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Industry Tips

How to maintain your powder coated product:

Clean as needed with a soft cloth or soft bristle brush using mild detergent. Powder coat finishes should periodically be inspected for scratches, nicks, and gouges. The affected areas should be repaired in the following order:

  1. Light sanding with a medium emory cloth or fine sandpaper.
  2. Apply a coating of professional primer to a clean, dry surface per manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Apply color match touch-up paint from Thomas Steele.

Routinely inspect for damage and to see that hardware is secure and/or anchoring system is still intact. It may be necessary to tighten bolts monthly in high use areas. Touch up paint can be purchased from Thomas Steele. Call us at 800-241-2505 for more details.


Park It

To get the maximum value from your park furnishings, considered some variables, such as which areas are shaded, which areas should be handicapped accessible. Does your park have a theme? You should strive for a cohesive look. Putting together a park is more than just arranging some site furnishings. Decide how your park will be used before you purchase furnishings. It is best to consult a landscape architect early in the process of planning your park.


10 Places to Put Benches

Playgrounds Areas with Waterfowl
Entrances Exits
Nearby Bus or Public Transportation Trail Heads
Near Fountains Near Concession Stands
At Lookouts and Overviews At Historical Markers

 


7 Ways to get a Bigger Bang for your Bench

  1. Provide shade. Benches are not just for people who want to bask in the sun. Take advantage of shady areas.
  2. Be careful about placing wooden benches in a grassy or natural setting where there could be a mowing problem.
  3. Resist the temptation to put benches far off the beaten path. In addition to making it difficult for handicapped patrons to reach, it can also cause mowing problems and may invite graffiti.
  4. Place benches along paved paths. It creates a connection to the path and reduces mowing problems.
  5. Install armrests on benches to deter skateboarders from riding on the surface and scratching the bench’s finish.
  6. Benches with backs provide comfort. If you need to limit the time people spend sitting, use backless benches.
  7. Benches should generally not face the street, except at bus stops. Facing benches towards the street makes them less accessible to pedestrians, and people rarely sit down to watch cars go by.

 


Trash Talk

Keep in mind a few things when choosing trash receptacles. Before purchasing, consider how easy it will be for maintenance crews to empty the containers. Be sure to purchase enough cans so litter doesn’t become a problem. If your park has a vandalism problem, stay away from plastic cans that melt easily when set on fire. Place latches or animal-proof receptacles where wildlife is around.


Bloom Where You are Planted

Planters provide an additional buffer between the pedestrian and the street, and if they are well-maintained, beautify the area and make it more interesting to walk around. If your community wishes to use planters as part of a streetscape program on a year-wide basis, make sure there is a specific plan to water the planters on a regular basis and keep them looking neat during the colder winter months.


Streetscape Programs

A streetscape is the specific arrangement of site furnishings, trees, signage, crosswalks and street crossings, building facades or other elements in a given street or avenue. It increases the value of local businesses and residential properties and works as a catalyst for downtown revitalization. With few opportunities for open space development, communities need to look at their streets as places for beautification and as a common gathering ground for citizens. An effective streetscape program will create a community that is both pedestrian and bicycle-friendly. It is also important to preserve and enhance the condition of historic neighborhoods that have considerable significance to the downtown area.

Some components common to streetscape programs include but are not limited to: site furnishings (benches, planters, trash and ash receptacles), signs and banners, intersections/crosswalks, sidewalks, lighting, landscaping, historical sites, and median treatments.

The cost of any comprehensive streetscape program is significant and will require a variety of funding sources. Before funding is committed, however, it is recommended that the city hire a qualified professional to develop a detailed plan. Public input is also important in creating a vital, ongoing streetscape program.









 

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