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Rainima’s dream to establish a sustainable business

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Young Entrepreneurship Scheme (YES) recipient Atunaisa Rainima (centre) with his family. From left: Aunt Taraivini Taleimaibua, dad Atunaisa Rainima, cousin Sokoveti Hea and mum Sokoveti Rainima after the launch earlier this month. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

ATUNAISA Rainima, 23, endeavours to establish his own sustainable business, a dream he wishes to pursue in the near future.

Not a common trait for a person his age, but the Tailevu lad plans to set up a lawn maintenance and landscaping business that will also convert garden refuse into cooking gas (biomethane gas).

An AutoCAD student at the Fiji National University (FNU) National Training and Productivity Centre (NTPC), Mr Rainima also hopes to provide job opportunities to youths in his community and the greater Tailevu area as his business expands.

His business dreams are now closer to reality as he was among the five aspiring entrepreneurs who had their grant applications pre-approved under Government’s Young Entrepreneurship Scheme (YES) launched earlier this month.

The idea behind his business concept was inspired by his grandfather, who had cut grass as a source of income.

His creativity and ingenuity behind his environmental friendly business plan was worthy enough to convince the YES initiative selection committee.

After Mr Rainima fully completes the mentorship program under the YES initiative, he, including other recipients, will be eligible to receive a grant of up to $20,000 to pursue their business ideas.

“My goal is to set up a lawn maintenance and landscaping business with an objective to firstly provide the most affordable, sustainable, efficient grass cutting and landscaping in my community,” Mr Rainima said.

Mr Rainima’s project is divided in three phases, the first to cut the grass, followed by collection of grass and to produce biogas.

“I always see that most of the youths in the village are unemployed, so this business can employ them so they can earn a decent living for themselves,” he said.

His proud mother, Sokoveti Rainima, said her son had already developed an affinity for business, by establishing a small store some years back.

As she recalls, Mrs Rainima said her son had also aspired to become a “millionaire” someday.

“Some of his words to me I will never forget are ‘Mum, one day I will become a millionaire’,” Mrs Rainima said.

“He earlier established a small store at our residence in Cautata Bau, Tailevu, three years back but he had applied for this Government scheme,” Mrs Rainima said.

“My son is very obedient at home and is the eldest of my children. He was supposed to continue his education but he wants to also continue his business. His aunty, Taraivina Taleimaibua, assisted him in applying for the YES initiative. I didn’t even support this move but his aunty had assisted him in doing it because he wanted to establish a lawn and landscaping business.

“I would like to thank God that one day we were called and we were shocked to be told that his application was successful.”

Mrs Rainima also believes that her son’s faith in God and the values instilled in him would take him far in life.

“He is a God-fearing person as he attended a youth camp/conference recently, and he was believing that after the conference, doors would open for his business plans,” she said.

“That is why I thank God that he is also the lone iTaukei applicant chosen, so we give Him back the glory, the honour and praise to be his alone.

“We teach him never to forget the source of his blessings, God, so he always ensures that he gives his tithe with his salary or any monetary blessings he receives.”

Mr Rainima, the eldest of three children, earlier received his education at the Montfort Technical Institute in Savusavu, Vanua Levu.

Now he hopes to finish tertiary education and commence his business this year.


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UNC Health Care sees room for a compact medical campus on the edge of Chapel Hill

UNC Health Care is planning a “clean, sophisticated and striking commercial development” to replace its longtime Eastowne office complex off U.S. 15-501.

A concept plan for roughly 11 acres, located inside the Eastowne Drive loop near Pinegate Apartments, was submitted in late December. It seeks to demolish five of six buildings constructed in the 1970s and 1980s before U.S. 15-501 became a commercial and residential corridor.

The existing complex was built around an existing two-acre pond and is surrounded by apartments, medical clinics and offices. UNC Health Care would add two six-story, 150,000-square-foot office buildings and a 5.5-story parking deck with 1,100 spaces.

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The goal is to reduce the office park’s footprint, creating a walkable, compact development with more open space and landscaping buffers, the plan states.

“The initial project will consolidate a significant amount of services that are scattered throughout the healthcare system in Chapel Hill while simultaneously upgrading the buildings and improving patient access,” system officials wrote in the proposal.

