As the weather starts to warm up and the leaves start to bloom, the call to be outside as much as possible will start to set in. If you love your outdoor space and can’t wait to get back to spending your evenings in the mellow summer breeze, it’s time to think about getting your outdoor space ready for the outdoor season. Whether you’re looking to enhance your outdoor space with new stonework or searching for new design ideas, the experts at Authentic Stone Creations have tips for getting outdoor spaces ready for summer.
Even during the summer, the nights can get a little chilly. One way to combat this and still be able to enjoy your outdoor area is by adding an outdoor fireplace. Not only will this give your guests a place to gather, but you can also roast marshmallows or comfortably sit outside with your morning coffee on a cool spring morning. Outdoor fireplaces are the perfect way to lengthen the amount of time you can enjoy your outdoor space during the year.
If you like to cook or entertain outdoors, adding entertainment areas can really optimize your outdoor space. If you have a flair for cooking, a stonework bar or grilling area is a unique way to make your outdoor space more functional. These areas can be as intricate or simplistic as you need, providing a great cooking space to chefs of all expertise levels. If you frequently entertain guests, seating is also very important. Invest in a table that works in the design and décor theme of your outdoor space. Large outdoor sectionals or large stone benches that are strategically placed to maximize the seating in your outdoor space will keep you and your guests comfortably seated all night long.
A simple way to add character to any outdoor space is to add greenery, plants, and flowers. Plants will add natural décor and color to your outdoor area, especially when paired with an interesting planter. For pleasant smells that will relax you and your guests as they surround your outdoor area, try flowers like jasmine, lavender, and honeysuckle, or choose to plant herbs that make a great impression and a great addition to any meal. At Authentic Stone Creations, we can help you build beautiful areas with natural stone to help set your garden apart.
Before the summer is in full swing, make sure your outdoor space is ready for entertaining. Sweep and clean off your stone patios and wooden porches to make sure they’re ready for guests. Inspect your outdoor stonework, walkways, and fireplaces for any damages to prevent anything from getting worse and ensure the integrity of your space. If you need repairs or are thinking of enhancing your home with a new stone patio area, fireplace, bench seating, or any other stonework creation you have in mind, contact the experts at Authentic Stone Creations where we proudly serve Lexington, Kentucky and all the surrounding areas.
While you cannot easily see into your chimney, it is essential for it to be checked. Before you begin using your fireplace, it should be inspected. One of the most costly mistakes homeowners make is assuming that their chimney is in the proper working order. However, the belief that everything is fine can be quite dangerous. From 2010 to 2012, there was an average of 22,700 chimney fires per year. To prevent a hazardous situation, here are some tips for how to keep your chimney in great working order.
Chimneys need to be inspected annually. The inspections should typically take place prior to winter, as this is primarily when people start using their fireplaces. A professional inspector will be able to tell if the chimney is in need of sweeping or repairs. Cleaning should occur when there is at least a 1/8-inch buildup of deposit within the chimney. Sweeps should be done on an as needed basis. Sometimes, it can be necessary for the chimney to be cleaned more than once a year.
While it is possible to clean your chimney yourself, it is best to leave it to the professionals. Professional cleanings have multiple benefits. In addition to sweeping the fireplace, they check multiple areas of the structure including the chimney exterior, liners, the firebox, as well as the smoke chamber and flue. They also examine the appliance for proper clearances.
A professional knows exactly what they are doing and knows when something is wrong. They can provide instructions on proper operation of the fireplace, or recommendations for replacement equipment. A cleaner will also be able to tell when the equipment or structure is in need of repairs. Relying on the help of professionals is one tip on how to keep your chimney in great working order in Lexington, KY.
When operating your fireplace, there are a few things you can do to maintain its condition. Firewood should be gathered a year in advance as this provides adequate time to properly season it. This causes less flammable material to accumulate in the chimney. You should also try to burn fires that are able to consume the fuel. When poor quality or wet fuel is burned, it produces slow fires and increases the amount of creosote buildup on the flue.
