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Use Organic Lawn Fertilizer… Not Poisonous Synthetics

Besides the chemical aroma wafting through the air, what is the first thing you notice when a lawn fertilization company treats your property?  That little flag at the end of the driveway warning you not to touch the grass for a couple days.  The flag usually has a picture of a baby or dog with a message that says not to let them onto the grass until the application has had a chance to dry.
lisk landscape - landscaping - pesticides - organic fertilizer
The reason they tell you not to walk on it is because the synthetic materials they are using are poisonous.  These chemicals are being introduced to your property every time a new treatment is applied. Is it really practical to not allow your dog out into the yard for a couple of days?  Probably not.  Does it excite you that you could be tracking pesticides into your home simply by walking across the grass?  Highly doubtful.

 The Alternative

Fortunately, we have the perfect solution to the issue – and that is Organic Lawn Fertilizer! Organic Lawn Fertilizer is made with (you guessed it!) organic materials.  No synthetics, no chemicals, no toxins… no danger! The benefits of using an organic lawn fertilizer far outweigh those of a chemically-based product.  When using an organic lawn fertilizer, the idea is to build up and to sustain a healthy microbe population.  The microbes in your soil naturally feed the lawn.  It’s the same principal as when you mulch the grass when cutting your lawn.  Those clippings are returned into the environment, eventually biodegrade, and they naturally enrich the soil. After years and years of being treated using synthetic fertilizers, the biology of your lawn’s soil essentially needs to be transformed back to a natural state.  This does take time, and it is a process – but fortunately for you, we know the process, and we’ll get you there!
Organic Lawn Fertilizer Review:
  • Fertilize your lawn
  • No risk of poisoning your family/pets
  • It’s organic… so it’s environmentally-friendly!
  • No grace period where you can’t let your children play on the lawn for days.
Switching to organic lawn fertilizer will yield results, and Lisk Landscape Management can be your guiding light!
 

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Lisk Quick Tips: Using Arborvitae Green Giants As A Subtle Privacy Screening

Sometimes, creating a visual barrier on your property can be a difficult task to tackle.  Should you build a fence?  Perhaps you don’t like the idea of a fence – or maybe a fence is simply much too costly for your budget. lisk landscape - lisk quick tips This article is meant to provide you with a way to create a privacy screening on your property in a cost-efficient… and attractive manner! We used Arborvitae Green Giants for the privacy screening on this property.  Check out the video below to see how it all ties together! As you can see in the video, even the simplest of touches can make a huge difference! These Arborvitae Green Giants were selected for a specific reason.  They will eventually grow together with depth and fullness, creating a visual barrier for the customer’s privacy. As you learned in the video, they will grow to be approximately 20-30 feet in height with a 7 foot spread – so this particular yard will have a nice privacy screening in the area in which it was desired. Here’s an added bonus for using the Arborvitae Green Giants as your privacy screen: These plants are evergreens!  What does that mean?  It means that you will experience the full color, density, and privacy screening year-round! This also goes for the Red Tip Photinia that were used.  They will grow densely, and with a nice height for that corner.  Again, it holds the benefit of maintaining it’s beauty throughout the year – as it is also an evergreen shrub.  This particular ‘evergreen’ has a semi-glossy red variegated tip. Keep up with all the the Lisk Quick Tips by entering your email below! Be sure to: Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram Follow us on Twitter

A Pertinent Remedy To A Persistent Water Drainage Problem

In this writeup, we’re going to go over “A Pertinent Remedy To A Persistent Water Drainage Problem”.  This client’s property was experiencing water puddling in various areas of their front yard.  Lisk Landscape was called in to offer an affordable drainage solution, and we are going to review that solution here! Lisk Landscape - Water Drainage Problem Because of the water drainage problem, a channel has been excavated to prepare the ground for 4″ drainage pipe & permeable stone.  As you can see, we prepared the water drainage problem area by digging a ditch.  This ditch will be the bedding that holds the permeable fabric, stone, and drainage piping.  This system will ultimately lead out to a popup installed in designated area of the yard. Lisk Landscape - water drainage problem The above photo illustrates how we plan to carry the water away from the property, and out to the street. Also, it is important to note that as we progress in our water drainage problem projects, we like to maintain a clean work environment so that the customer is a pleased as can be with the end result. The photo shows overturn clumps of grass alongside the excavated drainage channel. This is so that we can replace that grass over the filled hole, preventing any wait time for your grass to return! lisk landscape - water drainage problem We have now installed a layer of fabric, stone, and the drainage piping within the excavated drainage channels. The stone you see will be covered over with another layer of fabric, then back-filled with soil. Once that’s complete, we will replace the overturned clumps of grass, and this drainage water problem is solved!! Please watch the video below for a more in-depth explanation of this drainage system. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook! If you have any questions or comments, we invite you to participate on this page below!

