Choosing the Best Fence for your Seattle Property

Choosing the best fence for your Seattle property is critical in making sure it will fit your needs, level of desired maintenance, its durability, and the visual aspect of what it will add to your property.

Seattle homeowners have many different options when it comes to fence Fence Building Seattletypes. Before selecting the type of fence or material, you should consider the goals of your fence. Are you having this fence installed in order to keep your pets or kids contained and safe, to add some privacy to your yard, or to increase the property value of your Seattle home.

Be sure to also consider the level of maintenance you are open to taking on. Not all fences are created equal when it comes to upkeep. The final thing to consider before the fun of selecting your materials is to be sure and check on any restrictions from your HOA. Many HOA’s in the Seattle area have restrictions about the material, height, and gate style of fences. The most common HOA restriction we see at DH Land Pros is that fences must be made of cedar, 6 or 8 feet tall, and stained in a natural color.

No fence restrictions

If your neighborhood has no fence restrictions you can pick from a wide variety of fencing like white picket fencing, an eight-foot wooden privacy fence, or a shadow box fence.. When you meet with your fencing building contractor they will be able to give you a recommendation based on your needs and budget.  

What does a fence cost?

Having a  fence installed can vary pretty drastically depending on the material DH Land Pros fence buildingused, the land the fence is built on, the type of fence, and the overall length of the fence. Dan, DH Land Pros Founder says “our average fence install comes in between $5000-$10,000. The prices in Seattle vary so much because of the widely varying size and slope of the properties.”

1. Selecting the best fence for your yard

Whether you are having a fence installed for privacy, visual appeal, or for the safety of pets and children. Fences are one of the key landscaping features that attribute to increasing property values. When you are selecting the fence type make sure to put your needs before your wants. It sound self explanatory but clients often times make this mistake, Be sure and ask your contractor for recommendations about the type of fence that meets your needs.

If your main concern is property value and containing children and pets you will likely want to go with anything other than a privacy fence. Privacy fences are often times viewed as “suspicious” by potential buyers. In the case where you need a privacy fence, DH Land Pros recommends wood fencing for privacy fences. The most common wood used in fencing is cedar. Cedar stands up well, when sealed, looks nice, and is very affordable

Vinyl fencing is another good option, but can be expensive. Vinyl fencing often times is not the best fence and does not provide quite the same level of privacy. If containing your pet is the primary need for your fence, be sure to research your breeds temperament to dig under, or its ability to jump over your fence. Husky’s for example are escape artists and can easily escape an eight foot fence.

2. Consider fence maintenance

We all know property maintenance is something homeowners dread, having a fence put up is no different. Fences take a beating here in Seattle. Your fence will deal with heat, cold, rain, wind, seawater, and everything else your family seattle fence buildingcan throw at it. Keeping a fence up is no small task. One of the services that helped DH Land Pros get off the ground as a company was fence repair. When considering the type of fence you are having installed ask yourself how much time you want to spend maintaining your fence.

Wooden fencing requires the most upkeep such as replacing rotted boards and staining every couple of years. That being said wooden fences are often times the most desired and increase property value most effectively. While wood does require the most maintenance, it is the most budget friendly when major repairs need to be made. Wooden fences allow you to replace a single board or two when damaged. Aluminum fences for example can require you to replace an entire panel. We have repaired a few aluminum fences in the Seattle area where it would have been more cost effective to erect a wooden fence in it place.

3. Check with your HOA

We touched on this earlier, but Dan, DH Land Pros founder will ask clients this question multiple times before purchasing materials. “Did you check with, and get your fence approved by your HOA?” In 2012 we had a client who had us out, knew exactly what they wanted, and we installed over the weekend. Two days later they called us and let us know the HOA called them to let them know their fence would have to be taken down. Their fence did not fit within the HOA rules. This was a very expensive and frustrating process. Don’t put yourself through this.

4. Pick the best fence contractor

The Seattle area is filled with contractors who could build you a fence. Make sure your contractor is well rated on HomeAdvisor and can provide photos and examples of past fencing projects. DH Land Pros has more than 125 years of fencing experience on our crew. We have built fences on all types of landscapes and dealt with all types of slope, surfaces, and needs.

