The surprising range of career opportunities in the landscape industry

(BPT) – Planning your next career move? Job seekers may think they have explored every possible option after attending job seminars or visiting career counselors, but the landscape industry is an often-overlooked field that’s full of diverse opportunities from entry-level to management positions.

According to the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP), the landscape industry needs to fill 300,000 positions this year and now is peak hiring season. While you might have a preconceived notion of what landscape professionals do, consider that the NALP represents an industry employing nearly 1 million people in positions as diverse as landscape designers, architects, project managers, management and sales executives, arborists, agronomists, hardscape installers and more. While some careers in the field require a college degree, there are many that offer on-the-job training or apprenticeships to help job seekers launch a career. The industry also welcomes aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners that dream of owning their own company and helping others launch their careers one day.
An interest in the outdoors is certainly a plus, but a wide array of skills and professional roles are needed to design, build, and maintain healthy green spaces in communities across the country. For example, professionals looking for meaningful careers in creative design, management, finance, and technology are encouraged to explore the landscape industry.

Machinery and Technology

For those interested in computers or the latest technology, the landscape industry provides an opportunity to utilize the latest tech and equipment to streamline the work and be environmentally efficient. Landscape professionals routinely use cutting-edge tools, including electronic imaging and GPS tracking, whereas arborists rely on sonograms to assess the health of trees. Innovative technology and digital programs are used in many behind-the-scenes functions of landscape projects. Drones are employed to save time and get a project overview, and robotic mowers help crews complete projects more efficiently. Irrigation specialists use programmable systems to conserve water, and landscape designers employ sophisticated computer programs to provide clients with realistic renderings of their outdoor space. On the management side, technology is essential for project managers and estimators to coordinate important tasks and track finances, so operations run smoothly.

Environment and Outdoors

If you want to spend more time outdoors, there are a variety of positions in the field that include designing, creating, installing, and maintaining healthy, outdoor spaces for commercial and residential clients. Entry-level positions include lawn care technicians, irrigation installers, and service technicians. Each role allows you to be outside, helping the environment by caring for plants, trees, and grasses. If you don’t have a green thumb but want to be outdoors, landscape teams also need professionals to install hardscapes and operate machinery.

Communication and Management

If you have good people skills, the landscape industry offers many opportunities to interact with, assist, and manage teams. Entry-level positions can include customer service at a landscape company, nursery, or greenhouse. Crew leaders or foremen are also needed to supervise teams completing projects in the field. Managers, account executives, and business developers are also in demand to help direct projects, attract sales leads, manage purchasing decisions, and grow the business.

Science and Math

Those interested in science may consider exploring a degree in a field such as agronomy (soil science), horticulture, irrigation technology, and arboriculture. Professionals in these areas of the landscape industry spend time in a lab, as well as in the field, depending on the position. Studying how plants grow and thrive is an integral part of the landscape profession. If you’re more of a numbers person, estimators are needed to calculate material costs and markups for projects. Businesses in the landscape industry also need accountants and bookkeepers.

Creativity and Innovation

The landscape industry taps the creative minds of licensed landscape architects and designers to envision the possibilities for beautifying outdoor environments. Interiorscape professionals are responsible for bringing plants and greenery indoors, adding beauty and clean air to commercial and residential locations. Landscape architects and designers create beautiful outdoor spaces in varying environments with the clients’ vision in mind. All of these positions — and more — provide rewarding jobs with competitive compensation and opportunities for advancement, while making a difference for families, communities, and the environment.

To explore career possibilities in the landscape industry, visit LandscapeIndustryCareers.org or apply for openings in your area at Jobs.LandscapeIndustryCareers.org.

A.C.F. Home Inspections, Your Premier Orlando Home Inspection Company | Let this experienced Orlando Home Inspection Company help keep you from buying The Money Pit. We’ll alert you to any and all health or safety issues and maintenance needs of the home you’re looking to buy.

As a family-owned business, we pride ourselves on supporting homeowners and families who need an honest, competent and dependable property inspector. We understand the importance of safety. When it comes to children and family. Therefore, we give special attention to deficiencies in systems and components of the home that represent an immediate danger. And we are independent and impartial; we work for you – our client – and not for an agent or other interests.

A.C.F. Home Inspections is committed to bringing you a consistently high level of service. We are an indispensable asset to real estate agents, buyers, sellers, investors, property managers, landlords, mortgage brokers, and private and nursing care homes.  Let us be your residential and commercial advisor, and find peace of mind that you are getting a professional’s opinion.

