Rolling in the green: Valley landscaping business perks up
By MELISSAH YANG
Tom Hoff, a landscape designer, said business has more than doubled since the housing market collapsed. “Back in 2008 to 2009, I was getting 50 jobs a year,” he said. “And now, I’m getting closer to 130 to 140.”
He checks in on his latest project: converting 5,800 square feet of dead grass into a resort-style backyard paradise. Hoff’s subcontractors, roll out a sparkling green carpet of artificial grass. Other backyard features include oleander and iceberg rose shrubs framing the lot, a small vineyard for homemade winemaking, fresh concrete work around the pool, a wrought iron gate and a fire pit.
But Hoff said this particular job was unusual. Most homeowners were spending more modestly. “They’re not going all-out like before the burst,” Hoff said. “In 2004 to 2005, people were doing outdoor kitchens, pools, spas and a lot of upgrades. This time around, a lot of people are just getting the basics like lawns and patios.”
Hoff also said some homeowners were taking home improvement into their own hands.
Levi Lambson said business has improved as more homeowners come in to pick up trees and shrubs for their yards.
“Things are slowly starting to come back around,” Lambson said. “I think people are definitely out spending a lot more money than before.”
According to the March Nevada taxable sales report, consumers are spending half of what they spent in 2005 on building materials and garden equipment.
But since 2010, home improvement sales have increased by 6 percent statewide and 19 percent in Clark County. And the county saw a 51 percent increase in specialty trade contracting — including plumbing and electrical work — than a year earlier.
“Every time I go out to a house to give a quote, I see a plumber, a painter, a contractor,” said supervisor Carlos Rosales. “They’re fixing everything.”
Jamel Taylor attributes the growing popularity of home improvement and renovation to people looking for a “staycation.”
“It’s a much greater investment to invest in the home that they live in and make it nice and livable and a paradise in your backyard than to actually leave and go on vacation,” Taylor said.
And that’s good news for Taylor, who saw his revenue increase over the past two years by 10 percent to $1.1 million in 2012.
But for some landscaping companies, the change in revenue has been minimal despite low home prices.
“We’ve been in business for so long that we didn’t feel the crunch,” Evelyn Ronnow of Wet-tec, a landscape company of 30 years, said. “We’ve been one of the blessed ones.”
Bath Beautification Project supported by local Rotary Club
May 29, 2013 the Bath Rotary Club saw its Bath Beautification Project come to fruition when twenty-three new wrought iron, hanging baskets filled with colorful flowers were hung on the light poles along Liberty Street.
The floral arrangements and baskets were done by TNT Greenhouses in Bradford. In addition, those Rotarians who helped hang the baskets that day with the assistance of personnel from the Bath Village Department of Public Works planted flowers, provided by the Bath Beautification Trust Fund, in the barrels throughout the downtown area.
The local club sponsored two fundraisers to benefit this project. In April it held a Stearns’ Chicken Barbeque, and at its 90th Anniversary Celebration Dinner in May the winners of its Big Bucks Raffle were announced.
Becky Stranges, Bath Rotary Club President, remarked, “Flowers say to residents and visitors that people care about the community. Betty Langendorfer has spent endless hours as the caretaker of the village beautification for many years. The previous baskets made the task rather difficult, and it was thus the general consensus of the Bath Beautification Committee to replace the wrap-around pole baskets with larger hanging baskets.
When the Bath Rotary Club heard about this need, it eagerly took on the project to adorn the light poles lining historic Liberty Street with new wrought iron, hanging baskets. We hope that everyone enjoys these new baskets full of colorful flowers.” The Bath Rotary Club meets every Thursday at noon at the Bath Country Club.
It can enhance the look of your home by giving it an elegant feel. The reason that wrought iron is so popular for the making of myriad items is that it is both attractive and strong.
Additionally, most wrought iron today is coated so the finish does not rust and is easy to maintain. Unlike cast iron, this material is malleable, which makes it a great choice for just about anything. Wrought iron just may be the most versatile material around.
Lamp bases, candle holders, trivets and sconces have been made from wrought iron for years, and they are just as popular for home decorating as they ever were. You can find some great new and vintage pieces at flea markets and thrift stores. Place these items around your home to instantly update your decor by creating a classic look that will never go out of style.
Some furnishings are also made from wrought iron. Go shopping at a quality furniture store, and you will find all sorts of tables made from this material including: coffee tables, side tables, and indoor or outdoor dining tables. Wrought iron benches, chairs, stools, plant stands, curios, and much more are also available. Imagine an entire room filled with furnishings made from this amazing material and how special that would look.
Wall decor is another very popular item made from wrought iron. All sorts of shapes and patterns exist, ready and waiting to turn your ordinary space into an extraordinary one. Hang just one unique piece, such as a large clock, or mix and match your favorite finds. From animals to the alphabet, you can find a wide variety of wrought iron wall decor to enjoy.
Wrought iron shelving is a fabulous idea if you are in need of extra space. An iron bookshelf can hold a lot of books, and a baker’s rack can give you extra storage for all your heavy kitchen appliances. The best part is that you won’t have to worry about the shelving collapsing because it is built so solidly.
You can hang your dish towels on wrought iron hooks, and you can hang your bath towels on wrought iron towel bars. You’ll also find coat hooks and racks made from this material. These items are not only attractive and useful, but they also add visual interest to your home.