3 Trends in Seattle Kitchen Renovation

Kitchen renovations are a great way to make your home more enjoyable to live in, while increasing the value. Based on our experience there are 3 trends we want to share about Seattle Kitchen Renovations. Trends in kitchen renovations have changed a lot through the years. In this article we want to cover three trends in Seattle kitchen renovation. At the end we  give our two cents on what the next trend will be.

Seattle Kitchen Renovation Trend 1: under cabinet motion-sensing LED lights.

We work on a wide variety of home types in Seattle from craftsmen to modern under cabinet lighting is a great way to immediately give your kitchen a luxury look and feel. Make those under cabinet lights motion sensing and now you’ve added a “smart home” feature that really sets your kitchen apart from others. It has become more and more popular to find home in Seattle with under cabinet lighting. With the technology influence in the Seattle area potential buyers see this feature and are immediately drawn to your home. Under cabinet motion-sensing lighting is a low cost feature that will make your kitchen renovation trend that is sure to make your friends jealous.

Seattle Kitchen Renovation Trend 2: Energy Efficient Appliances.

The addition of energy efficient appliance will not only decrease your utilities billing, but it helps bring your home into the 21st century in terms of home technology. This is another value increasing kitchen renovation trend that is taking over Seattle. This is likely because of the tech influence and environmental support by the population of Seattle.

Seattle Kitchen Renovation Trend 3: The use of Natural Materials

In the last 12 months to number of renovators who have elected to have natural or untreated wood and stone in their homes are grown exponentially. Stone floors in bathrooms and kitchens have become very popular. We believe this is because it brings a rustic yet high class look to older homes. Natural wood floors have become increasingly popular. Upcycling is a big trend in Seattle. 

Seattle Kitchen Renovation Trends that are coming

Based on our conversations with other contractors in the area, the requests we have received from clients, and where we feel the kitchen renovation trends are going we have a few bets we would like to make.

Bet 1: Tech Tech Tech

We believe technologically enabled kitchens are a going to become the new Seattle kitchen renovation trend.  It is only a matter of time until Amazon Fresh buttons are in your pantry or Echo integrated into your island. Refrigerator manufactures have begun adding tech features such as Wi-Fi and cameras.

Bet 2: Organics and Farm to Table

Shoppers in the Seattle area already prefer to purchase and prepare organic or farm to table food for their families. As kitchen renovations change in Seattle we are going to see more of a focus about the types of materials used. We hope you enjoyed reading about Seattle kitchen renovation trends. If you have any bets on coming trends, we would love for you to share them with us!

Getting Your Yard Ready for Spring – 10 tips

Spring in the Pacific Northwest is a little different than in most places. We get 4 very different seasons here in the northwest and because of that, getting your yard ready for spring can be tough. The winters in Seattle are wet, cold, and we see very little sunlight. Then, just a few days into spring we can see days that are 65 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. In this post we want to share 10 pro tips for getting your yard ready for spring. Follow these tips and your yard will bounce back and last all summer long.

