Affordable Building Concepts

“Landscapers can reduce plastic bag usage with the Leaf Burrito”

Meet the Leaf Burrito, this is a very efficient way to save time, money and the earth all at the same time!  Check out the article below and find a much easier way to get all the leaves cleaned up in no time at all!

Leaf Burrito is a reusable yard waste removal bag designed to replace single-purpose plastic bags. The bag is constructed of industrial-grade mesh and zippers allowing it to unfold like a tarp for loading yard debris and then transforms into a bag or burrito, if you will, with a few quick zips.

The history

Marc Mataya is the inventor and owner of the Leaf Burrito. He got his inspiration for the product when he was preparing for a big holiday party and had 25 bags worth of leaves rolled up in a tarp.

Photo: Leaf Burrito

He asked the garbage collectors up the street if he could still dump the leaves even though he hadn’t bagged them, and they said they’d see when they got to his house. Once they got there and dumped his tarp’s worth of leaves instantaneously versus having to rip open every single plastic bag to empty out the leaves, they told Mataya they preferred his method.

“That was the ah-ha moment,” Mataya says. “And then I put a prototype together of zippers on an actual tarp. Then we figured this is ridiculous. We’re putting $15 worth of zippers onto a $2 tarp.”

Mataya says that the company he worked with to produce the prototype also produces truck covers and noticed all the different types of mesh and decided to try that material. Ultimately, they ended up custom designing their own mesh pattern for the Leaf Burrito.

Photo: Leaf Burrito

After getting his patent, he presented his product to the city of Charlotte as a way to reduce the number of plastic bags heading to landfills and at first the city said no.

“We had to get over this whole change factor and there was some selling and on the website for city council it says that their mission statement is to be a global leader of sustainability so we kind of called them out on that,” Mataya says. “We said ‘Hey look this is a Charlotte idea. We want Charlotte to pioneer this, vet it out, model it so we can be a global leader of sustainability versus if we don’t do it in Charlotte and I go somewhere else then you’re a global follower of sustainability.’”

Eventually, the city said agreed test out the bags and now Charlotte has been servicing the Leaf Burrito for 19 months. Mataya says the garbage collectors love it.

Landscaper model

While 5’ Leaf Burrito is made for residential customers, Mataya also has a 7’ model that caters to professional landscapers.

Photo: Leaf Burrito

The commercial-sized Leaf Burrito has 10 handles on it and is designed for much bigger, heavier loads. It can hold ¾ yard of mulch or 6-12 bags of leaves.

Mataya says one way landscapers can use it is as a packable and portable wheelbarrow by unzipping one end and shaking out material as you walk.

“We tout it as being a tool that is very far from just being a leaf tool,” he says. “We literally use it for almost everything landscapers will use it for. They use it for pine straw. They’ll use it to cover the trees when transporting them. They’ll carry different colored mulch in their trailer to keep them separated. They can zip two or three of them together to do one long drag. They can put pea gravel in it.”

Mataya says some landscapers have even used it as a sling for a heavy tree rootball on a fork attachment.

The custom mesh allows the Leaf Burrito to hold up to 500-600 pounds and even if the material is cut, it will not continue to tear.

“One of the things that we’ve learned is people are used to using let’s say 40’x40’ tarp or even a 20’x20’ and then if we ship them one 7’x7 ½’ Leaf Burrito, they lay it down next to their 40’x40’ tarp and they’d say “I don’t like it. It’s too small,’” Mataya says. “So, the messaging that we’re trying to do is ‘Hey this is a toolset, just like you have two backpack blowers or two weed eaters or two whatever, you need to have at least two, ideally six on every truck, and then you get rid of all your wheelbarrows and all your tarps and plastic bags.’ And then you basically task all your guys to figure it out. What we’ve found is once they start using it, they’re addicted to it.”

Photo: Leaf Burrito

For landscapers who buy the Leaf Burrito in bulk, Mataya offers custom branding on the bags for the professional look. He says right now they’re pretty flexible on how many Leaf Burritos need to be bought before they’ll brand the bags. He says if it’s a good opportunity they’ll do it for just six bags.

“We’re talking to Ruppert Landscape right now,” he says. “They’re going to vet these out in DC in one of their larger locations.”

The employee with Ruppert who saw the Leaf Burrito immediately knew they would be great for his crews who service rooftop gardens.

