrete strategies sure can. Concrete should never be installed close to a tree; 20 to 40 feet of distance is a smart precaution. Adding steel reinforcement and correct sub-grade preparation will also prevent cracks from occurring prematurely.

A professional and high-quality Seattle concrete construction company will know these tricks and use every single one to ensure that concrete remains in the best conditions throughout its lifetime.

The Most Effective Security Lighting Ideas

outdoor lighting landscapingOutdoor lighting at night doesn’t just prevent accidental falls and help draw attention to the beauty of your home after the sun sets, but it also serves as a major security protection for your home, your family, and your property. Since darkness encourages criminals who think they can hide away from the light, strategic Tampa outdoor lighting is a major focus of many commercial, industrial, and residential properties.

Illuminate Entrances

A person with ill intentions needs an entrance to break into your house, so it’s smart to keep a light on at every entrance and window possible. A burglar is far less likely to juggle with your locks when a bright light is giving him away. You could even invest in motion-sensitive lights to give you a clear warning of movement at an entryway.

Eliminate Hiding Spots

If your home includes thick landscaping or under-cover entrances, use strategic lighting to eliminate those hiding spots altogether. If you don’t want that much light shining on your property constantly, motion-sensitive lights offer the best of both worlds by only illuminating when there’s something there to see or scare off. Just check the aim and settings for each tampa LED light. The aim of the motion sensor is critical to ensure it will capture movement from the right area and prevent loopholes.

Use Timers

Even if you’re not home, a burglar doesn’t need to know that! Outdoor light timers Clearwater turn lights on and off at predetermined times. This is a great idea if you work late, are going on vacation, or just want to make your life a bit easier. Timers can work for the inside and outside of the house, but it’s a good idea to adjust the settings every once in a while to keep your habits less predictable.

Take a walk around your property, identify your most vulnerable points, and then build protection via lighting. If you feel that you need some professional help to complete the task, contact a lighting company to have the experts ensure your home is as secure as possible.

Your Crash Course in Crown Molding

You’ve most likely heard of crown molding Tampa, even if carpentry isn’t exactly your main profession. Crowd molding is the king of trim in home design because it cuts an impressive profile with elegant curves and distinguished angles. It’s the best add-on to instantly improve the sophistication, cohesion, and appeal of any room in your home.

The History of Crown Molding

The Greeks and Romans are actually to thank for the crown molding styles we love so much. They used crown molding in buildings to visually divide spaces into smaller units, a design that is still considered a building block of interior ornamentation. It wasn’t until 1850 that the Europeans found a way to develop crown molding for the mass market, at which time more elaborate styles were designed and made affordable.

crown molding tampaThe Anatomy of Crown Molding

Crown molding can be created in countless styles and varieties, especially in old homes with rich character. The essence of crown molding consists of an elongated S profile that sits on top of a cove. Trip beneath the cove helps create a nice cornice. Crown molding takes what would just be a perpendicular angle of wall meeting ceiling, and instead crafts that intersection into a work of art.

Using Crown Molding

Crown molding enhances any room by adding dimension, stimulating visual interest, and reflecting light. See this gallery for example.

One of the most common myths surrounding crown molding is that some ceilings are too low to accommodate it. This is untrue! In fact, crown molding can even be constructed in such a way to help the ceiling appear taller than it actually is.

Crown molding isn’t just for the very top of the walls, either. Older homes are known for their character thanks to wide use of crown molding around windows, door frames, and wainscoting.

Though some brave souls try to install their own crown molding, it’s a task best left to an expert home construction company, especially if you would like more complex or custom made crown molding throughout your home. You’ll notice the difference in aesthetic appeal immediately upon installation!

Why Build with Aluminum?

set of steel tubing 3d rendering

set of steel tubing 3d rendering

There’s no doubt about it, aluminum is the ultimate choice in construction for a number of reasons. In fact, it’s the second most widely used metal in buildings after steel, despite having major benefits over steel. Companies like ARM Aluminum Inc in Tampa Bay have been using aluminum to build and create spectacular outdoor creations for residential homes across the Bay area. You can view their work here.

Strength

Aluminum is incredibly strong while remaining 66% lighter than steel, which is a foremost benefit that reduces construction and installation costs. This excellent strength-to-weight ratio ensures more durability in the long run.

Flexibility

This metal is also impressively versatile, so it can be shaped to match any architectural requirements. Aluminum’s flexibility also means that it can bend ever so slightly during storms to absorb the wind’s force, then return to its normal structural position. Alternative frame materials such as wood or steel would either break from such pressure or bend permanently. This gives aluminum the upper hand in commonly windy locations like beachfront properties says Arm Aluminum Inc.

Protection

Aluminum actually has a natural surface layer of aluminum oxide, which prevents all corrosion. This is especially significant in salt air and coastal regions because aluminum building material will not rust. Similarly, aluminum cannot be harmed by termites, natural decay, and water damage like wood. Aluminum is commonly used with Tampa pool enclosure construction to ensure longevity and durability.

Recycle

A wrecking ball is no longer the only way to demolish old buildings. Those made with aluminum can be deliberately deconstructed so that aluminum can be recycled, reused, or retained for scrap value. Either way, it keeps building material out of landfills and continuing to serve an important purpose.

Decorative

Aluminum is anything but limiting in terms of design options. The metal can be anodized or painted any color. Virtually every decoration need can be made a reality with aluminum. It’s also easy to clean and nearly maintenance-free for simplicity.

With so many perks, it’s hard to say no to aluminum for any commercial or residential purpose.