  1. Rake your lawn. Raking your lawn is something you should do as soon as you feel the temperature state to warm up. Doing this helps get your yard ready for spring because it promotes the grass to stand back up and the drying out of especially wet spots.landscaping clean out
  2. Reseed the bare/dead spots. Spring reseeding is essential in the Seattle area because when grass is too wet and cold, walking on it can kill it leaving you with bare spots. What you want to do is take a rake and rough up the soil to loosen it. You may need to be rough with it if the weather has been especially cold recently. Put down a mixture of grass seed and fertilizer, then rake to mix. Doing this protects the seeds when we get those cold spring days.
  3. Put down 2-4 inches of mulch. When spring hits you want to put 2-4 inches of mulch down around your shrubs, trees, plants, bulbs, and perennials. Doing this promote healthy soil and deters the growth of weeds.
  4. Aerate or have your lawn aerated. Aerating your lawn is crucial to getting your yard ready for spring. Aeration allows oxygen to enter the soil promoting growth. If you do not aerate your lawn you risk the roots dying when temperatures start to rise.
  5. Prune, Prune, Prune. Be sure to prune all plants, shrubs, and trees of any and all diseased or dead plants, limbs, or branches. Doing this is great for keeping plants healthy and removing the risk of disease traveling through your yard. It also makes your yard look better in a general way.
  6. Pull weeds and clear out debris.get your yard ready for spring The weeds only get stronger as the season changes and debris only looks worse the longer you leave it. Get out there and pull weeds and clear out last season’s debris to get your yard ready for spring.
  7. Put a new blade on your mower. Using a lawn mower with a dull blade actually rips the grass out rather than cutting it. This can be damaging to your grass and leave uneven mow marks. Lawn mower blades are fairly inexpensive and go a long way for getting your yard ready for spring.
  8. Consider landscape lighting. Landscape lighting is a great way to show off the character of your property, while deterring criminals. Landscape lighting is often thought of as the first line of defense when it comes to security. It also though, serves as a great way to add dimension to your property.
  9. Put up some bird feeders. Bird feeders are a great way to keep your yard healthy. Birds eat insects that carry disease that can be detrimental to your yard. A single bird can eat up to 1,000 bad bugs in a single day!
  10. Consider an irrigation system. Irrigation systems take some of the work out of Installation of an irrigation system keep your property beautiful. Getting your irrigation system installed during the spring time allows you to be out in front of the hot summer heat.

5 Things not to do When Remodeling

You’ve made the decision, lets remodel! Whether you have lived in your home for years, or recently purchased and want to personalize things you have probably considered remodeling some of if not all of your home. Some homeowners have better remodeling sense than others, because of that we want to go over 5 things not do when remodeling.

Do not remove original hardwood flooring

In the Puget Sound we have a large number of older homes that have original hardwood flooring.  Over time, true hardwood can start to look bad but that does not mean you should remove it when remodeling. Have the floors refinished instead. Older home have real, high quality hardwood unlike some of the newer homes. Having original, high quality wood floors is a huge value and selling point.

Do not overly personalize things

When a home is on the market one of buyers biggest complaints is that the previous owner over personalized the home. A few examples of this are raised or lowered counter tops, rooms painted in harsh or generally unpleasant colors, or “room conversions” that don’t fit the flow of the home.

Do not remove windows

We’ve been asked to do this a few times, and we’ll never understand it. That is why its number 3 on the list of things not to do when remodeling. We live in the Pacific Northwest, its beautiful outside but when you start removing windows you take away crucial natural light and block potentially great views and little pieces of nature from the home.

Do not miss-match the design styles

We see this a lot when homeowners attempt to take on a remodel by themselves. The kitchen is super modern, the master bedroom is rustic, and the office is some type of European library. Do not miss-match design styles when remodeling. It is confusing and disrupts the flow of the home.

Do not remove bathrooms or bedrooms

The 5th and final thing not to do when remodeling seems obvious, but after the number of requests we have had to remove a bathroom we feel like we have to say it. When homes are appraised the number of bedrooms and bathrooms factor into the value of your home. The last thing you want to do is cause of value loss of your property by removing a bed or bathroom. Very few buyers will be interested in a 3 bedroom home with one bathroom.

Remember these 5 things not to do when remodeling and your will likely be rewarded with a home value increase. Increasing the value of your home should always be the goal when remodeling. With questions contact us here to talk with our CEO Dan about the do’s and don’t’s of remodeling, and our process when we take on a remodeling job.

4 Ways to Make Your Home Look Great this Spring

Spring is coming! We’re almost through winter, the coldest Pacific Northwest winter since 1985 in fact. Like many homeowners you are probably looking for ways to make your home pop this spring. Whether you are looking to sell your home and capitalized on the hot market in Seattle, or are just looking to get the neighbors talking there are 4 ways to make your home look great this spring.

New Grass

The spring time is the best time to have new grass installed. Lush Green LawnThe weather is warm enough for the roots to reach deep in the soil, and there is enough moisture in the air the keep the grass growing. Giving new sod a fair start is key when having this done. When new grass is installed it is very susceptible to damage from excess heat or cold. New grass also gives your yard an instant boost on the first sunny day. While everyone else’s grass is still lying flat your will be standing tall.

