How to Pick a Landscaper to Create a Divine Garden

It’s about that time to start thinking about summer home updates, and one thing that should come straight to mind is your garden and landscaping. Your curb appeal is incredibly important to the aesthetic of your home, and the right landscaper can turn your dull exterior into the outdoor space you’ve always dreamed of.

A professional landscaper knows what plants and flowers bloom when, which ones look best together, and what will complement the rest of your exterior. They have the skills and expertise to create a divine garden you can enjoy all summer! Follow these steps to choose the right landscaper for you!

Get Referrals

Ask your friends and family members if they’ve worked with a landscaper they really liked. If not, you can ask them to ask their friends, too! It’s always nice to work with a company that someone you know and trust has already worked with. If they had a good experience with them, it’s likely you will too!

Research and Do Your Homework

Do your own research on landscaping companies in your area. Compare them to each other, and look for companies that have a strong portfolio, references, and experience in a number of services. Check their websites, social media handles and reviews to get the full picture.

Check Out Their Previous Work

Professionals should always be able to show you previous work of similar projects they’ve done in the past. If they refuse to show you their portfolio, it’s definitely a red flag. Checking out their portfolio will give you a sense of what your finished product will look like, so it’s a good idea to take a look and see if it fits with your vision. Don’t forget to ask for and talk to their references for these previous projects as well.

Visit a Current Job Site

Ask the company you’re considering if you’d be able to come to one of their current job sites. This will allow you to see the amount of professionalism that happens on the job. Are they respectful of the house and the homeowners? Or does the job site look messy and poorly managed? A job site visit is one of the best ways to see what you’re in for.

Personality Plays a Part

It’s one thing to have skills and experience, but you want to make sure you’re in business with people you like and can communicate well with. If they’re not able to understand your needs and vision, it will be a long and frustrating ride. Make sure they have good communication skills, are patient and understanding, are willing to work with you, and are creative with their ideas.

Read and Understand the Contract

Before picking a landscaper, ask them if you can take a look at a sample contract, and take note of everything that goes into it. What materials will be used? What’s the timeline? How much is the investment and what is this money buying you? You’ll have to let them know specifics, especially if you need the project to be completed by a certain date, and make sure they’re able to adjust the contract before signing anything.

Picking a landscaper is an exciting task because it means you’re on your way to creating your dream garden. But don’t rush into the decision. Use these steps to choose the perfect landscaper for you and your needs!

Before and After: How a Porch and Landscaping Can Expose a Beautiful Home

Some homes are diamonds in the rough. All they need is a little love to expose their true beauty. Upgrading your porch and landscaping are two ways to transform your home exterior and reveal just how stunning your home really is.

Many old homes have good, sturdy bones with classic architectural features. Your diamond in the rough may be run down after years of wear and neglect, but it doesn’t mean it’s a lost causes. In fact, renovating an older home often results in a more beautiful finished product due to its charm and character. Here’s how to update your porch and landscaping to expose a beautiful home.  

Add New Railings and Columns

Run down railings and columns are a clear sign of an aging home. Some older homes even have dated metal pole columns that are anything but beautiful. Add a decorative railing that matches the exterior style of your home as well as new square or round columns. These two things alone will make a world of a difference!

Replace Your Front Door

Many homeowners don’t realize what a huge difference a new front door can make! Replacing your front door and updating the style and colour can completely transform the look of your porch. Gentek offers entry doors in an array of styles and privacy options, or you might consider a customized door made just for your home!

Add Porch Furniture

Make your porch warm and inviting with the addition of porch furniture! Depending on the amount of space you have, you can add anything from a porch swing, to wicker chairs, to a rug and even a bistro set. If you don’t have as much space, little touches like a doormat, porch lanterns and planters can make a big difference!

Simple, Yet Effective Landscaping

Front yard landscaping shouldn’t be over the top. You want it to compliment your porch and exterior in a subtle yet striking way. Remove overgrown bushes and shrubs and trim your grass so it’s nice and tame. If you’re craving colour, add flower beds bursting with a variety of textures and shades and hang flower pots from the porch. If you want to keep it simpler, add small shrubs and perhaps some fruit trees.

Add a Beautiful Walkway

Another way to add visual appeal to your exterior is with a beautiful walkway. Even something as simple as a gravel walkway leading from your driveway to your front steps can have a lovely effect. You can also play around with different shapes (curved or straight) and a range of materials from concrete to stone for your walkway. If you’re worried about safety, consider adding pillars or light fixtures to your walkway as well!