Basement Waterproofing NJ: 5 Easy Ways to Waterproof Your Basement

Basement Waterproofing NJ: 5 Easy Ways to Waterproof Your Basement

If you own an older home, odds are you might have a damp or leaky basement – making it impossible to utilize that extra space for a bedroom or recreational area. Unfortunately, if you want to turn your basement into an extra room, you’ll need to make sure you’re safe from water moisture for good before you begin remodeling.

Although it’s best left to a professional NJ basement waterproofing company, you can take on the challenge of waterproofing your own basement if you feel up to the task.

  1. Secure Your Home’s Perimeter
It’s absolutely critical that the ground next to your foundation slopes away from your house and not towards it. If it doesn’t, even a small storm can cause a flood without proper insulation. Backfilled dirt can also settle and cause the surrounding areas to sink and begin slanting towards your home. To combat this, you can pile dirt against your foundation. A good rule of thumb is to create a 2-inch drop for every 12 inches away the dirt is from your foundation.

  1. Assess Gutters and Shrubbery
The ground directly next to your foundation can be one of the biggest contributing factors to a leaky basement. Make sure your gutters are clean and free of debris, and are releasing water at least five feet away from your groundwork. Shrubs and other foliage can also be problematic for basement waterproofing in New Jersey, if they’re too close to your foundation. Rotted roots can give ground water the perfect path to your foundation, which can lead to basement moisture. To avoid this, keep at least 12 inches between your foundation walls and any foliage.

  1. Protect Your Home from Minor Leaks with a Waterproofer
If your basement’s exposure to moisture is minimal, it’s best to waterproof the walls with a waterproofing product such as Drylok or Xypex. However, these are not long-term solutions if you’re facing more significant problems than the occasional small leak. If your foundation is under heavy pressure from serious water issues, a temporary waterproofer won’t hold for long. In this case, it’s best to have a professional NJ basement waterproofing company assess your situation and determine the proper course of action.

  1. Fill Cracks and Foundation Defects
If you notice cracks in your basement walls, fill them as soon as possible. Any crack in concrete means it goes all the way to the other side of the wall, leaving you vulnerable to water damage. You should also fill any other permeable areas, such as spots where pipes and tie rods pass through the concrete. Masonry sealant or construction-grade epoxy works best for this.

  1. Call a Professional for Serious Water Problems

For serious leaks and flooding problems, NJ foundation waterproofing is best left to a professional New Jersey basement waterproofing company. Generally, they can either install a French Drain or inject your foundation with hydroclay – a super-durable, permanent sealant that’s also used for waterproofing manholes, tunnels, backyard ponds and more. Best of all, having a professional waterproof your basement not only protects your home from serious damage, but it also increases your home’s value.

Looking for top-quality NJ basement waterproofing experts to waterproof your basement? Give us a call at 856-931-5475 or grab a Free Quote on our website. We’ll be glad to answer your questions!

       

South Jersey Waterproofing – 5 Reasons You Should Waterproof your Basement

As snow melts and storm water drains off around the foundation of your home, excess water begins to soak into the ground, applying pressure to the foundation of your home. This makes it easy to weaken the groundwork, create cracks in the walls, and develop a leaky basement. Inadequate drainage options and damaged walls from underground tree roots or a shifting foundation can also lead to basement moisture, as well as a range of other problems.

  • 1. Floods and Leaks Can Happen Without Notice
Even if you see no signs of water leakage or a compromised foundation right now, a basement leak can sprout up overnight and turn into a full-blown flood before you know it. Although South Jersey waterproofing can be performed after a water problem has already occurred, it’s better to take precautionary action and waterproof your basement for a fraction of the cost of expensive flood repair services.