Exterior paint

How do you feel when you buy a new shirt you really love? Your house feels the same way when it’s been freshly painted. The Puget Sound, Seattle more specifically is especially hard on exterior paint because of the amount of rain we get mixed with the sea air a moisture coming off the sound. Cold and wet weather also promotes moss and other build up to happen on your siding. Having your home painted will make your home look great this spring, and stand out if it’s for sale.

Pressure washing

Pressure Washing in SeattlePressure washing your roof and driveway is something we recommend to every client who calls us about spring clean ups. Get that unsightly green moss off your roof and driveway for a low cost way to make your home look great this spring.

Landscape Clean Up

One of our most popular service is the 4th way to make your home look great this spring. Landscape clean ups included the removal of downed branches and leaves, bed maintenance, lawn care, and pruning of shrubbery. A lot of different things happen in your yard during the winter months. From wind storms, to snow, to weird weeds that only grow during the winter, landscape clean outs take care of all those things.

Bring your home out of winter and into spring with these 4 ways to make your home look great this spring.

Remodeling in West Seattle – 4 Projects to Maximize Home Value

After years of contracting and home remodeling in West Seattle we have had remodeling requests for it all. Bright red master bathrooms, colored toilets and sinks, garages turned into offices, and even kitchens made smaller. While some clients have a better idea of what will increase the value of their home, not all do. Because of that we want to provide some information about 4 projects to consider when remodeling in west Seattle if you want to increase the value of your home.

For all of these projects it is important to consider where you spend most of your time and the layout of your home. In general though, these projects will increase the value of your home when you are ready to sell, and make it more enjoyable to live in until then.

The Kitchen

There are a few reasons we start with the kitchen. Trends change quickly, appliances are an easy way to refresh the look and feel of the kitchen. The kitchen is often times considered the center of the home. People love their kitchens, but the wear and tear that comes with using a kitchen daily can quickly have it looking run down. Some of the most common upgrades are new counter tops, new appliances, new paint, and kitchen additions such as a breakfast bar or an island. Lately we have also seen a trend with upgrading the sink and faucet. Our kitchen remodeling recommendations are:

  • Start with paint

Keep it neutral. Bright reds, yellows, or blues can work great in kitchens, but often times they clash with counter tops and appliances. Loud colors also can deter potential buyers because of an overly personalized feel. We recommend grays, light blues, and nice, classic shades of white.

  • Energy Efficient Appliances

The addition of energy efficient appliances are an instant value increase. New appliances often offer new features, are more visually appealing, and installing energy efficient appliances offer tax breaks and lower utilities bills. This is something we recommend to everyone when remodeling their kitchen

  • Counter tops and Back splashes

Adding new counter tops and back splashes do two things. It makes your home feel newer, and more expensive. Simple counter top upgrades can drastically change the feel of the room.

  • Refinish Cabinets

Your cabinets take a lot of abuse day to day. Refinishing them is an easy way to change colors, brighten the room, or completely change the feel of a room.

 The Bathrooms

Bathrooms are an area of the home that can be make or break when selling a home. In general people like clean, functionally sound bathrooms with character. You do not want to go overly personalized when in the bathroom. We recently had a client who wanted a black toilet, sink, and shower pan. While black toilets may be interesting in fancy restaurants or hotels, that’s not something you typically want in your home. Our bathroom remodeling recommendations are:

  • Upgrade the vanity or counter tops

A remnant piece of granite can transform a bathroom. Many people think of stone counter tops as a luxury piece, adding this to a bathroom, especially a master bath can really make a difference in value.

  • Flooring

What are the floors in your bathroom made of? Are they laminate or carpet? If they are, you have two of the items home buyers most often cited as “problems” with homes on the market. For one Carpet has no place in the bathroom. Laminate looks okay for a few years but quickly starts to show wear and can easily be damaged by water. A recent trend in bathroom remodeling is to use natural stones like you would find on a luxury patio. This can really make a room feel new.

  • Shower Upgrades

Everyone has a personal preference, but I think we can all agree that a quality shower has enough room to move around in, and the water pressure to rinse the shampoo out of your hair. Shower upgrades to consider are going from tempered glass to stone or tile walk ins. Tiled floor with glass enclosures, and new shower heads and shower systems. Rain showers are all the rage right now. If you want to take it one step further like a client we had, you can integrate stereo systems or a TV into your shower.