Upgrading your porch and landscaping can completely alter your home, exposing its true grace and beauty! Implement these tips to have your home exterior looking its very best!

Don’t forget, from now until April 30th, we’re offering free design services on the Gentek project visualizer platform! Get your home prepared by our professional designers in as little as 3 business days, and create beautiful designs in a jiff!

5 Inspiring Walkway and Path Designs

Looking to add visual interest to your exterior? Incorporating a walkway into your yard or garden is one of the best ways to do just that. Your walkway doesn’t have to be extravagant and labour-intensive, you can create a beautiful path that’s easy on the wallet. Or, if you want something more lavish, you can have that too. It’s completely up to you and your exterior goals!

Design your walkway around your home exterior features. Use the colours and character of your siding, windows, doors and shutters as inspiration for your path design. The elements of your exterior should all work together, complementing each other and creating an overall vibe. Your walkway can be wide or narrow, winding or straight, and made from any material you like.

Here are 5 inspiring walkway and path ideas for your home.

1. Stepping Stone Path

A stepping stone path is one of the easiest and fastest ways to create a stunning walkway for your home. It’s simple yet classic and is a clever way to catch the eye. It’s simple to do yourself – there’s little digging involved and since the stones aren’t attached to one another, you don’t have to worry about them being completely level with one another. With so many types of stone available, choose one that complements your home exterior and suits the overall look you want to create.

2. Brick and Marble

Brick and marble are a gorgeous duo, that together offer sophistication to your home exterior design. There are different ways to incorporate this look, from a brick path that borders a marble centerpiece at your front entrance, to having a brick walkway with marble along the edges. Keep in mind that brick and marble require different maintenance. While brick is relatively easy to maintain (just use a garden hose to clean it), marble is slightly more high maintenance, requiring a sealer.

3. Winding Concrete

Concrete is an extremely durable and cost-effective material to use to build your walkway, plus it’s available in a variety of pre-mixed colours to resemble more expensive materials like slate and stone. A concrete path that incorporates sweeping curves is aesthetically appealing and gives your yard a hint of elegance.

4. Cobblestone Walkway

A cobblestone walkway offers stunning character to your yard or garden. If you’re looking to create a European or picturesque vibe for your home, cobblestone is the way to go. You can DIY your cobblestone walkway or get help from professionals to create the look. Either way, it takes a little more time to build a cobblestone walkway, but it will be worth it!

5. Herringbone Brick

The herringbone pattern is simple and traditional, yet versatile at the same time. It’s a pattern that works with various landscaping and exterior designs. If you’re stumped on what type of walkway to go with, herringbone brick will likely work for you! Brick is very easy to maintain, so it’s ideal if you have a busy lifestyle and want a beautiful exterior without having to worry about the upkeep.

Use one of these designs or get creative to build a walkway that suits your home. It will make a world of difference for bringing your exterior together!

Emphasize Your Great Exterior With Complementary Landscaping


Great landscaping adds to the curb appeal of any home. And when you’ve invested in the exterior of your home, complementary landscaping brings it all together into one great-looking package.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make your landscaping match your exterior. Flower beds and annuals can get you off to a great start.  When designing flower beds, avoid using materials that will clash with your home’s architecture.  If you have a wood home, for example, don’t use chunky stone or brick flower beds. It’s a socks and sandals thing — they won’t match.

You can start your landscaping adventure by picking colourful annuals that create a nice contrast with the colour of your home.  Many people like to start with some readily available and inexpensive annuals like impatiens, marigolds or petunias which come in a wide range of colours.

For homes with a dark-coloured exterior, use plants with light green foliage. For light-coloured siding, use richer green foliage with complementary bright flowers. Colour wheels from your local paint store are a great way to gain an understanding of matching and contrasting colours.

When you’re planting shrubs, bushes, trees or large plants, take into consideration future size. You don’t want them to grow to hide or diminish the great features of your home. You also don’t want to block the view or light coming in through a bay window or any other window you like to look out of.

If you’re in a new home, you’ve got a clean canvas to work with, and lots of enjoyment to come. If you’ve changed your exterior in a renovation, you can usually make simple and inexpensive changes to your landscaping that will bring out the best of your home’s exterior.