  • 2. Basement Moisture Can Destroy Your Foundation
You might be surprised at the little amount of moisture it takes to cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your home. Water moisture can cause your walls to bow and cracks to form, cultivate mold and bacteria, and lead to substantial structural damage that’s extremely costly to repair. Once your foundation has developed cracks, pesky critters like rodents and termites can enter your home and eat away at its foundation. If not properly taken care of, your home can ultimately become unlivable. south jersey waterproofing

  • 3. Wet Basements are Breeding Grounds for Mildew, Mold and Bacteria
It’s no secret that mold and bacteria love damp, dark places and thrive in these types of environments – making your basement a prime breeding ground for these dangerous inhabitants. This includes deadly Black Mold, the number one threat basement moisture poses to your home. Even harmless bacteria and mildew can wreak havoc on anyone that’s sensitive to air irritants, making them susceptible to illness from even a small amount of spores. That’s why it’s so important you get a South Jersey waterproofing service to protect your home from these basement-dwelling baddies.

  • 4. It Increases the Living Space in Your Home
When you have a damp basement or one that’s not structurally sound, storing household items in this extra space is no longer an option. Moisture can permanently penetrate your belongings, making them smell of mold and mildew or worse, ruin them completely. With South Jersey waterproofing, you’ll never have to worry about moisture or a leaky foundation again, giving you plenty of room for extra storage space, an extra bedroom, or a fun hangout area for the whole family.

  • 5. It Increases Your Home Value

Did you know that South Jersey waterproofing is a great way to increase the value of your home? When you waterproof your basement, you not only protect your home from dangerous fungi and costly water damage, but you also increase the selling value by protecting against future damage that can significantly lower your property value.

To find out how you can get started waterproofing your basement today, contact us for a consultation or call us at 856-931-5475

Visit OUR VIDEO BLOG to see our Expert Team in Action!

South Jersey Wet Basement – 6 Solutions for a Wet Basement

Not only does a South Jersey Wet Basement feel and smell nasty, it poses a great risk to your home’s value. Left unchecked, basement moisture can ruin floors and walls, encourage mold, even damage roofing. Some South Jersey Wet Basements are easy to cure simply by clearing gutters and by diverting gutter water away from the foundation. But if the problem comes from other sources—water flowing toward the house on the surface, seeping in from underground, or backing up through municipal storm drains—you must take more aggressive action. Here are 6 strategies to keep water out of your basement:  

1. Add gutter extensions

If downspouts are dumping water less than 5 feet away from your house, you can guide water farther out by adding plastic or metal gutter extensions. But extensions aren’t the neatest or most effective long-term solution, especially if you’re likely to trip over them or run over them with a lawn mower. Permanent, underground drain pipe is invisible and capable of moving large quantities of gutter runoff much farther from your house. For about $10-15 a foot, a landscaper or waterproofing contractor will dig a sloping trench and install pipe to carry the water safely away.  

2. Restore the crown

If the gutters are working and you’ve plugged obvious holes, but water still dribbles into your basement or crawl space from high on foundation walls, then surface water isn’t draining away from the house as it should. Your house should sit on a “crown” of soil that slopes at least 6 inches over the first 10 feet in all directions. Over time, the soil around the foundation settles. You can build it back with a shovel and dirt. One cubic yard of a water-shedding clay-loam mix from a landscape supply house costs around $30 (plus delivery) and is enough for a 2-foot-wide, 3-inch-deep layer along 57 feet of foundation. South Jersey Wet Basement

3. Reshape the landscape

Since your home’s siding slightly overlaps its foundation, building up the crown could bring soil—and rot and termites—too close to siding for comfort: 6 inches is the minimum safe distance. In that case, create a berm (a mound of dirt) or a swale (a wide, shallow ditch), landscape features that redirect water long before it reaches your house. In small areas, berms are easy; a landscape contractor can build one for a few hundred dollars. On bigger projects, berms make less sense because you’ll have to truck in too much soil. In that case, dig a swale. Once landscaping grows in, berms and swales can be attractive features in your yard

4. Repair footing drains

If water is leaking into your basement low on the walls or at the seams where walls meet the floor, your problem is hydrostatic pressure pushing water up from the ground. First, check whether you have footing drains, underground pipes installed when the house was built to carry water away from the foundation. (Look for a manhole or drain in the basement floor or a cleanout pipe capped a few inches above the floor.) If the drains are clogged, open the cleanout and flush the pipes with a garden hose.

