If you’re reading this blog, you probably are starting to think about designing a new paver patio, driveway, walkway or pooldeck. To create a great space, you need to design a sense of place. An outdoor room that feels good and cozy. Driveways should be appealing and inviting.
But where do you start? There are two ways to approach creating your new outdoor living area. The traditional way is to hire a landscape architect for their design services. Alternatively you could DIY. Either way you will be looking for some inspiration to ensure to add your personal touch to the design. I like watching home improvement shows for the “wow” factor and seeing the transformation.
Are you torn between products? Not sure which products would best complement your home? Utilize Unilock’s Uvision true-to-life scale and color sample sheets to help you envision these customizable borders, accents and finishings. These 25” x 22” swatch sheets are printed to scale. Throw them down in front of your home and step back to envision the transformation. Order online today.
Design professionals can collaborate with you to create a beautiful and functional space. Many work for design/build companies that will perform all the necessary services. Landscape architects are licensed professionals and are more than just the creative force behind the design. They are trained to evaluate all the existing conditions such as grading, drainage and plant material. Landscape architects will turn these existing conditions into features by blending in a new landscape to create a harmonious design. Most will charge a design fee. My opinion is that a design can be well worth the money but remember to do your homework when selecting your Designer and/or Contractor. Ask to see a portfolio of their work. Ask for references. Does the designer listen to your ideas? Are you comfortable? Installation of hardscaping products is key to longevity of the project. You may find the following article, PaverWise, helpful. Not sure what to expect during this process? Click here to watch a video featuring real customers sharing their experience.
Instead of contracting the project out to a professional you could also “do it yourself”, also known as DIY! This has become a very popular option because it can save you some costs mostly during the installation. Before you can start building, you must have a good plan for what you want and a good understanding of how to properly install hardscaping products to ensure the longevity of your project.
Establish a reasonable budget but don’t start to worry about the total cost. The typical rule of thumb is your total landscape should be a minimum of 20 percent of your home value. Your new landscape is more than just curb appeal. It will add value to your home even in this economy. Consider phasing your project over several seasons. Plan for the full build out from the beginning, but if constrained by budget, start with the basic patio. Then add your seatwalls, grill, fireplace, etc. Add plants as you go.
After your inventory is complete and you can envision your new space in your mind, create a sketch of your existing conditions (house footprint, fences or walls and property lines) and then integrate a few different layouts or “plan views” of your new vision.
Now you are ready to translate your vision to paper! More on this soon.