734-213-6911 | 4100 S. Maple Road Ann Arbor, MI 48108

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  1. Outdoor PatioYou are trying to decide between composite and wood decking for your backyard, and, although you love the look and feel of a natural product, the benefits of choosing a composite deck are definitely appealing. Some of the advantages of purchasing composite materials over wood include that these materials are:

    1. Attractive and Uniform
    Composite materials look very similar to their wood counterparts but are much more uniform. They do not have the flaws and damage that may cause a person to discard many of the boards for the deck. There are also no nails or other hardware visible to take away from the appearance of the beautiful surfaces. Many cannot even tell the difference between composite and wood decks. And know that you are contributing to the environment when you choose this attractive option. Even though composite is not a natural wood product, most manufacturers do their best to utilize recycled materials in the manufacturing process to contribute to a cleaner, better world.

    2. Easy to Clean and Maintain
    Composite decking rarely shows dirt or stains and can be easily wiped, mopped, or hosed down. It is easily replaced in the case of damage and can be quickly found in many national and local home builder venues. There is never any need to apply paint, water sealant, or stain to the surfaces once it is put in place, and future upkeep is usually nothing more than quickly cleaning it with a mild soap and water.

    Outdoor Living Area3. Available in Many Stains and Colors
    When it comes to composite stain and color choices, they are virtually unlimited. Take samples home with you to hold up against the wood or siding of your home to get a complementing match. It is much more uniform in color than natural wood and has so many to select from. Extras such as railings, posts, and post caps are readily available in matching tones and colors also.

    4. Holds Up to the Elements
    Composite materials will not fade, splinter, warp, or split. They will hold up to the heat of the sun as well as the winter snow and sleet that Ann Arbor MI is so often covered with. They do not attract mold or mildew and will not rot over time, even in the most humid of environments.

    5. Increases Home Values
    The addition of composite decking can add great value to your home. This can be a real asset if you ever decide to sell your Ann Arbor MI residence. The better shape the desk is in and the larger and more usable the decking is will greatly impact the final selling price of the entire residence.

    As is clearly evident, a composite building product is clearly the best route to go if you are seeking an attractive, durable material for your deck. Although it is initially more expensive than woods such as cedar or other woods, the long-term benefits will bring the costs down over the years as there is virtually no upkeep required.

  2. Flagstone Walkway with Lighting

    Natural stone is a hard and beautiful surface that lends itself to many useful purposes around the house. Although it may involve more initial labor in installation, hardscapes made of stone provides a superior, durable surface that will give the homeowner many years of service. Hardscaping with stone is a very good choice for a location like Ann Arbor MI because it is very weather resistant. Freezing temperatures, ice, and snow will not make an impact on stone.

    For Your Home’s Front Walk

    Stone used as paving to the front door of an Ann Arbor MI, home can be much more beautiful and interesting than a plain, gray concrete walkway. You can use the stone to not only hide the concrete but to create textural interest and lend a sense of elegance to the residence. When choosing stone for a front walkway, be sure and select colors that will compliment the home and enhance its appearance. For instance, if you have a brick home, choose a type of stone that will match or complement the reddish hues of the brick, not detract from its appearance.

    Around A Swimming Pool

    Swimming Pool With Large Stone PatioHardscaping around a swimming pool with natural stone can enhance the looks and beauty of the pool. Stone is very resistant to water and is a very good choice for achieving a natural look when landscaping around a swimming pool. Be sure and choose types of stone that provide some texture underfoot and will not be slippery when wet. This will help provide a safe swimming environment for you and your family. If your pool has a vividly colored liner, be sure and select a stone that will look good with that color and create a visually pleasing total look.

    Stone is also a good choice when seeking to achieve the natural look in a swimming pool, helping it to blend into the typical landscaping of Ann Arbor MI, instead of standing out like something artificial.

    Beautify A Patio

    Investing in stone for a patio will provide a lovely and durable area to enjoy your family at home. Stone is strong enough to hold up under heavy traffic and resist messy spills from grilling, food, and drinks. It will not easily break, even if heavy objects are dropped on it. Surrounded by colorful flowers and green grass, your lovely stone patio will provide many years of dependable service.

