Bloom answers common questions.

Bloom answers common questions.

Q: Why a sump pump?

A: Sump pumps are required if we are not able to get the water problem to gravity flow away from the problem area. Sometimes, this is accomplished by grading, and sometimes by surface drains, but always with an exit pipe. Flow rates need to have a drop of at least .5”, up to 1” per 10’ of pipe to properly gravity flow.

Several homes have low areas in their back yard that need to drain to the front of the street, but the street level is higher than the rear of the home. This means that a sump pump is required to pump the water to the street, as gravity flow is not possible.

Additionally, you are not allowed by city municipalities to intentionally grade your yard, gutter your home, or drain your pipes onto your immediate neighbor’s property. So where to move the water? This too sometimes requires a sump pump to be installed to remove the water away from the affected areas.

We live in a area that is experiencing more and more flooding and drainage has become one of our core services. You can count on the experts at Bloom Lawn and Landscaping to take care of all your drainage problems!

Q: What is the difference between a French Drain and Tightline Drain?

A: A French drain will absorb sub-surface (underground) water and a Tightline drain is used to remove surface water only. Surface drains can be added to each system. Downspout tie-ins are also recommended for both. In our region most of our projects that we do are French drain installation. We install over 1000 feet of French drain per week during the rainy fall season here in Virginia. Many of the new construction homes will need additional drainage done to lots to keep them clear of water during the rainy season.

Q: How deep will the trench be?

A: For French drains it varies on the severity of the problem, as depths normally start at 18”, with most common depths being 24” to 30”, however, greater depths of up to 48” might be needed. For Tightline drains the trench is typically 12" deep, allowing for the gravity flow. We have to consider irrigation lines, LED lighting cables, and other fixtures to ensure that these are not damage during the installation process.

Q: Is solid PVC pipe better than the black flex pipe?

A: In our opinion yes. PVC is a smooth walled pipe, and is less likely to clog since it does not have the internal ridges that the black flex pipe has. Plus, the tensile strength of the PVC pipe is greater than the flex pipe. However, the newer black flex pipe now comes with a cloth sleeve, and if you put gravel around it, this system will be even better than PVC… so it really depends on the application. For French drain, a black pipe is needed as that’s the one that has the holes. PVC pipes are used for areas where there is no gravel to protect and cushion the pipe. Our experts will recommend a solution based on the specific specs of your project.

Q: How will the pipe look at the street?

A: We cut out a section of your curb, install a rectangular discharge chute, and then will patch the curb with new concrete. It will not be visible unless pointed out. We do recommend to check with the HOA to ensure its allowed. In some cases, we may have to paint the tip of the pipe a matching color to match aggregate stone or concrete curbs. If this is still not satisfactory to the HOA, we have other solutions such as connecting to the county or city drain (with permit off course)


Q: What paver products do you install?

A: We install any pavers that our client chooses, as long as they are quality and we can stand behind the warranty the manufacturer offers. We try to install pavers that are durable and to commercial grade levels. Some common brands we install are Nicolock, Pavestone, Belgard, Techo Bloc, EP Henry, Unilock, Old Castle, Cambridge, as well as several smaller brands that pour concrete molds locally. We do not install the lower quality residential grade pavers available from local big box hardware stores, however if you wish to have those put in, we can recommend a company that does this kind of work. When it comes to pavers… Primary uses of this product are for patios, sidewalks, and driveways; though since the pandemic, we have had an incredible surge in demand for outdoor kitchen applications, and for pool decking. We install all types of pavers, walls, bridges, edging, coping, kitchens, fountains…. You name it. Please check out our blog section to learn more about the new and coolest paver styles.

We have lots of color samples that we would love to show you. Make sure you stop by our paver showroom to visit the best and latest we have to offer. There are some really cool products coming out in the next few months. The paver manufacturers sensing increasing demand, have gotten very creative to bring new styles to the market. Our showroom has a sample of the different pavers from different brands, so you can see and feel them in person, and choose the one that best fits your needs.

