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YOUR HOME   -   EXTERIOR LOOKS
Outdoor Elements with Wow Factor
July, 2014 - Issue #117
Style Set in Stone
Inspired by Italian and Provencal architecture, Cypress Ridge is designed to reflect the poetic harmony and enduring characteristics of age-old hilltop villages. A combination of irregularly-shaped stones with colors ranging from sundrenched golds, earthy browns and faint olive green hues offset rust-colored accents to give each stone its own story to tell. This manufactured stone, made by Eldorado Stone, looks a lot like the real stone used at TPC Valencia. It can be used for interior and exterior walls, fireplaces, BBQ islands, columns, seat walls and retaining walls. Pictured here is the "overgrout" technique, which gives the stone a warm/Mediterranean look and feel. Learn more at SCV Design Center, Inc. 284-5944

Solar Smarts:
Take Advantageof Summer Sun

Longer, brighter days mean more sun-fueled energy production, which is why now is the ideal time to install solar. Don't let summer's rays go to waste! (Especially when you're running that expensive air conditioner!) Your new solar panels will produce energy year-round, but summer production will be about two times greater than when we're in the dead of winter. Also timely: Pacific Blue Solar's 2.9-percent loan that allows you to see a full return on investment in as few as four or five years, with exponential net savings each year after. 259-1004

Courtesy of Shutterstock
Courtesy of Shutterstock
Landscaping without a Lawn
Your yard can look lush without a lawn! You'll save water and boost curb appeal with a lawn-free landscape. Here are three more reasons to landscape lawn free:

1. Lawn-free landscapes provide more opportunity to add depth, texture and interest with the
addition of drought-resistant plants and perennial color.

2. Lawn-free landscapes encourage more birds with a variety of plants that provide beauty,
visual structure and erosion protection year round.

3. Lawn-free landscapes provide more space for edibles, too. Grow your own food and herbs
while benefiting from their distinct design.

Most lawns can be removed and replaced with a beautiful, sustainable garden in just a few days. The trick: making sure the plants you choose will thrive with one another - and with your soil conditions, sun exposure, water access, wind tolerance and foot traffic (Of both the two- and four-legged variety!).

NV Landscape, Inc. 286-8888

Solar Smarts:
Don't Miss Tax Credits & Savings

Now is the best time to go solar if you want to save. There is a 30-percent tax credit that won't last forever; panel prices are at an all time low - but are expected to rise very soon because of tariffs to China; and demand is only increasing. Right now, enjoy a zero-down payment; a 650 FICO score qualifies you for no "out of pocket," too. Plus, Solar Universe will give you a free NEST thermostat and a variable-speed pool pump when you choose
Solar Universe. 805-777-7477

Make your Backyard more Inviting
Crescent sofas, loveseats and cuddle chairs make a cozy entertaining space. The same atmosphere can also be created with sectionals and corner units, depending on your yard's configuration. Pair them with a fire pit and it becomes a year-round gathering space. Have fun customizing your design with an amazing array of Sunbrella fabrics from which to choose. You can't go wrong with quality manufacturers like Alu-mont, OW Lee, Hanamint, NorthCape and Patio Renaissance, all available at Oasis Garden & Patio. 255-9909

Invest in the Best
Outdoor Furniture that Stands the Test of Time
True craftsmanship is hard to find, so when you come across real quality, take note. One worth remembering when you're in the market for outdoor furnishings: OW Lee Company.

The brand uses only the highest-quality materials in the production of their furniture. Steel and aluminum pieces are bent into exact shapes and then hand-forged with a hammer and anvil, a process unchanged since blacksmiths in the Middle Ages. Other elements that make OW Lee a smart buy:

• A full circumference weld is applied wherever metal components
intersect. This eliminates the possibility of moisture entering the
interior of tubing or in a crevice, a process that guards against rust
and corrosion.

• A hand-applied, zinc-rich epoxy primer is used to create a protective
undercoat against oxidation. This prevents rust from spreading and
helps to protect the final finish.

• The top coating of durable polyurethane powder is also hand-applied
and then oven-cured to ensure a long-lasting finish.

• Along with the handcrafted frames, the highest-quality outdoor
fabrics are used to create custom-tailored cushions that follow the
lines of the collection and fit each piece of furniture perfectly.

OW Lee furniture is available at Green Thumb International. 259-1072

Solar Smarts:
Quick Installation

While the national industry average for solar installs is three to six months, many Santa Clarita homeowners are fueling their energy needs with the power of the sun only a month after they contract with a reputable solar company.

SunPower by Green Convergence is currently able to cut the waiting period to 30 to 45 days for Santa Clarita residents due to a streamlined production and permitting process. This way, their customers see their savings as quickly as possible. 294-9999

Summer Dreaming
With summer fast approaching, you might be wondering if your dreams of spending lazy summer days by your pool could, in fact, become reality.

Why yes, they can. And that pool of your dreams? It's a possibility, too.

Say "no thank you" to the plain, one-size-fits-all pools of the past. The pools of today can include salt water infiltration systems, programming through a remote control for pool and spa functions and unique beach entrance ledges built right in.

Creating a pool that complements your home and landscape is the key. Choosing materials that match your existing exterior will be easy with all the choices in stone and tile. A pebble-sheen finish or a plaster bottom pool? Well, that depends on your vision - and options abound.

If your backyard space is limited, you can still have a pool! "Spools" are the newest trend for smaller spaces. It combines the spa and pool together and is usually about half the size or smaller than a typical pool. Normally it is built with a heating system, jets and bench seating like a spa. A beach entrance to the spool makes it the perfect place to cool off on those long, hot days of summer.

Valencia Pool Designs offers free consultations, so there's no risk to taking that first step towards your dream. 367-4993
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