    Beautiful backyard fountain and poolA Solution For Damp Areas

    A homeowner can rely on the strength of stone to provide dry hardscapes that are waterproof and will not decay like wood when in contact with high levels of moisture. If abundant rainfall or melting snow creates wet spots in your yard, covering the spot with natural stone can solve the problem.

    Not only will you keep your feet dry when walking outside, but you will avoid tracking mud into your home which could eventually ruin the floors. A stone hardscape will also help keep children’s shoes and clothing clean and dry and keep pets out of the mud as well.

    If you’re interested in installing a stone hardscape in your yard contact Twin Oaks today.

  3. Tree On YardHaving to repair a cracked or damaged foundation can wind up costing Ann Arbor MI home and property owners thousands of dollars. Superior lawn care and landscaping services may allow homeowners to identify and address any potential issues that may pose a risk to their foundation. Even the most extensive prevention efforts and landscaping projects can often be arranged for a fraction of the cost associated with foundation repair services.

    Root Intrusion

    Plants that have deep roots can pose a serious threat to concrete foundations. Serious long-term risk to foundations may be caused when trees or even bushes are planted too close to a property or when root systems grow to be too large. Root intrusion is one of the leading causes of foundation damage, and the wrong tree placement or landscaping layout can end up costing property owners far more than they might realize. Even tree relocation and removal options may provide a more affordable alternative to the foundation repair services that may be required to address cracks and damages that may be caused by bushes, shrubs and trees.

    Grading Issues

    The slope and grading of a lawn or landscaped environment is never an issue that should be left to chance. Improper grading can channel storm water runoff towards the base of a home which can lead to foundation damage caused by increased soil erosion. Erosion can also cause the grading and slope of a lawn to alter over time. Ann Arbor MI homeowners would do well to call a professional if they notice standing water near their home’s foundation or experience frequent issues with flooding after storms.


    Before - Overgrown Front Bed

    Issues Caused by Irrigation and Drainage Equipment

    Storms and heavy rain may not be the only cause of soil erosion that may lead to foundation damage. Improper placement of irrigation and drainage equipment can cause extensive damage to landscaping and may even pose a threat to concrete foundations. Common equipment issues may include:

    • Lack of vegetation to soften runoff from downspouts and gutters
    • Exterior hoses, sprinklers and irrigation systems that may be leaking or damaged
    • Poor hardscaping placement or landscaping layout

    Lawn care professionals can offer a variety of solutions to ensure irrigation and drainage issues are less likely to create more serious problems. The right landscaping designs and layouts can minimize soil loss caused by erosion and ensure that irrigation and drainage equipment is able to function properly.

    Professional Services Provides Superior Solutions

    From selecting the right plants and landscaping designs that will minimize runoff and eliminate issues with standing water to removing shrubs and trees when root systems begin to encroach on the foundation, professional lawn care service offer homeowners the means to better protect their property and investment. Preventing damage to a home’s foundation can often be done for far less than the cost needed to arrange repairs. Access to professional lawn maintenance services and landscaping solutions can ensure Ann Arbor MI homeowners will be less likely to need foundation repairs in the days to come.

  4. Fall Cleanup - Leaves In GutterAnn Arbor MI is a city that receives snow in the winter and rain throughout the year. Naturally, this kind of weather is hard on roofs, gutters and downspouts. In addition to the weather, a drainage system can become cluttered with leaves,twigs and other debris throughout the year.

    A roof drainage system can also become worn out over time and is usually the last thing a person looks at for replacement. However, there are obvious signs that there is a problem with your gutter system.

    These include:

    • Landscape damage
    • Foundation cracks
    • Sunken driveways
    • Water overflow during a rainstorm
    • Mold occurring on water soaked walls

    Over time, this can cause a great deal of expense in damage repairs.

    A wide range of materials are available when it comes to a gutter system. Prices vary from around $3 per foot for vinyl to $20 for wood. When making a choice it is important to look at the history of the material and consider how it best suits your situation.

    Gutter Materials:

    • Aluminum – never rusts
    • Galvanized Steel – economical
    • Vinyl – cheapest but can become brittle in heat or cold weather
    • Copper-does not rust, most expensive
    • Wood-not recommended

    Gutter systems are available in sectional and seamless types. The seamless type is recommended as the sectionals have a tendency to develop leaks at the seams. Seamless models must be cut to lengths to fit your roof so must be installed by a contractor.