Q: I'm worried about grass and weeds growing up through the pavers; will that happen?

A: No one can stop the advancement of Bermuda; as it can grow onto anything, but RoundUp will slow the growth. However, the way we prepare the base is based on the ICPI standards for paver installation, and its done to significantly reduce weeds in the cracks and crevices of your potio. When we brush polymeric sand between the joints and wet it down the first time, once it dries, it will bond to the paver gaps and will dry very hard; greatly reducing the chances that weeds or grasses will grow or root in the pavers. Please note that some weeds will always happen, as they will in concrete. Roundup offers a product that is called roundup extended duration, so you will only have to apply this three or four times a year, if at all. Be sure to always maintain your patio by keepings leaves off, cleaning the pavers, and ensuring that they are not stained by leaves… this tends to be a bigger problem then weeds as those can be sprayed down anytime.

Q: Why would I want to choose one paver brand over another?

A: No matter what paver you choose from Bloom it will be a great choice. There are mainly two reasons most people choose one over the other: 1) It is their personal preference from an appearance perspective, as some like the look of the pavers and others do not, and some like the look of more rustic texture and finish, while some like a more robust color. Its really down to personal preference! Cost, there are some pretty big price differences between the different paver brands, so be sure to choose one that matches your budget. We offer high quality pavers such as the Keystone brand, with excellent quality as we order only the premium lines. Our team inspects each delivery to ensure the pavers match the standards we have. If we find that the pavers do not meet our “materials delivery standards checklist” criteria then we will reject the material from the driver and order a new batch to make sure clients only receive the best of the best. We have been known to turn away entire trucks…. It was painful but it was in the best interest of our clients. For larger wholesale orders, we request that our vendors send quality assurance verification sheets prior to shipping out paver orders to ensure the products are top of the line. Even the most reputable paver brands can experience quality issues with their products. One should not simply accept what is shipped just because the company is “reputable”. Did you now that most companies don’t fully control their products? The names you see are actually just formulas that are licensed to local concrete companies. Those local companies then make the mix based on the “brand:” formula and this gets loaded onto trucks and sold. There is nothing wrong with this… its very efficient. These pavers are NOT all made at one factory contrary to what people may think. Interesting stuff right?… we are going into a lot of detail here, buts it’s important at the same time, and its part of what makes our quality so good, all these small details down to how the product matter to us. We are like a Michelin star restaurant when it comes to serving pavers, and we will only serve the best of the best!

Q: What is Flagstone?

A: Flagstone is a naturally flat, though somewhat irregularly flat stone that is harvested out of the ground. It’s beautiful and natural. It comes in a variety of names. Each type varies in size, shape, color, thickness, and tensile strength. It is one of the most popular options for patios and sidewalks because of it's uniquely natural look. We have lots of flagstone and other stone pallets available to view at our showroom. Just stop by and we will show you the options.

Q: What are Pavers?

A: Pavers are a manufactured concrete block used for patios, sidewalks, and driveways. They too come in a variety of colors, styles, and installation patterns. Some of the pavers are made to look like brick and others are made to look more like natural stone. Pavers are becoming a very popular option for patios and driveway's. People are tired of concrete and how it cracks over time… they want something that is durable and lasting and raises the value of their home. Pavers are the best way to do this… it’s a high end look for your home or business.


Q: Do you install wood retainer walls.

A: We do install wood retainer walls. We also install rustic metal walls, natural flagstone walls, and off course paver walls. Be sure the check our blog to see the different wall styles we offer.

Q: How do you know what kind of retaining wall is needed?

A: We factor in the location, the water, load-bearing requirements, and for replacements, the type of wall that is currently in use. For difficult walls, we use an Engineer to provide us a construction drawing. Luckily, in most cases, this is not needed. We can create staggered retainer walls where each one has a different levels. We have installed so many of these projects that we have developed our own best practices for this based on the area and the composition of the soil. Here were the soil is mostly clay, the most important thing is to now allow the buildup of water behind the retainer wall.

