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.
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.
Concrete paver patio projects are the most common material used for residential patio projects in our region of the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. A variety of regional manufacturers produce a range of paver styles, colors and textures. Paver styles tend to evolve with popularity trends. One manufacturer may develop a new stone face texture that gets popular, and then other companies copy that style. The more complex the style, the larger the individual piece sizes, the refinement of the manufacturing process and the companies marketing, administration and overhead costs are all factors in the final product price.
Ten years ago our choices were largely between EP Henry and CST concrete pavers. At that time, EP henry was the first and most highly regarded paver in the region. But CST had a good, simple product line and kept overhead costs low. We liked the color process and the end color appearance of the CST over the EP Henry at the time. We at Garden Design Inc. used mostly CST Roman Cobble pavers back in those days because we liked the colors best and the cost to quality ratio (value) was greatest. In the late 1990’s, all pavers were basic smooth surface and sizes tended to resemble a range of brick sizes or cobblestone sizes.
The choices of styles and paver companies grew significantly as the demand for the product expanded. Techo-Bloc entered the paver market and had been a leader in developing new paver styles that break the old paradigms. Technically speaking, some of these new paver products are considered ‘slabs’ and not pavers, but that level of conversation is not needed for the typical homeowner. Techo-Bloc introduced a textured top meant to appear like the cleft of natural stone. And the larger ‘slabs’ have appealed to more contemporary landscape architectural design. CST, Unilock and Cambridge have all followed suite in their new product lines, neither quite as nice but nor as expensive as Techo-Bloc. EP Henry lost significant market share for a while and struggled to hold its market position without innovating and evolving. But they have come back strong and developed new products that appeal to the consumer today.
Paver patio projects material costs can vary as much as $5.00 per square foot or more. A simple CST roman cobble paver will cost less than $3.00 per square foot. A Techo-Bloc high end ‘Slab’ paver can cost more than $7.00 per square foot. The result is that a paver patio may cost $16 – $24 per square foot for everything involved. The price depends on the total size of the patio, the amount of preparation, and the access to the area. The larger the patio with great access will cost less per square foot than a small patio with terrible access.
The price of paver patio projects is not only linked to the quality of the product. Techo-Bloc is a high quality product, but they also have a large overhead burden based on administrative salaries and a large marketing budget. If your budget is limited, Cambridge or CST make a great product with a streamlined business model to minimize overhead. As with any design material choice, we encourage clients to make timeless choices. Trends and styles come and go, but certain pavers have a character that will always be quality.
Distinctive Landscape Design & Construction for Over 30 Years