Late Season Outdoor Living Construction

Typically, when people think of the best time to start a patio or outdoor living project, they assume the spring or summer months are the best and most obvious choice. After all, contractors are back in full swing, the weather outside is much more inviting, and the warm weather means the ground isn’t frozen solid.

Contrary to this popular opinion, there are some good reasons to plan and install a patio in the fall and winter months. The weather can be cold, but the advantages of constructing a patio in the frigid months far outweigh the disadvantages. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of a fall/ winter worksite can have for every homeowner:


At the first sign of spring, we all look for an excuse to get outside and put an end to our winter-induced cabin fever. What better time to break in a brand new patio area? Add a fire pit into the works and stay warm even on the crisp cool nights. Wintertime construction opens the door for early spring use of the hardscaping. It also keeps things moving in terms of finishing the landscaping around the patio. When the hardscaping can be done in the winter, and the landscaping in the spring, the backyard can be looking sharp and fresh by the time cookout season hits in summer!


Everyone loves a deal. If there’s a way to invest in the property value of your home, and spend less, that’s a win for everyone. Every spring, the cost of hardscaping materials typically go up anywhere from 5-10%. However, when the planning for a project begins in the fall and the construction starts before the end of the year, the price of materials hasn’t gone up yet. These savings can be lost with even just a few months of delay.


While the hard ground may seem like something that would prevent hardscaping from happening during the winter, it actually makes the job quite a bit easier. Grass and plants grow dormant in the winter to survive the cold weather, making them less prone to being damaged by equipment and foot traffic. Likewise, as the ground hardens, divets and ruts become less frequent, also minimizing the amount of touchup needed at the end of the project (leading to lower labor costs too). This becomes even more important if a patio or hardscape project is going in around a lot of existing landscaping.


Because the busy season for most landscaping companies come during the spring, summer, and fall, a new project can sometimes be at the mercy of the jobs in the queue before it. If one job goes longer than expected, all the jobs afterward get pushed back. But as winter hits and things slow down, the job list shortens. Scheduling becomes easier because contractors and subcontractors are more available, and timelines are quicker than normal.

Don’t forget to maintain your hardscape

Hardscapes can make beautiful and aesthetic additions to your lawn but it’s important to remember that – like garden beds – your hardscapes need to be maintained.

Luckily, hardscape maintaince is not expensive or time-consuming when done regularly. With a few simple habits, you can ensure that your hardscapes regularly look fresh and pristine.

  1. Keep your hardscapes clean. Stone, brick, and pavers may appear to be entirely durable but these strong materials are susceptible to the elements. Use a broom or hose to clean off hardscapes and walkways regularly. You may need to pressure wash, when dealing with particularly stubborn stains.
  2. Check for damage. Cracked stones or pavers can usually be replaced easily, and the earlier damage is noticed, the simpler the repair. Sealant can help your pavers shine and more importantly, help protect them from the elements that cause stains.  Paver manufacturers, such as Unilock, have paver varieties available that are sealed during production.  Unilock calls this “Easyclean stain resistance”.  Check them out here and here.
  3. Prioritize drainage. Water can cause substantial damage to your hardscapes, so ensuring proper drainage is of paramount importance. When considering the construction of a hardscape, it’s important to remember proper drainage to direct water away from your hardscapes, or elevation, to ensure that water does not pool. If you find water is pooling on your hardscapes, consult Knutsen Landscaping to determine a solution.

Knutsen Landscaping has the expertise to guide you in the right direction from day one on your paver, brick or natural stone hardscapes.  If you already have a patio and are looking for some advice on how to properly care for it, contact us today!   Don’t neglect these important components of your yard!


A Garden of Variety

Gardens are often the focal point of any well-maintained lawn. The vibrant colors and visual interest is intended to attract attention. If you’re looking for new ways to add some variety to your garden this summer, it may be time to explore some unique options. Knutsen Landscaping can turn your ideas into a reality!

  1. Ornamental grass – It is easy to maintain and provides a distinct look to your garden beds. It makes a lovely backdrop to make the flowers pop. The grass should be well-watered, particularly during dry summer months, but it does not need to be cut down before the chill of autumn sets in.
  2. Trees – Never underestimate the beauty of a shady tree or two in your garden beds. The greenery presents a compliment to your flowers and can provide the perfect location for a shady bench to enjoy the warm weather. Our team is experts at tree installation!
  3. Paths – Nothing will get people walking through the garden faster than a safe, well-lit, beautifully laid path. Choose the right color, shape, and width for your space with the Knutsen’s expert team, and you can be talking your very own garden walk each morning as the flowers open.

Regardless of the size of your garden, variety can add visual interest and a unique flair, just in time for your summer get-together. Knutsen Landscaping can help you implement your ideas and design an idea place for you to relax on your property.


