How to Avoid Making Costly Hardscape Mistakes

Every major home renovation, improvement, and construction project will benefit if you bring in a professional to consult, advise, and guide you through the design, decision-making, and actual construction processes. Some homeowners automatically accept that. Other homeowners don’t discover that until it’s far too late. And, many hours and dollars later, they learn the lesson the proverbial hard way.

It seems, however, when it comes to hardscape projects, many people recognize that any type of hardscape installation is a little bit beyond their scope and capabilities. And they understand the dangers and costs involved in getting it wrong.

If you’re not sure which type of homeowner you are – one who consults with a professional or the typical DIYer – and you’re exploring or getting ready to tackle a hardscape project – solo or with a professional – consider these issues when planning your next hardscape project.

Compaction is an important issue and a frequent cause of a failed hardscape construction project. Far too many times, a fixed quantity of dirt and gravel is too big. This causes the compaction process to be done improperly. Eventually, the ground naturally compacts so that anything that’s gets installed will be caused to shift. You’ll end up with terrain that’s uneven and now the entire hardscape project is compromised.

The way to prevent compaction issues is to make sure small amounts of dirt and gravel are used. And they need to be compacted thoroughly and tightly. Even though that may seem like more work and effort, in the long run, it will be done properly without mitigating the quality of the job or requiring additional expense down the road.

A properly powered machine needs to be used when installing the dirt and gravel (which are referred to as lifts).

Drainage is a major factor.  It’s important that the drainage system re-uses water. This is for cost savings, of course, but it’s also helpful when rainfalls are exceptionally heavy. If the drainage system isn’t designed with a thorough working knowledge of water flow, it’s likely that the water won’t flow where it was initially designed to do so. When being constructed, the hardscape project must follow the original design plans paying special attention to the slopes.

Balance can’t be neglected. It’s common during the design phase to overlook balance, it seems it’s far too easy to get caught up with choosing elegant stones to get just the right aesthetics. However, outdoor spaces need to reflect nature’s fundamental balance between all of its elements. You don’t want to have too much concrete and not enough other elements. Otherwise, your hardscape will dominate the landscape and be off-balance.

The aesthetic appeal you were aiming for will get lost in the process if you don’t incorporate and address the importance of balance.

For More Information on Hardscape Design and Installation

Give Fresh Cut Lawn and Landscape a call today. We can be reached at 248-650-3600 or 586-739-6646.  We provide landscape and design services throughout Metro Detroit.