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Tag Archives: hardscape

Hardscaping Companies – Patios & Walkways

walkway
Paver Walkway

How do you pick from  all the choices of Hardscaping Companies?  You  want to hire a hardscape contractor to build your patio or walkway. A certified professional and a good design is a start. You want a fair price, integrity and customer service. The best first step is to ask friends for referrals. Next, keep an eye around the neighborhood for companies doing work locally. And do your research on the internet and by calling references.

What makes a quality hardscaping contractor? There are two major certifications in the hardscape industry. They pertain to patios, walkways and retaining walls. The  certifications are ICPI and NCMA.  Check for that or see if the employees attend Techo-bloc training. Will the contractor take you to see other projects they built? That is a big indicator of quality and customer relations.  Are past clients willing to show off their patio and compliment the harscape contractor?

What makes quality hardscape design?  A trained and experienced designer. A four year landscape degree  from an accredited school. Ten years of experience minimum.  Hands on knowledge of the materials and techniques. Ask your design prospects about these. Ask to see examples of design work. for hardscape projects. A good design is the critical first step for a successful project.

hardscaping companies
Paver Walkway Emmaus

How do you get a fair price? Ask the hardscaping companies how they price the projects. Do they price hardscaping by the square foot?  If so, ask them  the square foot price for pavers. Or do they estimate time and materials?  Will they share a line item summary of those time and materials? Ask them how their price compares to other local companies.

Check with local hadscaping companies suppliers. Ask them about the local contractors. The hardscape suppliers will refer you to good companies.  And they will help you pick hardscape materials. They will have paver displays to show you the choices.  They may even have patios and walkway displays.

Review the company on line. Check the companies website. Read the ‘about us’ section. Does the site give tell you about the company owner?  The design team? The staff and field technicians? Is their credentials and experience detailed? Review all the pictures of completed projects.  Read the testimonials by other clients?  Check the  the Google Reviews. Review the social media site like Facebook and Instagram.

Hardscaping Companies build projects you will want to have last for many years. Take your time in picking a hardscape contractor. Be patient. and do your research.

Garden Design Inc. is one of many good Hardscaping Companies in Allentown, PA. We are proud to suggest other quality hardscape contractors to our prospective clients.  We want our clients to  interview several contractors and get a few designs and estimates.

Landscape Plantings & Patios – How to Create Balance

The stone walkway and patio break up the dense plantings.
The stone walkway and patio break up the dense plantings.

How do we develop landscape designs that balance landscape plantings and patios? Balance is one of the key design principles in landscape architecture, and without it, design lacks a primary component. A strong sense of balance between hardscape and plant life can truly bring a design together and transform a formerly plain and uninteresting landscape into a beautiful oasis. Designing with vegetation is always a primary focus, but how does hardscape play a factor in balancing design? In short, hardscape breaks up the potential monotony of vegetated plantings. It provides some structure to an organic flow of vegetated spaces. Hardscape can be defined as man-made structures or elements in a design, and in residential landscape design, materials such as brick, concrete, pavers, etc are common forms of hardscape. Hardscape colors, shapes, and patterns leave a designer with a number of design opportunities making it such a popular design element.

Concrete is the most commonly used hardscape, mainly for its versatility. It often comes poured, but it can come in a variety of colors. Brick more often than not, is manufactured as a bright red, and with a majority of planting emitting a contrasting color of green, the red will easily stand out in comparison to most other hardscape materials. While it can be used solely on its own, one interesting look that some residences are trying is using the brick red as an accent color. Designing a concrete walkway with neutral tones mixed with an outer brick edge, can soften the brick but also brighten the neutral concrete.

Other materials, such as flagstone or bluestone and natural stone tend to work well when designing patios. Hardscape can promote the design of patios, creating great outdoor living spaces without the woody appearance of a deck, for example. Stone walls can create enclosures, creating separate spaces within the landscape. Whether the hardscape becomes the home of an eating area for families or a fire pit gathering for a group of friends, the size, shape, and style are completely up to the user.

Taking a look at Techo Bloc, a landscaping supplier, they offer many products that can personalize a landscape. Pavers, walls, and many other forms of masonry are available for purchase. Some of my personal favorite hardscape designs consist of block pavers that are broken up using grass or fine gravel. This breaks up the monotony of a solid, flat hardscape, and it allows the user to notice a change in ground type.

Aside from the hardscape, the plant selection and other softscape materials  play just as important of a role in design. Selecting vegetation and hardscape of a corresponding color scheme is typically a good place to start. Think of vegetation possibly some mulching that can be used to soften hardscape edges. Or perhaps, you want the hardscape to stand on its own, and the use of seating and landscape planters can create an interesting design. Balancing hardscape and softscape with take some experimentation, but a successful design is always possible.