The town’s Community Design Commission will review the plan Tuesday, Jan. 23, followed by a Town Council review on Wednesday, Jan. 31. Both meetings are designed to offer feedback that UNC Health Care can use to revise the plan before submitting an official application.

Long-term plans

One building and the parking deck can be built under a previously approved master plan with only a zoning compliance permit from town staff. UNC officials want to start building those pieces this summer, and if all goes as planned, open the first building by 2020.

The second office building would require the council to approve a special-use permit.

Health System Properties LLC owns five lots – roughly 29 acres – inside the Eastowne loop and another 20 acres at the southwestern corner of U.S. 15-501 and Interstate 40. County records show it paid just over $344,610 in property taxes on all six parcels last year.

While steep slopes and wetlands would limit construction on the 20-acre parcel, UNC Health Care officials have a long-term vision for the Eastowne properties that could be rolled into a new master site plan. However, the focus at this time is on delivering the first medical office building, said Simon George I, vice president for UNC Health Care System real estate development.

“We have some high-level concept ideas, but do not yet have a formal plan,” George said. “We anticipate beginning formal work on the master site plan later this year.”

Growing corridor

The U.S. 15-501 corridor between Chapel Hill and Durham already is undergoing significant change, and the Eastowne redevelopment would be the first of multiple, large projects anticipated along the Orange-Durham county line.

Future U.S. 15-501 corridor development could include new retail, offices and apartments at the proposed Gateway station near I-40 on the Durham-Orange light-rail transit line, and new buildings for the former Blue Cross campus, now owned by the State Employees Credit Union. The iconic Blue Cross building was constructed opposite the Eastowne campus in 1973.

Chapel Hill officials have talked with regional partners and the N.C. Department of Transportation for some time about increasing traffic in the already congested highway corridor. The regional Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization will study the highway – from Ephesus Church Road in Chapel Hill to University Drive in Durham – starting in mid-February, Town Manager Roger Stancil said.

The study could be completed by mid-2019 and “take a much more comprehensive look at the corridor and consider road infrastructure, multimodal connections, land uses, future light rail alignment and station areas, and environmental constraints,” Stancil said in an email to council members.

What’s next

The Community Design Commission and Chapel Hill Town Council will offer UNC Health Care feedback on its concept plan for redeveloping the Eastowne Office Park.

The CDC meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 23, in the Town Hall council chamber, 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. The council meets in the chamber at 7 p.m. Jan. 31.

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Stunning stone landscaping ideas to be inspired by

Getting your garden right can seem like a Herculean task, especially if you’re not a natural landscaper, but there is a great way to tackle the problem, while still embracing a contemporary and stylish aesthetic. Ask any professional gardener and they’ll tell you that an outdoor space that is finished with a host of beautiful stone will not only create a dramatic and enviable finished product, but also allow for easy maintenance as well. We know that you might need a little visual inspiration for designing a perfect stone garden, so how about we show you some of our favourite looks, right now?

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North Olmsted seeks community input with Gateways Plan meeting …

NORTH OLMSTED, Ohio – A key part of North Olmsted’s 2015 master plan was to enhance the community’s aesthetics through signage, landscaping, lighting and public art.

Now city officials are moving forward with what’s called the Gateways Plan, which will be discussed in detail at a public meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Jan. 24 at North Olmsted City Hall.

“The vision of our master plan was the North Olmsted community aspires to be a more attractive place to visit,” North Olmsted Director of Planning and Development Kimberly Lieber said. “So we looked at the word attractive from the standpoint of the physical realm, housing stock, infrastructure and economic climate.

“This plan is really trying to address that physical realm: What the community looks like and the amenities that we offer. We’ve been meeting as a staff committee for a couple of months, but this is the first public meeting that we’ll be presenting our draft ideas and getting back feedback from our community.”

Those draft ideas run the gamut across the city regarding gateway signage, landscape enhancements and sound-wall enhancements. The list includes entrance ways at I-480 and Great Northern Boulevard, Clague Road and Stearns Road.

Also being discussed are Brookpark Road corridor improvements, pedestrian overpasses and the bike path along I-480 between Great Northern Boulevard and Stearns Road.