Mataya says another landscaping company called Canopy based in Charlotte has been reviewing the bags not only for their own use but to potentially put their name on the residential-sized bags and then leave the leaf-filled bags on the customer’s property for the city of Charlotte to pick up.

“It is revolutionary new tool,” Mataya says. “This is not a tarp. It’s not a tarp. It’s not a garbage can. It’s something completely different. It’s reusable and going to last for many, many years, because it’s incredibly durable.”

Click here for more information about the Leaf Burrito.

Remember a quick safety tip after Christmas and the Holidays of gift giving!

Please do not advertise all the lovely gifts you’ve received this Holiday season !!!  Do this simple task before you head to the curb!

Have a great rest of your holidays and don’t invite some of the town Grinches into your home enticing them to break into your home!

Happy New Year ahead from ABC

Hanahan Police remind citizens about leaving empty packages by the road after Christmas

3 Steps towards fire prevention in your garage!

Fires in garages and home workshops are a serious matter. The typical garage or workshop contains a host of flammable materials, from liquids such as gasoline and paint thinner to wood, sawdust and greasy rags. Often, garages and workshops contain heat sources such as water heaters and furnaces that can ignite a fire.

As with most things involving safety, the key to keeping your garage or workshop as fireproof as possible is to make sure you have the right equipment and that you get into the habit of making the safest choices. Here are three steps to garage and workshop fire prevention that everyone can and should take.

Step 1: Establish Safe Routines

If you develop safe habits, fire prevention will become routine.

When you cut or sand wood, you create sawdust and wood chips. These small pieces of wood are much more combustible than larger boards. Sweep them up right away and you will eliminate a big source of workshop fires.

  • After using paint, stain, finishing oils or solvents, seal the containers and store them in a safe place.
  • Properly dispose of oily rags to avoid the possibility of spontaneous combustion. That means placing the rags in a steel bucket with a self-closing lid. Alternatively, hang the rags on a line in a single layer to dry. Keep them far away from heat and fire sources.

    Step 2: Practice Safe Storage

    Fires require three things: fuel, oxygen and heat. Keep those three things from coming together and you have taken a big step in reducing the chances of a fire. Good storage makes that possible.

    • Keep all combustibles away from regular sources of heat or fire, such as water heaters, space heaters, furnaces and boilers.
    • Store flammable products such as wood finishes, spray paint and paint thinner in a dedicated storage container with a closed door.

    Step 3: Buy Proper Safety Equipment

    You don’t have to spend much money to buy what you need to alert you about a fire or put a fire out before it spreads.

What’s the Difference? Concrete vs. Asphalt Driveways “Bob Vila”

Learn the pros and cons of both popular, durable materials to choose the one that will best fit your style, climate, and budget.

Concrete vs Asphalt: Which Makes a Better Driveway


If you’ve had enough of the ruts, cracks, and stains of your current driveway and are considering installing a new one, you’re probably debating between the two most common solid materials: concrete and asphalt. While both are laid over a substrate of gravel, and both are basically a mixture of sand and stone, different adhesives are used to hold those components together: tar for asphalt and cement for concrete. The characteristics of those adhesives amount to the differences—both pro and con—between the two popular driveway surfaces.

Both asphalt and concrete create durable, attractive driveways, but there’s more to choosing between them than simply going with the cheaper option. That’s why we’ve faced them off head-to-head—concrete vs. asphalt—with comparisons in seven major categories. So read on to discover whether asphalt or concrete is the winner for your home.

Concrete offers more visual options.

In their most basic forms, asphalt is dark gray to black—hence its common name of “blacktop”—and concrete is pale gray. Unlike asphalt, though, concrete takes well to staining or tinting to just about any color you fancy. You can also stamp patterns into concrete or brush it for a textured finish. Go with concrete if you wish to match your home’s color scheme, recreate the look of brick or another pattern, or prefer a bit of interest in your home’s major entryway. Asphalt is a good choice if you want a streamlined appearance that matches the street.

Concrete driveways normally last longer than asphalt.

In general, if installed properly in a suitable climate and maintained regularly, your concrete driveway should last 30 to 40 years, while an asphalt driveway is generally good for 20 to 30 years. Neglect to install without an even, stable substrate of gravel—or be careless about proper maintenance—and either type of driveway can fail within a few years.

