Project Planning & Tips

Patio Planning – Getting a Jump on Your Hardscaping Needs

Even though we just saw the first snow fall, and a cold front has washed over the Northeast, this is the best time to begin the planning stage if you are considering adding  a new patio, walkway or wall (the idea here is to list specific project types, whatever you want) to your home.

Whether you chose to do it yourself, or hire a professional to design and install your new Hardscaping™, it’s no small investment of time and planning. Luckily, real estate professionals now recognize the marketable increased value that Hardscaping adds to a home, and more resources are available to get inspiration and ideas.  Much like keeping a scrapbook or portfolio for swatches or magazine pages, popular on-line visual tool sites such as Pinterest or Houzz were specifically created to allow homeowners a place to share and store home improvement ideas.

Because they can be used in both small and large spaces, pavers work to define how an outdoor living space functions.

A Sound Home Investment: Pavers have been around for years and have always been a popular choice for pathways, pool decks and backyard patios. They provide a beautiful, long lasting solution that installs relatively quickly and lasts for generations to come. Although the initial cost may be higher than some other options, you’ll save in the long run when it comes to repairs if damage should ever occur. That is because pavers can be easily replaced as needed. Even, if it’s just one paver.

A patio can be created using many materials, but because pavers come in such a wide variety of shapes, it’s hard to beat them when it comes to design choices. Homeowners can further customize the look with their choice of pattern. Even seemingly random ones will give your outdoor living space a distinct look and feel.

Of course, budget will come into play, but one of the first things you’ll need to decide on is the size and space. Are you looking to add visual interest with a winding path through a flower garden, or, are you expanding your living space with an all-out patio with a TV and outdoor kitchen?

Walk the Talk: Before you start compiling images and ideas you should determine what style your home is. Is it as classic colonial or a rambling rustic? Once you decide, begin gathering Hardscaping photos and possible layouts. You can, and should, lay down your perimeter lines and features (island, fire pit or hot tub) on the actual space. You can do this using outdoor marking paint, or even a garden hose. This way you can get a feel for how it works within the larger space. You’ll be surprised how different it is from seeing it on paper.  (Not that handy?  No problem, an experienced, professional contractor can come out and help you).

Consult a Pro: Even if you are willing and able to do-it-yourself, you’ll want to meet with a professional to get estimates. Most folks find that they’ll be asked questions that they never even thought of. This is especially true if you have uneven land or storm water run-off issues. Get a jump on this, because once the season starts to get closer, these guys get really busy. You’ll want to talk to and book early on if your plans are to have the project completed for this season.

Most homeowners will tell you that research and planning is the secret to creating a new outdoor living space or new patio that you’ll love for years to come.

Tell us, what does the Hardscaping project of your dreams looks like?

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