Serving the Naperville Community
The leaves may be falling and the air feels more brisk every morning, which means Old Man Winter is on the way. Are your new landscape design and driveway winter-ready in Hinsdale, IL? Here are some tips for making your life easier this winter.
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1. Simple Landscaping Around the Driveway
Shrubs and flower beds along a driveway are beautiful to look at, but they can take a real beating in the winter. Careless plowing, or even simply the sheer weight of wet, packed down snow (whether shoveled or plowed) can crush shrubs and make a huge mess come spring. De-icing salts can also kill plants surrounding your driveway. While there is no perfect solution to this ongoing problem, simply minimizing ornamental plantings around your driveway will save you a lot of headache. You will still need to refresh grass that may have been damaged by plows or by the weight of added snow - but you won’t have to be replacing shrubs or raking mulch back into a plant bed.
2. Install a Driveway Heating System
If you haven’t already installed a new driveway, don’t take another step before considering the benefits of a driveway heating system. You may never have to shovel or plow again… and you can install heating systems under concrete pavers (for a serious up-leveling of your driveway’s curb appeal) or under asphalt or concrete.
There are two types of electric driveway heating systems to consider: a heat-generating mat, or a coil system containing antifreeze. Both can be automatically activated when sensors detect precipitation or freezing temperatures. This way you never have to wonder whether you remembered to turn the system on, and the system automatically conserves energy by shutting off when temperatures are above freezing. While your electric bill will be higher, this cost can be partially or completely offset by not having to hire snow plow services.
Bonus: if you haven’t installed a new patio or walkways yet, consider installing a heating system there as well. This will make your patio a much more usable and pleasant place to be on chilly days (especially if you have a fireplace or fire pit). And, it will make your front entry walkway much safer.
Another bonus is that a heating system also eliminates the need to use de-icing salts, which makes your landscaping very happy… and since no additional snow will need to be thrown or pushed onto your landscaping, you could install attractive planting beds along your driveway - and your driveway will be the envy of the neighborhood all year long!
3. Add a Fireplace or Fire Pit
And speaking of fire… a roaring fire really takes the chill out of winter. Imagine sitting bundled up in your favorite fleece blanket, sipping hot cocoa, and sharing laughter and conversation with family and friends around the fire.
Fire pits are more casual and they come in both portable and permanent versions. For an authentic campfire experience where you can cook food over an open flame and enjoy a hotter burning fire, go with a wood fire pit. For more convenience and ease (no dealing with wood and no smoke in the eyes), choose natural gas or propane.
Outdoor fireplaces are more stylish and help to create an outdoor living room vibe in the backyard.
Related: Achieve a More Welcoming Home With an Upgraded Driveway in Wheaton, IL