Asphalt requires sealing every few years, but concrete stains more easily.

A few months after installation to allow for full curing, your asphalt driveway will need to be sealed to protect the surface and lengthen its lifespan. You’ll then need to reseal it every three to five years thereafter. (The task is well within the capabilities of most do-it-yourselfers: Pour the asphalt sealer onto your clean, dry driveway, and then use a driveway squeegee to spread it evenly over the entire surface.) While it’s not a must-do for concrete driveways, sealing concrete helps cut down on fading—an important protective measure for a tinted driveway.

When it comes to engine oil, gas drips, rust, and the rugged use driveways typically endure, the dark surface and matte finish of asphalt hides most stains and wear very well. Concrete, however, tends to show every mark and spill, so you’ll need to do more aggressive cleaning and degreasing to maintain its good looks.

Happy Holidays from ABC Affordable Building Concepts! We also want to wish you a Happy New Year!

Have you been searching for Garage Plans and finding sites that charge a pretty penny?

I know it can be exhausting searching for a plan for your new detached garage/apartment combo.  I have seen the many sites on the internet that offer hundreds of building plans and they can start to add up when ordering online.  At Affordable Building Concepts we provide our professional recommendations with helping you design just exactly what you are wanting out of your new garage. We make sure it will look like your expectations for your storage and living needs.  ABC’s sales team will do and onsite free consultation to assist you on bring that garage plan into reality.  I wanted to share one of our very happy garage clients and what they had to say!  We will help you through each and every step along the way!  

Customers in Lebanon Tn.

Darrell & Diane K.  Thursday, 8/9/18, 1:09 PM
Mike Mathis and his crew are professional and prompt. We decided to add a detached garage to our house and they did a A+ job from day one laying the foundation to making sure there was plenty of electricity for our needs. The finished product looks like it was part of the house from the beginning and we couldn’t take pictures fast enough to keep up with their progress. They even helped us put our initials in the concrete! I would recommend them for big or small construction projects.

Please ask for references we will be happy to connect you with several of our happy clients!

If you want a company that is professional and trustworthy, this is the company to call!

This is just one of our 2 story garages with an apartment space over the garage.  

Recently Built carport Hartville Tn

22×30 aluminum carport all black

Thinking of the Holidays? Shopping? Decorating? Think safety at all times!

Just a quick reminder, I was reading not too long ago about a story where people are leaving their garage door openers in their cars and bad guys are just letting themselves in the garage and on into your home with very little effort on their behalf!  This is becoming a “thing” to break into cars and take things that you will not notice maybe until it’s too late!  I just try to stress to everyone that leaving even a bank card by mistake in your center console can ruin your holidays so remember to never leave your garage door clicker in your cars and never leave important papers, cards etc.  The bad guys are very high tech these days and will sell your info to a foreign country in less than

adult automotives business cars

Photo by on


10 mins!  Just a little bit of advice to keep in mind.  I know we all get in a hurry so just be mindful of your surroundings!  Happy prepping for the Christmas holiday and New Year!


Turn your garage into a multitude of fun spaces for the family.

You’ll find at different times of the year that you’d like to be a bit more creative and throw a fun party but preferably want to have a the kids outside but not totally in the sun why not use your garage as a gathering space for the young ones to stay outside and enjoy the weather but, inside much like a patio.  Open up the ping pong table toss up a great table of fun foods and Thank your husband or wife for having this great garage built!  Today our garages have turned into more than just a garage for the cars and storage.  We find most families are utilizing their garages and spending  more time together than in their own living rooms on weekends and early evenings.  You will find simple garages to the more elaborate garages that double as extra living quarters for family and friends!  The great plus to this point in my blog is less clean up on the inside at the end of the day.  Play smarter and harder but most of all enjoy your family and friends !!


Trees Bow to Bruce But We Are Cozy in Our Small Space — Elaine R Snyder

*Picture taken in Nelson, NH during winter storm. Winter storm “Bruce” has come and gone today in New Hampshire, and the trees of the woods are frosted white, bowing low to the ground with heavy, wet snow and ice. Ominous cracking sounds emit from the woods every once in a while, followed by a cascade […]

via Trees Bow to Bruce But We Are Cozy in Our Small Space — Elaine R Snyder

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January 2021

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