    In addition to types, gutters also come in different shapes (U and K) and sizes. These are called profiles. Sizes are varied and come in rectangular or round pipes. In areas of heavy rainfall, units as large as 6″ can be used. This size requires a 3″x4″ downspout. The choice of the size of the gutter and downspouts, that are appropriate for your particular situation, should be discussed with an expert on the subject. They will be acquainted with the type of weather involved as well as what will best suit your building.

    Fortunately, it is often possible to select a gutter system that will fit with the color of your home or business. Aluminum and steel models have more than 25 different colors available. Copper comes unpainted and vinyl is available in white or brown.

    Many people have found the installation of a gutter guard is very effective. These are permanently attached over gutters to have better control over constantly having to clean. These guards vary and include Solid Cover with Side Slots, Mesh or Screen, Foam, Snap-in, Integral and Guards that Lay.  Having the right gutter system can make a world of difference in time, labor and expense.

  5. Barn Owl Standing On The MossSpring time is the best time for patio maintenance. It’s best to tackle it when the winter snows have melted and it starts to get warm out of doors. Proper patio maintenance can not only keep your outdoor area looking beautiful, but it cat stop problems before they start. Especially in northern, humid climates like Ann Arbor MI, it’s important to get a handle on patio upkeep before the hot and humid summer months. Below are a few maintenance tips that will help you make sure your patio looks lovely year after year.

    • For Starters
    Spray off your patio with a hose then scrub it down with a natural bristle push broom and a bucket of soapy water. It will take away the grim that has built up over the winter and will give your patio a fresh look.

    • The 3 M’s – Moss, Mildew and Mold
    The three M’s can make any patio with natural stone be slick, slippery and unsafe. If you find patches of them starting, nip them in the bud with a mild solution of 10% bleach, 90% water and scrub them off with a natural bristle brush.

    • Blast Off
    If you have paving stones, break out your power hose and blast the dirt away. Work systematically from one corner to the next, taking advantage of any natural sloping to wash the dirt away. Be sure to pay special attention to corners and shady areas as these are prime spots for troublesome mold and moss.

    • Call a Professional
    If you find you have a patch of the 3 M’s that just won’t get clean, call the professionals. They have the equipment and the knowhow to safely clean your patio with muriatic acid and get rid of any stubborn areas that resist your spring cleaning efforts. Homeowners may wish to do this themselves, but be warned, it’s extremely dangerous and the instructions must be followed without any deviations.

    The old once over
    After the floor of the patio is cleaned, it’s time to take care of the rest. Keep that soapy water solution handy and use it to sponge clean your plastic out door furniture, your patio umbrella and sponge off your furniture cushions too. Use an ammonia based glass cleaner on any glass surfaces and buff dry with newspaper for an extra shine. Give your grill a once over too and after it dries, give the grilling surface a coating of oil to keep it slick.

    Patio maintenance can seem like a chore but once it’s done, your favorite outdoor area will be sparklingly clean and welcoming, just in time for the good weather. Especially if you live in beautiful Ann Arbor MI, you’ll want your patio looking its best so you can take full advantage of the warm and lush summer months ahead. So once it’s done, invite the neighbors over for a spring cleaning outdoor grill party and celebrate the end of winter.

  6. Lawn AeratorA healthy lawn needs to have regular aeration. This involves putting small holes in the soil. It permits water, air and important nutrients to make their way to the roots of the grass. This will enable the roots to grow deeper and create a stronger lawn.

    Compacted Soil
    Aerating soil in Ann Arbor MI relieves soil compaction. This is when a lawn’s soil has too many particles contained within its space or by volume. When this happens, proper circulation of nutrients, air, and water within the soil will be prevented. It’s also possible that heavy or organic debris and even lawn thatch could be buried beneath the surface of the grass. This will prevent roots of the grass from getting a sufficient amount of essential nutrients.

    When To Aerate
    There are a number of situations where lawn aeration will need to be done. A lawn that gets heavy use from people will need to be regularly aerated. It could be a popular place for children to play and more. This could lead to compaction. Lawns that are part of a newly constructed home could have compaction problems. The topsoil may have been removed or buried. The lawn could have become compacted from being used by construction vehicles. A lawn that dries out easily or feels spongy may have a high amount of thatch. If a slice of the lawn reveals that thatch is over half an inch, then aeration needs to be done. If a lawn has soil layering and was created using sod, this can result in problems with drainage. Water stays on one level of the soil. This creates compacted conditions and hinders root development. If a lawn has vehicles regularly parked on it, then aeration needs to take place a minimum of once a year.

