Hardscaping is a great way to add value to your home and create a beautiful landscape that you can enjoy with your family. Hardscaping can be a great do-it-yourself project, but if you are planning an extensive design, you may want to consider hiring a professional. If you do choose to work with a professional, make sure you do your due diligence. As with all home improvements, craftsmanship, quality and service can vary widely.

It’s always best to obtain several quotes for any work you are looking to do. Make sure you see samples of the contractor’s work and that the hardscaping contractor you choose, adheres strictly to the Interlocking Concrete Pavers Institute’s industry installation guidelines.

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Whether you choose to do-it-yourself or hire a professional, incorrect installation or bad design choices can ruin the look of your landscape. Here are some common mistakes to avoid when planning and installing your hardscape.

1. Improperly Planning for the Future

Hardscaping can either be done all at once, or can evolve during the course of your home ownership. One big mistake is not planning for the future. Hardscaping is expensive and difficult to move. If you plan and install a patio, and then in two years, decide you want to build an outdoor fireplace to flow your living room outdoors, you can’t just pick up your patio and move it! Plan your entire landscape before you begin. Give some thought to any future projects you may envision. Hardscaping can be done in stages. Make sure you logically plan for any future growth.

2. Strive for Balance

Keep your design balanced between hard lines and curves, and hardscape materials and soft plantings. If your landscaping isn’t properly balanced it will lack impact, and look unnatural. Your goal should be to have your hardscape elements flow naturally and transition seamlessly into the natural landscape.

3. Improper Placement of Elements

Placing a statue, bench or water element in the middle of the lawn may disrupt the flow of your landscape making it difficult for people to walk though in a natural way to enjoy the beauty of the area. This also includes seasonal plantings. When designing your garden, consider the bloom time of your plantings. Design your garden to take advantage of the natural rhythm of the seasons. This can include adding elements like a gazebo or pergola covered with beautiful grape vines or wisteria to create moving focal points during the changing seasons.

4. Inappropriate Materials

If you’re creating a garden path, make sure you choose materials that are comfortable to walk on and require minimal maintenance. If you are creating planters, make sure the materials you choose are durable. You want to spend your time enjoying your landscape, not repairing rotting boards or cracked inferior pavers.

5. Improper Drainage

Failing to take water drainage into account when planning your landscaping can create major problems later. Make sure you install your patio to drain water away from the house for example. Try to design drainage so the water can nourish your plants rather than ending up in your basement.

Properly designing and hardscaping your outdoor areas can add tremendous value and enjoyment. Whenever possible work with the highest-quality materials and make sure to plan for future growth. If you’d like to learn more give us a call or stop by. At Old Station Supply we offer top quality materials from manufacturers like Unilock and Techo-Bloc along with years of hardscaping experience. We’re always happy to help you make the best choices when planning and creating your backyard transformation!

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