Roof Gardens and Balcony Maintenance

Posted by Sasha Kirey On 6:22 PM
Keeping the balcony or roof garden in a good condition will enhance your enjoyment of it. You need to consider the structure, the plants, and the fixtures and fittings. The big advantage of the balcony and roof garden over the ground-level variety is that many of the back-breaking routine tasks, such as digging, are simply not necessary. However, other jobs are unique to these areas and mustn't be neglected.


In general, the plants will need weeding only if any seedlings happen to appear, and pruning only to keep them healthy and in shape. If any are tied against a wall, check the wires and nails periodically, to make sure they are not pulling away, and tie in new shoots. Occasionally, especially if the plants are protected from the rain, wipe any build-up of dust from the leaves; if dust is allowed to remain, it will interfere with photosynthesis, and the growth of the plant will be slower. As a matter of routine, remove dead leaves from the plants before they begin to rot.

Floor Surfaces

The balcony is probably the easiest to maintain, because, by its very nature as an extended part of the living area, it is usually easy to sweep clean or wash down.

Decking will need to be brushed with a stiff brush to remove any algae; then treat with an algae killer. In addition, treat softwood decks with a preservative every year.

Wash tiles periodically to reduce any build-up of algae; relay any tiles that work loose before they crack.

Concrete tends to suffer most damage from small cracks. If you overlook or ignore these, the action of the weather, or a stray seedling that grows in the crack, can enlarge it and cause considerable damage. Chip away loose material and repair the hole with a stiff mixture of concrete containing an adhesive.

Regularly rake any gravel level; it should not need any other attention.


Bring the cushions from upholstered furniture inside during wet or cold weather and clean them according to the instructions. Wash plastic frames with a detergent solution periodically to remove the water marks left by rain.

Metal furniture can be left outside but it will need a scrub in spring with a detergent solution, to remove the dust and deposits of the winter. It will benefit from a new coat of weather-resistant paint every two or three years.

Treat softwood timber seating with a preservative or new coat of varnish every year. Hardwoods, Such as teak, do not need preservative. A rub over with white spirit, soap and water and, finally, teak oil will protect them for the year.


Most containers will need little maintenance. Weathering tends to enhance their appearance rather than detract from it. Any that have been painted may need another coat, and reconstituted stone containers may need to be brushed down.

Roof Garden Containers
Trellises and Pergolas

Particularly where the trellis has been erected as a windbreak, the means of support will need regular checking to make sure it is still rigidly in place. The bottoms of posts are prone to rot. Treat them with preservative but, as many wood treatments are toxic to plants, it is usually better to detach the plants from their supports, and protect them before you begin applying the preservative.


Rub these down and repaint them with a weather-resistant paint when they show signs of damage.

Electrical Fittings

If electricity has been connected to the roof garden, for lights or a pond pump, it should be checked every year for signs of wear; this is best done by a qualified electrician, who can replace any damaged cables or connections.


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How to Plant in Garden Paving

Posted by Sasha Kirey On 11:59 AM
Whether the paving is a path or a patio, it will look much less stark, especially when it is new, if a few small, low-growing plants are added in among the slabs to soften and blur the edges.

Softening Edges
There is no reason why a paved area has to be a barren, plantless desert, unless it is by choice. By taking up the occasional paving slab or brick, or by scraping back the gravel, it is possible to add small plants that will grow only slowly and withstand being stepped on occasionally. Such plants work well to blend the hard surface into the garden, by integrating the two. This is especially desirable when the paving is new and clean, with sharp, well-defined edges. Long before the slabs begin to look weathered, the plants will have grown to give a much softer appearance to the area. Low-growing thymes are extremely effective at this, because, if they are walked on, the damaged leaves release oils that evaporate to give off their distinctive fragrance. For purely practical purposes, it may be useful to plant an ant-repellent such as pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium) near to a doorway if ants are known to be a problem, rather than use a chemical.

As with any other planting scheme, the plants should be chosen to match the situation as closely as possible, with the sun-lovers in the hot areas, and the moisture-lovers in shadier parts.

