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Island Block Manufacturing
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Fire Pit Features for Family Fun

March 27, 2017 by editor Comments are off

Whether you find your family constantly entertaining company or are in need of a way to warm up without heading indoors on chilly summer nights, a fire pit can help set any mood and solve a variety of problems.

From roasting marshmallows, to sitting by the fire with a glass of wine or with children telling ghost stories, the fire pit kits and outdoor fireplaces we sell at Island Block & Masonry Supply will enable you and your family to build memories in your home you will remember for years to come.

And of course, it’s not just during windy nights in the warm-weather months that a fire pit may be of use. If you and your family are fans of hanging outdoors in the colder months, fireplaces are all the better to gather in front of and drink hot cocoa and make s’mores after some playing in the cold air.

Oftentimes, we see families here in our showroom who would love a fire feature in their outdoor space but don’t quite know where to put it, or they are concerned about the safety of having it around in cases where young children reside at the home.
Our staff is extremely knowledgeable in all things relating to the installation and care of the masonry supplies and paving stone collections and product lines we sell. As for things out of our realm of expertise, we refer you to experts and engineers who can help you make the most sound decision when it comes to safely installing and using the end project.

Environmental concerns have come up at times, as again, we always have the finest resources to point you toward for you to converse with and help you make your decision.

So, no more running for your towel after getting out of the pool! Stand by the fire with a cozy towel or blanket and dry off in the soft glow of your outdoor fireplace. Ambiance created from outdoor features like waterfalls, fountains, fire pits and lighted pathways can all be achieved with paving stones products that we have here in our Long Island showroom, convenient to all of the tri state area.

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Utlizing Outdoor Space to Your Best Advantage

March 7, 2017

We know everyone in the tri state area is more than ready to welcome the warmer seasons, but is your yard ready? It’s almost spring, so it’s time to think about how your outdoor space can be better utilized — and it never hurts to add some curb appeal, even if just for your own satisfaction.

We’re a big fan of gardening and all things landscaping here at Island Block & Masonry Supply, and while there are a multitude of designs homeowners could incorporate into their sprawling or smaller-sized yards, garden features are a huge hit right now with spring (hopefully) near and the sun warming the ground that has been covered with snow for the past few months!

At Island Block & Masonry Supply, we carry all of the products you need to create a gorgeous garden path with paving stones, such as products by well-known brands, such as Nicolock or Cambridge Paving Stones. With the right products and help from the pros, we can guarantee you will get the polished and upscale look you hoped for when investing in your home — all at an affordable price.

Pathways can meander through far-reaching gardens or cut straight from one side of the garden space to the other. We can help you focus on how to get it all done: your winding path with curved edges and complex insets, or your clean, geometric shapes with straight lines and a modern appeal.

If you prefer your indoor living quarters to be more traditional, with neutral colors and a modern aesthetic, outdoor remodeling is a great way to incorporate your more eccentric side without breaking the bank or altering the overall vibe of your home. A drastic change is color palette, era of style and unique touches and features can all be incorporated into an outdoor remodeling project.

At Island Block & Masonry Supply, we are a company where the customer always comes first. We continually strive to help our customers in any capacity and greatly appreciate the business we receive from loyal, longtime patrons as well as those who are visiting our Long Island showroom for the first time.


Paving Stones Great Choice for Tri State Residential Communities

February 26, 2017

A paving stone driveway, walkway and/or patio may be offered as part of a landscaping package at some residential developments. A community abundant with paving stone features and other hardscaping conveys a unique aesthetic when compared with neighboring residential communities that have poured concrete driveways, gravel, or other materials.

The homebuyer consults with the builders in order to determine the type of paving stones that best meets their needs in terms of product line, color, texture and overall style. While the homes in some communities may be very similar in layout, anything to differentiate one house from another is viewed as a positive for a potential homebuyer.

Even when your neighbors’ outdoor design features pavers, no two designs and uses have to be alike. Countless applications exist for this multi-use item. Privacy and class are what pavers bring to the table, especially if these paver products are used throughout the community, even in varying degrees.

Pavers have a reputation for enabling homeowners to put their personal stamp on their home without straying from the theme of their community. They can vastly improve curb appeal, use and the functions of a space, which makes them all the more attractive to building companies who want to sell homes.