For walls that are more than 5 feet tall, we have to automatically use an Engineer to design, scale, and submit plans to codes and compliance for approval and issuance of a building permit. If the plans are rejected, a permit will not be issued until the rejected items are modified. For wall heights under 5’ of average height, a building permit is not required in general.

Q: Can I buy the blocks from you, as I want to install the wall myself?

A: No. We are installers only, and do not sell any materials for any service that we offer. However you can purchase them directly from our showroom which is also located at 2911 George Washington Mem Hwy, Yorktown VA 23693.

About installing yourself... please be careful and start small… Some of the larger blocks we install can weigh as much as 150 lbs. each, so building a retaining wall is not a project for weekend warriors, or for someone that has never built a wall before. Fully one-half of the labor requirement spent on a wall is spent on ground prep, base prep, and base installation. If the base is not exactly as it needs to be, the wall will not install correctly and you’ll have wasted a huge amount of time and money. We recommend that for retainer wall you use Bloom.


Q: What kind of counter top will the outdoor kitchen have?

A: The most popular choices are granite, quartz, brick, pavers, and flagstone. We work with you on what is your preference of color, style, and budget range.

Q: What kind of material can I use for the kitchen or fireplace?

A: The most popular choices are stone, brick, stucco, pavers, concrete blocks, and weathered Versa-Lok blocks.

Q: Can we make the fireplace gas?

A: Yes. We will have our plumber install a gas line to use as a starter for wood burning or gas logs.

Q: Do you purchase the appliances for my outdoor kitchen?

A: yes, please stop by our showroom to see our top models of grills, outdoor smokers, and other items that will turn you into a real outdoor chef!

Q: Where can we go to see the material we want to use?

A: Visit our showroom at 2911 George Washington Mem Hwy, Yorktown VA 23693.

Q: Will there be a place to store wood on my outdoor fireplace?

A: If you want one, yes. We can build a box next to the fireplace or under the hearth, whichever you choose. We design the patio and the outdoor area based on your needs.


Q: The outdoor lighting systems at Lowe’s and Home Depot costs much less; why?

A: You will be disappointed with the outcome of these low quality hardware store lighting systems. You get what you pay for, the lights we have available will last for decades, and you can change the light bulb, that’s really important. There is really no comparison when it comes to outdoor lights, we really recommend you get them from our showroom.

Invest in quality… and if you have budget, we recommend to reduce the number of lights instead of going cheap. Our professional lighting fixtures carry a minimum 3 year warranty. The quality of the fixtures is incomparable, as the hardware store is selling molded plastic or tin, and we are installing brass, copper, and heat-treated aluminum or steel. For an even better lifetime investment, we also offer LED fixtures that have a 15 year warranty. You want to always get the lights where you can change the bulb, so that you are not forced to throw away the entire fixture when the bulb is done.. which can happen. Just like your home lights, you always want to buy those with changeable bulbs.

Q: Do I need a special outlet to plug the lights in?

A: No. The lights are wired to a low-voltage transformer that plugs into a normal 110V outdoor outlet. If you have an outdoor GFCI receptacle though; that is even better as most of those have protective covers on them. If you do not have outdoor lighting access our electrician will install one for you, and the price is very reasonable.

Q: Will I get shocked if I accidentally cut a wire?

A: No. The lights and wiring are low voltage 12V AC; which is not much higher than a 9V battery. Its impossible to feel the electric current. It won’t even make your hair stand up. LED technology is truly amazing.

Q: What is the advantage of using LED fixtures vs. Halogen bulbs?

A: The LED fixtures we use have a 5 year warranty. If the light goes out in a 5 year period the manufacturer will replace it for free. LED's are a new technology, are more expensive to manufacture, and cost more than a normal Halogen bulb fixture does. You will invest more up front, but you will save money by not having to replace bulbs. Most Halogen bulbs have a 5,000 hour life, and will last a little over three years, and LED fixtures are warranted to last at least 5 years. In our opinion, LED's are the best investment for your money, and within 10 years, ALL fixtures installed will be LED.