Planting in paving

Planting Steps:

1. Chisel out a few planting crevices if the paving is cemented, or clear out some of the old soil. Remove to a depth of at least 5cm (2in).

2. Fill the holes with a loam-based compost leaving space to plant.

3. Use small plants, seedlings or recently rooted cuttings. Tease away most of the soil to make insertion easier Trickle more compost around the roots after planting. Firm gently and remove pockets of air.

4. Water carefully. A fine mist from a compression sprayer is less likely to wash away soil than a watering can. Water regularly but avoid a forceful jet of water until the plants are established.


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How to Plant Ground Cover

Posted by Sasha Kirey On 1:46 AM
Plants which do not exceed 45cm (18in) in height are often referred to as "ground cover", particularly when they have a spreading habit and can be used as a means of softening and disguising hard edges or straight lines.

Low-maintenance Solutions

Low-growing and ground-covering plants are useful for the city front garden in a number of ways, both in the garden and around its edges. They are ideal for softening the edges of a path when they are allowed to grow partly on to the hard surface, and they can be dotted in planting holes left among the slabs, to break up a large expanse of paving. If you have borders in the front garden, ground-cover plants fill and soften the front of the border and will soon fill all gaps. This, in turn, helps to suppress weeds, because, in common with most other seedlings, weeds need light to grow. Eliminating the need to cultivate the soil to get rid of weeds will also help prevent more weeds from appearing, as no more seeds are brought to the surface. Thus ground cover is ideal for the city garden, as it is low-maintenance.

Another bonus is that a covering of leaves over the surface of the soil reduces the amount of water lost to evaporation on a warm or windy day. The soil is kept moist and the amount of water needed to keep the other plants alive is reduced.

Many of the plants used as ground cover are quite tough, and require little in the way of maintenance after planting. Hypericum calycinum, for instance, simply needs annual clipping with a strimmer (string-line trimmer), to reduce the height and encourage bushiness. Other than that, an annual feed will suffice for it to thrive.

Thus, when the amount of time available for maintenance is limited, as it often is for city gardens, using a low covering of plants can reduce the necessary work quite considerably, while still providing a welcoming entrance to your home.

Planting Ground Cover

1. To plant ground cover; clear the ground of weeds first. Annual weeds can be hoed off or killed with a herbicide. Some perennial weeds will have to be dug out by hand.

2. Fork in as much rotted manure or garden compost as you can spare, then apply a slow-release or controlled-release fertilizer and rake it in lightly.

3. Unless your ground cover spreads by underground stems it is best to plant through a mulching sheet to control weeds while the plants are becoming established. Cut a cross where the plant is to be positioned.

4. Plant in staggered rows, planting small plants through the slits with a trowel. Water thoroughly after planting and in dry weather throughout the first year

5. Until the plants have grown together you may want to use a decorative mulch such as chipped bark to improve the appearance.


How to Plant for a Miniature Kitchen Garden

Posted by Sasha Kirey On 9:05 PM
Vegetable-growing isn't the first project that springs to mind for the balcony or roof gardener, but, in fact, there is a lot of scope for making the most of even a tiny gardening space to produce fruit, vegetables and herbs for the table. The taste of food brought in and eaten fresh from the garden is better than any bought from the shops, and, even in a small area, there are plenty of varieties that can be grown.

Dwarf Varieties

Many fruit varieties are available on a dwarfing rootstock, which keeps them small, and they can be grown in containers, either as normally shaped trees, or as single-stemmed cordons. Against a warm wall, fan-shaped peaches, nectarines and cherries will thrive, as will grapes, which can also be grown over a pergola.

A new generation of "mini-vegetables" have been bred that are aimed at the smaller growing area and designed to be harvested and eaten while they are still small and tender. Tomatoes, cucumbers, aubergines (eggplants) and peppers will all thrive in containers, as long as they are sheltered.

Herbs, particularly the more ornamental ones, such as purple basil (Ocimum basilicum 'Dark Opal') and variegated sages and mints, are decorative as well as useful. Edible flowers, such as nasturtiums, pot marigolds and borage, can be added to salads or frozen into ice cubes to add to summer drinks.

