News

Decorative Ways to Enjoy Your Outdoor Space in Colder Months

by Belgard®

Just because the temperature has dropped doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the outdoors. There are a number of decorative ways to keep your outdoor spaces livable during the winter months that add both ambiance and warmth.

Fire Pits

Fire pits are currently one of the top must-haves in outdoor living, and with good reason. They easily fit into any outdoor living design and provide a spot for groups of any age to gather and enjoy the outdoors. Whether roasting hot dogs or s’mores, sharing a bottle of wine, or just having a cup of hot cocoa, everyone loves sitting around the fire pit.

Outdoor Fireplaces

Outdoor fireplaces make a dramatic statement and become the focal point of your outdoor living design. Not only will it add physical warmth to your outdoor living space, it will become the favorite spot for enjoying a glass of wine or an intimate conversation. When designing your outdoor living space, remember that gas fireplaces can be placed just about anywhere, but a wood-burning version will likely need to be 10 or more feet from any structure.

Homey Accessories

Adding retractable solar shades to a porch will not only provide protection from the glaring sun in summer months, they can also help keep you warm in the winter by blocking the wind and helping to hold in any ambient warmth created by area heaters.

Comfy throws not only add a cozy look to your outdoor space, they provide that extra layer that some folks need to keep warm. Decorative outdoor bins can be a good place to store throws; however, you may want to choose an easy-to-carry basket that can be stored indoors when not in use, which will keep your throws free of unwanted critters.

Preventing De-Icing Downfalls

by Belgard®

The recent blast of arctic air sent temperatures plummeting across the country. Many of you are already stocked up on deicing agents for your walkways and driveways. Although deicing agents offer an immediate benefit, they can sometimes have a corrosive effect and diminish the beauty of paved surfaces.

To ensure long-term resistance to the downfalls of deicing, regularly maintain pavers with paver sealants for additional protection and follow these tips:

  • Mix salts with sand prior to application
  • Don’t over-salt
  • Use salt for melting ice only, not snow removal
  • Once loose, remove ice to avoid salt buildup
  • Wash residue from pavers in the spring

Looking Ahead to 2019 Trends in Outdoor Living

by Belgard®

The need to maintain real human connections in the digital age has greatly influenced the design elements of the outdoor living movement. A simple patio with weatherproof chairs and portable grill just won’t do the trick anymore. People want a comfortable spot to connect with family and friends that replicates, and in many cases exceeds, the comfort of their indoor gathering spots. With that in mind, here are some of the prevailing trends that can be expected to continue to gain popularity in the coming year.

Contemporary Outdoor Design

Current outdoor living spaces are definitely following the interior design trend toward the clean lines of contemporary design. People normally associate modular-shaped pavers with contemporary design, but that isn’t necessarily true. The textures and colors used can also sway a look towards a more contemporary feel. Although modular-shaped pavers are expected to continue to rise in popularity, expect to see an increase in smoother textures in various styles of pavers. The contemporary trend also leans towards monochromatic color schemes with pops of color.

Pantone Color of the Year

Each year, the Pantone® Color Institute declares an official Color of the Year, which influences many of the design trends. The company recently announced “Living Coral” as the 2019 Color of the Year. This color can be incorporated into outdoor living design in a number of ways. Some pavers have hues of coral incorporated into the color blend. There are also many paver styles with complementary colors that can work well in conjunction with Living Coral. Living Coral can also be used as an accent color for pillows, umbrellas and decorative accessories.

Entanglement with Nature

One of the hottest up-and-coming trends is to “entangle” hardscape installations with the surrounding landscape. This can be done in several ways. Pavers can be entangled with adjacent grass or gardens in a “fade away” effect. This effect is even more dramatic when used with plank-style pavers. Another, more formal application of this idea is to use porcelain pavers spaced out with strips of grass to create a checkerboard or stepping stone pattern.

Natural Textured Walls

More and more homeowners are requesting retaining and free standing walls that have natural stone textures. Trending styles include walls that offer the look of tumbled stone or chiseled stone. Homeowners are also increasingly drawn to wall installation patterns with clean, contemporary lines.

Gray and “Greige” Tones

From light gray to charcoal, gray tones continue to dominate current hardscape trends. However, an up-and-coming trend is starting to lean back toward warmer tones. This transitionary color phase is coined “greige”… a blending of grey and beige tones. Homeowners across the country are currently looking for these muted gray/tan color blends in hardscapes for their ability to work well with both warm and cool design palettes.

Blurring Transitions from Inside to Outside

One of the biggest trends in new home and remodeling is the blurring of the line between the indoor and outdoor. This involves much more than windows and patio doors. Fully folding walls and screens are being installed that allow spaces such as a family room to open and create a seamless transition into the outdoor space. Or, a standard kitchen can become an outdoor one in warmer months with the flip of a switch.

Linear and Large Format Pavers

The trend toward larger and more linear pavers continues to grow at a rapid pace. Not only are consumers looking for clean, modular textures, they are leaning toward plank-style pavers, and very large format slab pavers.

Formal Water Features

People love the soothing sound of running water, and the trend of incorporating formal water features into outdoor designs is growing at an exponential rate. With our busy lifestyles, however, consumers also want a water feature that is simple to take care of — adding beauty, ambiance and value to the outdoor living space without additional maintenance time and cost.