2023 Update: all fixtures installed now are LED. We no longer install Halogen.


Q: After we meet, will I receive a written quote?

A: Yes, and in a timely manner. Unlike a lot of companies, we will show up for our appointment, we will discuss your needs, and we will prepare you a written quote. Our goal is to have our recommendations for your consideration back in your hands within 3 days.

We achieve that goal nearly 100% of the time, and if we are going to be late on the quote, we will call you to let you know it’ll be just a little longer. Sometimes a delay will occur because of not being able to receive a current price from one of our suppliers; but sometimes it is just because we are overworked in the peak seasons of March / April and May.

Q: What if I don’t know what I want, for example; Pavers versus Flagstone patio?

A: We are well trained with several years of experience, and will work with you for ideas that will compliment your home, your landscaping, and your hardscaping. Sometimes, deciding what you want is as simple as viewing some of the 100’s of pictures of completed projects that are available on-line, or looking through one of our numerous photo albums.

We are going to be updating our website soon with more pictures to inspire you!

Q: Do I have to be home during construction of my project(s)?

A: No. It is completely your option to be there if you wish, but all of our projects are assigned a Foreman, and all of our projects receive follow up on a daily basis from one of our project supervisors, many times more than once a day. We realize that most of our customers work during the day, so we make arrangements with you in advance for access into your yard, or to put pets away. We love Pet’s and always want to make sure they are comfortable with us working in their space. (sometimes the Pet’s own the yard… and not you)

Q: Once we send in our Agreement, how long will it take for our project to be completed?

A: On the day that we receive your signed Agreement and retainer payment, we will place you on our project calendar. We will then call you and inform of an approximate start date. The start date for your project can range from 1-2 weeks in fall and winter, up to 3-10 weeks in spring and summer. The actual time required for installation and completion of your specific project depends on the size of the project, weather delays, material deliveries, crew productivity on previous projects being completed ahead of yours, and product back-orders.

A few examples for comparison: Flagstone patios take up to a week. Outdoor lighting installations can be completed in 1-2 days. Drainage systems take 2-4 days. Outdoor fireplaces take a week. Outdoor kitchens take a few weeks. Retaining walls take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, largely dependent upon previous wall removal and total size of wall.

Q: Do you have financing, or take credit cards?

A: We accept most major Credit Cards, through a secure link on our website. We include a 3% processing fee to pay for the administrative costs associated with using credit or debit cards.

And yes.. we do offer financing. It’s 2023 and our economy seems to be going through a shift where many of our customers simply don’t have the funds upfront. Since adding an outdoor kitchen is a long term investment, many of our clients now wish to finance their outdoor project, we can help submit your application to 20 different lenders at once (with just one credit pull) so that you can compare offers and get the best rate.

Q: Do you offer discounts if we hire you for more than one project at a time?

A: Yes. Please review all of our specials that are fully detailed on another page of our website. Click on Specials to read how much the discounts are worth.

Q: How long is your warranty?

A: It depends on the product and service. All of our warranties are fully detailed with your Agreement.

Q: Do you use sub-contractors?

A: Yes. For instance, we hire a Plumber to install gas lines for outdoor fireplaces, and to secure city permits. Or, we sub out work to owners of large equipment; such as Tractors, Track-Hoes, and Flatbeds. It makes more financial sense to employ subs in this way, rather than trying to keep them employed full time as members of our staff. Most of the work however is done by our trained professionals, especially the actual core landscaping and paver install work.

Q: Why don’t you post prices next to your pictures?

A: Some of those pictures might be from projects of 2, 3, or 5 years ago, and prices change each year due to costs associated with materials and labor. Plus, most of our projects are customs, and each one is tailored for your needs; therefore the sizes will never be exactly the same.

Q: How long is the price quote valid?

A: In general our prices are good for 30 days from the date on the quote. If our supplier has a special… and that special has a expiration… then those prices may also change. We recommend to confirm with your estimator, sometimes we can keep your price the same for 90 days or longer if we have a large quantity of the product in stock.

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