The main requirements for a successful crop are sunshine, water, food and shelter from cold winds. Sun is needed to ripen the fruit and keep the more tender crops, such as courgettes (zucchini), aubergines and peaches, at a warm enough temperature. Most edible plants need a lot of water. This is especially important for plants such as tomatoes, whose fruit has a high water content when ripe.

Edible plants may also need a soil or compost (soil mix) which is rich in organic matter or fertilizer, to provide the nutrients for their rapid growth, although the amount needed does vary from variety to variety, with lettuces being far more dependent on water than food, for example. For this reason, a crop of tomatoes in a grow-bag can be followed the next year by a crop of lettuce and radishes grown in the same bag.

Miniature Kitchen Garden

1. Not many of us have the space or time to maintain a kitchen garden, but this table-top selection will allow you to grow all the essentials. Place crocks in the bottom of terracotta pots for drainage. Plants with well-developed root systems, such as this marigold, will benefit from planting in a larger pot.

2. Pots of basil and other herbs are available from garden centres and many supermarkets. They can be potted on successfully to provide fresh herbs throughout the season. You may be able to divide a single plant into two or more pots when repotting.

3. Nasturtiums flower better in poor soil, and once planted should be left to their own devices. Give them a little water but no plant food or you will get lots of leaves and no flowers.

4. Additional plants to grow might include miniature tomato and strawberry plants. They need larger pots to allow for root development. Line a tray with a thick plastic sheet and cover with clay granules. These retain moisture and create a damp microclimate for the plants.

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How to Plant a Hedge in Your Front Garden

Posted by Sasha Kirey On 6:12 PM
While it is difficult to eliminate an annoying noise completely, it is possible to use plants to filter it down to a more acceptable level. Plants near the house look much more attractive than sound-proofing.

Hedges as Screening

The one thing it is difficult to get away from in a built-up area is noise - it is constant, from traffic, trains, aircraft, people and so on. To a large extent, noise becomes so familiar that it barely registers, but there are occasions when it is preferable to do something about it. At the front of a house, a particularly persistent noise may interfere with sleeping, for instance, and here it may be useful to install plants to act as a baffle to the noise and to try to deflect it up over the building.

Hedges, particularly when they consist of broad-leaved evergreen plants such as Prunus laurocerasus, Aucuba japonica or FJaeagmis x ebbingei, are effective at reducing noise, because they form a dense barrier throughout the year. The higher the hedge, the higher it will deflect the noise.

In a very small garden, this may not be an option, because hedges do take up quite a lot of space, so the strategic positioning of a single upright or small-sized tree may be necessary Both Prunus 'Amanogawa' (upright) and Prunus x subhirtella Autumnal is' (a small tree bearing flowers throughout the autumn and winter) are deciduous trees suitable for small gardens.

Planting a Hedge

1. Mark out the line of the hedge with a string and canes. Use a spade to dig holes deep enough to accommodate the plants' roots, allowing space for the intended thickness of the hedge. For each hole, place the rootball against the side of the hole, and cover with soil.
2. Firm the soil gently with your foot. Repeat until the whole row has been planted; then apply a dressing of fertilizer on to the soil surface around the young plants and fork this into the top 5cm (2in) of soil.
3. Water the plants in well, then add a layer of organic matter 10cm (4in) deep as a mulch over the soil surface, to retain moisture and suppress weeds.


How to Plant Climbing Plants in your Back Garden

Posted by Sasha Kirey On 5:37 PM
A screen, whether a trellis or a hedge, will look more interesting throughout the year if other plants are used to liven it up. There is at least one climbing plant in flower during every month of the year and combining these with the screen will add an extra dimension.