5. Install a curtain drain

If you don’t have working footing drains, install a curtain drain to divert water that’s traveling underground toward your house. A type of French drain, a curtain drain is a shallow trench—2 feet deep and 1.5 feet across—filled with gravel and perforated piping that intercepts water uphill of your house and carries it down the slope a safe distance away. If the drain passes through an area with trees or shrubs, consider switching to solid pipe to reduce the risk of roots growing into the piping and clogging it. Call Lisk Landscape now for your curtain drain Consultation 856-931-LISK.

6. Waterproof the walls

Installing an interior drainage system gets the water out but doesn’t waterproof the walls. For that, you need an exterior system: a French drain to relieve hydrostatic pressure and exterior waterproofing to protect the foundation. It’s a big job that requires excavating around the house, but it may be the best solution if you have a foundation with numerous gaps. It also keeps the mess and water outside, which may be the best choice if you don’t want to tear up a finished basement. The downside, besides a price tag that can reach $20,000, is that your yard takes a beating, and you may need to remove decks or walkways.

To find out how you can get started waterproofing your basement today, contact us for a consultation or call us at 856-931-5475

Visit OUR VIDEO BLOG to see our Expert Team in Action!

How to Install a French Drain

All About French Drains

How to Install a French Drain

Invented by Henry French in 1859, the purpose of the French drain hasn’t changed much since then. It’s still used to channel water away from buildings to prevent accelerated erosion. Today, French drains can still naturally flow downhill or a sump pump can be used to achieve the same results. All common foundation materials for a house are susceptible to erosion over time, especially when bombarded with water every time it rains. Let’s take a closer look at how to install a French drain, including the outdoor French drain tools needed for the task, and how to build a French drain to keep costs at a minimum while still keeping your home safe from water damage.

How To Install a French Drain in 6 Easy Steps

How to Install a French Drain

Outdoor French drain installation is a fairly simple task. Before you get started, however, you want to clearly determine the area where the drain will be installed and how the water will be rerouted. If there is a hill or significant slope on the side of your home where water typically gathers, find the path where gravity is likely to allow the water to flow naturally in the drain. This eliminates the need for a sump pump. You should also choose an area for the drain that won’t have a negative impact on neighboring properties. This includes ensuring that the drained water won’t damage neighboring yards or create a hazard on the street or sidewalk adjacent to your property.

How to Install a French Drain

Outdoor French Drain Tools Needed

 
  • Pick Axe/trencher & a shovel
  • Top soil and sand
  • 4 inch perforated drain pipe
  • Striping spray paint
  • Gravel and landscaping stones
  • Landscape fabric
  • Turf Grass
 

1. Mark the Area

Before determining how to build a French drain based on your specific drainage needs, there needs to be an area free of debris where the drain will be located. If possible, find a path that is already free of debris. If a clear path doesn’t exist, carefully remove any debris, including any bushes and trees likely to have extensive root systems that could make it more difficult to install the drain. If possible, find a path free of trees since tree removal can be an involved process. Once you have an area with a clear path, mark the area with spray paint.

How to Install a French Drain

2. Create a Trench for the Drain

The next step is to dig the trench for your French drain along the area marked with spray paint. The depth of the trench should not exceed the nearest foundation. This helps to encourage a natural flow from your property before water can accumulate. While precision to the smallest quarter inch isn’t necessary, a width of 12 inches should be maintained along the entire path that will be used for the drain.

How to Install a French Drain

3. Place Landscape Fabric

Once the trench has been completely dug, landscape fabric should be placed along the entire length of the drain path. Leave approximately 10 inches of excess fabric along the entire drain path. This extra fabric will be used later to provide an added layer of protection for the pipe. When preparing the landscape fabric for the trench, err on the side of caution since excess fabric can easily be trimmed or tucked.

How to Install a French Drain

4. Add Gravel for the Lining

Once the path is lined with landscape fabric, the next step is to add gravel for the lining. The gravel should be at least 3 inches deep along the trench. There’s no need to push the gravel down. Just let it rest naturally along the trench. The gravel helps prevent water that flows along the trench from being absorbed into the ground. It also helps keep weeds and grass from overtaking the path of the drain.

How to Install a French Drain

5. Place the Pipe

Once the gravel has been installed, the next step is to add the pipe. The pipe used for the trench should be carefully measured to ensure that it goes from the base of your foundation to the designated drainage spot. After the pipe is placed along the path, additional gravel is placed on top of the pipe. You want to leave about 5 inches between the top of the gravel and the surface.

