Well Landscaped Patio in Backyard Near Inground Pool | Masonry Supplies Norwalk | Stones Westport

DIY Masonry Tips: Fire Pit Edition

We love spending time outdoors — and on cool nights, there are few things better than spending time with friends and family next to the warmth of a fire pit. Whether you’re sharing a few laughs or roasting some marshmallows, a fire pit can be a wonderful and beautiful addition to your home. If you are thinking of embracing your creative side and building your own fire pit, here are a few DIY masonry tips to keep in mind.

DIY Masonry Tips:

  • Find a flat, level area. You want to make sure that you plan to have your firepit on a flat, level area. It should be at least 25 feet from your home and any trees.
  • Purchase the stone and cement. Measure the area that you want your fire pit to be — and then decide on the type of stone that you would like to use. Get creative with the type of bricks or stones that you want to use in your fire pit design. Then, schedule to have these products picked up or delivered to your home (pro tip: we offer both).
  • Build the foundation. You will want to build a strong foundation for your stones to sit upon. Create a marked out area in your yard. Then, create a separate marketed out area inside of this circle. You will want to fill the outer section of the circle with concrete — the inner section will remain free of concrete for drainage purposes.
  • Lay your brick. After your foundation is built, it is time to lay down your stone work. Mix mortar and then shovel two inches of it for a base. Work in small section and lay your stones on the mortar.
  • Build an inner fire brick wall. You will want to build a fire brick wall inside of the stone. Lay each brick and fill the gaps with wet mortar. Scrape away any excess.
  • Add the finishing touches. Now that the structure is complete, brush away any loose debris and spray it down with a hose — and then spray the interior of the fire brick with black stove paint. Lastly, fill the base with a layer of river rocks.

If you live in Fairfield County, trust Devine Bros. with all of your masonry and landscaping supply needs. We carry everything that you need to create a beautiful fire pit — and all products are available for pick up or delivery. If you live in Norwalk, Westport, New Canaan, or the surrounding area, contact us today at 203-866-4421!

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Front Garden Area with Fresh Mulch | Mulch Westport | Landscape Supplies New Canaan

Why You Should Use Mulch in Your Garden

Tending to your garden can be time-consuming — but did you know that mulch can make it a little bit easier?

Mulch is made up of nutrient rich material that is spread throughout your garden to help enrich the soil. But there are so many other great reasons to utilize it in your garden.

 

  1. Organic Matter: Using mulch adds a significant amount of organic matter to your soil. This is important because it helps keep your garden healthy and makes it more resistant to disease and pests.
  2. Nutrients: Keep your garden all natural. Mulch provides it with valuable nutrients that release slowly into the soil. It also helps prevent vitamin loss in your plants.
  3. Hydration: Mulched soil retains 70-percent more water than unmulched soil. It will keep your soil hydrated longer and prevent evaporation from the sun.
  4. Insulation: Mulch insulates soil all year round. It will keep plants roots cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
  5. Weeds: By blocking the sunlight, mulch actually minimizes the growth of weeds. Therefore they won’t be competing for nutrients with your plants. The few weeds that do make it to the surface will be much easier to remove.
  6. Convenience: For more reasons than one, mulched gardens are much more convenient. You’ll spend less time having to water them and you won’t have to spend money on pest control or fertilizers.

Could your garden and lawn could use some “Devine” intervention? If you live in Norwalk, Westport, or New Canaan, look no further than Devine Bros. for all of your landscaping needs. We have Fairfield County’s largest selection of landscaping supplies, all available for pickup or delivery. From mulch to brick to flagstone and concrete, we truly have it all! Contact us today at 203-866-4421.

Concrete Mix Being Poured | Concrete Supplies Norwalk | Cement Fairfield County

6 Types of Concrete Mix

Walking the aisles of the hardware store can be overwhelming. There are countless products, all with multiple uses — and the workers aren’t always the most helpful. When choosing concrete, it’s important to know what type of products work and won’t work for the job you’re trying to do.