Enhancing Screens

Many of the plants that have the best screening qualities, in terms of large, evergreen leaves, are fairly consistent in their appearance all year round. While this means that the screen is highly effective, it can be a little monotonous. To liven it up, climbers can be trained into it, to grow through and be supported by it. The flowers of the climber then peep through, with the plain foliage of the screen acting as a foil to their color. A large screen can act as host to several climbers, with flowering periods that follow on from each other, so that the screen is colorful for most of the year. If the climber produces interesting seed heads as well as attractive flowers, you have even more scope. Such is the case with Clematis tangutica, the seed heads of which persist well into the winter months.

Some climbers are more vigorous than others, so it is important to choose ones that are compatible with the plants forming the screen, otherwise the screen may be swamped or the climbers may be lost. The screen needs to be established and growing well before the climbers are introduced, or it will not be big enough to give the climbers the support they need.

Where the screen is made of timber or plastic, of course, there is no need to wait before plants are placed against it, unless the wood has recently been treated with a wood preservative which could harm them. Place the plants at the base of the screen, about 15cm (6in) out into the border, and use a cane to guide the stems towards the screen. As the stems begin to grow, weave them into the screen until they become established. Against a fence, the stems will need to be held in place with a system of wires and ties, but these will soon be hidden behind the foliage.

Planting a Climber Plant

1. Dig a hole large enough to accommodate the rootball of the plant, and fork plenty of well-rotted compost or manure into the base.
2. Check the depth of the hole (the level in the container should be slightly below the final soil level) and then remove the container and place the rootball in the hole.
3. Refill the hole with topsoil and a small amount of fertilizer firm it down and water the area well.
4. Position a cane close to the base of the climbing plant and use it to guide the stems of the climber towards the host plant.


Paving a Garden Patio How to

Posted by Sasha Kirey On 12:32 PM
How to Lay a Paving on Garden Patio

Tiny as these areas may be in the city, the courtyard and patio can become the "room outside", where eating is a relaxed and social experience, surrounded by foliage, flowers and fragrances.

The term "patio" originally referred to an inner courtyard set among the living rooms of a building. Nowadays, it refers to almost any hard-surface area in the garden, although usually the one where the outdoor furniture is sited.

While the patio is often placed adjacent to the house, this is not critical. You may find it is better positioned to make the most of the evening sunlight. If this is at the bottom of the garden, make sure the access routes are planned properly.

Privacy and a feeling of seclusion are important to help make the area a relaxing one in which to sit, and some form of screening may play a part in creating this. The whole area should be designed to have a harmonious feel, with the colors of the furniture, accessories and plants all chosen to complement each other.

Patio Surfaces
As with the rest of the garden, the surface sets the mood in the courtyard or on the patio. It should be in keeping with the surroundings and practical for the situation.

There are many different types of paving available, in a range of materials, shapes and sizes. Traditional Yorkstone paving is attractive and hard-wearing, but is expensive. There are many concrete imitations that are equally attractive, widely available and much cheaper. Larger paving slabs can be smooth or textured ("riven"), and their use will depend on the purpose of the patio. Young children might find some of the textured slabs difficult to walk or ride a small bicycle across, and furniture placed on them may be slightly unsteady. In order to create a variety of patterns, the slabs can be square, rectangular or hexagonal, and they are designed to be easily laid on to a level, well-prepared base. Small paving blocks (paviours) and house bricks are equally easy to lay, although this does take a little longer because you have to lay so many more of them. They can be laid in a number of decorative patterns, such as basket-weave and herringbone; or used to change the apparent perspective of the area. By laying them crossways you will shorten the view, whereas lengthways they will extend it.

1. Lay a bed of hardcore, roughly 15cm (6in) deep and rake it roughly level.
2. Make five small mounds ("spots") of mortar, one to ft under each corner of the slab, and one for the centre. Lower the slab into a horizontal position on the sand spots.
3. Gently wiggle the slab from side to side, to bed it down on to the mortar spots, and check that it is level by placing a spirit level (carpenter's level) diagonally across it to get an accurate reading.
4. Repeat across the opposite diagonal. Repeat the whole process with the remaining slabs, placing each alongside the previous one and aligning with an even gap along the joint.