    There are two different types of grasses in Ann Arbor MI. One is cool-season, and the other is warm-season. The active growing season with warm-season grasses is early summer. When a lawn with this type of grass is aerated in late spring, the period of quick growth will easily fill in the holes from aeration. Cool-season grasses become alive in early fall and are actively growing during low temperatures. It is best to aerate this type of a lawn approximately four weeks before the first frost of the season.

    The soil will also influence the number of times lawn aeration is required. A lawn with clay soil will become compacted easily. It will need to be aerated a minimum of once each year. A sandy lawn can be aerated once each year. This type of lawn will also do well when aerated on alternating years.

    Lawn Condition
    The condition of a lawn will also influence the number of times it will require aeration. When a lawn has not been properly cared for, it may need an additional aeration over what is usually required. It might be best for this to happen during the middle of the growing season. This is when it’s better able to take in important nutrients.

    If you need lawn aeration services performed then contact Twin Oaks today.

  7. House Exterior With LandscapeDoes having a graded lawn sound like something a golf course would have and not an ordinary homeowner? Sadly, when you are looking out for your home’s budget, unexpected costs related to something like your lawn can be a real surprise. However, there are ways to dramatically improve the likelihood that you can avoid issues such as a shifting foundation by regrading your lawn. This is especially true since this area of the country gets a lot of extra precipitation. To get a better idea of how improving your lawn to help lengthen the life of your house works in the Ann Arbor MI area, keep reading. Of course, if you have any questions, be sure to give us a call today.

    What is lawn re-grading?

    Regrading is not a common term, and it involves a little bit of math. Basically, when your lawn is smoothed out at certain angles, it can improve the direction of rainwater drainage dramatically. This is helpful because, in the Ann Arbor MI area, water is a big part of life. Naturally, if you want to avoid flooding in your home, there are ways to address it such as installing drains and having a sump pump in your basement. Alternatively, some simple modifications to your lawn can be made that will significantly improve which direction your storm water wants to go.

    What to expect from lawn re-grading

    When landscaping contractors arrive at your home for lawn regrading, you can expect some soil removal. In many cases, tools are used to ensure that measurements are perfect, and it is not uncommon for rocks to be added or dense soil to be stacked on top of it. One final step is to add new turf to the area and replace the preexisting grass. In some situations, shrubs or other plants may be moved.

    House With Black ShuttersBenefits of lawn regrading

    One of the main reasons that lawn regrading is recommended is due to a shifting foundation under the home. Unfortunately, this is a costly endeavor that can be avoided if wet soil or water are no longer pushing against the foundation of the home. When a lawn is regraded to redirect storm water, it is also an opportunity to add other forms of drainage or do minor repairs to the outside of the foundation. For instance, adding a water-resistant layer to the outside of the foundation can help seal it against water-logging and further damage that might cause severe shifting.

    Can lawn regrading protect your home?

    In short, the answer to any questions about regrading a lawn will have a positive outcome. For instance, one interesting way that lawn regrading benefits homeowners is by smoothing the lawn surface and making the job easier for lawnmowers. Nevertheless, outside of the visual appeal of a graded lawn, the savings involved in grading the lawn to redirect water are significant in the long-term. In other words, if you want your home to last for decades to come, a lawn regrading will be recommended at least every three to five decades.

  8. Gardener planting spring flowerSpring is a season of rain and beautiful flowers, but spring can also be a time for mud, leftover winter debris, mossy surfaces and a less-than-tidy landscape. Cleaning up your property in the early spring will allow you to enjoy beautiful landscaping that enhances your home in Ann Arbor MI. There are several steps you can take to clean your property, including:

    • Cleaning up debris
    • Pressure washing mossy surfaces
    • Eliminating muddy surfaces

    Clearing Out Yard Debris

    Cleaning up leaf litter, twigs and other types of debris allows your lawn access to sunlight so it can thrive. Garden bugs and pests will also be removed from your garden, as many of them lay eggs or hide in lawn debris. Fungus and mold can also grow under wet yard debris in Ann Arbor MI. A clear lawn and clean flower beds will help to ensure the following:

    1. A healthy lawn
    2. Elimination of hiding spots for pests, fungus and mold
    3. A tidy, beautiful property

    Depending on the amount of debris you have on your property, you may need to find a way to dispose of the debris as well. A mulch or composting business may be happy to take your yard debris, and your local landscaping company can make arrangements to haul the debris away for you.