It’s not just higher-end communities that see great value in paving stones and hardscaping supplementing their landscaping, including materials such as concrete, metal, stone, wood, or brick. Stones or bricks can create beautiful privacy walls, walkways, or steps. Feature kits, like columns, fire pit kits and outdoor kitchen set-up kits are popular in more moderately priced communities as well.

When it comes to hardscaping, it’s helpful to seek professional guidance on any project to ensure you have the tools and skills required to complete the job, and a comprehensive understanding of the steps you need to work through to deliver an awesome result.

Contact the experts at Island Block & Masonry Supply on Long Island for help with your next hardscaping project. We are happy to serve the entire Tri State area. We offer detailed advice and walk customers through their projects for a finale that wows your family, friends and neighbors! 

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How Pavers Survive the Tri State’s Freeze-Thaw Cycle

February 7, 2017 by editor Comments are off

Punxsutawney Phil told us that there’s six more weeks of winter now added onto what seems like an already lengthy frigid season. Between the shovels, snow-blowers, de-icers, and sprinkling salt on your driveway, walkway and steps, there is a lot for homeowners in the Northeast to take care of when it comes to the snowy season.

Blizzards and snowstorms are all too common in the tri state area, and many residents worry their de-icing practices, shovels and other tools lead to a lot of wear and tear on their property — particularly their “paved” areas.

Hardscaping design is cost-effective and surprisingly affordable for those looking to make an investment in their home that ups curb appeal while minimizing overall maintenance over a lifetime. When you have a hardscaping feature installed on your property, you of course want to protect your investment.

Worrying about how snow and freezing temperatures are affecting your pavers shouldn’t be something homeowners need to fixate on with everything else required to keep a house running — and there’s reason it should be: pavers are freeze/thaw friendly.

Concrete and other materials don’t have the “give” that paving stones are designed to have. Because with a full slab, concrete or otherwise, there is no breathing room, so to speak.

The interlocking individual concrete bricks are denser than concrete, which means they are more durable than concrete slabs. Concrete is more likely to crack as a result of weather changes. Pavers flex along with the freeze/thaw cycle.

Island Block & Masonry Supply is a family-run business staffed with professionals who thrive on helping our customers fulfill their dream outdoor remodeling design projects. At our Long Island showroom, we can provide items and guidance on the following products in the categories of bagged materials, such as polymeric joint sand, dark mortar.

There are numerous brick and clay product lines we carry, giving our customers a wealth of quality choices. We also offer bulk material services for products including RCA Blend, 3/4 gravel, and more. Our inventory is not limited to the above products, and anything our customers are curious about, we are happy to investigate and may order if appropriate.

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Paving Stone DIY Mistakes to Avoid

January 10, 2017

People choose paving stones for a variety of reasons, and while it’s possible to install paving stones yourself for a patio, driveway, walkway, garden borders or the like, it does take some planning and skill. Also patience is a necessity when working with these convenient and beautiful outdoor remodeling features!

Vibrant colors used by brands such as Cambridge and Nicolock, as well as slip-resistant surfaces (perfect for walkways and project surrounding the pool area), along with relative ease of installation make paving stones a great choice for your outdoor project. Pavers last a lifetime, making the initial investment more than worth it.

Uneven ground is mistake number one when it comes to a DIY paving stone project, regardless of the scope. When removing the dirt in the section where you plan to lay the pavers, the ground absolutely must be even. This is especially true if you are clearing the area for paver steps. Starting off on a slope can equal disaster.

Think of the angle this way: each step should be angled down slightly, if anything, but there are exact angles you will have to meet that are different for each individual project. Installing paver steps at the wrong angle can result in the pooling of water when it rains, which can gradually wear on the foundation beneath the pavers.

A rocky foundation is another “no-no.” Regardless of how it might appear, the dirt and soil beneath the foundation on which you plan to lay your pavers must be sturdy. Laying down product on anything other than a rock-solid (not a “rocky”) base will cause the soil to resettle and the pavers will shift significantly.

Many professionals advise do-it-yourselfers to smooth out and tamp down a thick bed of sand before installing pavers. It may even make more sense to lay down very compact layer or two of gravel, followed by a bed of sand for an extra secure foundation.

At Island Block & Masonry Supply, our family-run company takes pride in our customer-focused approach to business. We’re experts in anything related to paving stone and masonry projects and we are always available to assist you with determining which products are right for your project. Contact us today!