How to Lay a Pave in a Back Garden

Posted by Sasha Kirey On 3:43 PM
Changing the material covering the "floor" of the garden can completely alter its appearance, by changing the perception of length or width, or by giving a definite flow of design, leading the eye onwards into the garden itself.

Practical Considerations

The "floor" surface in the garden fulfils the same function, in design terms, as a fitted carpet inside the house, providing a unifying link that flows through the area. It is the foil against which the planting can be arranged and, for every group of planting, there should be a balancing amount of open space.

The surface should also be practical. For instance, wooden decking positioned under overhanging trees will quickly become covered with slippery algae. Paving can be natural stone, brick, or concrete, and it can be laid in lines to lengthen the appearance of the garden, or in patterns to shorten it. Decking and timber are both softer than paving, and are very flexible materials to work with, both in terms of actual installation, and in how they are treated (stained or painted) afterwards. Timber can be mixed with other surfaces, such as paving and gravel, to give interesting textural variations, and laying it across, rather than along, the run of the path will make the distance look shorter. Railway sleepers (ties) are extremely useful in the garden, and can be used for edging borders and making raised beds as well as edging paths.

Small changes in contour and direction will alter the appearance of the garden, and can be used to give an interesting shape and pleasing sense of proportion. Steps should be wide enough to be functional, especially where food is carried, and shallow enough to be safe for both the very young and the not-so-very young.

Laying Pavers

1. Clay pavers look like bricks but are thinner and are designed to fit together without mortar joints. Prepare a sub-base of 5-10cm of compacted hardcore. Mortar into position a firm edge to work from. Lay a 5cm (2in) bed of sand, making sure the pavers are level with the edging. Adjust the depth of the sand if necessary. Use battens (laths) as a height gauge to enable the sand to be levelled with a piece of wood.

2. Lay the pavers in the required pattern, making sure that they butt up to each other and the edging.

3. Tamp the pavers in place using a club hammer over a length of timber. You could also hire a flat-plate vibrator to do the job. Brush more sand over the pavers to fill the joints, then tamp down again to lock in position.

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Container Gardening How to

Posted by Sasha Kirey On 4:48 PM
How to Choose Containers for Container Gardening

The vast range of containers available means that they can be chosen to match the situation and the budget. Most containers can be customized and can do a great deal to improve the most unpromising environments.

Types of garden Containers

There are a multitude of containers on the market, made from a wide range of materials, and of varying quality and durability. One of the oldest is terracotta, either glazed or unglazed, which produces a rough, earthy container; terracotta will blend well in most gardens but looks particularly attractive in a warm, Mediterranean-type setting. It is reasonably durable, as long as it was guaranteed frost-proof when it was bought, otherwise it may shatter during a cold winter. Terracotta is used for pots, strawberry tubs, troughs and wall pots. Wooden containers, such as half-barrels, tubs and troughs, have a rural look, are natural insulators (keeping plant roots warmer than stone or plastic) and are ideal for an informal setting. Those square wooden planters often called "Versailles", however, can be used very successfully in formal gardens and are particularly effective with very architectural plants, such as topiary, used in pairs to frame an entrance. How durable wooden containers are will depend upon how well they have been treated and seasoned, and they will probably need continued care as time goes on.

Reconstituted stone is used for larger pots, urns and troughs, and is much heavier than terracotta or wood. For this reason, it is a good choice where the container is likely to be left in position for a long time. These containers are usually highly ornamental, and suit a formal position near the house, at the end of a vista, or at the entrance to a seating area or walkway.

Concrete pots, urns and troughs are similar to reconstituted stone ones, and are equally heavy. Both concrete and reconstituted stone pots should be allowed to weather for several months before lime-hating plants are planted into them.

Plastic pots come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and colors, are cheap and light to handle, and unlike the other materials, are not porous, so that water is not lost through the sides. Improvements are constantly being made to increase the durability, but they are still likely to become brittle and crack if they are kept in strong sunlight.