Last but not least, wrought iron is very popular in architecture. Brilliant gates grace the mansions of the wealthy, and stunning fences surround the home of working-class citizens. And, wrought iron screen doors can be found in almost any neighborhood. Wrought iron is accessible to all.
As mentioned before, wrought iron looks great in any form. That is why it is used to make tons of great things. Its many charms are what make this material so very appealing to the masses.
@Copyright Ironews 2013
The beauty of one’s home is of course in the eye of the beholder however there are certain elements that are attractive to almost everyone no matter the taste. Wrought iron is a good example of this as it can be used in many places around the home to add elegance and style.
There is no lack of the types of pieces that are available as they range from gates, fences, stair railings, chandeliers, candle holders, wall art, dining table racks, fireplace screens, wine racks, mirror frames, curtain rods, wall clocks all the way to every type of furniture available in your home. The possibilities are endless, mainly due to the flexibility of the material.
Wrought iron is one of the purest form of cast iron available in the market after going through an industrial process that involves refining, puddling, shingling and rolling to achieve this amazing end product material where the iron has very small amount of carbon and varying amounts of slag. Slag is a key factor as it is directly proportional to the quality of the material as the more slag fibers are present, the cheaper the product.
The primary reason this metal is used the most for home decorative pieces is because of the attractive properties it possesses. Highly corrosive resistant, wrought iron is also very tough and pliable, making it a dream come true for blacksmiths since the first hammer ever hit this material. Craftsman immediately were drawn to create unique things with it and thus why anything that needs to be strong, but also requires a bit of style will include this metal.
Typically one will find floral or delicate leafy cuts as a typical design however this metal can be twisted and bent to make any intricate, elegant, eye-catching design. Classic European influences are clearly seen in many pieces however the prevalence of the material has introduced a much needed injection of modern elements to blend well with more current looks. All it takes is a bit of imagination and creative thinking to choose the most suitable pieces to complement your home.
Big pieces such as beds, headboards, patio furniture and more are the obvious choices when using this metal so let’s discuss a few smaller things that can accentuate the beauty of your home such as the simple light switch. A thing as subtle as this can tie together with the iron lamp and coat rack in the entrance corridor that also happen to be lined up with iron plant holders where you can clearly see the iron shelving in the adjacent room. One can own a pair of iron key holders to effectively complement all these decorative touches and further create a theme for your beautiful home.
As one can see, wrought iron can be molded into gorgeous things which requires very low maintenance compared to other types of material in the market so whether your house is traditional, contemporary or modern, it won’t be hard to find a suitable piece for your home.
@Copyright Ironews 2013
From wrought iron railings to decorative stone work and landscaping, it’s all part of the $1.5 billion Highway 41 reconstruction project. Now an area lawmaker says enough is enough. Republican Jim Steineke of Kaukauna says if local municipalities want the special enhancements, they should pay for them. And he says that could save millions of dollars a year.
“It’s like the high speed Main Street of the Fox Valley,” said Wisconsin Department of Transportation U.S. 41/WI 441 Project Group Chief Brian Roper of the main highway linking Green Bay and the Fox Valley.
The Highway 41 reconstruction project in Brown and Winnebago counties is nearing the halfway mark. But already some completed portions are offering a markedly different view.”Stamped concrete, wrought iron railings, those are all things that I think we can agree look nice,” said State Rep. Jim Steineke.
But it’s a view Steineke says taxpayers around the state shouldn’t have to pay for. “These enhancements are nice, but not exactly something that’s needed. It’s the classic example of the government spending money on a want, not a need.”
Rep. Steineke says that’s why he’s introducing legislation Tuesday to take the spending authority out of the hands of the DOT. Representative Steineke says if local municipalities want to have then enhancements, they can pay for them.
“I don’t think statewide tax dollars should be going for local projects.” For example, the Highway 41 project has an overall budget of $1.5 billion. Of that the DOT is spending $21.4 million on aesthetic improvements to landscaping, bridges and overpasses. That amounts to 1.4 percent of the total project cost.
“It’s worth that extra one to two percent to give folks that extra sense of pride and extra sense of community,” said Roper.
Last September, FOX 11 On Special Assignment showed you crews putting in 172 trees, 640 shrubs and nearly 3,000 perennials in a median on Lombardi Ave. near Highway 41. “Whenever the public or the media gets involved and brings something to light, I think it’s incumbent on us to take a deeper look at it,” said Rep. Steineke.
DOT officials say while it’s not a critical part of the construction process, the enhancements add value to a project built to last.
“These bridges are meant to last 75 years, the roadway surface once we put it back down is intended to last over 40 years,” said Roper. Rep. Steineke says having municipalities pay for the improvements, if they choose, would allow the extra money to be used for other DOT projects.
“When we are looking at shortfalls like we are and we are going to eventually be looking at taxpayers to come up with more money through taxes or fees, I think we need to prove to them the budget is as efficient and as well spent as possible.” Roper says the DOT works closely with the public and local officials to make the design fit for the community. “It needs to be a sustainable investment and I think the department has done a really good job at striking that right balance.”
But at issue now, is who should pay for it. Rep. Steineke says he expects his bill will have plenty of bi-partisan support.
The Highway 41 project in Winnebago County should finish up this year. Work in Brown County is estimated to last through 2017.
Text from website Fox11, author Chad Doran