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More Paving Stone DIY Mistakes to Avoid

January 30, 2017

We began going over what not to do when installing your own paving stones, whether you are putting in steps, a driveway, a patio or a retaining. While the process doesn’t seem very complex overall — and it’s most certainly not — there are still quite a few things do-it-yourselfers need to look out for when beginning their projects. If you know what not to do ahead of time, it makes the entire process flow much more smoothly.

We are always available to provide guidance and information to our customers and prospective customers at our Long Island showroom and our contacts throughout the tri state area. At Island Block & Masonry Supply, we enjoy working with people to help them determine the right products for their specific needs and are comfortable referring them to knowledgeable engineers and builders for professional help on installation if the need arises.

Compared to concrete, paver projects are usually not as heavy on the labor. However, there is still potential for mistakes, especially if you are not typically a handy do-it-yourselfer. What’s more,there is no mortar to set interlocking pavers like the quality products lines we sell here at Island Block & Masonry Supply. It’s a quick sand brushed in between the pavers from time to time. This allows the pavers to breathe a bit, allowing for the freeze and thaw cycle we experience in the tri state area in the winter then spring.

For most, the most challenging aspect of a DIY paving stone project is removing the dirt where the pavers will be placed and setting the section for pavers. Seems simple enough, but there are still plenty of “dont’s” when it comes to this type of DIY project. Below, find some advice on what not to do.

As obvious as it may seem, something that DIY-ers don’t always account for is the actual space they need for the project. Excavating the ground where you plan to place the pavers is an essential step, and unfortunately it’s also one where those who aren’t too experienced may make a mistake that requires more work and more headaches later on. Always, always, always, size the pavers before breaking ground. Preciseness is key, especially as you excavate. It’s best to measure every so often to make sure the space isn’t too large or tiny, otherwise the pavers will not fit correctly. This can lead to an unstable project that you will have to re-do!

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Year-Round Outdoor Features

December 19, 2016

In our last post, we talked about ways that you can design your outside space to be used year round. While we talked about outdoor kitchens, fire tables and fire pits, and pavilions already, there are still a few things you can add to our outdoor area if you’re looking to use it throughout the seasons.

Here are a few more ideas for how to use your outdoor space even in the colder, winter months.

Outdoor Pizza Ovens
Just about everyone is a fan of pizza, but this classic meal tastes even better when cooked in a full pizza oven. In the summer, a pizza oven in your backyard makes an excellent addition to backyard parties or a simple meal by the pool. But an outdoor pizza oven is another item that can be used no matter the season.

For professional tasting pizzas, breads, or other dishes all year round, place your outdoor pizza oven in a place that is easy to access even in snow or rain. Off a patio or other paved space is the best idea.

Outdoor Fireplace
If you’re looking to create an entire outdoor living area, an outdoor fireplace makes an excellent choice. Unlike a fire pit or table, a fireplace can create a focal point to your backyard area while also providing warmth and comfort to the outdoors.

Just like the fire pits or fire tables that we talked about last weekend, an outdoor fireplace can keep you and your guests warm when the nights start to get colder. This beautiful addition to a Tri State Area backyard area can extend the use of your outdoor space for a few weeks or months.

Having to close down an outdoor space that you love can be one of the saddest parts of the end of the summer. But with the features we’ve described, you can continue to use your backyard area for more of the year.

If you want some additional tips on how to create an outdoor space you can use into the spring, fall, or even winter months, contact Island Block & Masonry Supply. Our Long Island location makes us easily accessible to the entire Tri State Area.

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How Hardscaping Can Transform Your Yard

December 3, 2016

If you’re planning to create the outdoor space of your dreams, you may be feeling at a loss for what you should actually include. While planning what the outdoor area will look like, you need to include a balance of softscaping elements, including plants and trees, and hardscaping elements, such as pathways, walls, and larger objects like gazebos.

The hardscaping elements that you select can really shape the look and feel of your outdoor space. In order to get the perfect Tri State Area outdoor space, here are a few tips and tricks for selecting the right hardscaping elements for you.

1. Hardscaping can tie your outdoor space and your home together.

There are many different styles that your hardscaping project can take, meaning that your outdoor space can fit perfectly with the style of your home. When deciding which elements to use in your backyard area, you will want to consider the architectural elements of your home.

Think about the overall feel of your home and what hardscape elements may reflect that in your outdoor space. If your house is brick, consider brick elements. If you’re hoping for a cozy cabin feel, choose hardscape projects that will show that.