Landscape Design

Quality, low maintenance landscaping and landscape lighting is a great low cost way to increase the value of your property when remodeling in West Seattle. People make initial judgement based on what they see. If they see a manicured lawn, fresh beds, clean stone, and a nice looking deck or patio they are going to believe you take the same level of care the rest of the property. Landscape lighting is also considered a security feature by many. Add a nice looking privacy fence and families start to feel at home before they have even seen the rest of the home.

  • Lush, green lawns 

The appeal of a nice lush, green lawn is something everyone can appreciate. Lush Green LawnIt shows pride in ownership and can oftentimes make or break the first impression of a property. Don’t rule out having new grass installed. It is a great quick fix solution, and can be less expensive than the care and time it takes to bring a damaged or dead lawn back to life.  

  • Landscape Design

From a property value perspective the value goes up when the property is usable. landscaping clean outsEven in yards with limited space a quality landscape design can transform the property. People spend a significant amount of time in their yards and value its usability. Fire pits and outdoor living spaces are popular right now.

  • Landscape Lighting and Security

The basic security system of every property is the fencing and landscape lighting.A nice tall cedar privacy fence and some strategically installed landscape lighting can go a long way in deterring criminals. It can also help to accentuate the architectural design of the home.

New Doors

The addition of new front doors and a new garage door can really bring a property together. Brokers have been cited saying many home buyers have attachments to different colored front doors. Red and blue are popular colors. Updating your front door and garage door can make a huge impact on the value of your property for a relatively low cost. The exterior of homes take a beating in our climate. Replacement or painting is a great solution for an updated look.

  • Front Door

The front door is the gateway to the home, does yours look used and abused? A simple upgrade or paint job can really change the perceived value of the home.

  • Garage Door

Garage doors are large, and often times boring and uninviting. DH Land Pros Exterior ContractingMake sure it is clean, undamaged, and in good working order. Higher end homes often times have more custom looking garage doors. If you are trying to get your property to value in the higher end market you should consider the installation of a wood or glassed garage door to create a higher end look.

We hope you find these tips valuable and will use them when consider remodeling in West Seattle. Remember to not over personalize things and start with the spaces you spend the most time. For information about our remodeling projects and services please contact us and we would be happy to set up a consultation to discuss your property. After as many projects as we have taken on, we’ve seen it all and can help guide you through this process.

 

New Sod – When, Why, and How?

The installation of new sod can transform your property and is a great way to add new life to your landscaping. There are a few specific things that can contribute to the perceived value of your home: the upkeep and quality of your home and the curb appeal.

When?

In the West Seattle, Ballard & Magnolia areas, a vast majority of the lawns are decades old and have died off or are struggling with disease. Once dead or diseased, it is extremely difficult to get your lawn back to a healthy state. Often times it is easier, less expensive, and a quicker solution to have new sod installed. New sod is a great option when you are having drainage issues, putting your house up for sale, just purchased a home, or have simply let your lawn get away from you.

Why?

Having new sod installed instantly increases the perceived value of your property and makes it more desirable. A long time realtor’s trick is to have new sod installed if a home has been on the market too long. When this is done, it provides a great refresh to your landscaping.

New sod provides a boost in the nutrients of your property and helps other landscape thrive. Installing a new or different type of sod can make your lawn more resilient to heat, excessive water, extreme cold, and even the amount of use. Home Advisor notes that in 2016 the average cost of new sod installation was between $1,000 and $2,500 for a “small american yard with minimal slope and prep work.”

How?

DH Land Pros has completed many new sod installations in the greater Seattle area. Installing new sod allows for us to make a big difference when doing a complete landscaping design job. It’s no secret we get a lot of rain in the Northwest; when installing new sod we have the chance to run drainage materials  and set your lawn up in a way that will keep moisture away from your home and from threatening your foundation.  It also allows us to create custom designs and totally change the way your property looks and is used.

Our new sod installation process is detailed below:

  • DH Land Pros sod cuts the yard.

Doing this allows the nutrients already there to stay in the soil and thrive.

  • We lay down fresh compost & soil base.