“We also have pump stations and other city facilities that are really infrastructure sites throughout the city,” Lieber said. “What kind of landscaping treatments could we consider to soften the appearance of those and make them just more friendly to fit into the neighborhoods?”

Already Lieber said city officials have bounced a few preliminary ideas and concepts off ODOT, which was supportive. Just as a master plan is ostensibly a wish list, the same goes for the city’s current efforts. Finances will dictate which parts of the Gateways Plan are implemented.

“Phasing is certainly the way we’d go,” Lieber said. “We know we can’t tackle every single project at the same time. The scale of projects range widely from small improvements to fairly major undertakings. So part of the process will be to prioritize the projects.

“There’s also a potential for grant opportunities. We’re looking at all of these enhancements with potential future funding either through Cuyahoga County, community development dollars or supplemental grant dollars.”

After the upcoming meeting, Lieber said the public can comment further on individual projects as they come before the North Olmsted Planning Commission and ultimately City Council. She expects elements of the Gateway Plans to enter into the design phase later this year.

“This is a concept plan, not a document,” Lieber said. “We’ll need to do more investigation of every location, the specific utilities in that area, the access to electricity if required or soil samples.

“But we won’t get that to level until the overall concept plan is approved by the community and Council thinks we’re headed in the right direction.” 

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Your Money: Side hustles you can start with no money

Starting a business is often a pricey ordeal, but no- to low-cost ideas exist for aspiring entrepreneurs with unique and marketable talent.

Take inventory of the skills you already possess, recommends Holly Reisem Hanna, founder of career blog The Work at Home Woman. List your past jobs, education, training, passions, skills and talents to help identify vocational patterns and interests that can guide you toward your new business venture.

“In this exercise, you want to go deep,” she says, “so include what you liked and didn’t like about past jobs, training and schooling.”

Need more small business ideas to get the wheels turning? Consider these classic business ideas you can start with no immediate costs.

Consulting and teaching

Your best assets are the knowledge and skills you already have. So whether you’re a math whiz, grammar guru or musical wunderkind, consider selling your well-honed expertise. While you may eventually want to spend a few dollars to get the word out about your services – beyond, say, your social media contacts — you already have the tools you need to get started, which will help keep overhead low.

Manual work

Everyday home maintenance and repairs have a habit of piling up, so if you’re naturally handy around the house, consider positioning yourself as a master of manual labor. Start by specializing in a niche area, like building your expertise in painting or landscaping to help build credibility among clients and not overextend yourself.


More and more companies are looking to freelancers, or independent contractors, to lower their in-house costs, giving creative types – writers, photographers, designers — an opportunity to share their talents with multiple clients.

Pet services

Americans shell out big bucks when it comes to their pets. According to the American Pet Products Association, pet owners spent $66.8 billion on their animals in 2016, with $5.8 billion of that going toward services like grooming and boarding. If pets are your passion, you can start a dog-walking or pet-sitting business for little to no money. Later on, you might take it a step further and become a trainer, though you’ll want to invest in a certification to give your business credibility.

Personal training

Cashing in on the fitness craze is a great idea for the athletically blessed, and there are no required costs for starting out. You can start by working out with clients in public spaces like parks and focusing on body-resistance exercises. Take your hustle to the next level by investing in some gear, like resistance bands or weights, to keep your clients progressing—and coming back to you for more. While there are no state or federal laws regulating who can and cannot declare themselves a personal trainer, a potential cost (and a worthwhile one, at that) is getting certified by an industry organization like the American Council on Exercise. You’ll also want to consider liability insurance to cover any client injuries that may happen while you’re training them.

But entrepreneur beware

Hanna recommends avoiding work in highly regulated industries, like health care, because the guidelines can be hard to navigate. Even outside of tricky industries, there are common pitfalls to avoid when pursuing your side job:

Don’t jeopardize your main hustle. You may need to maintain full-time employment to generate income while your business is getting off the ground. It’s crucial you don’t allocate your best self to your side hustle and phone it in on your regular job. It’s also good to double-check your contract – you don’t want to start a new business only to realize you signed a non-compete clause with your full-time employer.