Creating a new summer space

Summer is here, and as we all migrate outdoors to enjoy the warm weather, you may be itching to throw an evening party to kick off the sunny days ahead. The experts at Knutsen Landscaping offer several services to help you create the perfect place to entertain.

  1. Add an outdoor kitchen and grill area. This addition will instantly turn your backyard into the neighborhood “party place.” A grill is one thing – but a fully stocked outdoor kitchen, prep area, and propane-powered grill is another! Knutsen Landscaping can help you fulfill your goals for creating the perfect entertainment area for your summer backyard bashes.
  2. Have a fire pit installed. Fire pits are an up-and-coming trend that continues to grow in popularity. Not only are they perfect for future chilly, autumn evenings, but they can provide a cozy gathering place on summer nights as well. Whether you’re roasting marshmallows around the fire or looking for warm ambience to enhance your backyard, Knutsen Landscaping can help your fire pit plans become a reality.
  3. Enlarge the patio. Maybe you don’t have a patio, or maybe you have a small area on to which you’ve crammed a table and chairs. Now is the perfect time to freshen up the space! The experts at Knutsen Landscaping can make your backyard dreams come true by providing you with a spacious and tasteful area large enough for the whole neighborhood.

The experts at Knutsen Landscaping are anxious to give you the backyard additions you’ve been dreaming of! Call today to get started on your dreamy summer space.


A Fresh Take on Hardscapes

Property owners are always seeking ways to enhance value and curb appeal. This summer, has offered some suggestions to help you revamp the atmosphere of your lawn and turn it into your favorite summer hang out spot.

  1. Grass – Grass? Yes, grass! A new trend that has recently gained traction is the incorporation of grass into Grass-jointed paving paths provide visual interest and a natural, informal look to an otherwise one-dimensional walkway. Grass is a lush, fresh option to add a burst of color to your hardscapes. Knutsen Landscaping’s experts can help you design a walkway or path perfect for your site.
  2. Crushed stone – Crushed stone, or pea gravel, is a simple way to create a walkway without undergoing a large construction project. Not only is crushed stone an eco-friendly hardscape option, but it’s relatively inexpensive and simple to construct. Depending on your use, Knutsen Landscaping can help you plan the ideal situation to make use of this versatile material.
  3. Concrete pavers – Pavers come in all shapes and sizes. The methods and technology that are used in producing pavers have greatly expanded this industry.  From residential sidewalks to airport runways, there is a paver to fit most any application.  Of course, the right installation methods and base are crucial to ensure that the pavers last for many years to come.  The right installation methods can far outlast traditional asphalt or poured in place concrete!  Knutsen Landscaping’s team can use the variety of color and texture in the pavers to create a scene that is not only eye-catching, but a classy, cozy way to enhance your property.   And we can properly install your project so that it lasts for many years to come!
  4. Permeable sidewalks – One of the best aspects of permeable sidewalk material is that it allows rain to penetrate the earth through the joints, so it is the perfect material to be used for sidewalks and patios. Permeable sidewalks and patios, made from natural materials or pavers, is one of Knutsen’s freshest take on your next project!
  5. Flagstone – If you’d like your lawn to acquire elegance, all you may need is one simple ingredient. Flagstone is simple but chic, and can be specifically shaped to fulfill your walkway wishes. Flagstone laid by the experts at Knusten Landscaping is unobtrusive and versatile, and can serve as a unique compliment to your yard’s foliage.

Regardless of how you’d like to spruce up your outdoor space, there are a variety of options to choose from when considering adding hardscaping. Contact Knutsen Landscaping today to plan your hardscaped walkway, patio, or retaining wall!


Project Showcase: Strasburg, PA, Firepit and Patio

On their beautiful Strasburg, PA, property, this customer wanted a convenient, flat outdoor area to extend the living space of their lower finished basement. This family wanted to sit around a fire, grill, and roast marshmallows! They also anticipated a usable area for potting plants, an outdoor hobby that this client enjoys. The professional team at Knutsen Landscaping made all these dreams come true! We even installed lighting under the wall caps and a pillar to string lights above the patio to the house.

The existing grade made a nice spot for us to install a custom seating wall extending around the patio area and end at a decorative pillar to break the grade from the upper yard area and deck. Knutsen’s team utilized natural stone veneer for the wall, firewood box, pillar and fire pit, and natural Pennsylvania flagstone provided the accent caps.  The pavers we selected are high-quality Unilock Bristol Valley with Unilock Copthorne border. The Breeo smokeless fire pit insert with Swing Away Gril and post accessory completes the functionality of this beautiful space.




Help your house stand out – no spring cleaning or paint required!

Spring flowers are blooming. Why shouldn’t your house bloom too? Are you ready to give your home that extra, eye-catching “pop” you’ve been dreaming about all winter?

The experts at Knutsen Landscaping can help! There are a few ways that you can make your house stand out – don’t worry, it doesn’t involve a new coat of paint or any spring cleaning! In fact, it all starts in the yard.