A.C.F. Home Inspections will be your home buying or selling advocate!  We’re highly experienced and extremely thorough. If you’re looking to buy or sell in the Orlando area, we can help!

Call A.C.F. Home Inspections Today (407) 218-6522 or Click To Schedule Online 24/7 Right From Our Website.

A.C.F. Home Inspections has been providing Orlando Home Inspections4 Point InspectionsWind Mitigation, Monthly home tips news, Water Quality TestingRadon TestingLead Paint Testing, and Mold Inspection

Essential Maintenance Tasks To Keep A Clean Home Happening

woman cleaning her homeThe Article Courtesy of A.C.F. Home Inspections Inc.

Today’s typical family home is a buzzing hub of activity where meals are cooked, homework is done and family game nights are contested. In the background of it all: the home appliances that keep home life moving along. Focusing on a few maintenance tasks can keep home appliances performing efficiently and effectively.

Maintain Tools:

Keep appliances and cleaning tools running well so they continue to get the job done. Replace vacuum belts periodically to keep your vacuum cleaner running like new, and swap out lawn mowers’ spark plugs once a year to ensure the mower is easy to start. Stock up on extra batteries for cordless vacuums, leaf blowers or other lawn equipment used frequently.

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4 DIY Tips To Save Money And Get Your Home Ready For Winter

getting ready for winterFrom your friends at A.C.F. Home Inspections!

Many people look forward to the cooler weather. The brisk autumn winds and colorful leaves signal that once again it’s time to take out the sweaters and scarves. There are the hot soups and pumpkin-flavored drinks to keep one warm as the weather gets cooler, but for the conscientious homeowner and dedicated DIYer, it’s time to start winterizing your home.

Sealing out pesky drafts around your home helps save energy while also making your home more comfortable. It also prevents water damage from rain, ice or snow and blocks out pests that might be trying to find a warm place to spend the winter.

As you’re deciding where to get started, here are four projects that will go a long way to save you money and make your home ready for whatever Mother Nature throws at it this winter.

1. Create a thermal barrier. 

The best way to keep your family warm and toasty while the wind, snow and sleet rage outside is to ensure your home and its building envelope — the thermal barrier between the interior of a home and the exterior environment — is properly sealed. How well the “shell” of the building (walls, roof, and foundation) is sealed against the exterior environment directly impacts the amount of energy required to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. Maintaining a well-sealed building envelope means you’ll use less energy to heat and cool your home, saving you money. Take the time to check for and seal the following common air leaks around your home, both inside and out:

  • Interior windows and doors: Slowly move a lit incense stick around the edges. If the smoke drifts to the side, it indicates an air leak that needs to be sealed.
  • Interior baseboards and trim: Check for cracks and gaps where walls meet floors and ceilings.
  • Exterior windows and doors: Check for gaps and cracks where the frame meets the wall. Replace cracked or missing sealant around frames with an exterior grade sealant.
  • Pipes and vents: If there is a gap between the pipe or vent and the surface it goes through, it needs to be sealed.

2. Seal air leaks.

Most cracks and gaps less than a half inch in width and depth can be filled with a sealant like DAP Extreme Stretch. Designed to stretch over 600 percent, Extreme Stretch can withstand the elements as your home expands and contracts, plus it is easy to apply on virtually any interior and the exterior surface such as windows, trim, pipes, vents, and siding. It will not crack or lose adhesion, saving you money and preventing nasty drafts. And remember, before you apply, make sure to remove any old sealant that remains to ensure the new sealant can adhere properly.

3. Move beyond window wrap. 

We all know that a traditional way to seal in the heat and keep out the cold is to insulate your windows with plastic film. This is an unsightly solution and leaves your home looking shrink-wrapped. A more effective and less obtrusive method is to use DAP SEAL ‘N PEEL, a temporary, removable weatherstrip caulk that’s great for sealing up windows for the season. It applies easily to a caulk around windows, doors, attic hatches, pipes and vents to keep out drafts. Once spring comes, it easily peels off to let in the fresh air.

4. Seal off a room. 

If you live in a large house and have a room or two that you don’t use, consider sealing it up for the winter. Simply turn off the heating vent or radiator in the room to avoid paying to heat a room you aren’t using. Then use a door draft stopper or decorative long pillow along the door floor to prevent any drafts.