2. Know your surroundings.

When thinking about the elements you’re going to add to your outdoor space, consider what you’re working with. Do you have close neighbors? Are there better views in certain areas of the yard? Where is the majority of your space located?

If you keep these things in mind, you will know what areas you may want to block and which you may want to leave open. If a particular part of your space gives great sunset views, you won’t want to put a large item in the way. On the other hand, you don’t want to create your main seating area so you have a wonderful view of your neighbor’s house.

3. View the image as a whole.

Before you make any big decisions, you’ll want to think of the space as a whole. Rather than attempting to piece all your ideas together one at a time, think about what changes you may want to make in the future and what additions would fit in the space.

By thinking about the big picture at the beginning, you can create a cohesive space that feels comfortable and complete.

If you’re looking for some additional help in creating the outdoor space you’ve always wanted, contact Island Block & Masonry Supply located in Long Island. We proudly serve the entire Tri State Area.

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Outdoor Kitchens & Features to Enjoy All Year Round

November 26, 2016

When designing an outdoor space for your home, you want to create something you can use all year round. From cooking spaces to relaxing sitting areas, the best outdoor areas are created with all the seasons in mind.

While it can be easy to think of ways to design an outdoor space for the warm, summer months, coming up with year-round uses for your patio or outdoor kitchen can be a bit tougher. However, there are many ways you can make the most of your outdoor space.

Here are just a few.

Outdoor Kitchens
Having a kitchen outdoors is a wonderful addition for any expert grillers or barbeque fans. As a set up including a refrigerator cabinet, grill, and counter spaces, an outdoor kitchen makes it easy to entertain and enjoy your outdoor space year round.

For year-round grilling, an outdoor kitchen makes it fun to cook outdoors in the summer or even in the winter. If you plan on using your outdoor kitchen in the colder months, try to place it under cover. This can protect it from snow or rain.

Fire Tables and Fire Pits
Hanging out around the fire is a classic summer activity, but a fire table or fire pit can make a great addition to your outdoor space into the colder months as well. When the nights start to get chillier, you can continue to take advantage of your outdoor area buy starting a fire to sit around.

Fire pits come in a variety of styles, including gas burning or wood burning, making it easy to start a cozy fire during any weather.

To get the most of your outdoor space regardless of weather, you’ll want a protective covering. There is no better option to make your outdoor space weather-proof than a pavilion.

You can build a pavilion to cover an outdoor seating space, an outdoor kitchen, or even a fire table or fire pit. With a pavilion to cover your outdoor area, you don’t need to worry about the rain, sun, or even snow.

For more tips on ways to use your outdoor space year round, contact Island Block & Masonry Supply. We are located on Long Island and service the entire Tri State Area.

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All About Hardscaping
November 9, 2016

When creating a landscaping for your Tri State Area yard, you’ll want to create a balanced blend of softscaping and hardscaping. While we most often thing of the plants, trees, or shrubs we would like to see go into our landscaping design, the “hardscape” elements are just as important to creating the best finished product.

What are Hardscape Elements?

Hardscape elements of landscaping include those made of materials like concrete, metal, stone, wood, or brick. This may include using stones or bricks to create walls, walkways, or steps.

Hardscape projects may also include metal fences or gates. Hardscaping projects may also include larger projects or items, including patios, gazebos, and decks. Fountains are another popular hardscape element.

Hardscape elements of landscaping are incorporated into the larger theme, plan, or design of the yard. Hardscaping differs from home accents because a hardscape element or project becomes part of the permanent landscape design.

Preparing for a Hardscape Project

Hardscaping can be a difficult. Because these kinds of projects typically include heavy materials and large objects, you will want to be realistic and prepared about the kind of work you will need to complete.

First, you will want to plan your project at the right time of the year. Because most hardscape projects need to be completed outdoors, you’ll want weather conducive for working outside. In the Tri State Area, that usually means in the fall or spring months. Early summer can also be a great time to begin a hardscaping project.

You will also want to know what kind of equipment you will need. Many hardscaping projects will require heavy equipment, which can be expensive and often unnecessary to purchase. If you’re not prepared to make this kind of commitment, you will want to consider renting equipment or hiring a professional to do the job for you.

If you’re looking for professional help on your next hardscaping project, contact the experts at Island Block & Masonry Supply on Long Island. In serving the entire Tri State Area, we can provide you with advice or walk you through your next major hardscaping project.

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