Look into licensing and certificates. Keeping overhead costs low is important, but there are some corners you don’t want to cut. Even if you’re building a business off of your existing skills, like cutting hair or baking, for example, make sure you follow regulatory guidelines for your industry. If you plan to run your business from your home, check your home insurance policy for what incidents are covered and which ones aren’t, and buy riders accordingly for added protection.

Related links

NerdWallet:Guide to starting a business

The Work at Home Woman

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Putting down roots: New Leaf marks 10 years

Map of 71 beautification projects included in text

The year 2018 is big for several groups and organizations throughout Alamance County, and New Leaf Society is no exception. Marking their 10-year anniversary, 2018 is an opportunity for New Leaf to continue their relationships with donors as well as see changes in landscaping requirements.

New Leaf has spent the last 10 years planting trees, shrubs and flowers throughout Alamance County to enhance the quality of life and economic prosperity. With more than 70 projects either completed or in the process of being completed, New Leaf has invested around $3.5 million in Alamance County with the help of 895 donors by participating in projects located in Burlington, Elon, Gibsonville, Graham, Haw River and Mebane.

“A lot of people think that we are just west Burlington. We are not. We go all the way to Mebane,” said New Leaf president Rett Davis.

Some of New Leaf’s biggest successes include University Drive; Rockwood/O’Neal Drive; the Mebane Street Expansion; North Park; the entrance to Haw River; Red Slide Park; Mebane’s mini park on Fifth Street; and the Splash Park. One of Davis’s favorite projects, though, was the train trestle at Glen Raven.

“That was a public eyesore forever because of graffiti, paint, brush, everything grown up,” Davis said. “The railroad agreed to clean it up for us and repaint it and invested a lot of money. We have relandscaped it and cleaned it up and that in itself is a piece of artwork, I think. I am so proud of North Carolina railroad coming to the table and agreeing to clean that up for the community and they did.”

Another big success for New Leaf was their ability to develop a working relationship with the North Carolina Department of Transportation  on designing exits, something that does not happen very often.

“I have even gone before the North Carolina Department of Transportation board of governors in Raleigh to explain how we work with them because no one else is doing it in the state,” Davis said. “A proud moment is that we have been able to work with NCDOT and they have let us in to help them on their exits. It has been a good relationship.”

Davis takes pride in how New Leaf has helped Alamance County, especially because there is physical evidence of his work.

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“It is the most exciting thing I have done since retirement that has actually made a difference in the community, a visual and physical difference to the community,” Davis said. “The beauty of working with trees and shrubbery is you get to see the maturation process. You see the results of your effort. We get a lot of positive feedback about all of our efforts and what we have done on the interstates, embellishing the exits here in Burlington and all the way to Mebane and how much we are hopefully making a visual impact in our community. That brings a lot of satisfaction to me to see the results of our work.”


Changes and continuing ideas

For the future, Davis has several ideas on what New Leaf can do to improve moving forward and what they can keep the same.

No matter what, Davis wants to keep the enthusiasm for sustainable landscaping.

“I hope that we can continue with good leadership in the future, that we can identify other community members that are willing to continue New Leaf’s objectives and goals,” Davis said. “You want someone to succeed you with as much passion and as much desire and drive to help these communities and put emphasis on what we believe is important.”

Davis also hopes to continue the relationship he has with the public on finding new projects to work on.

“I have got a good relationship with them about finding areas that need improvement,” he said. “We get public input. We get emails on ‘take a look at this place, take a look at that place.’ I get in my truck and ride around and go look at it. We have developed some really good partnerships. I think the community is now realizing that we are a source of advice and somebody that they can trust and depend upon to make some changes.”

As for change, Davis would like to see several alterations, ranging from building a larger base of donors and contributors to changing landscaping requirements for new construction and putting more emphasis on existing trees and greenspace during developments.

“Let’s look at trees that last longer,” Davis said. “Let’s look at something that makes a difference. Let’s look at high-quality plants that we can use. I would like to see a little more protection of greenspace during development and protection for existing trees that could be saved.”

Another change is an increased social media platform to help communicate with the community and keep them aware of projects. North Star Marketing is helping New Leaf with their Facebook page and website, which will be up and running in a few weeks, Davis said.

“We are looking at how to communicate with the public and potential donors though social media,” Davis said. “We are putting a lot of effort into that form of communication so people can actually keep up with where our projects are, where they are located and follow with photos of our progress. We are excited about that.”