Putting down fresh compost and a nutrient rich soil base is good for quick growth, drainage, and lawn density. New sod installation

  • Next we sod roll for a firm but forgiving foundation.

Like most projects, the foundation is critical; sod rolling allows us to pack the foundation to an appropriate density. This keeps your lawn firm.

  • We install our signature 100% Rye grass in our signature weave pattern.

We install in a weave pattern to help promote a strong root system. Installing this way allows the sod’s root systems to link together. This creates a strong start for new lawns.

Irrigation Systems

DH Land Pros offers irrigation system installations to go with new sod projects. We do this because it is best to install these systems during the compost and soil portion of the install. We recommend every new sod installation has an irrigation system installed to ensure proper growth.   

Now in 2017 water conservation is of the utmost importance. And with theses concerns come viable solutions to conserve water & keep lawns healthy & green. DH Land Pros offers a rain sensor with your new irrigation system & timers. This allows proper water usage on those dry days & allows the system to shut down during the rainy days.  This ultimately keeps your yard greener year round (except for those few cold winter weeks) and allows the nutrients to stay in the soil!
If you are dealing with a dying, dead, or diseased lawn, would like to add value to your property, or are trying to get buyers interested in that property that just won’t sell you should consider new sod installation. DH Land Pros has the experience and expertise to create the lawn of your dreams and make your property the envy of the neighborhood.  Contact us with questions or quote requests.

7 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Contractor

You made the decision to hire a contractor, now you have to find one. Similar to buying a car or selecting a caterer for your wedding you have a lot of options when it comes to contractors. You can go with a large company or a small company, a newer firm or an older firm, an all trades contractor or someone who specializes. When it comes to actually making the choice, there are a few questions we at DH Land Pros believe you should ask every contractor before considering hiring them.

  1. What is your license number?
    Ask the contractor for their license number. With it you can look up their history and see complaints.  You can also see legal action taken against them, and confirm that they are who they say they are. Do not hire a contractor who is not licensed. You are putting yourself and your property at risk if you do.
  2. Are you insured?
    Ask about their insurance policy. Make sure they have one, and require they prove they are insured. Contractors are required to be insured to protect their employees, equipment, and their work. Similar to licensing, do not hire a contractor who is not insured.
  3. Can you provide me with references to a similar project?
    Make sure the contractor can provide you with one reference to a past client who had a similar project. Once they provide you with the reference, follow up on it and contact the reference. Ask about the quality of the work, how the contractor left the property, if they felt like the jobsite was safe, and about interactions with employees. If the contractor cannot provide a reference to a similar project, don’t be scared away. “Similar” is a relative term, and contractors frequently branch out into new types of projects, especially all trades contractors like DH Land Pros. When you can’t get a reference for a similar project, ask for three references to other projects. You should get a pretty good idea of the quality of work after speaking with three references.
  4. Will you provide me with an expectation of work and timeline before the project begins and update it as the project progresses?
    Some contractors will bid a job, close the deal, take the check, and you won’t hear from them until they need more money or are done with the project. While that may work for some people, most prefer to get a document outlining the work to be completed, and get updates as the project progresses. If this is something you care about, make sure your contractor will be providing you with that before hiring a contractor.
  5. Is your bid a fixed price or an estimate?
    Nailing down the cost of your project is going to be something you want to do right away. When a contractor bids on your job make sure to find out if their bid is a fixed cost or an estimate. Projects can quickly get out of hand in terms of cost when bids are estimated.
  6. Will you itemize your bid for me?
    Getting a contractor to itemize their bid can help put you at ease in terms of knowing if you are paying a fair price. An itemized bid also will help keep the contractor honest if they come asking for more money.
  7. Who will manage my project? Can you take me to an active job site that is being managed by the foreman
    Meeting the foreman can go a long way when it comes to feeling sure about going with a contractor. Getting to see an active job site can be helpful when hiring a contractor. Some contractors will push back about taking you to an active job site because of privacy and safety concerns. Those are legitimate reasons to decline your request. If that is the case ask for the foreman to come and walk you through your project. This gives you an opportunity to ask questions and get a feel for the foreman.

Make sure to ask these 7 questions when hiring a contractor. Hiring a contractor in not a small decision and the choice should be made carefully.