TV shows driving #8216;curb appeal#8217;

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 3, 2007

HAVERHILL — The increasing popularity of home improvement television shows has inspired more and more local residents to look for ways to make their own homes look better.

Curb appeal — the latest catch phrase for sprucing up a home’s exterior — is what many people are looking for this time of the year, said local business owner Dave Sparks.

For those wanting some curb appeal, Sparks said he has a few things that just might do the trick. How about some stamped concrete in your driveway or around your pool? Or some decorative concrete landscape edging?

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Sparks is the owner of Border Magic of the Tri-State. Founded in 2004, Border Magic has an office on Gallia Pike in Haverhill and a full showroom of products at the intersection of 22nd Street and Winchester Avenue in Ashland, Ky.

The business, part of a nationwide chain, specializes in edging, curbing and walkways as well as a variety of stamped and overlay concrete.

Sparks, a Haverhill resident, said the demand for the services has skyrocketed over the past few years. His 14 employees “stay swamped,” especially during the spring and summer months and for good reason, he said.

“It really cuts down on the maintenance,” Sparks said of the Border Magic concrete landscape edging. “The mulch doesn’t creep into the yard. It keeps a clean, neat finished look.”

The stamped concrete that his crews install is also meant to bring a new decorative flair

to existing driveways and patios. It looks a lot like natural brick, but it wears better and is less expensive, Sparks explained.

“This kind of stuff (stamped and overlay concrete) was always popular in Florida and in western states like (Nevada), but, like everything else, it takes awhile to get to our area,” he said.

He said his business specializes in many of the products and services seen on Home and Garden Television. With the station’s soaring popularity, he hopes his business will reap the benefits.

“We have really just chased demand,” Sparks said.