Outdoor Lighting Trends

The vast majority of time spent in most outdoor spaces is in the evening and on weekends. Because of this, outdoor living trends are moving towards well-designed built-in lighting systems. With today’s LED technology and smart phone apps, installing an automated lighting system has never been easier. However, this type of system is not very easy to retrofit after-the-fact and is more common in new construction. For existing outdoor living spaces, expect to see a continued increase in landscape lighting and durable string light options, like commercial grade Edison-style LED string lights.

Holiday Hours

Kearney Crete & Block hours have changed for the upcoming Holidays:

  • December 24th – Closing at 3pm
  • December 25th – Closed
  • December 31st – Regular Business Hours (7am-5pm)
  • January 1st – Closed

Thank you, and Happy Holidays from all of us at Kearney Crete & Block.

Kearney Crete & Block Sunrise Tailgate Sale

Kearney Crete and Block Brick and Landscape Sale

Kearney Crete and Block is having a Sunrise Tailgate Sale on Saturday, September 22, 2018 from 7am – 10am.  Stop by for low prices on Pavers, Brick, Decorative Caps, and tools. 

Swing by our location on Highway 30 Kearney.  We’ll also have free rolls and drinks, and we’re giving away 2 Husker Football tickets to the Michigan State game.

Closed Labor Day Weekend

Kearney Create & Block will be closed on Saturday, September 1st through Monday, September 3rd in observance of Labor Day.

We will reopen on Tuesday, September 4th.

Thank you, and we hope that everyone has a fun and safe Labor Day weekend.

Nebraska Career Education Conference

 

As part of the Nebraska Career Education Conference, Kearney Crete and Block teamed up with Nebraska Masonry Alliance to provide a masonry workshop to shop and tech teachers. The workshop allowed teachers the opportunity to learn and work side-by-side with experienced masons. Participants learned about the basics of masonry, including mixing mortar and the lay-up of block and brick walls. Special shout out to K&K Masonry – Omaha NE, Anderson Chester & Sons Inc, and GH Construction LLC for assisting with the workshop!

Building A Beautiful Home With KCB On NTV’s Good Life

Christy Fitzgerald walked viewers through a variety of products offered by Kearney Crete & Block on today’s segment of NTV’s Good Life.  Beyond the extensive product lines of retaining wall block, pavers, brick and stone, viewers got a glimpse of how details can turn a house into a dream home.

Did you miss the segment?  Check it out now:


 

2018 SkillsUSA Nebraska Leadership and Skill Conference

Kearney Crete & Block helps with SkillsUSA Competition

More than 1,500 of Nebraska’s brightest young minds participated in the SkillsUSA Nebraska Conference at the Heartland Events Center-Fonner Park complex. High school students competed in more than 100 areas of career and technical education including a masonry division that was helped in part by Kearney Crete & Block and Christensen Concrete Products Company.

Judges in the masonry division were Grant Olson of Kearney Crete & Block, Jim Johnson of Summit Masonry, and Dustin Hasselmann of GH Construction. Scot Krosschell (Kearney Crete & Block), Bob Landers (Christensen Concrete Products), Jason Veggeberg (Christensen Concrete Products), McHale Armstrong (Kearney Crete & Block), David Alvarado (Kearney Crete & Block), and Eddie Cervantes (Kearney Crete & Block) handled the set up and tear down of the event and also helped with mixing the mortar to keep the students supplied with material throughout the competition. Christy Fizgerald (Kearney Crete & Block) attended the event as a representative of the Nebraska Masonry Association.

The 2018 competition doubled the number of students competing in the masonry competition compared to 2017.

Winners:
High School Division: Sachi Baeta, The Career Academy- Lincoln Southwest High School
College Division: Evan Horak, UNL

Area Hardscapers Attend Belgard U

A contingent of local hardscape contractors from the Kearney, Grand Island and Hastings area made the trip to Omaha on March 21, 2018 to attend the annual Belgard U event.

As the industry’s latest tools and techniques continue to advance, Belgard strives to help hardscape contractors evolve to meet the challenges of an increasingly competitive marketplace through the use of Belgard University. These one and two day events scheduled at various locations in the country help contractors build skills, build their networks, build their businesses, and ultimately, build their futures.

The event annually attracts contractors from all over Nebraska as well as parts of Iowa and Kansas. Nearly 150 contractors attended the event including Fairview Landscaping, Tilly’s Landscaping, Central Nebraska Sod, and Midwest Landscaping from Grand Island, and Prairie View Landscaping from Kearney.  Jason Veggeberg was also in attendance to represent Christensen Concrete Products.

Belgard U is known for providing the most innovative and hands-on training programs in the country. Vendors at the event included Dremer Sportsweat, Papio Valley Nursery, Belgard, Pavetech, NMC CAT & Rental Services and Earthworks. Speakers and breakout sessions for the event included Chris Callahan from Techniseal, Chris Ebbesen from Anchor Wall Systems, Mike Haumersen and Mike Miles of Belgard, Jay Davis of Omaha, and Heath Vanover from OSHA. The spotlight speaker for the event was Steve Bergeron of Omaha discussing ‘Communicating with Confidence’.