Hardscape is a term that refers to any part of your yard that isn’t living, such as walls, decks and patios. Doing hardscaping right is difficult, as these are typically large, complex projects; however, they can make your yard more usable and more beautiful.
Let’s look at the best ways to evaluate a hardscape landscaper in order to choose one that’s right for any projects that need to be completed on your property.
Why hardscaping is crucial
When your lawn turns brown, it’s unfortunate, but usually the remedy is simple. Hardscapes, on the other hand, may actually be attached to the home. These hardscape pieces may be designed to support additional structures, like a patio with a hot tub or a retaining wall which supports an entire section of the yard.
That’s why it’s important to identify a trustworthy and reliable hardscape contractor who has the expertise to get the job done right the first time. These are typically the most expensive projects for a property, so investing in quality work will pay off.
Leading questions for hardscape landscapers
Here are some questions you’ll want to make sure to ask when you’re looking at hiring a contractor for your next project:
- What type of drainage plan does the contractor have for a patio or retaining wall? The answer varies, but pavement surfaces should include at least a 1-percent slope away from the foundation and home. Internal drainage could be needed for raised patios or retaining walls in order to prevent water from creating pressure behind the wall and leading to failure.
- What type of base material do they use? Base materials should be a stone base with fine material such as gravel. The base layer should be compacted to 2 or 3 inches.
- How will the contractor complete excavation and sub-base prep? For most hardscapes, this should be done so that the project will be constructed on undisturbed soil. The sub-soil must be compacted and separated from any base material utilizing Geotextile fabric. Most pedestrian pavements will have a total excavation depth of 9 to 12 inches.
- What type of jointing sand does the hardscape contractor use? Standard angular jointing sand or acrylic will both work. The acrylic or polymeric sand will be like mortar but more flexible, thereby preventing weed growth. Play sand is never used by reputable contractors for hardscape landscaping.
- How much base material will the contractor utilize for a patio or walkway? It depends on the project, with base depths ranging from 4 to 12 inches. This is determined by the condition of the soil and expected traffic on the surfaces.
Whenever you’re looking for a quality hardscape contractor, turn to the pros at MSE Hardscape Design and Installation. Since 2004, we’ve been an expert provider and installer of retaining walls. We are dedicated to providing exceptional and professional services to our valued customers. Our specialty lies in the design, installation and maintenance of retaining walls for both commercial and residential spaces. Call today for a consultation.