Whether you like the cold weather or not, the coming winter is a great opportunity to check up on your home and prepare it for winter. For the novice or the die-hard DIYer, it’s an important time to assess and address your home’s defenses against winter weather. – (BPT)

 

Tips to Get Your House Ready for Winter

A.C.F. Home Inspections Inc.A.C.F. Home Inspections has been providing Home Inspections, 4 Point Inspections, Wind Mitigation, Home Owners Network, Monthly home tips news, Water Quality Testing, Radon Testing, Lead Paint Testing and Mold Inspection to home buyers and home sellers in the following areas of Metro Orlando, Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Lake Country Polk, Sumter, Volusia, Brevard and all areas in between.

When you or someone you know needs the services of a quality home inspection company, we would truly appreciate you thinking of us. You can schedule right from our website or call our office (407) 218-6522. Thank You.

Prevent Falls This Fall With A Home Safety Checklist

older couple looks happy in front of their homeThe Article Courtesy of A.C.F. Home Inspections!

After months of sticky heat and humidity, it’s time to put away the shorts and pull out the sweaters because the autumn season is finally here. But, late September brings us more than just cooler temperatures and a wardrobe change. If you or a loved one are over the age of 65, the change in seasons is also an opportunity to think about another kind of fall — the kind that impacts one in four older Americans every year — and the steps we can all take to help prevent them.

According to the National Council on Aging, falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and account for the majority of emergency room visits for older adults. More than 75 percent of falls happen in or around the house, but fortunately, there are ways to evaluate our loved ones’ homes and make them safer for everyday living.

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5 Tips To Make The Most Of Your Outdoor Space

outdoor space ideaThe Article Courtesy of A. C. F. Home Inspections!

A beautiful, sunny day is one of the best parts of the season and when you have one, you simply have to be outside. When you step outdoors, where do you go? To the park? The lake? A friend’s home?

How often do you stay home and enjoy a beautiful day in your own outdoor space?

If your answer is not often or never, it’s time to create your own home field advantage. With just a few simple improvements you can make even the smallest outdoor space feel comfortable and be welcoming to you and your guests. Start with these five projects and you’ll make your own yard the place to be when the weather turns beautiful.

  • Replace the cement with a raised deck. 

That old cement patio or walkway in your backyard may be unsightly and uninviting, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can make that space much more appealing by replacing it with a raised cedar deck. Easy to build and affordable as well, installing a raised cedar deck to your outdoor space makes the entire area more inviting without taking up any additional space. Cedar is also naturally resistant to rot, decay and insects, and it is cool underfoot, making it the perfect decking solution for your newly improved outdoor living space.

  • Light smart. 

Your current outdoor space may have only a single light or it may have no light at all, making it impossible to use at night. To make the space more welcoming, add string lights or uplighting to your outdoor area. These lights are available in a wide array of styles to match your personality and they take up very little space, allowing you to create the perfect — well lit — environment you’re looking for.

  • Focus on furniture. 

If finding the right furniture to fit your space has been difficult, consider making your own instead. Building a customized bench or sectional from Western Red Cedar is easier than you think and it allows you to build your furniture to meet the design requirements of your space. Plus, Western Red Cedar is pitch and resin free so it accepts and holds a wide range of finishes to match your style choice. You can even add built-in storage to your bench or furniture design for more space-saving solutions. To find building plans for this and other Western Red Cedar projects, visit www.realcedar.com.

  • Place a plant or two. 

The right plant could provide just the pop of color your outdoor space needs. Herb gardens, hostas, even a pot of flowers all up the scenic appeal of your outdoor area. If space is a concern and you have a pergola structure, hanging plant baskets is a great option, so you can enjoy their beauty from above.

  • Play a zone strategy. 

When space is at a premium, you need to utilize every inch. To do this, segment your outdoor space into defined zones such as cooking, relaxing and eating areas. You can then further define these zones by adding the perfect finishing touches to each like a barbecue enclosure for your cooking area and a pergola over your dining table. Each of these DIY projects is a worthy addition to your outdoor space and will make it the area you can’t wait to enjoy every time you step outside. – (BPT)

 

Modern Outdoor Living Space Ideas

A.C.F. Home Inspections Inc.A.C.F. Home Inspections has been providing Home Inspections, 4 Point Inspections, Wind Mitigation, Home Owners Network, Monthly home tips news, Water Quality Testing, Radon Testing, Lead Paint Testing and Mold Inspection to home buyers and home sellers in the following areas of Metro Orlando, Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Lake Country Polk, Sumter, Volusia, Brevard and all areas in between since 2001.