Regular

Benefits

A simple regular concrete mix is ideal for most general concrete work.

Common Uses:

Applications include: setting posts, as well as building sidewalks, steps, patios, floors, downspout troughs, and more.

Lightweight

Benefits

Lightweight concrete mix will actually provide you with more cubic footage than regular concrete.

Common Uses:

This type of concrete is ideal for pouring slabs, walkways, steps, and more.

Sand Mix

Benefits

Sand mix concrete is a mixture of Portland cement and graded sand.

Common Uses:

Sand mix concrete can be used when less than 2 inches of thickness is required. It’s ideal for patching chipped concrete surfaces and can be used for laying flagstone and paving bricks. It may also be used as grout.

Fiber Reinforced

Benefits

Fiber reinforced concrete mix is designed to reduce the cracking, chipping, and flaking that can occur in concrete. This type of concrete actually contains much more cement and hundreds of small fibers, which gives it more strength and resistance than some of the alternatives. In many cases, you won’t need to utilize wire mesh when using Fiber Reinforced concrete mix.

Common Uses:

Fiber reinforced concrete mix is commonly used for patios, driveways, and sidewalks.

Gravel Mix Fiber-Reinforced

Benefits

Gravel mix fiber-reinforced concrete is stronger than sand mixes.

Common Uses:

This type of concrete is commonly used when you need to create more than two inches of thickness.

Anchoring

Benefits

Anchoring concrete mix is two and a half times stronger than typical concrete. It contains epoxy, so it can actually adhere to other concrete.

Common Uses:

Many homeowners choose anchoring concrete mix to attach railings, gates, chains, and more to existing concrete or blocks.

Here at Devine Bros., we manufacture all types of concrete. So rather than spending hours in the hardware store trying to decide on what you need, let us design and mix a custom aggregate in order to meet your exact specifications.

There’s a reason Devine Bros. concrete mixes are preferred. To learn more contact us today at 203-866-4421.

 

Sign Reading Summer Heat with Sun in Background | AC Repair Norwalk | AC Installation Westport

How to Save on Cooling Costs this Summer

No, the heat isn’t on — it’s the ozone layer. Summer is here and continues to make its presence known daily. Although you may be tempted to leave your air conditioner running, you certainly won’t be thrilled to see your electric bill next month. While it may seem impossible to stay cool on 90-degree+ days, the goal IS attainable. Shut the A/C off, and try out these cost-effective cooling tips:

Change Your Routine

When the temperature changes, so should your routine. This doesn’t mean taking off from work, but to simply modify your daily choices.It’s all about the cool compromise.

  • If it’s too warm in your home, cook dinner outside on the barbecue.
  • If it’s too hot outside, save yardwork for evenings or for a cooler day.

Clean the Filter

Although you’re trying to keep your air conditioning usage to a minimum, eventually you will need to use it. Before turning the unit on, be sure to clean/replace the filter. Most air conditioners work overtime because a dirty/old filter creates blockages within the air passages. By giving a little TLC, your A/C won’t use as much energy. Pro Tip: After you initially clean your filters, be sure to maintain them regularly.

Block the View

Are you a morning person? Keep your blinds and curtains closed. It may be tough to block your awesome view, but it will help maintain a cool temperature within your home throughout the day.

Your Biggest Fan

Despite what you may think, using a standard blade fan will make a huge difference. Although fans don’t have cooling regulators like A/C units, they’ll circulate the air throughout a room. If you give a fan about 10 minutes, you’ll notice a much cooler temperature inside your space.

If you live in Fairfield County, trust Devine Bros. to keep your air conditioner in tip-top shape this summer. We offer air conditioner repairs, installations, and tune ups, and have one of the largest inventories of landscaping supplies in southern Connecticut. If you live in Norwalk, Westport, New Canaan, or the surrounding area, contact us today at 203-866-4421!