PATIO or DECK – Which is BEST?

When it comes to creating an outdoor living space, there are many options, but for the majority of homeowners, it usually comes down to deciding between either a deck or patio. Each option offers an area to gather with friends and family, grill out, and relax under the sun or stars. But the wrong choice can turn your relaxation dreams into a stressful nightmare. So which is the right choice for you and your home?

Enhancing Nature’s Beauty

Do you want to incorporate your landscaping into the overall design of your deck or patio? If so, a patio usually works best, as it is situated directly on the ground, allowing it to seamlessly blend with the surrounding landscape. Trees, shrubs and flowers can be incorporated into the design to create an area that is truly “one with nature”.

Patio design, Hardscape ideas

Endless Design Options

Paver patios provide a beautiful, custom-paving solution that allow for a lot of design creativity and can be used on small or large patios. They come in a variety of colors, styles, textures and shapes, which can be mixed together to create a truly unique design. They can also be designed to include features like fire pits, built in barbecues, and sitting areas, making them the perfect relaxation or socialization space.

Long Lifespan and Low Maintenance

Patios are incredibly durable, standing up to rain and extreme temperature changes better than traditional decking materials. A benefit of a paver patio is that if something does happen to a paver (i.e. it gets chipped or broken, settles, etc.) they can be lifted individually or in small groups and replaced without having to replace the entire patio. Because of this, a properly installed patio has a much longer lifespan than a deck, averaging 25+ years of virtually maintenance free life.

Before investing in a new outdoor space, you want to carefully consider all of your options. With the help of an experienced resource, like the team at Houp Landscaping, a well-planned patio can add a lifetime of enjoyment to your home. Contact us TODAY!


Light Up Your Landscape

Create a stunning landscape that can be enjoyed during the day and night!

You’ve worked hard to make your house and yard look beautiful, so why let that hard work disappear at nightfall? With some strategically placed outdoor lighting, you can put it all on display, create a warm and inviting feel for evening entertaining and add an element of safety and security. There’s no limit to the effects outdoor lighting can achieve.

Add color and texture

Path lights are visual aids in a dark space, but they also add color and texture if you place them near interesting plants. Lights placed in planting beds can be used to highlight structural features of your home and increase curb appeal.


Create shadows and depth

Balance is important when you’re lighting a home’s exterior. Shadow can be just as interesting as light and will add depth to your facade. The spotlights on the front of this house were placed close to the foundation so that the light would catch the edges of the beautiful landscaping and create interesting shadow patterns.


Provide safety in the dark

Parameter lighting can not only prevent a fall but also create an inviting atmosphere. On this patio, the lights are strategically placed on the steps, leading the eye naturally to the parameter of the patio and guiding you safely up or down the steps.


Create a unique look OR Show off your personality

Using different styles of path lights in the same scheme can help provide you with a truly unique look. An increasing number of home-owners prefer low voltage lighting for their outdoor landscapes due to its safety and ability to reduce hefty electricity consumption costs.

More than just picking the right hardware, a pleasing lighting scheme is also about artistry.

Let our experts help put your property in the best light after the sun goes down.


Backyard Trends for 2017

This year, backyard trends reflect the desire to bring the indoors outside, creating comfortable outdoor living spaces that are functional and beautiful. Take a look at our favorite Backyard Trends for 2017.

Outdoor Entertaining

The temperature’s rising, the days are getting longer, and backyard grills are firing up. It’s time to think outside the entertaining box. So take your next party or get-together outdoors. A patio is the perfect place to entertain! It’s important to layout and design your patio to accommodate your entertainment needs. Here are a few things to consider, when planning your new Outdoor Entertaining area.

  • How often do you entertain?
  • How many people/guests are in attendance on average?
  • How will your furniture need to be configured in your new patio area?

Backyard Paver Patios & Walkways

Pavers are becoming a popular choice for backyard patios and walkways. Unlike traditional decking materials, pavers can withstand heavy traffic and require little maintenance. They provide a beautiful, custom-paving solution that allow for a lot of design creativity and can be used on small or large patios. They come in a variety of colors, styles, textures and shapes, which can be mixed together to create a truly unique design.

Outdoor Kitchens

Fire pits, Built-in Grills and/or Full Outdoor Kitchens are features that help you create a comfortable and cozy outdoor living space that you and your family won’t want to leave.

Backyard Water Features

The soft splash of a backyard water feature brings life and motion to your outdoor living space. It attracts birds and its soothing sound transforms your space into a peaceful retreat.

Vibrant and Energetic Colors

Get inspired to add a splash of color to your outdoor living space with these DIY ideas from Better Homes and Gardens. Click HERE


Let US help make YOUR outdoor entertaining dreams a reality. Request and Estimate TODAY



SPRING is in the AIR… Let’s TEAM UP to CLEAN UP!

The snow and ice have finally melted, but the winter has left our yards and patios in desperate need of a major spring-cleaning. Now is the perfect time to get some essential spring maintenance done. Then, as temperatures warm up, you’ll be ready to enjoy the outdoors. Typical spring maintenance includes the trimming or pruning of damaged trees and shrubs, clean-up and mulching of landscape beds, removal of debris from turf grass, and prepping outdoor gathering spaces.

