Monumental Outdoor Awarded Houzz 2016 Best of Service

Raymore, MO, January 12, 2016Monumental Outdoor of Raymore, MO has won “Best Of Customer Service” on Houzz®, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The innovative and excellence driven landscape design/build firm was chosen by the more than 35 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than one million active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.

The Best Of Houzz is awarded annually in three categories: Design, Customer Service and Photography. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 35 million monthly users on Houzz. Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2015. Architecture and interior design photographers whose images were most popular are recognized with the Photography award. A “Best Of Houzz 2016” badge will appear on winners’ profiles, as a sign oftheir commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz.

“We believe our dedication to excellence is what sets us apart from our competition. Our goal is to develop long lasting relationships with our clients, to become their source to knowledge, understanding, and recommendations in all things outdoors. Our values, integrity, and attention to detail are the driving force to our success in life and business.” – Monumental Outdoor Team

“Anyone building, remodeling or decorating looks to Houzz for the most talented and service-oriented professionals” said Liza Hausman, vice president of Industry Marketing for Houzz. “We’re so pleased to recognize Monumental Outdoor, voted one of our “Best Of Houzz” professionals by our enormous community of homeowners and design enthusiasts actively remodeling and decorating their homes.”

Follow Monumental Outdoor on Houzz

About Monumental OutdoorMonumental Lawn & Outdoor LLC specializes in creating and maintaining landscapes  & outdoor living areas for homeowners in the Kansas City Metro area.  We exist to maintain and beautify your property, so you have the time and opportunity to prosper in life, family, finance, and community involvement.  

10 Tips for Winter Driving

Winter has made its presence known this week in Kansas City!  And, with that comes the annual epidemic of IFHD syndrome (I Forgot How to Drive).   Though you are probably a veteran winter driving expert, I am sure you know what I am talking about.  A little white dusting, or minor freezing drizzle, and it seems like there are enormous magnets sucking vehicles into the ditches around here!  

Well... Whether you are a daily commuter, a contractor hauling equipment, or Mario Andretti Jr in training, these tips from our friends at Total Landscape Care magazine will surely help you out!

1. Tire pressure

Driving safely on slippery surfaces is all about maximizing traction at all four tire contact points of the truck. It’s critical to keep the tire pressures at the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended psi. Under/over-inflated tires upset vehicle control.

2. Matched tires

Never run mixed tire tread patterns, sizes or tread wear on a vehicle in the winter.

Again, equal traction on the front and rear are critical for vehicle control. New tires on the front and old on the rear will cause the truck to oversteer (rear to slide out); new tires in back, old in front will cause understeer (push, not turn). Replace tires in sets of four.

3. Tire type

The best tires for winter use in areas where heavy snowfall is common are dedicated snow tires.

Snow tires are made with tread compounds designed to maximize tread flexibility and road contact while driving on snow/ice. All-season and all-terrain tires are marginal. Mud/traction tires are not recommended for snow driving.

Shocks and suspension components take a beating when subjected to snowplow use. Shocks should be checked annually and the fronts should be replaced at least every 25,000 miles.

4. About shocks

Worn-out shocks cause instability when the truck encounters dips and bumps, cornering and towing. Instability upsets vehicle balance and control in slick conditions. Replace factory shocks at least every 25,000 miles and aftermarket gas-shocks every 50,000 to be safe. Replace front shocks twice as frequent when using the truck for plowing.

5. Brake or turn

The first lesson in snow driving school is when making a corner, either brake or turn, never both at the same time. Brake in a straight line before the turn, then lift off of the brake and turn the wheel slowly. Smoothness is the key to being a good winter driver.

6. Adjust speed

The biggest mistake when driving on slick roads, especially snow-packed or plowed roads, is driving too fast. Speeding can’t be corrected by braking on snow/ice. That problem is compounded when towing a trailer. How fast is too fast? Test the road surface from time to time when no one is behind or ahead by lightly putting your foot on the brakes to test the slipperiness of the road surface. You’ll know if your speed is appropriate.

Equipping pickups that work every day in the snow with dedicated snow tires provides the driver with an added margin of vehicle control and safety.

7. Straighten to turn

If you are trying to make a turn and the vehicle doesn’t respond, straighten the steering wheel while keeping off of the brakes or throttle. Front tires turned too sharp can’t get traction. They skid instead of roll, creating a “plowing” effect. Straightening the wheel helps regain steering control.

8. Trailer skid control

If the trailer starts to jackknife, accelerate and don’t brake. At the same time, keep the tow vehicle’s wheels straight – don’t counter-steer in the direction of the sliding trailer. Once the trailer is straight, slowly brake to regain control.

9. Boxing corners

Another winter towingtip is “V-ing off” the corners by braking in a straight line before entering the corner then steering through it, before accelerating out of the corner when the truck and trailer are again in a straight line. Never turn and brake at the same time.