Although there aren’t any concrete plans yet, New Leaf wants to celebrate its 10-year anniversary by highlighting several big projects.

“We want to highlight 10 or maybe more of our projects to bring to the attention of everybody that this was an effort beyond what is normal,” Davis said. “The private sector and private donors stepped up and worked with the community on making a difference. We have found that there are a lot of people that are interested in something they can see every day and it gets prettier every year.”

Davis explained that there will be some type of celebration later in the year, most likely in the fall.

“We have a committee that is going to come up with several ideas, activities, that we will do throughout the year to highlight our projects and our successes,” Davis said. “We will celebrate our successes. “

As if a celebration isn’t enough, New Leaf is still working on several projects for the 2018 year. The projects include Downtown Burlington Planters; the Burlington Arboretum at Willowbrook Park; Phase II of North Park; Phase II of Graham Regional Park; and the ACC exit.


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5 things you need to know for Friday, Jan. 19

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) – Good morning. Here are five things you need to know today:

1) Survivor testimony continues today against Dr. Larry Nassar, who molested dozens of U.S. gymnasts including Olympians Simone Biles, Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney. Maroney testified yesterday in a statement read by a prosecutor that being sexually assaulted by Nassar scarred her mind in ways that may never heal. Nassar won’t be sentenced until next week to accommodate the many victims who want to speak. Since Tuesday, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina has listened to more than 60 who were molested after seeking his help for injuries.

2) The House of Representatives voted late last night to keep the government open past a funding deadline today, setting up an eleventh-hour standoff in the Senate, where Democrats have vowed to kill the measure that would fund the government for another four weeks. A closure, coming on the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration, would be only the fourth such episode in roughly 20 years and pose perils for both parties in an election year. Still, Senate Democrats appeared ready to take the risk of shouldering the blame. Emboldened by a liberal base clamoring to challenge Trump, they’ve demanded concessions on immigration, chiefly protection for thousands of young immigrants facing deportation, and largely unified behind the effort. Leaders said yesterday they have the votes to block the measure passed by the House.

3) This week, Lebanon Schools began training staff members to administer naloxone, often known by its brand name Narcan. The nasal spray can save the life of someone who has overdosed on opioids. The district will keep a supply in central locations in all its schools. About 50 nurses, athletic staff, counselors and others will be trained by next week. Lebanon Community Schools Superintendent Robert Taylor told us he doesn’t think they’ll ever have to use it on students, but more likely visitors to the school like parents, family members and friends.

4) Depending on where you live, temperatures are already 10 to 20 degrees warmer than yesterday morning. Chuck Lofton says overall, a really nice day is ahead of us, but it looks like today will be our brightest day until the late next week. After starting out cool, we’ll leap into the mid 30s, a degree or so above average and the warmest day in Indy since January 12. Though the January thaw remains in the weekend forecast, we’re still expecting low clouds with areas of fog and drizzle increasing as we head into tomorrow afternoon. Fog may be locally dense as warmer air aloft moves over the much colder ground and melting snow. It’s going to be a bit gloomy and damp with times of drizzle and not a lot of sunshine.

5) The Indianapolis Home Show gets underway today, featuring a four-bedroom centerpiece home by Fischer Homes, a pool with a unique water sprinkler feature, and lots of items on display to help you prepare your home for the spring and summer seasons. You’ll find over 900 experts to give you ideas on the latest, greatest additions and changes you can make to your living space, including some spectacular outdoor kitchen displays. It took more than two weeks for workers to complete just the landscaping near the pool, and 25 days to build the 5,000 square-foot centerpiece home. We’ve compiled a list of dates and times the show is running, plus ticket prices.

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For some immigrants, a wrenching dilemma: Stay or leave?

When the Trump administration decided to end protected status for people from El Salvador, Hector Soriano faced a wrenching decision and a big gamble.

In the 17 years since he gained protection from deportation — giving him the right to work legally in the U.S. — Soriano established a successful landscaping business and fathered four young children, all U.S. citizens. Recently, Soriano, 42, and his fiancee, Jennifer Carlsen, moved up their wedding plans, knowing that marriage to a U.S. citizen generally provides a sure path to legal status for immigrants.