When you or someone you know needs the services of a quality home inspection company, we would truly appreciate you thinking of us. You can schedule right from our website or call our office (407) 218-6522. Thank You.

How To Tackle A Dust-Free Renovation

two boys came home from a game befor picBrought to you by A.C.F. Home Inspections!

Kristen Johnson* loved her home, her family, and their active lifestyle. She’d never want to change a thing — except for her foyer and adjoining dining room. When she and her husband first moved into their home, they had intended to refinish the hardwood floors in those areas in a darker stain to better fit their style, but life got in the way. Twelve years, two boys and countless birthday parties, pets and indoor soccer games later, their floors were covered in scuffs, scratches, and stains, and some of their walls needed repair. To complicate matters even further, they had a wraparound staircase with a wood-tone banister that would also need to be refinished if they decided to change their floor.

With their big family reunion and a house full of people just weeks away, Johnson and her husband knew it was time to make a change. However, they couldn’t afford to disrupt their busy schedules, and they didn’t want to deal with the hassle of renovation dust getting all over their ceiling fans, cupboards or worse — especially with their son’s dust allergies. They knew if they decided to take on this renovation project, they’d need it finished quickly, and they’d need the entire project to be as dust-free as possible.

What’s The Big Deal About Renovation Dust? 

Beyond creating a huge mess, renovation dust is also a health concern. As any homeowner who has embarked on an interior renovation project knows, the resultant dust gets everywhere — even inside closed cabinets and in adjacent rooms. However, as problematic as the mess is, dust-related health hazards are of even greater concern, particularly to allergy sufferers. Traditional methods of mitigating dust usually involve extensive prep work, like hanging plastic sheeting and taping off doors, or doing a thorough post-renovation top-to-bottom cleaning. Both options are extremely time-consuming.

Is There A Better Way To Handle Renovation Dust? 

There is a better way to handle renovation dust: by collecting it right at the source like the pros do. Professional contractors are used to dealing with renovation dust, and given the volume of work they do, they create dust far more frequently and in much greater volumes than the average homeowner or DIYer. Rather than spend valuable time on prep work or post-project clean up or suffer through the use of uncomfortable dust masks, they use dust collection tools that capture and contain dust immediately as it’s created, before it can become a mess or airborne health hazard.

How Johnson Tackled Her Dust-free Renovation?

design inside the house after lookBecause of their tight timeline, Johnson and her husband decided to take on some of their renovation themselves using supplies purchased at their local hardware store, but they let the professionals handle the tricky floor/banister redo.

To repair their drywall, they patched the damaged areas using joint compound and a drywall sander, which together cost about $130. To make the sanding process dust-free, they added a Dust Deputy, which they connected directly to the drywall sander and to their wet/dry vacuum. They found that this combination captured virtually all the dust generated by the sanding. They noticed no dust in the air, and the Dust Deputy prevented the fine drywall dust from clogging their vacuum filter.

Even though they had the flooring contractor tackle the floor and banister, they saved a few dollars by removing the varnish from the banister and other hard-to-reach areas themselves. To do this, they applied a gel varnish remover using a brush (together about $20), then scraped the wet varnish residue using a Viper Scraper attached to their Dust Deputy and wet/dry vacuum. The scraper captured the residue, and the Dust Deputy contained it for disposal, without it ever reaching, or damaging, their vacuum.

Their big splurge was on the floor refinishing, which they left to the pros to tackle (about $2,500). To keep that process dust-free, they selected a dust-free contractor in their area who used a cyclonic Oneida Vortex dust collection system with HEPA filtration. In the end, they finished the project virtually dust-free and just in time for their family reunion, and they were very pleased with the results!

*Kristen’s last name has been changed for privacy. – (BPT)

 

Dust Free Remodeling

 

A.C.F. Home Inspections Inc.A.C.F. Home Inspections has been providing Home Inspections, 4 Point Inspections, Wind Mitigation, Home Owners Network, Monthly home tips news, Water Quality Testing, Radon Testing, Lead Paint Testing and Mold Inspection to home buyers and home sellers in the following areas of Metro Orlando, Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Lake Country Polk, Sumter, Volusia, Brevard and all areas in between since 2001.

When you or someone you know needs the services of a quality home inspection company, we would truly appreciate you thinking of us. You can schedule right from our website or call our office (407) 218-6522. Thank You.