Note: Any excess landscape fabric should be folded over to protect the drain pipe.

How to Install a French Drain

6. Fill and Cover the Trench

Once the landscape fabric is folded together as an added layer of protection, use the shovel to fill the trench with sand and topsoil. Turf can then be used to cover the layer of sand and topsoil. You’ll want to add a bed of stones around the area where the drain ends. You can also replant grass on top of the covered drain. The only areas that needs to be exposed are the openings on each end of the pipe, otherwise the drain can be covered to blend in with your natural landscape.

French Drain Maintenance

Now that your French drain is installed and you’ve got your yard back in shape, all that is left is regular maintenance. Maintenance of your French drain doesn’t usually involve much more than inspecting the openings on both ends of the pipe to ensure that nothing is blocking either end. If you suspect that dirt and debris is slowing down the flow of water inside of the pipe, use a garden hose at the top of the pipe to send a blast of water through the pipe to free any debris that may have gathered inside of the pipe.

end of drain

French Drain Tips

Here are some French drain tips to keep your drain well maintained and fully operational:

    • Drains slopping at least 6 inches for every 50 feet generally produce better results.
    • Inspect your drain after severe storms to ensure that debris isn’t clogging the drain.
    • Effective trenches should run horizontally across slopes and parallel to buildings.
    • For best results, do the installation when the soil is either dry or moist, not saturated from a recent heavy rain.
    • If a clog doesn’t easily clear, contact a professional to use professional pipe clearing tools and pipe cameras to look for blockages.
    • If your pipe is no longer draining at all, part of the pipe may have collapsed, which means the pipe will need to be dug up to inspect for damage.
    • While sections of pipe can be repaired, it’s often best to replace the entire drain pipe to avoid the need to dig and repair future collapses.
How to Install a French Drain

A French drain has many benefits. Aside from saving you from costly foundation repairs, a properly installed drain may earn you a discount on your homeowners policy. It can also be a good way to control water buildup in your yard to protect your exterior landscape. When properly built and maintained, an outdoor French drain can be an effective way to protect your property from the effects of erosion. A French drain can usually last for about a good decade or so with only minimal maintenance. The foundation damage it prevents more than justifies the cost of installing a French drain.

Winter Gardening Tips

TOP RECOMMENDED WINTER GARDENING TIPS TO FOLLOW

A garden is a great addition to a home and most people do not regret planting one in their yard. While it is a fun hobby and an excellent way to enjoy healthy and fresh fruits and vegetables, it is also a lot of hard work. It also requires a person to plan and take a few steps to make sure the plants stay healthy throughout the year. With that being said, a person with a garden should follow these Top 10 Winter Gardening Tips as this will help the plants live longer and the garden flourish.

1. MULCH

During the cold and inclement winter months, plants will have a hard time avoiding the elements. When this happens, depending on the variety, they will have a harder time recovering in the spring. To protect plants and keep everything warm, a gardener should add mulch and place it under and around the plants. This will help keep the root temperature stable which will ensure that the plant does not succumb to the elements. Now, when placing the mulch around the garden, a person should do it in early December as this will allow it to settle in and start protecting the plants before a significant cold snaps hits. Winter Gardening Tips

2. COMPOST

Some people neglect their garden in the winter as they feel the plants do not require any protection or care. This could not be further from the truth, and a serious gardener who wants his or her plants to thrive should add compost. When adding this at the right time, it will supply nutrients to the soil and the plants will grow faster and not succumb to the elements. Ideally, when adding the compost, a person should only put about three inches worth around the plants as it will still allow them to breathe and grow. Winter Gardening Tips

3. WATER

Before a freeze, a person should water their plants, especially annuals and potted plants. This will help the plants as the roots will not freeze as the water will not reach that area. Of course, when doing this, a person must make sure to water their roots and above ground shoots. When doing this ahead of a cold storm, a person can protect their plants, and they will look good throughout the winter.  

4. EXTRA PROTECTION

A person with container plants should cover them with a frost cloth or protective blanket. To keep potted plants warm, a person can also set them near the foundation of the house as it is warmer than the rest of the yard. However, during severe storms, a gardener should bring his or her vulnerable plants inside the house or garage. Ideally, when following this tip, a homeowner would watch the weather forecast so he or she can bring in the plants before the storm hits as it will go a long way in protecting the delicate leaves and roots of a plant. Winter Gardening Tips

5. CONTINUE

If the ground is soft enough to dig a big hole, a gardener should continue to plant. This will allow a person to continue to improve the yard and complete the job before the spring. This is beneficial, especially in climates where it does not get extremely cold. With that being said, it may not work for gardeners in the northern states. However, people living in the south or on the west coast can, with ease, put in new items in their garden most of the year.