But because Soriano first came to the U.S. illegally, in 1999, immigration law says he will have to return to El Salvador before he can apply for a green card.

“If it wasn’t for that, I would have done it a long time ago,” said Soriano, of Bensalem, Pa., outside Philadelphia. “The reason I didn’t do it — if I had to leave the country, I was afraid they wouldn’t let me back in. I can’t afford to leave her, and leave my kids.”

Have an idea for a community food project? Anchorage residents can apply for funding.

But now the project is ending, Kemp said, and there’s $7,000 in funding left over. So officials decided the rest of the money could be used for mini-grants that give residents the opportunity to do their own projects.

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NARI Home Improvement Show, the biggest around, takes over IX Center – News

DIY Network’s “Stone House Revival” host Jeff Devlin will be at the NARI Home Improvement Show in Cleveland.

DIY Network’s “Stone House Revival” host Jeff Devlin will be at the NARI Home Improvement Show in Cleveland.

NARI Home Improvement Show

When: Jan. 18 through 21 (times vary).

Where: I-X Center, One I-X Center Drive, Cleveland.

Tickets: $14 ($2 discount coupon available online) with kids 16 and under free.


One look outside makes most people wonder when, if ever, they’ll be able to enjoy their backyards again.

For those folks already experiencing cabin fever, there is hope at the 2018 NARI Home Improvement Show, which takes place Jan. 18 through 21 at the I-X Center in Cleveland.

The popular award-winning show, the largest of its kind in the Midwest, provides homeowners the opportunity to see the latest products and trends in home improvement and talk to local design/build remodelers, as well as see DIY Network’s “Stone House Revival” host Jeff Devlin and national-syndicated radio show host Gary Sullivan.

However, Land Creations Landscaping is recommending visitors check out its Ultimate Outdoor Escape. For the seventh year in a row, the Lorain County company has been responsible for setting up the centerpiece NARI attraction.

“The big thing we’re doing this year is trying to create a real contemporary theme,” Land Creations Landscaping co-owner Jeff Rak said. “We’ll have a nice brick walkway going into the area and then we’ll have an overhead structure, like a pavilion area, that’s going to have an outdoor kitchen in it and a bar area. That’s going to be kind of cool.

“From there, you’re going to step out into a deck off the back where there will be a water feature. You can visit the brick patio, which will expand off to the side and go into a bocce ball court. We’re trying to show people they can have a little bit of a fun with a backyard instead of it being just a basic, simple backyard.”

Planning for the 1,600-square-foot Ultimate Outdoor Escape began just over a year ago when Rak and his business partner, Teal Rickards, started looking around at industry trends. The process included visiting other trade shows and also just paying attention to what Land Creations Landscaping customers wanted to include in their backyards.

The display is designed in August and built in December at the Land Creations Landscaping shop before being shipped in sections to the I-X Center.

“Our No. 1 thing is trying to tie it into what’s going on out there in the real world,” Rak said. “A couple of things we’re seeing now is people are using their backyard to do more entertaining. That’s why we incorporated a bocce ball court.

“Another thing we’re seeing more coming in, and it’s not so much doing a full yard, are synthetic lawns. So it’s using synthetic turf more in cluster homes and condos where people don’t want to have to cut a little patch of grass. It’s a nice way to have a green lawn without having to worry about the maintenance issue.”

Regarding cost, some folks, with jaws dropped, will peruse the Ultimate Outdoor Escape but ultimately feel overwhelmed and cash-strapped. Rak said he’s found many homeowners on smaller budgets are approaching projects in phases.

“The first year we might come in and put in the patio,” Rak said. “The next year we might come in and put in the planting. The third year we might add a water feature or fire feature. So sometimes it’s a step process to get people to where they want to be.

“It can go anywhere. It’s one of those things that really anything you can do indoors pretty much you can do outdoors now. We’re doing outside sinks, a lot of heaters now outside so people can extend their seasons. I even had a request for an outdoor dishwasher, but I haven’t found that one yet. Maybe that’s next year.”

NARI Home Improvement Show

When: Jan. 18 through 21 (times vary).

Where: I-X Center, One I-X Center Drive, Cleveland.

Tickets: $14 ($2 discount coupon available online) with kids 16 and under free.


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