Welcome to Michael’s Landscape Construction

20 January '11 by , under Blog.

Michael’s Landscape Construction, is a residential  landscape  construction company in the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area.  We provide the highest quality installations in communities of the greater East Bay.

While Michael designs most of our projects, we collaborate with several architects specializing in native plant and certified bay friendly design.  While some designs are formal, many are informal, evolving with the life of the project. No job is too small, as sometimes the more intimate settings are the most rewarding.

Owner Michael McLane has enjoyed over 25 years designing and building the enhancements which make your home the special place you love to be.  He draws his inspiration from recreation in the rockier areas of nature, be it our rugged coast or the mountains. He works on site with a small crew to ensure the highest quality results daily. This also allows for on-site creativity, and daily communication with clients on a moment’s notice.

Michael has developed a reputation for the finest craftsmanship, resourceful problem solving, and a creative use of natural materials in installing the foundation for your surroundings.  Attention to detail, passion, and hard work result in a durable, low maintenance paradise outside your home.

As you click through our pages imagine what might be possible for your home.

License  #721834

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Working on a Redwood Deck Installation

09 February '11 by , under Blog.

Deck Underpinnings

The installation of the underpinnings of a deck is the most critical aspect.  Care must be taken to protect the house from water damage through the use of flashing, and more importantly, offsetting the ledgers from the house surface through the use of urethane deck spacers.  Pressure treated lumber must be used, along with the appropriate metal/wood connectors compatible with the treated lumber.   Although the use of these connectors increases the cost, they provide the protection necessary to withstand forces such as earthquakes.  Foundation vent screens must also be kept open, by allowing critical air circulation through the vents to the subfloor space of the house.  The photo clearly illustrates these points.

Enrique uses the bow wrench.

Attaching the deck boards to the underpinnings is the next step, and the easiest.  Using screws is the strongest method, as nails will eventually work loose and rise slightly above the deck surface.  The screws must be compatible with all materials, the treated lumber and the decking lumber (Ipe decking requires stainless steel screws).  Since most deck boards are not straight, a bow wrench is used to straighten the boards and assure uniform alignment.  I do not space the redwood deck boards, as they will shrink in drying and provide ample spacing later.

Mike attaching the decking.

Finished deck section.

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7 Reasons to Mulch

29 January '11 by , under Blog.

Are you pondering whether mulch is really necessary?  Is it the cost? Proper mulching, done correctly, is worth every penny, and here’s why:

1 – Mulch is a natural , effective method to suppress weeds.  If any do happen to get a start, they’re a breeze to remove.

2 – Mulch is a great soil insulation, keeping the roots cooler in summer, and warmer in winter.

3 – Mulch retains moisture in the soil.

4 – Mulch reduces soil compaction caused by rainfall.

5 – Mulch reduces soil erosion by forces of wind and rain.

6 – Mulch helps feed plants, both through its own breakdown into nutrients, and by trapping fertilizer in its voids.

7 – Mulch provides a nice, finished appearance to the garden.

So don’t skimp, use at least 3″ of mulch to keep your plants happy. And don’t forget to leave a small area around the plant crowns mulch free.  Happy Gardening!

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Work In Progress

28 January '11 by , under Blog.

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