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  • Writer's pictureJoe Palermo

With the cost of building materials at all time highs and the added long term maintenance of a wood deck (painting. staining, sealing, etc.), many people are looking at a brick paver patio as a longer lasting, lower maintenance alternative.

Wood deteriorates with age and will need to be replaced, especially with our harsh North East winters. Composite decking is even more expensive and still requires wood framing which can eventually fail. Poured concrete or stamped concrete eventually cracks or heaves and will need repair. It also chips, and small repairs and both expensive and never match perfectly with the original concrete.

Brick pavers offer Upstate New York homeowners a better alternative. Interlocking pavers move with the grounds and are engineered for our four season climate. Damaged pieces are easily repaired/replaced and look great. Brick pavers can often be installed for less money than composite decking as well, especially when factoring in the added high costs of railings and composite accessories. Many people are opting to have their deteriorating wood decks replaced with pavers as a more permanent solution for outdoor living areas. Paver patio areas offer the options of adding fire pits, outdoor kitchens, paver benches, and retaining walls too.

When considering upgrading your outdoor living area please give us a call for a quote on a professionally installed brick paver patio or poolscape. The options are endless and pavers will add an elegance and permanence to your home that a wood deck never could.

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  • Writer's pictureJoe Palermo

Updated: Mar 8, 2023

For most people, their single biggest investment is their home. Homeowners know that a large part of your home is outside the house... your yard, pool area, patio, etc. and of course the area closely surrounding your dwelling itself...your landscaping. Landscaping is what gives your home "curb appeal" of course, but there is so much more to it than that.

Professionally designed and installed landscaping has a positive effect on the overall environmental health of your property. It can improve your drainage, help control insects and animals, stop weed infestation, and beautify your investment.

Consider adding a hardscape walkway or porch, a brick paver patio or poolscape, or adding stone or fresh mulch to your property and improving the visual appeal of your home while adding value and health to your property.

According to San Francisco's SFGATE News: "A well-landscaped home has a significant price advantage over a home with no landscaping. This advantage ranges from 5.5 percent to 12.7 percent depending on the type of landscaping and the home's original value. That translates into an extra $16,500 to $38,100 in value on a $300,000 home. There's more to landscaping than sticking some flowers and a couple shrubs in the ground, however. The number-one thing that buyers are looking for in landscaping is a manicured design."

The professionals at Distinguished Landscapes are always ready to step in and offer as much help as you need to make your landscaping project exceed your expectations and raise the value of your home.

We invite you to call or text us directly for a free consultation and cost estimate to get your property improvements upgraded and keep your home looking its best. Contact us at 315.714.4000 or visit us on the web at

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  • Writer's pictureJoe Palermo

Updated: Mar 15, 2023

Standing water or consistently wet, soft spots in your yard are a both a visual and sometimes costly problem. Grass will die if it's underwater for too long. You can't mow over wet areas, and everyone tracks mud into the house. If the soggy area is close to the foundation of your home, it can cause your basement to leak, or worse. Water damage to foundations, patios, decks, etc. can cost a lot of money to repair. It is important to nip these problems in the bud.

There are a number of techniques and tools that can be applied to various drainage issues. It is important to consult a professional when tackling these potentially costly problems. Your home and property need to be protected from damage by water, and Distinguished Landscapes is here to help. We have years of experience in the implementation of grading and drainage systems that won't harm the ascetic look of your home.  We can asses the drainage patterns of your property and install french drains, downspout extensions, drainage swales or grading solutions to protect your investment.  We are New York State Department of Environmental  Conservation Certified for Erosion and Sediment Control, and will help you plan and implement the necessary steps to solve all of your drainage issues.

In this blog post I would like to share a little information on the subject of drainage solutions with you. This won't take the place of a professional solution, but a little information can go a long way in helping you understand what your professional might suggest.

Gutter Downspout Tie Outs -

These can help elevate wet basement problems and continuous running of your sump pump . They can also stop problems like mulch wash out and standing water on the lawn. Gutter tie outs can often be tied into existing municipal storm water systems to completely remove water from your property. There are different options available when choosing the type of pipe to be used based on the site and function of the property-(i.e. you don’t want to use corrugated pipe if you have a lot of big trees as you may one day need to have a bucket truck come in and cut down one of the trees and it would crush corrugated pipe). The important this is to move the water away from the house and out into an area where it won't create problems.

French Drains -

These help to collect water in lawns and landscapes to move water from low spots where it sits, to areas where it can run off- drainage swales, municipal storm water systems or  (as a last resort) they can be installed into dry-well systems to slowly percolate water into the ground.

Box Drains -

These are installed into patios, hardscapes and lawns. Box drains are an exposed system in that you see top grate. The advantage is that they can handle a larger volume of water much faster than a French drain can. A disadvantage is that the water has to move to them, and as a result saturates everything along the way. Another advantage is that they have a "clean out" on the base which allows for servicing the system

Each drainage issue must be addressed on it's own merits and may require one or more of the solutions presented here. Often they are tied into an overall drainage plan that includes grading and swales to help alleviate pooling problems. If you have drainage issues, feel free to call us. We can come out to your property and asses the situation, offer you a solution and a free no obligation estimate to get you on your way to a problem free summer.

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