Compost (Soil Mix) for Containers

The two main types of compost (soil mix) available for use in containers are soilless and soil-based. Soilless composts are based on peat, or a peat-substitute such as coir fibre, and are light and easy to handle. They contain sufficient nutrients for at least one growing season, and are suitable for plants that will only be in the container for a maximum of 12 months before being repotted or discarded. They are free-draining and, once they dry out, they can be very difficult to re-wet.

Soil-based composts contain a lot of natural soil, so they are heavier to handle but much better at hanging on to both water and nutrients. Larger or older plants, or those which are to remain in the same pots for a long period of time, will benefit from the stability offered by this type.

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Back Garden Access - How to - Practical Planning

Posted by Sasha Kirey On 6:37 PM
While the front garden is generally on display, in the private part of the garden at the back of the house, your imagination can take over. In this secret haven, all the stresses and cares of the day are put aside in favor of pleasure and relaxation.

No matter what size it is, even the tiniest patch can be filled with plants to delight the senses. The size of the garden is of little importance to the end result, because, by considering scale and color carefully, and using every surface and dimension to the full, you can create an impression that the garden is much bigger, longer or wider than it really is.

Much more critical to success are the basic steps that will ensure the plants grow well. The pH of the soil - how acidic or alkaline it is -will govern the range of plants to an extent, as well as the general aspect of the garden and amount of sun it receives. By taking all these factors into account, you will discover ways to create the perfect garden no matter how restricting the site might at first appear.

Access to the Back Garden

Making sure that the routes to certain points around the garden are kept clear will reduce the risk of damage to the plants, but this does not have to mean having a straight concrete path down the middle.

Practical Planning

The back garden can have such a multitude of uses that the points for access are many and varied, and are seldom as simple as just in-and-out. There may be a back gate, for reaching a rubbish (trash) storage area or garage; a shed, compost heap or greenhouse; a clothes line; or a children's play area, all of which will need a direct line of access. Not providing this direct route will result in "desire lines" being worn across the lawn or through the plants as short-cuts are inevitably taken. Watching these lines develop is often the easiest way of working out exactly where the paths ought to go, but by then, the damage may have been done.

There are many different surfaces to choose from for paths, from bark to stone, brick to gravel, and the choice is entirely personal. Aim to keep the surface material in context with the house wherever possible. Match the brick to those used on the house or select a complementary shade of gravel.

If the path runs across, or next to, a lawn, it is important to remember that loose gravel will seriously damage the blades of a lawnmower. Unless the gravel can be resin-bonded to keep it in place, it is probably better to go for slabs or bricks, which can be set lower than the grass, or bark, which is softer and will not cause so much damage.


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How to Choose Plants for a Back Garden

Posted by Sasha Kirey On 12:42 PM
Every plant has a preference about its ideal growing conditions, and putting a plant in the right spot will I mean the difference between it thriving or merely surviving. Certain plants prefer to grow in soils that are higher or lower in acidity than others, while some cannot tolerate acidity at all.

Know Your Soil

Avoid expensive mistakes by choosing a plant that is suitable for the soil where it is to be grown. The best way to ascertain the soil pH level is to buy a testing kit, because the levels do vary considerably within even local areas, depending on where the topsoil was brought in from, or what the underlying rock is.

The pH of the soil is influenced by the underlying bedrock, the amount of rainfall, the rate of drainage and also nearby vegetation such as pine trees (which produce acid foliage).

Soil Structure

The soil in which the plants are to grow is a collection of minerals and organic matter (humus) which will be expected to support the plant throughout its life. To be able to do this, they usually need a little bit of help in the form of organic matter and fertilizer.

Soil consists of sand, silt, clay and humus, and the proportions in which each is present will determine the structure of the soil - its consistency and water-retaining properties. The more large sand particles it contains, the more easily water will drain through it and the more quickly it will warm up in spring, allowing earlier planting. Silt particles are smaller, so water is held for longer, but they retain little in the way of nutrients. Clay particles are smallest of all; they hold on to nutrients and water extremely well, but produce a heavy, solid soil that is cold (slow to warm up in spring, because the water has to warm up as well as the particles), and prone to damage if it is worked when it is too wet.