    Bradford Pear BlossomsPressure Washing Moss and Algae

    Moss and algae tend to establish themselves in the early spring on sidewalks, driveways, and other outdoor surfaces. They can become slippery when wet and can pose a hazard on walking surfaces. Pressure washers can clear these surfaces of unsightly, slippery moss and algae on your property and will create safe walking areas for your family and guests. You can also pressure wash surfaces to prepare them for paint, such as:

    • Fences
    • House siding
    • Garden sheds

    Cleaning your sidewalks fence and the siding of your home with a pressure washer will give your home a clean and tidy look for the upcoming summer. By using nothing more than water, pressure washing is a natural way to clean your home and property.

    Eliminating Muddy Surfaces

    Winter snow and rain can create many muddy areas in the garden with low spots generally collecting water that can create mud and kill the lawn or nearby plants. Filling in these low spots with mulch and reseeding lawns with new grass seed can help to eliminate muddy areas with seasonal cleanup. Now is also a good time to evaluate your property for any structural changes you can make to improve drainage. Your local landscape company can advise you about best options for drainage systems that will eliminate muddy areas in your yard.

    Landscaping Services in Ann Arbor MI

    There are many property cleanup tasks to attend to in the spring, and hiring a professional landscaping company to assist you will ensure that you will have a beautiful yard to enjoy for the summer. With efficient tools and skilled expertise, your seasonal cleanup tasks will be complete in no time.

  9. Happy Mother’s Day!

    If I had a flower for each time I thought of my mother, I would walk in my garden forever.

  10. Lawn aerationYour Michigan lawn has just come through a period of snow, ice, and the other perils of winter. Thankfully, spring has arrived and the freeze is officially gone. It’s time to inspect the grass and see what needs to be done to bring it back to life. Most lawns are able to bounce back on their own; however, others need some assistance to get that golf course green you desire.

    Get Rid of Weeds, Seeds, and Dead Grass

    During the spring time, weeds tend to pop up everywhere. Don’t forget those seeds that birds drop or that float through the air. Grass that has been matted down due to ice and snow can be dead. Though your lawn is a perennial plant, sometimes it just cannot survive the harsh winters in this area. If your Ann Arbor MI home’s lawn has seen better days, then you may need to call in professional law care help.

    Aerate the Soil

    Both foot traffic and the excessive moisture can pack the soil tight during the winter. When spring’s sunny skies finally arrive, the roots are packed so tight that they cannot get the nutrients they need to grow. Aerating the lawn is a great way to tousle the soil a bit so that the nutrients can get to the roots with ease. A professional lawn care company can aerate your soil and have the lawn looking like new. This job is something for the professionals, as it can take quite some time without the proper equipment.

    Nutrients Make All The Difference

    Grass is a plant, and plants need food. The lawn is starving for nutrients to help it achieve its maximum potential. It is a step that many people do not think is necessary, but feeding your lawn is important to its health and overall vitality.

    Clipping For A Luxurious Lawn

    Lawn care involves more than just feeding and watering your law; you need to keep it mowed. The more you mow your grass, the better it will look. Grass needs to be clipped down to be healthy. Just like human hair, if it is not cut every so often, it gets split ends and looks awful. The same theory can be used about your lawn. The more you let it go; weeds will start getting in and ruin the whole look. A yard full of weeds looks awful. Make sure that you have your lawn cut at least once every two weeks. Some people over-cut, while others undercut their lawn. You want a nice happy medium to ensure your grass is healthy.

    Your local Ann Arbor MI lawn care company wants to help you get your lawn ready for summer. Be the envy of the neighborhood when your lawn is lush, green, and healthy. You know that lawn that everyone drives by and wishes was their yard; well, you can have the lawn of your dreams with a bit of hard work. Call today and see how we can make your lawn look amazing.