Have you finally settled on a vision and budget for your Harrisburg backyard retreat? Well, the next logical step is hiring someone to make your dream into a reality. It is important to carefully choose a trustworthy and experienced contractor. We hear horror stories of people accidentally hiring someone unreliable or inexperienced that ended up costing them so much more money and more time in the long run. Choosing the perfect hardscaping contractor for the job doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process and knowing what to expect can help. Here is a list of things to consider before hiring a Harrisburg hardscaping company.
First Things First
Hardscaping refers to paved or stone walkways, patios and other “hard” surfaces or objects incorporated into a yard’s landscaping. Fences, lawn ornaments, and rocks can also sometimes be referred to as hardscaping. Hardscape design and hardscaping are the expert integration of a variety of materials such as stone, pavers, and wall block into something aesthetically pleasing. Patios, paver driveways, walkways, and walls are designed and installed not only for function but fashion as well.
It can greatly improve the appearance and overall appeal of an outdoor living space by creating a transition between a home’s interior and exterior. Once you’ve decided to create an outdoor space, you must plan carefully to meet your hardscaping goals.
Before Hiring a Hardscaper
There are three things you should always keep in mind when speaking to prospective hardscape contractors.
- The contractor should have experience with installing hardscapes the same size of your project. There’s a big difference between a patio and an outdoor living room.
- Make sure they have a home contractor number from the state you reside in. If they don’t have a number it’s illegal to install or improve hardscapes.
- They should have current liability and workers comp. This is especially important because if someone gets hurt, the homeowner is liable.
PA Landscape Group checks all those boxes, plus our 35 years of experience and commitment to excellence have earned us the reputation as one of the best professional landscape companies in the area. We provide superior service to our customers to achieve their landscape goals. And we have developed professional relationships with many companies to make the process even easier.
Plan for a Plan
Just as there were plans to build our highways and bridges, your car, and your house, a hardscaper should have that same blueprint to accomplish what you want to achieve. At PA Landscape group, we offer two options when it comes to the design process. The first is the ‘Designer Retainer Process’, with the second being the ‘Straight Design Process’. You can learn more about those here to get a good idea, but working with a company that has a few options to fit your needs can be really helpful.
But no matter who your contractor is, you should expect there be some time for planning. Most companies will want to meet with the client at the site to discuss the scope of the work to be performed. This is also a great time to discuss budgetary figures, based on projects with similar scope.
While you’re planning, be sure you are considering year-round usage. Thinking about what you want ahead of time for the cooler or warmer months will help you consider what you’ll want year-round. Ask yourself questions like: “Will I be able to use this when it’s chilly?” or “How will this color of paver look in the summer?” or “What kind of maintenance will be required in the winter?” Planning and scheduling big projects or renovations early will ensure that your plans can come to fruition. A great place to start is by browsing images of outdoor spaces. You can see an example of what to look for on a design gallery here.
Making it Last
Once designed, installation should be for the long term. We have ICPI (Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute) certified paver installers, and NCMA (National Concrete Masonry Association) certified Segmental Retaining wall installers and you should look into the certifications of your preferred hardscaper. The real work is in what you don’t see – the proper excavation, sub-base, base, and drainage. To make your investment last it is important that your hardscaper is experienced and uses quality, time-tested materials.
Another question is who are they authorized installer contractors for? We are Authorized Installer Contractors for several Paver and Wall manufacturing companies, including Techo-Bloc, Unilock, and Belgard because of our quality and attention to detail and it’s important to see if they are as well.