  1. Add a pergola! Pergolas are often viewed as an extension of the home itself and they are open and airy – a fresh alternative to a standard gazebo. Add a table and some comfy chairs beneath the dappled spring sunlight overhead, and you will have a relaxing and chic environment to host your warm weather get-togethers!
  2. Freshen up the flowers! It may be time to add some vibrant colors to the gardens. Let Knutsen Landscaping plant lush shrubs, trees, and perennial flowers in your garden beds, and prepare to enjoy all the sights and smells of spring!
  3. Have a retaining wall built! Retaining walls are certainly functional, but they are becoming increasingly elaborate and stylish. These walls can provide privacy for your family while enjoying an evening in the backyard, and add an aesthetic dimension to your lawn.
  4. Have landscaping lighting installed! Landscape lighting can add the perfect ambience to your outdoor entertaining or lounge space. Not only does this lighting provide a soft glow for those evening hours in the yard, but they can help illuminate your home as well.

There are several ways to spruce up your house for spring by focusing on the lawn! Let the experts at Knutsen Landscaping help you decide how to make your yard bloom!

Hardscaping Adds Value to Your Home

At long last, warmer weather has made an appearance, drawing us outdoors and into our long-neglected lawns. It is time to freshen up the yard in preparation for summer, but where to start? Is it possible to increase the value, comfort, and visual appeal of our homes with just a simple addition?

The experts at Knutsen Landscaping say “of course.” Investing in hardscaping is a win-win situation for homeowners for a few reasons.

Whether you’re considering selling your house, or you’re committed to staying put for years, hardscaping can increase the curb appeal of your home. The exterior of your home and your lawn provide potential buyers or visitors with their first impression of the interior. A blend of different colors and textures can catch the eye of even the most distracted passerby.

Hardscaping also makes unusable space usable, in creative and convenient ways. Is there a steep hill in your backyard? Is that sunny patch of grass perfect for a lawn chair, except for the poor drainage every time it rains? Hardscapes can solve those yard woes.

Speaking of poor drainage, if every storm creates a headache for you due to grade changes and erosion, retaining walls are a form of hardscapes that can drastically reduce this. By redirecting the flow of water, retaining walls can rescue a house’s foundation, or eliminate unsightly mud puddles.

Hardscapes also provide privacy, and more importantly, safety for you and your family. The experts at Knutsen Landscaping can help you decide the best location and design for your hardscape, for ultimate functionality and visual appeal.

Whether you’re dreaming of relaxing beneath a new pergola, admiring an ornate retaining wall in your garden, or sweeping off a pristine patio, hardscaping is a positive, rewarding way to increase the beauty and individuality of your home.


Project Showcase: Manheim Township Pool

This beautiful outdoor living space in Manheim Township started out as a long, sloping yard. Knutsen Landscaping’s team built a 4-foot wall for over 75 feet to level up the pool area. Then, pavers and landscaping were added around the pool area and a dramatic fire pit area. Our team also replaced popping tile on the back patio with beautiful travertine, which won’t peel up like tile is prone to do in our northeastern weather conditions.
Future plans feature an outdoor kitchen and bar area with a timber frame structure over top. You can check out the 3D plans below!

A Strong Paver Foundation

As spring approaches and you begin pondering which outdoor projects to move to the top of your to-do list, consider laying a lasting foundation for your eye-catching patio, garden walkway or driveway that will add both beauty and value to your home for years to come.

Knutsen Landscaping has long believed in the performance benefits of permeable open graded stone installations for these projects.

“It has taken the rest of the industry a while to come around. We have been laying patios in this fashion for many years, and the experience we have gained shows in our final product,” says Andy Knutsen, president.

Knutsen Landscaping is currently participating in a study with the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute to demonstrate the durability that open grade paver installations provide. Studies are showing that more commercial developers are choosing to use a permeable base model for all installations. The size and thickness of these permeable bases can vary and is determined by traffic loads, soil strength, subgrade soil drainage, moisture and climate, making them much more adaptable and economical.

Pavers have a rustic beauty that come in a vast array of shapes, patterns, colors and textures and are more visually appealing than concrete slabs. By replacing your cement driveway, old walkway or concrete patio with permeable pavers over an open grade stone foundation, you are not only building something that will last generations, you are also increasing the value of your home while improving the environment that surrounds it.

An open graded stone foundation also promotes the natural water cycle. With open graded stone, drainage disperses evenly throughout the patio or walkway area in a much more natural fashion. Proper filtration can reduce pollution density and foster the overall health of your home’s environment. It will also help to prevent the damage to your property caused by erosion. Especially with the freeze-thaw cycles here in the northeast, your patio will be unaffected by these changes in conditions over time.

Feel free to call or email us about building a patio or walkway or refinishing a driveway using pavers with a permeable base. We will be happy to work alongside you to make any outdoor project one that lasts a lifetime.