Winter Gardening Tips

6. ANIMALS

In some areas of the country, animals will try to eat a plant as they will have no other choice. Now, this is not usually problematic for a gardener living in an urban environment, but it will come up when a person lives in the country. To prevent this and protect the plants, a gardener must take steps to protect the plants by placing a barrier around the edge of the garden. Remember, animals, in the colder months, will snap up plants and eat them.

Winter Gardening Tips

7. LOCATION

When planting right before the cold months, a person should try to place their plants facing the north. When exposed to the north, they will receive more sunlight and a greater temperature variation. For a new plant, this is crucial as it will sustain less damage and thrive when it gets enough sunlight. This is one of the most important winter gardening tips to follow, and it is easy to do so as most experienced gardeners know where the plants should face.

Winter Gardening Tips

8. CAREFUL

When placing salt or other substances on the driveway or street, a gardener should exercise caution. With salts from the road seeping into the garden, plants will suffer as it will create a bad PH balance. To prevent this, when laying salt on the driveway, a homeowner should do it slowly and methodically when around the garden or plants. When protecting the winter landscaping with this tip, a gardener can avoid a serious problem on his or her hands.

Winter Gardening Tips

9. CHOOSE CAREFULLY

When planting in, and right before, the winter, a person should know which plants will thrive. This is a great idea as some plants will do poorly in the winter while others will continue to grow. Now, to understand which plants work, a person will have to do some research as it varies depending in the regions of the world. However, when following this tip, a person can have a successful winter landscaping setup.

Winter Gardening Tips

10. FERTILIZE OFTEN

In the winter, plants will suffer from the elements. While this is hard to prevent, a person can fertilize the plants regularly to give them a fighting chance. With the right fertilizer, a person can strengthen the plants. Ideally, when doing this, a gardener should do it often as the plants will need all the help they can get. This is one of the most important winter gardening ideas a person should follow as it is difficult for some shrubs to survive without adequate nutrients and care.

Winter Gardening Tips

Top 10 Winter Gardening Tips, a gardener can enjoy a nice garden all year. It is necessary to follow all these ideas as the plants will suffer tremendously if a gardener does not give the best care and protection to the plans. Simply put, when a person can follow these ten winter gardening ideas, they will see their garden thrive and their neighbors full of envy.

Outdoor Christmas Decorating Ideas

11 Outdoor Christmas Decorating Ideas & Tips

Christmas is a magical time and many families have traditions that may reach back many decades. One of the things families love to do at Christmas is to take a ride in the family car visiting homes that have spectacular outdoor light displays. Below are some Outdoor Christmas Decorating Tips that can spark your imagination to create your own display.

Great Outdoor Christmas Decorating Ideas Need Imagination and Planning.

Outdoor Christmas Decorating Ideas We all know people who are not only lovers of Christmas, but are thrilled with the specialized design of Outdoor Christmas Lighting. Their yards look like their decorations were planned and executed by senior Disney Imagineers. Objects blink, whirl, splash and glow. Children squeal with delight and adults of every age are entranced by the Christmas magic. While we join the traffic slowly gliding by their homes, we think on one hand about their utility bill, while on the other we are consumed with the desire to enhance our own front yards with some of this celebratory cheer. Here are 11 Outdoor Christmas Decorating Ideas & Tips, using some traditional and other, very creative Outdoor Christmas Light Ideas.

1. Make everything’s light except your pocket.

  There’s no reason why Outdoor Christmas Lighting should cost a fortune. Here are some steps to take to help save the planet by using less electricity and save your wallet by spending much less.
    • Switch your incandescent bulbs to LED bulbs. LED means light-emitting diode and LED lights are available in many colors and can be used in many functions. The homeowners who are termed “enthusiastic decorators” use an average of 18,332 Watts costing an average of $310.73 per season. If they switched to LED lights, the savings would amount to 2,369 Watts and cost $40.15. An LED bulb uses from 80 to 90 percent less electricity than an incandescent bulb.
 
