Thinking about outdoor hardscaping for your home?

That’s a big decision.  One thing is for certain, an investment in hardscaping is one that will pay dividends for years to come!

covis2Whether you are building a retaining wall, a patio, or outdoor fireplace; hardscaping has a significant positive impact on your home. Outdoor living space can increase the enjoyment you receive from your home, not to mention the “curb appeal” and corresponding value increase.  More and more new home buyers are looking for outdoor living features in homes they purchase.  And just like any other investment in your home, hardscaping needs to be “done right”.

So, after you decide that you are ready to move forward with your hardscaping project everyone begins with research.    How much will it cost?  How long will it take? What materials do I use?  What features are important?  What problems might “surface”? Do you have the time to invest?  What are the risks?  What is under the ground?  Can I do it myself or do I need to hire out to professionals?

Do-It-Yourself Option

One path, DIY, involves performing some google searches and watching some explainer you-tube video’s for a week or two. When you build your own outdoor patio or fireplace you have to bring out your experience to the job site.  Only you know whether you have what it takes to get the job done and face potential challenges.  Sure in this day and age you can read up on how to build just about anything.

The benefit is usually some cost savings with the investment of some “sweat equity”, the risk is the time it takes out of your life and the future durability of your creation.

covis3Unless you’re already an experienced hardscaper, it’s not easy to engineer outdoor harscaping.   You have to learn what it takes to build a good solution without any experience to draw from.  It will be “slow sledding” and will take longer than you thing Next stop is seemingly endless round of trips to Home Depot with a pickup truck or trailers.  Tools check, material, check, sub surface preparation, check, permit?

Then during the unloading and carrying process you find out just how heavy stones, sand, and pavers can be.   After all we are talking about solid rock!   Then back to Home Depot to investment in stone cutting equipment, safety goggles, hammers, chisels, digging equipment, pick axes, compactors, and various other tools of the trade. (it is about this point that many folk begin wondering why they thought this was a good idea)

The final step is surrendering your weekends for the next month or two and having your back yard look like a gravel pit until the project completes.  Once you start there is no turning back.  Eventually, you end up with something that gives you a sense of accomplishment and represents the level of your stone working and cutting skills.

Let’s take a closer look at DIY (Do-it-yourself) vs. outsourcing.

Outsourcing Option

Although on the surface, this seems like a more expensive option, it really isn’t if you value your time and sanity, while understanding that the quality of workmanship will be reflected in the return on investment.   So unless you are a fairly competent mason this is probably the way to go.

covis4Outsourcing starts with a meeting with an experienced expert who listens to your ideas and understands your dreams for outdoor living and hardscaping.   During this process options are being shared that preserve your budget, and also will create your vision in hardscaping.   Skilled designers then develop a blueprint and a project plan that include all of the lessons learned from years of working in the business. They know all of the things that can go wrong with a project and how best to avoid mistakes and delays.

The next step is the team of professionals arrives on your location with the skills, materials, and all tools necessary to build your hardscaping vision.

The site is prepared perfectly and the team works quickly and efficiently minimizing disruption to your home and neighborhood. (Working with stone can get noisy and messy)

In a matter of days, not weeks, your outdoor living space is transformed.  The work area is left clean, cuts and stone placement is perfect, and stress is avoided.  Time to invite your friends and family over for a BBQ!

Both approaches have their pro’s and con’s and let’s be frank; good hardscaping companies are hard to find.

You have to make a choice.  Do-it-yourself or outsource?

Whether you decide to outsource your hardscaping project or choose to do it yourself, the most important thing is to get started so you can start enjoying the benefits of a hardscaping.  Cheers!


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COVIS - Hardscapes Contractor