Another tip is never burn wood that has been painted or pressure-treated. You could also consider switching to a top-down method of burning, as it is cleaner, hotter, and create less smoke. Large logs should be placed at the bottom, then a row of smaller logs, followed by newspaper, and finally a layer of one inch kindling. When starting a fire, you simply lit the newspaper. These are just a few recommendations on how to keep your chimney in great working order in Lexington, KY
Authentic Stone Creations is the premier choice for masonry construction and repairs in Lexington, KY. For each project, we provide work meticulously by paying careful attention to every detail in the process. We strive to not just complete projects, but to exceed your expectations. We offer numerous residential and commercial services including fireplaces, walkways, patios, chimneys, mailboxes, and much more. We are located in Lexington, KY to provide our masonry services to the surrounding. Call us today to schedule an appointment.
Basements have the ability to considerably increase the value of properties. Not only is the added space beneficial for you, it is for the next homeowner as well. Homes with finished basements are sought after by buyers and will ensure the property is sold quickly. This is just one of the many advantages that basements offer. Basements are a sound financial investment but provide much more than that. Here are 3 reasons homes need a basement in Lexington, KY.
One of the 3 reasons homes need a basement in Lexington, KY is due to the versatility provided. A standard basement can be completed in whatever way the homeowner requires. The additional space can be turned into anything. More bedrooms can be created in order to occupy a growing family, or to provide a place for guests. An extra bathroom can be built in the basement as well. Whether you need a playroom or another living area to watch television, you can use your basement for anything. The space added to your home is multi-purpose and can be crafted to suit the needs of the household.
Houses with basements have improved energy-efficiency. This is due to the fact that there are fewer external walls that are directly exposed. There is also an increase in the amount of wall and floor insulation as well. These factors combine to ensure that the property does not become over heated or cool down too quickly. Fluctuations are minimized as homes are able to retain heat and have control over their temperature. Houses that have a basement can be up to 10% more thermally-efficient than homes that are built above the ground. The reduced energy consumption provided by basements is able to equate to lowered energy bills. A basement can actually save you money.
Zoning restrictions may prohibit additions to the property. If extra space is needed, basements are the perfect solution. There may be zoning codes that prevent upward or outward expansions that will bring the house too close to the neighbors. A basement will provide the same results as an addition but it does not change the footprint of the home. Basements are able to provide functional space without the worry of interfering with local zoning restrictions. Additional useable living space that complies with building codes is another one of the 3 reasons homes need a basement in Lexington, KY.
Authentic Stone Creations is a local source of masonry specialists. We offer numerous residential and commercial services including but not limited to stonework, chimneys, basements, patios, retaining walls, walkways, and masonry construction and repair. Our team has over twenty years of combined experience, so you can be assured that your project is left in the most capable hands. We provide an exceptional attention to detail and utilize only the finest quality of materials, to ensure that the finished project is stunning and sturdy. We are located in Lexington, KY to offer our masonry construction and repair services to the surrounding area. Call us today to schedule an appointment.
As the weather gets colder and the holidays creep up, it is important to ensure that everything in your home is running smoothly so as not to cause any extra stress during these hectic times. With all the parties, shopping, and traveling that the holidays require, no one has time to deal with a chimney that is in need of service. Keep your yule log burning, your chestnuts roasting, and your holiday traditions going with custom chimney services from Authentic Stone Creations of Lexington, Kentucky.
Custom Chimney Caps
Chimney caps are a must have for any home, especially with winter being right around the corner. Chimney caps cover the top of your chimney and are usually composed of a square of circular wire mesh body topped with a metal plate. Chimney caps cover the opening to your chimney to block water, snow, downdrafts, and animals from entering your home. In addition to keeping things out of your home, chimney caps also block loose embers and ash from landing on your roof to help keep your home safer when you are using your fireplace. There are many different kinds of chimney caps available, some with wire mesh and some without, that come in a wide range of colors, styles, and sizes.
