The Record Homescape 04-06-17

Homescape I N T E R I O R D E S I G N THURSDAY, APRIL 6, 2017 • H O M E A SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION OF THE RECORD Yard sales: Smart planning can reap cash rewards. I M P R O V E M E N T 3H SECTION H curb appeal P A V E D T O P L E A S E Vibrant colors and abundant wildlife create a memorable garden By TERI GATTO SPECIAL TO HOMESCAPE C PHOTO COURTESY OF THINKSTOCK Brick pavers are available in various colors and styles to easily complement the exterior of a home, but are labor intensive to install and more expensive than asphalt surfacing. The result, however, is impressive. First impressions of a home start with the driveway Proper installation and care add years of service BY FRAN J. DONEGAN SPECIAL TO HOMESCAPE T o most people, driveways are often an afterthought. But if you think about it, for many homes the driveway is the first thing people see. And if it is stained, cracked or damaged in some other way it ruins the curb appeal of the house. If your driveway has been battered by years of nasty weather, it may be time for a new driveway or some serious maintenance. ASPHALT DRIVEWAYS Asphalt is by far the most common driveway paving material. A newly applied driveway has a clean, crisp appearance. And at $3.25 to $4.40 a square foot, it offers the best value in paving materials. Unfortunately, it only comes in basic black. “If I could invent colors for asphalt I would be rich,” said Frank Macchione, Jr. of A. Macchione Brothers in Hillsdale. “About one out of ten people ask me if it comes in different colors so that they can match the siding or trim on their house.” But there are ways to dress up the blacktop. The most common is to install a border of Belgian block, which is a natural stone, usually granite, or use concrete pavers for the apron of the driveway. The apron is the section of the drive that connects with the street. PHOTO COURTESY OF A. MACCHIONE BROTHERS Applying a seal coat to a new asphalt driveway every three years will prolong its life. “Another option is to use Belgian block laid flat for the apron to get a cobblestone look,” said Dan Kindergan of Ciccolella Paving, which is part of Kindergan Landscaping in Bergenfield. Here are things to look for when having a new asphalt driveway installed.  When the old driveway is ripped out, the stone base should be replaced or refreshed, depending on its condition. The asphalt should be installed over a base of about 6 inches of compacted stone.  The stone needs a few weeks to settle before it is paved over. “We strongly recommend that homeowners not deal with ‘gypsy’ companies that promise to rip out the old drive and pave a new one on the same day,” said Kindergan.  The asphalt should be applied so that it is two to three inches thick. “Some contractors skimp on the mate- rials. That’s why there are estimates all over the place and why driveways fall apart,” said Macchione.  Don’t use regular rock salt on the driveway during the winter. Instead, use a rock salt substitute like magnesium chloride. “Regular rock salt will work its way into the pores and break up the asphalt prematurely,” said Kindergan.  An asphalt driveway should last 12 to 15 years. “About every three years, I recommend a seal coat,” said Macchione. “The seal coat cleans up the driveway and because asphalt is made of tar, sand and stone, the seal coat helps hold everything together.” See DRIVEWAYS, Page 4H rocuses are peeking through and the days are longer — two sure signs that planting season is upon us. This is a good time to begin plans for your gar- den, but rushing out to a nursery and buying plants is not the first thing you should do. “One of the most important things that people forget to do is fertilize,” said Brian Brisby of Stone House Nursery in Wyckoff. “Applying slow-release fertilizer to flowerbeds early in the season helps to promote blooms.” In addition to fertilizing, early spring is also a good time to take stock of the plants that survived the winter to make sure that they are healthy and that the flowerbeds are not too bare or overcrowded. When you are assured that your beds are in good order, you can begin to con- sider the look you want the garden to have. Most people want lots of color through- out the spring and summer seasons and into the fall. THINKSTOCK “Once you are past the Native plants can lure first frost, nothing is going to give you blooms like annuals,” butterflies to a garden. said Brisby. “You will get blooms from May until that first winter frost.” Annuals must be replanted every season, while most perennials return the following year. However, perennials have a much shorter flowering time. “With perennials, you basically get three weeks of blooms, maybe four weeks, and then they are done for the season,” explained Brisby. “There are certain varieties that you can prune back and get them to bloom again, but you really have to be an expert on your perennials to have constant blooms.” According to Brisby, perennials also require more effort. For example, some perennials need to be divided every other year while others are very susceptible to environmental conditions such as too much rain or drought. “Annuals are a safer bet to guarantee color throughout the summer,” he added. Although in past years the main consideration for selecting plants was whether they thrive in full or partial sun or shade, today many worry about deer, New Jersey’s largest wild herbivore. It is estimated that more than 125,000 white tail deer roam in the state, and they enjoy eating many garden plants. “Vincas are the safest bet if you are dealing with deer,” said Brisby. “These flowers look similar to impatiens, See ECOLOGY, Page 5H PHOTO COURTESY OF STONE HOUSE NURSERY Displays of flowers add color to a garden all season. smart shopper Solar power: A bright idea fo ȁёȁ) H8I)8)MA %0Q