The ideal soil to have is a loam, which contains a perfect balance ' of all the elements, producing a crumbly soil, often dark in color, which holds both moisture and nutrients well, without becoming water-logged. Unfortunately, this is rare, and most gardens have a soil that favors one particle size over the others and so needs help in the form of added organic matter to make it easier to work. This can take the form of well-rotted manure or compost (soil mix). Organic matter adds air to a solid soil and keeps moisture for longer in a free-draining one.

How to Test the Soil pH

1. Take a sample of soil from the area to be tested from about 10cm (4in) under the soil surface. To get a representative sample from the whole garden, take at least five small samples from all over the plot. Mix them together thoroughly in a screw-top jar
2. Thoroughly mix the soil and indicator chemicals, according to the instructions on the pack.
3. Add liquid to the soil/chemical mixture in the container and shake it vigorously.


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Aleksandr Biyevetskiy About me page

Posted by Sasha Kirey On 12:01 PM
I came to the United States when I was 16. I was really fascinated with all the opportunities that people have in the U.S. When I graduated from high school in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, I joined the United States army and became an infantryman. When I returned from the war in Iraq in 2006, I started my own metal roofing company, and later my brother and I expanded our business to the installation of cool flat roofing systems for residential homes and commercial buildings. While working on my business, I started attending college majoring in an international management. While in college, I discovered the beauty of ballroom dancing and music. I took my first ballroom dancing class in college and it was a very challenging and rewarding experience.

Metal Roofing Prices

Posted by Sasha Kirey On 6:03 PM
As environmental awareness continues to spread in America, the homeowners are starting to embrace green building technologies to make their homes greener and more energy efficient. Like many other energy efficient green building products, metal roofing is continuing to gain popularity and market share as the most energy efficient roofing material for residential homes.

For most people metal roofing is a high-end remodeling project that provides a beautifully looking and reliable roofing alternative to conventional asphalt shingle roofing. When homeowners consider a new roof for their home the first thing they focus on is metal roof pricing. According to the remodeling magazine a national average price for a new standing-seam metal roof installed on 30 squares home was around $42,000, while the same roof done with asphalt would cost $22,500. The roofing job included the complete tear-off and the cleanup of the old shingles.

Based on these numbers, metal roofing costs are nearly double of what you would normally pay for an asphalt shingle roof. Clearly, metal roofs are pricier than their energy inefficient and environmentally unfriendly, petroleum based counterparts. Despite the difference in roofing costs, metal roofing has been gaining roofing product market share with some very steady momentum, making it one of the fastest growing roofing products in America. So, what is it that makes metal roofing such an attractive option for the homeowners?

The answer lies in the reliability and longevity that metal roofs have to offer. Modern metal roofs are expected to last for many decades. While an asphalt shingle roof averages less than 20 years of useful life, professionally installed metal roofs can last well over 50 years. Metal roofing has an impeccable track record for longevity and reliability that dates back to the early 19th century when zinc roofs became popular in Europe. Zinc roofs perform extremely well lasting in many cases over 100 years. In fact, many zinc metal roofs installed in France are still protecting the buildings today.

Metal roofing offers many different styles and material options to the building owners. Starting from a zinc and aluminum coated steel roofing, to zinc and copper roofing. Stylewise, metal roofs are made in traditional profiles such as metal shingles, metal shakes, and tiles. Modern profiles such as standing-seam metal roofing and custom built metal roofing profiles are also available.

Metal roofs are fully recyclable when the time comes to replace them. Many metal roofing systems available on the market today contain over 30 percents of post consumer recycled metal content. Metal roofs are available in greater variety of of colors, with many profiles approved and rated by a energy star and cool roof council. Cool metal roofing colors can provide energy savings of up to 35% in the summer.

Metal roofing helps homeowners save money, make their home beautiful and more energy efficient, save money on air conditioning costs, and qualify for green building tax credits from the gov't. When shopping for a new metal roof make sure that You only hire experienced metal roofing contractors who can show you their work and provide good workmanship.