Chimney liners are another incredibly important part of maintaining a safe and functional fireplace for the holiday season. Chimney liners are ceramic or metal ducts that are installed inside the chimney. Liners help direct heat and combustion byproducts outside of your home, keeping the fireplace functioning properly, the chimney safe from corrosion, and your home insulated from the temperatures outside. The type of material used for your chimney liner will depend on the type of fireplace that you have: wood, gas, solid fuel, or oil burning. Chimney liners should be checked whenever you have your chimney serviced by a professional, and should be replaced whenever damage is noticed.
The stonework on your chimney is another area that must be taken care of to ensure that your fireplace keeps running smoothly for the holidays. Because chimneys are held together with mortar joints and bricks, they are susceptible to damage from moisture. Moisture will eventually seep into the mortar joints and corrode the material, which can cause leaks, deterioration, and other damages to your chimney and home if not repaired properly. The crown of your chimney, usually composed of poured concrete, will also need to be repaired after some time to ensure that no weather-induced corrosion has occurred.
Make sure that your chimney is functioning at its very best this holiday season by contacting Authentic Stone Creations. Proudly serving Lexington, Kentucky and all the surrounding areas, Authentic Stone Creations can help with all your chimney repair, liner, and cap needs. With an A+ rating from the BBB and over two decades of experience, our team of experienced masonry and chimney experts have the custom chimney service you need to ensure your fireplace runs smoothly for the upcoming holiday season.
The mention of stonework in Lexington, Kentucky immediately brings to mind the beautiful rock fences that line so many of our roads and property lines. These free-handed limestone walls are a testament to another time. There are many ways to add stonework to your home today, and the experts at Authentic Stone Creations are the ones to do it.
Outdoor Stonework DesignsBecause of its natural look, stonework blends in beautifully with the outdoors. Let our design team help you draw up a plan using stone, brick, cultured stone, blocks or concrete to create added interest to your property. Make your yard more usable with stone retaining walls. Establish your outdoor entertaining area with a new stone or concrete patio that will never have to be sanded or re-stained like a deck. Add an outdoor fireplace made of stone to give a rustic feel to a backyard and provide a great reason to stay out later in the year. Or construct a brick fireplace with a cooking area for pizza-making. Grills, sinks and mini-fridges set in stonework give outdoor eating areas a finished look. Another great use of stonework outdoors that many people don’t think about is mailboxes. If you have brick or stone on the outside of your home, the mailbox can be constructed to match. Mailboxes made with stone, blocks, or bricks will last longer than those made of plastic or metal, and there is a much smaller chance of it being knocked over. Not to mention how much more appealing they are.
Indoor OptionsLexington, Kentucky stonework isn’t just for the outdoors, it’s also beautiful inside your home. A stone or brick wall adds a focal point to an otherwise dull room or entryway. Recreate your favorite Irish pub in your basement with a stone bar, walls and wooden barstools. Replace the builder-grade surround on your fireplace with natural stone or traditional brick. Stonework can be beautiful in any room of your home. Call us for an appointment and let our team of expert designers show you how.
Stonework RepairIf you’re fortunate enough to already have stonework in or around your home, but it is in need of repair, Authentic Stone Creations can help. We repair fireplaces, walkways, patios and driveways. We can also add caps or liners to increase the safety and efficiency of your chimney. Stonework is an art, and to do it right takes dedication, skill and experience. Our team has over 20 years of experience working with all types of stone, and we like nothing more than to create stonework that surpasses our customers’ expectations. Take advantage of our free estimates and plan on meeting with us within a day or two after calling to get your stonework creation or repair under way. We serve Central Kentucky, including Lexington, Frankfort, Georgetown, Paris, Versailles, Nicholasville, Danville, Richmond and Somerset.