    • Use timers to control costs. When timers are used, you totally control the cost of electricity. You can have the lights turn on at 5:30 p.m. and shut off at 9:30 p.m. The neighborhood show will have appreciated predictable hours and you can be sure lights are turned off so that your neighbors can sleep undisturbed.
 
  • Use extension cords to stretch your display. Use extension cords rather than light strings to lengthen your display in less visible areas.

Pick a new and unique theme each year.

You have the lights and the temptation is to use them in the same way in the same places each year. When you think about it, it’s obvious that your lights can be used in any way you choose. Make your home exciting! Your neighbors and the “lookieloos” will begin to eagerly anticipate your new and exciting displays. Use some of the Outdoor Christmas Decorating Ideas below for inspiration.

2. A Cowboy Christmas.

Who doesn’t love the Wild West? The trail boss and his crew can celebrate Christmas on the Goodnight Trail, tending their herd and sitting around the campfire, sharing stories of Christmases past. The camp cook, always called Cookie, can be pouring coffee or stirring a black iron pot on the back of his chuck wagon.

3. A Child’s First Christmas

The charm of one of the very littlest whose eyes widen in surprise and wonder at the unexpected lights and ornaments, plus the miracle of Santa. A parent might be nearby taking an old-fashioned photo with a bulb that flashes as part of the display. Perhaps a puppy is sitting with them or mom is serving cookies. Use your imagination!

4. Christmas in the South Seas.

For originality and interest, you can’t beat this total flip of the North Pole. Palm trees, fire dancers and ukuleles playing Christmas songs will be a one-of-a-kind celebration. A fire pit roasting a pig, the sound of the waves crashing on shore and a large harvest moon add to the exotic appeal. This is one idea that almost requires (non-irritating) sound effects.

5. Christmas at Grandma and Grandpa’s House.

This nostalgic trip will trigger memories of the special places grandparents hold in their grandchildren’s hearts, even when the grandchildren are in their 90s. Cookie baking with Grandma and all the kids will bring back nostalgic memories, with an oven door opening and closing after the baking sheet is put inside. Grandpa can teach the boys how to tie a fly, hit a line drive with a baseball or build a tool box. Perhaps a story being read at bedtime will be a charming addition to the scene.

6. Santa’s Workshop.

Make sure that your North Pole workshop is unique. There is nothing quite so exciting as showing an old idea in a totally new and exciting way. This is the time to go wild with your imagination. Is there anything wrong with having the reindeer playing cards or checkers? The elves can help Santa with toy making, but what about changing the expected toy trains with iPhones, ATVs or big-screen TVs. How about a scene where the elves have their feet up drinking hot chocolate while the reindeer are making the toys instead? The workshop almost demands a comedic treatment.

7. Christmas Among the Forest Animals.

Let your inner Disney shine forth! Baby forest animals are adorable and everyone will love the display. How about a Christmas celebration that is held by the unpopular animals? Skunks, porcupines and even Bigfoot would be amusing and show that everyone deserves the chance to celebrate Christmas with those they love.

8. Religious Themes.

The best displays among devout Christians are those that demonstrate one of the Christmas stories. Read through the four disciples’ accounts of the day of Jesus’ birth with a new, creative eye. Try to think of more than the usual manger scene. A great Outdoor Christmas Decorating Tip is to “visit” another country each year, using the Christmas traditions of each. Ideas for countries like Germany, France, Great Britain, Greece and Jerusalem will jumpstart your planning for the next five years!

9. A Fairy Tale Christmas.

Rapunzel, Cinderella, Jack in the Beanstalk or Rumpelstiltskin, they will all charm and delight youngsters when they see their favorite characters come to life.

10. Decorate Your Car or Boat

Look around your property with a new eye. You can decorate any object that stands still in the early evening hours. Playhouses, tree houses, jungle gyms and a child’s wagon: each of these would make a charming display.

11. Highlight Your Occupation.

Whatever the occupations of the folks in the house, celebrate them with your outdoor display. An accountant putting numbers in an old-fashioned adding machine and a large paper ledger will be a lot of fun. Have Santa’s elves secretly looking over his shoulder and add other touches of Christmas. Teachers, doctors, librarians and housewives would all make charming scenes. Regardless of how you celebrate the season, the important thing is to celebrate it with friends and family. Planning and executing outdoor Christmas decorating ideas together can create indelible memories for all.

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