Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Building a tennis court in your backyard…Possible?

A professional tennis court would be the ideal investment for your backyard if you are an avid tennis enthusiast. The advantage of building a tennis court is that you can play any time of day. You can also invite guests and friends over to chill out in your garden and play a couple of sets. Make sure that you choose a proper court design and surface based on your climatic conditions before investing. A well designed, constructed and properly maintained court will be a good investment for your home and bring you years of enjoyment as well.

First determine the amount of space needed for building a tennis court. A tennis court should have additional space on all sides so that players can freely move and run. So the available playing area should be 120 feet long and 60 feet wide. 

The surfaces of tennis courts vary dramatically based on climate, usage, soil type, location and available materials to determine the right playing surface. You can choose four different types of surfaces for a tennis court in your backyard that adds to the visual appeal. 
  • Hardcourts - Concrete or asphalt courts are extremely easy to maintain and durable as well. However, some of these courts may develop cracks on the playing surface if there is stagnant water all the time or after wear and tear after a few years of play. To renovate damaged hardcourts, a good solution would be to apply cushioning materials to the top of the existing court.
  • Grass courts – To create a lush green, grass surface for your tennis court, remove the uppermost layer of soil and grass. By using gardening tools like a rake, you can remove obstructions like roots, rocks and unwanted soil to completely level the surface.
  • Clay – Courts made out of red clay tend to be slower than other playing surfaces. However risk of injury is reduced on this surface as it is easier for players to move and slide into shots because the top surface is made from crushed brick packed to make a nice, loose area. Courts made with green clay are natural and packed to make a sub surface covered with a topping. Maintaining clay courts require some work like watering, compacting and brushing. Drainage facilities should be provided and the court should be constructed in humid areas to absorb moisture.
  • Synthetic – Courts made from asphalt or concrete and colored with acrylic paint mixed with sand for texture or covered with vinyl cushioning are very popular for residential properties. There are three types of surfaces for residential construction and renovation which are fast dry materials like colored acrylic paint, synthetic grass and vinyl padding. For regions where watering is not possible for maintenance, indoor carpet surfaces of sand-filled synthetic grass can be considered. For colder regions, you can consider a cushioned hardcourt for durability and longevity.
Hire a professional contractor for your backyard tennis court construction as it requires the proper skills and quality materials for installation. Only a contractor will know the latest designs and innovations needed to build a good tennis court that ensures performance and durability.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Best trees for your front yard if your home is in Northern California

Trees can live for many years, up to decades or even centuries depending on the type of species and the location where it’s planted and nurtured. Not many will match a tree to a correct site and a decision done in haste will often lead to a lifetime of regret. Trees can be a really good investment as it grows to be beautiful and strong generation after generation, but it also has the potential to give a lot of problems by dropping bothersome sticks/leaves or messy fruit. Planting trees in a yard or garden can appeal to the aesthetic value, practical/functional benefits and the role it plays in every family’s memoirs. 

For example, if you plant evergreen trees on the north and west sides of your outdoor space, it will reduce heat and offer windbreaks. If you plant deciduous trees on the east, west and south sides of your property, it will provide shade during summer and shed leaves during winter to allow the sun to shine through in the cold weather. It plays a huge role in lowering heating and cooling costs. To define property lines in case you are not a big fan of compound walls or fences, you can plants trees as an alternative. A fully grown and mature tree in your garden or yard will increase the value of your residential property by up to 10% and also increase the selling price by 1%. One more important fact is that planting trees in an outdoor space will reduce global warming and alleviate the greenhouse effect caused by Carbon Dioxide by at least half in measure. It is a proven fact that trees absorb carbon dioxide and emit oxygen back to the atmosphere. According to studies, a fully grown tree can absorb 48 pounds of carbon dioxide and release enough oxygen to support two people. 

Try to become familiar with the type of tree that can be planted in your respective state that will offer the right combination of qualities that can be enjoyed. Some important factors to consider are the forest ecosystem and also if it’s part of the region’s forest industry. Here’s a list of a few points that will help you identify and choose some of the trees that can be planted in the Northern California region. 

Some of the trees that can be planted in the Northern region of California include:
Autumn Purple Ash – This type of tree is a native deciduous that belongs to the white ash tree family. It fits in most yards, provides shade and grows well when exposed to full sunlight and good draining soil that has organic materials. It grows quite quickly when young, forms a natural pyramid shape and produces beautiful flowers during spring time usually during the months of April and May. 

Jacarendas – This type of tree is deciduous and looks stunning standing on its own mainly due to the presence of its magnificent purple-blue flowers that bloom during late spring and summer. It can planted in an open outdoor space and serves as a focal point for any landscape with its fallen flowers acting like a colorful carpet of blue. This tree is native to Brazil and prefers wet and dry seasons. The tree briefly drops its leaves during the dry season and then grows it out again during the monsoon. If it is planted in the right spot, it provides adequate shade. It prefers sunlight, fertile and well-drained soil plus regular watering during the hot months. 

Chinese Pistache – This type of tree brings out its best features during autumn owing to its colorful foliage. Its compound leaves with a beautiful deep green color provide shade in the hot and dry climates. The tree’s leaves during the fall season illuminates outdoor spaces and landscapes with fiery shades of red and orange. It prefers sunlight, fertile, well-drained soil that is slightly acidic to alkaline plus regular watering. To keep away pests, fungal infections and insects from the trunks, it is necessary to spread a mulch layer around the base.

Chanticleer Pear – This deciduous, ornamental tree originated from China and is otherwise called the "Select" ornamental pear. It plants well in medium to large size garden and yards and maintains it attractiveness throughout the year, ultimately shedding it leaves during the winter season. The tree produces blooms of white flower clusters during late April or early May. After the blooming season, the tree produces small, round fruit. You can plant this tree for visual appeal more than for its fruit. During the first year, it prefers moist soil conditions due to the formation of roots and should be watered regularly on all seasons. After the first year, you can reduce watering to once or twice in a month in case the weather is dry. It is also tolerant of most soil conditions but thrives on slightly acidic soil.