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Published October 4th, 2017
Why D.I.Y.?
Seasonal plants and flowers by FrontDoor Treatment adorn this front entry area. Photo courtesy Erica Bradley-Pacheco

When it comes to keeping up appearances outside their home, Lamorindans with limited free time and more discretionary income sometimes opt to employ someone else's elbow grease. Lawn services, window washing, gutter cleaning-these are the usual suspects when it comes to outsourcing exterior work, but here are two new companies to add to your "why D.I.Y.?" list.
Erica Bradley-Pacheco is betting that her "totally unique idea" of adding seasonal plants and d├ęcor to her customer's front doorstep will catch on. Her company, FrontDoor Treatment, launched in May, took in its first subscribers in June and already has an annual client base of 40 in the East Bay, the bulk of which (Bradley-Pacheco says "at least 30") are in Lamorinda.
Obsessed with design, nature, plants and flowers, Bradley-Pacheco first consulted with a landscape architect, then used her marketing and public relations skills to bring her idea to life.
Joanne McKinlay of Orinda knew the entryway of her brand-new farm house needed a "not too shiny" planter box. Bradley-Pacheco found what McKinlay calls a "perfectly weathered" chest, which Bradley-Pacheco lined and planted with an olive tree and lavender plants. McKinlay, who admits to having spent "hundreds of dollars" on short-lived plants and decorations, is delighted to finally have a "thoughtful, well-picked" arrangement on her porch - especially one she only has to water to maintain.
FrontDoor Treatment refreshes its customers' front porch decorations quarterly, offering service sizes of small, medium, large and custom. Quarterly fees range from $90 to $200. Bradley-Pacheco offers her services to home stagers and realtors as well as individual residents.
At the back end - literally - of home ownership and perhaps a mite lower on the "to do" list is cleaning out the garbage cans. Yard debris and excess food scrap sediments can brew a stew no one wants to investigate. And although your household garbage can contents may have shrunk thanks to a more comprehensive recycling program, the remainder of what goes into the rolling cans could easily be called "untouchable."
Canology cleans, sanitizes and deodorizes black, blue and green waste containers, at both residential and business sites, and does it curbside.
Owner operator Jason Proctor says garbage can cleaning is a popular service in Europe; he first noticed it in the United Kingdom. Canology is the only company of its kind currently operating in the Bay Area, and is brand new to the streets of Lamorinda.
Canology trucks are giant dishwashers on wheels that can dig out and de-grease the contaminated "goo" residing at the bottom of a waste can. The truck machinery power washes cans using high-pressure heated water (200-degrees sprayed at 3800 psi) and finishes the job with an application of a lemon fragrance, in as little as 10 minutes. The truck collects and filters the dirty water and sediments.
Proctor's current Lamorinda customer base is modest - he estimates he currently has 20 to 30 customers, and he says working his trucks on Lamorinda's hilly terrain might present a challenge. So why not tackle the job yourself?
"Why would you want to?" he retorts; then adds, "I fought giving up cutting my own grass for a long time," he says. Yet Proctor realized how relieved he was coming home the first time someone else had done that chore. "It's one less thing I have to do," he said, adding he considers it money well spent to hire someone to do the work for him.
A one-time Canology cleaning is $25 for two cans and $10 for each additional can. Monthly maintenance fees are $10 for the first can, and $6.50 for each additional can.
Living decorations on your doorstep and sparkling clean waste containers - how's that for curb appeal?
For more information on FrontDoor Treatment or Canology, visit www.FrontDoorTreatment.com or www.trycanology.com.

Curbside cleaning of stinky garbage cans is offered through Canology.
Photos courtesy Jason Proctor
A FrontDoor Treatment arrangement Photo courtesy Erica Bradley-Pacheco

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