10. Weight balance

Keeping the vehicle (and trailer) balanced at all times is the primary goal for winter driving. When the weight balance on the tires shifts front to rear, or side to side, because of aggressive driving habits, the vehicle control becomes an immediate issue. Accelerate easily. Turn smoothly. Brake lightly.

Bonus! - Be sure your cell phone is fully charged prior to leaving.  You never know when you may have an untimely event, and most people these days tend to think "Oh, they must have a cell phone with them..." as they drive right by your stranded car.  :(

- See more at:

Preparing Your Landscape For Winter in KC

Winter is nearly upon us!  The past few days here in KC have made that clear.  People often think of winter as the season that does not require any landscape attention.  Well... this is not true!   Now is a great time to protect and care for your trees, shrubs, and perennials.   Here are 3 tips to put your landscape to bed properly...

1 - Prune hardy perennials and shrubs to prevent winter damage from wind, snow, and ice.

Be sure to wait until you know they are dormant, and the majority of the leaves have dropped from deciduous shrubs, especially roses.  Also, be sure to prune each plant properly, according to its needs (angle, bud location, etc).  Timing is important, and you don't want to prune to early, which could stimulate new growth that would be damaged by a freeze. 

2 -  Clean up your beds.

Removing lingering debris and excess plant material from your beds can insure that no fungus, disease, or other pests will hibernate and cause any issues in the spring.  Be sure to dispose of any diseased plant material AND surrounding mulch properly in the garbage.  DO NOT compost these materials.  Some of your perennials like to keep their dormant material as a blanket for winter, so don't get too aggressive (daylily, hosta, etc).  

3 - Last, but not least, MULCH!!!

Though we mostly focus on mulch in the spring, to bring a pop of color and fresh blanket of moisture retention, it is important to do the same before winter.  The long season (wind, rain, breakdown...) can leave your landscape with a rather thin, and tattered, blanket before winter.  Be sure to add a fresh topdressing of mulch.  This will help retain moisture through the harsh winter, as well as insulate the soil and roots of your plants.  The main cause of plant loss in winter is not due to the foliage freezing, but the root system not having enough moisture or being exposed to temperatures beyond its tolerance.  Especially in our transitional zone here in KC.  Some plants, like roses, need more mulch than others, to protect them.

Congratulations!  You have taken the first step toward protecting your landscape this winter...  Getting educated!  Now, get out there and get those hands dirty.   Or click here to contact us... It's a little easier... and warmer. 

Have a blessed day!

2015 MLNA Scholarship Application Deadline is November 15!

As a member of the MLNA (Missouri Landscape & Nursery Association), we enjoy knowing that we are supporting the growth of our industry, as well as the understanding of how our interaction with our environment effects our lives.  We are excited to think about the new wisdom and innovation that will be brought forth by future generations, and are excited to see the MLNA continuing to bless these young leaders.  

All interested Missouri horticulture students enrolled in a 2 year or 4 year college in the state are encouraged to send in their application before the deadline of November 15.   Each year, MLNA presents a $1,000 scholarship. The MLNA Education Foundation is a 501(c)3.  Funds are raised from the yearly Silent Auction and member donations.  MLNA also supports the Future Farmers of America awards in landscape and nursery management studies with $500 annually.  We are pleased to have past recepients become MLNA members.  

The student selected for the scholarship will be notified and asked to appear at the MLNA Silent Auction which will be held during the Western Trade Show on Thursday, January 21, 2016 in Kansas City, MO. The scholarship will be presented at that time. A one year MLNA membership will also be given.

Applications need to be mailed to MLNA, P.O. Box 81, Bowing Green, MO  63334 or emailed to

David Gunn, a student at St. Louis Community College-Meramac is the 2014 scholarship recepient.

Find more info from the MLNA - Missouri Landscape & Nursery Association

Water Trees and Shrubs NOW!

Dont put your hoses up yet!  Our extremely wet summer, has been followed by a very dry fall.  As we head into winter, you want to be sure more than your lawn are put to bed the right way.  Trees and shrubs can be damaged by lack of moisture in the winter, and starting off dry can make it worse.  

According to the latest US Drought Monitor the Kansas City area is in an abnormally dry period and the National Weather Service last week posted that September was the eighth driest on record. This is quite a change from our wetter-than-usual summer.

Now with winter coming many in the know are predicting a warmer, dry period. The weather patterns are not setting up favorably for much-needed moisture heading into spring 2016.

Good soil moisture is the key for plants surviving whatever winter conditions come our way. Luckily we are having a warm October which means it is not all that unpleasant to get out and provide supplemental water to help ensure our plants survive and flourish next year.

This same weather pattern set up a year ago. The summer of 2014 was wetter than normal. But then a dry fall, winter and early spring arrived followed by one of the best summers on record. Then when the rain faucet shut off in August many of our evergreens started to die.

Check out this great article by Dennis Patton at the Kansas City Star for some tips to water properly.  And here's a hint... It's not with a sprinkler.