11 Apr 2018

Top 3 reasons for outdoor lighting

There’s nothing quite like having a spacious and welcoming outdoor living space at your home; a place where you can relax or entertain guests. Whether you’re hosting a backyard barbecue, enjoying refreshing drinks on your patio, or hanging with friends around your fire pit, you’ll want to make sure your space is safe and well lit. Outdoor lighting fixtures are incredibly versatile, they can be aligned to almost any lighting need.

We at G&R Contracting believe that there are a few different reasons to invest in proper outdoor lighting for your home or office. Today, we’re counting down the top 3 reasons to consider outdoor lighting for your next home improvement project.

1. Outdoor lighting reduces crime and theft.

Many office buildings and workplaces have very specific rules about lighting that must stay on while the property is vacant. The reason for this is because over the course of history, people have learned that well-lit buildings offer a sense of maintenance and security. If a home or office building is lit, it gives the impression that people are there. But even if it’s obvious that no one is there, the impression that the area has a level of maintenance is often enough to deter would-be crime. It isn’t hard to put two and two together; to a crook, more lights equal more chance of getting caught.

According to the National Institute of Justice, well placed security lights can be the difference between a safe area and a crime ridden area. Street lights, college campuses and parking lots are all examples of proper use of outdoor lighting to reduce or eliminate crime.

But don’t take our word for it. You can check out the study on how lighting reduces crime at the National Institute of Justice’s website here.

2. Outdoor lighting adds functionality and safety.

There are two obvious benefits to adding lighting fixtures to your property. You can’t deny the wow factor that you feel when you drive by a home that has well placed landscape lighting to accent the architecture. Lighting can also add a level of functionality: The most basic types of lighting are walkway or path lighting. Walkway lighting can illuminate dark pathways that lead to doors – this is especially useful for first time visitors.

Deck and patio lights offer spot lighting that allow you to make use of your outdoor space after the sun goes down. It’s your property! Why should you not be able to make full use of it at night?

Regardless of if you’re planning an evening BBQ, or you’re just taking out the trash at night, exterior lights offer incredible security.

3. Outdoor lighting improves appearance and can increase property values.

A well planned and well executed lighting or landscape design can create increase property values by as much as 15-20%. The wow factor we spoke of earlier is called “curb appeal.” You can use strategic outdoor lighting to highlight walkways, lawns and other architectures to give the space a bigger feel, make it more aesthetically pleasing and in all of that, increase the overall value.

Bad lighting decisions or faulty electrical or lighting equipment can cause harm to you or your property. Before you dig, wire or install anything, make sure you have the know-how of industry experts to help you plan and implement your vision. What sets G&R Contracting apart is the proven history of expertly executed lighting projects, and our incredibly satisfied clients. Give us a call at (804) 360-2686 or fill out the contact me form and let’s talk about how outdoor lighting can work for you.


07 Mar 2018

Top 5 Ways to Prevent Damage to your Home from a Tree

Trees are beautiful, and some of the longest lasting things on earth. But they have their downsides. Falling trees and tree limbs are responsible for countless amounts of home and property damage.

Here are 5 things you can look out for to prevent it from happening to you:

1. Look out for dead trees.

It's not a matter of if the tree will fall, it's a matter of when. Dead trees are especially dangerous if located near homes or driveways where cars usually park. Keep in mind that even though insurance will usually cover the damage that a tree has on your property (or your neighbor's), it's your responsibility to make sure that the trees are maintained. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if a tree is dead or if it just needs a shot of coffee. If you're noticing one of these guys in your yard, reach out to your local arborist. A tree professional can often inspect and test a tree to suggest the best course of action.

2. Keep an eye peeled for dead branches.

A tree may not need to be dead to have dead branches. A few days ago Richmond, VA experienced unbelievable winds. In addition to blowing around some debris, we lost about half of what we thought was a healthy tree. We're lucky it didn't hit anything except the yard (and barely missed the mailbox). Be sure to keep tree limbs trimmed back to prevent them from coming down on your property.

3. Keep an eye on your roof.

Tree limbs that aren't exceptionally long but are touching your home or roof can still be a major problem. As the wind blows the limbs, they can catch your shingles and begin to damage and even rip up your roof. Be sure to keep the trees around your home trimmed back. Thousands of Americans visit the hospital each year from roof and ladder-related injuries; if you aren't comfortable getting up on your roof, call a tree trimmer or arborist to take care of the job for you.

4. Notice leaning trees.

Even beautiful, healthy trees that are leaning too heavily can be concerning. Some trees have the capacity to lean in a particular direction (oak is a strong wood that often leans) but they should still be inspected thoroughly to ensure that they don't grow too large and lean too much.

5. Mushrooms at the base of your tree.

Mushrooms and conks can be signs of decomposing or rotting trees. They will often attack older trees, so it can be beneficial to get the tree and mushroom inspected. Usually, it isn't a problem, but it's always best to be safe rather than sorry.

Keep an eye out for these things. If you ever feel concerned, reach out to G&R Contracting at 804-360-2686.

** We don't actually remove trees but we can refer you to a specialist that we trust!

(804) 360-2686