Why Trim in Spring?

Trimming shrubbery in spring allows for shaping and controlling of plant growth.  It will also allow you to redirect plant growth (i.e. away from a walkway or window). Pruning dead and damaged branches from shrubs and trees will let the plant heal quicker and can prevent the entrance of harmful insects and disease.  New buds will form and allow the plant to thicken its growth and keep it from appearing lanky or “wild.” With the investment in plant material and the value that they add to your property, it is best to keep them in good health.

Mulching Makes Sense

Besides making your landscape beds look fresh and aesthetically pleasing, mulching has a lot of other benefits.  Mulching your landscape beds annually helps to retain moisture in the ground, block weeds from germinating, protect against soil erosion around the plant and insulate plant roots. As it breaks down, mulch adds organic matter to the soil, which adds beneficial nutrients for plants to uptake through their roots.  Spring mulching also provides the opportunity to use a pre-emergent herbicide underneath the mulch that helps to keep the weed seeds in the soil from germinating.  Weeds can deprive the plant material from nutrients and moisture in the soil.

Prepping Your Patio

Whether you have a deck or patio, a few simple cleaning chores can turn it from a winter-neglected spot into a fun outdoor gathering space.

  • Furniture- If your patio furniture has been out in the weather all winter, it will need to be scrubbed clean. If it has been stored instead, now is the time to brush it off and return it to the patio.
  • Grills- If you have a grill, check its connections and operations, following all safety guidelines. Clean the grills and handles, lubricate the lid, and get ready for yummy barbecues.
  • Lighting- If your patio area includes exterior lighting, check that bulbs are snugly screwed in and that all fixtures are working appropriately. Remove any rodent, bird, or insect nests and clean the fixtures so they will shine as brightly as possible.

With slowly rising temperatures, longer days, and signs of life reawakening all around us – the onset of spring is a chance to reboot, renew, and start fresh – in all aspects of life. Spring cleaning – just feels good.


Bird-Friendly Landscaping Ideas

Enticing more birds to visit your backyard can be a very worthwhile and enjoyable project for the whole family (our kids love this) and especially for you “birders.” Putting up a feeder is always a quick and easy way to attract birds. However, if you want to attract a wider variety of species, prefer your backyard birds to get a more geographically-natural diet, or wish to create your own backyard bird sanctuary, it’s essential to consider the key landscaping elements that will make your yard more bird-friendly. When planning your landscape, keep in mind that birds need water, food and a place for shelter to survive – especially if you want them to keep coming back.  By providing these features, you can create an environment that attracts a variety or very specific types of birds to your backyard. The rewards are beautiful birds that add color and music to your life year-round.

A bird bath is a simple option in providing a water source for the birds. It’s a place for birds to bathe and get drinking water.

While bird houses and bird feeders are an option for shelter and food, also consider adding native plants to your landscape.  Native plants provide an excellent source for food and shelter. When designing your landscape, select a variety of plant species from evergreen to deciduous that produce nuts and berries year round.  This will provide a natural food source for the birds. Evergreens (trees and shrubs) are also important because they provide shelter during the winter months. Consider your birds’ specific needs and/or incorporate plants that vary in height. Different species of birds will feed, seek shelter and nest at various heights.  Planting in groups or clusters forms areas of dense vegetation, creating areas for birds to seek shelter and hide from predators. Perennials can also be incorporated into your design. Perennials not only add a splash of color to your gardens, but they also produce seeds or nectar that attracts birds. A few native perennials to Pennsylvania include Echinacea (Cone Flower), Monarda (Bee Balm) and Lobelia (Cardinal Flower).

Examples of native plants to PA that provide berries: Serviceberry (Amelanchier), Dogwoods (Cornus spp.), Winterberry holly (Ilex verticillata), American Cranberry bush (Viburnum trilobum) & Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum).

Examples of native plants to PA that provide cover: American Holly (Ilex opaca), Rhododendron (Rhododendron spp.), Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus), Eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis), & Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana).



To attract the most native songbirds, the overall goal of your backyard landscape should be to mimic nature as closely as possible. A properly designed landscape, even if located in an urban area, will attract dozens of species of brightly colored songbirds. In the spring and summer, the joyous songs of these birds are sure to brighten any day.



Mowing Tips!

It’s mowing season! Here are some tips to help keep your lawn looking great!

1) Mow at a height of 2 ½ – 3 inches. This helps promote a deeper root system for the grass plant and reduces weeds in your lawn.

2) Don’t remove more than 1/3 of the blade at a time. This allows you to leave the clippings, which returns valuable nutrients back to the soil.

3) Keep you mower blades sharp! Mowing with a dull blade shreds the ends of grass blades. This leaves behind grass with ragged ends, which turns brown, giving the lawn a dried-out look. It also makes the grass more vulnerable to disease.

4) Try and mow when the grass is dry.

Tired of looking at that boring old concrete in the front of your home? Then, complement your home’s architectural style and add curb appeal with beautiful and durable paving stone walkways, pathways, and garden paths.

Materials used are Techo-Bloc Allegro style pavers in the Shale Gray color laid in a running bond pattern.

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