Front Porch Hardscape Ideas to Consider this Fall
Transforming the Street Appeal of Your Home is Easier Than you Think
Are you feeling like the general impression of your home from the street looks a bit tired and outdated? Enhancing the exterior of our homes often gets low priority when weighing investment decisions. Yet choosing to uproot established plants and replace them can be a daunting task if you’re considering doing the work yourself. If you’re not that “do-it-yourself” individual, hiring a landscape professional could prove to be enormously helpful. You might consider enlisting the help of a St Louis hardscaping company. They will guide you through tackling a project or help you with professional installation. Consider updating your look with sleek and contemporary front porch hardscape ideas as an alternative to the traditional foliage and plants.
So What is a Hardscape Exactly?
In choosing to enhance the outdoor look of your home, the hardscape option involves material choices that are not living plants, but rather hard durable materials; brick, stone or concrete etc… Front porch hardscape ideas involve selecting items that will require the least amount of maintenance and are highly durable as opposed to traditional landscaping where living plants can be destroyed with unexpected episodes of weather; downed branches from wet snow storms, damage from flooding, problems with drought – and more extreme events like tornadoes or hurricanes. Simply put, a hardscape alleviates the maintenance, concerns with watering, trimming and all other aspects of attending to living plant life.
If you are looking for some changes to enhance your home’s street appeal, you may want to consider front porch hardscape ideas. One of the key benefits of choosing a St Louis hardscaping company is that you can elect to incorporate as much or as little of the hardscape as you like. You can choose to mix traditional landscaping with some aspects of hardscaping to update the exterior look of your home. You might choose one or several hardscape options. Just a few things you might consider when looking at front porch hardscape ideas might include:
- Brick or Concrete Patios
- Stamped Concrete Designs
- Stone or Brick Retaining Walls
- Customized Driveways
- Pebble-stone Enhancements
- Brick of Concrete Walkways
- Fire Pits & Fireplaces
- Outdoor Kitchen & Grill Islands
DIY Versus Hiring a Professional?
This question depends on how comfortable you are with tackling a “do-it-yourself” project. You might think that choosing to install your own hardscape project will save money and the pride you feel by creating the transformation to your home can be more than satisfying. Nothing quite matches the immense feeling of accomplishment of DIY. But let’s face it, not all of us are handy. In most situations, you will save both money and time by hiring a professional. And your project will be accomplished safely in the hands of a professional team. If you’ve ever attempted a DIY project only to end in a disastrous result and then having to endure the cost of a “re-do,” you know just how costly and time-consuming it can be. Careful consideration should be given to whether you’re up to the task or are more comfortable with hiring it out.
St Louis Hardscaping Company
Whether you choose to engage in a DIY effort, hire it done by a professional or some combination in between – a St Louis hardscaping company can be a great help in either instance. They can give you great front porch hardscape ideas and provide suggestions and tips on doing it yourself as well as providing you with all the materials to do so. But if you lean more along the lines of hiring a professional to do the work, a St Louis hardscaping company has both avenues covered. You can choose to solicit their professional help and use their quality supplies, or hire the entire job completed or possibly tackle the things you feel confident in doing and enlist their professional help on harder tasks. The process can be tailor-made to your needs. The choice is entirely up to you.
Advantages of Using a Professional
There’s a lot of upside to using a full-service hardscape design team. While it’s true that the cost may be more, you can’t deny the advantages gained. A full-service design professional like a St Louis hardscaping company ensures that you’ll be getting outstanding craftsmanship, first-rate installation, and quality materials that have been under the evaluation of those who work with them daily and know precisely how to evaluate good and reputable products from those that a general DIY installation might involve. Using a professional also ensures that all necessary permits are obtained and all projects go through an approval process by senior engineers and inspectors.
Hardscaping Suits Any Size Yard – Any Budget!
One might initially think that hardscaping only applies to very elaborate homes with expansive space to engage in customized and very expensive transformations. A St Louis hardscaping company can beautify and update any size of the home. They can offer transformation plans to provide guidance even if you are seeking front porch hardscape ideas to enhance a trailer house or mobile home. A good St Louis hardscaping company can offer front porch hardscape ideas for very small projects, large expensive homes, residential projects, commercial projects, and everything in-between.
Visual Enhancements and Small Upgrades
In many cases, a homeowner isn’t looking for an enormous exterior upgrade. Very often a small hardscaping upgrade can go a long way toward enhancing the curb appeal of your home. Quite often, an attribute that already exists can be updated and given an entirely different look without an enormous cost involved or an exhaustive DIY project. Something as simple as an update to the stair steps up to your home can be a significant visual enhancement! St Louis hardscaping will provide help with the smallest or the largest hardscaping project.
Front Porch Paver Ideas
Among the easiest and least costly front porch hardscape ideas is to add or modify a front porch paver. With all the material and design choices – the possibilities are endless. You are only limited by the boundaries of your own imagination. If you find yourself without ideas, a St. Louis hardscaping company will have clever hardscape designers to give you plenty of great ideas.
Adding or updating a retaining wall is another great front porch hardscaping idea to update your front yard this fall.
Finding A Contractor
A good St Louis hardscaping company will work closely with customers from the point of concept design, through product and material selection, clear through project completion. Local contractors are required to meet strict guidelines to include ICPI (Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute) and NCMA (National Concrete Masonry Institute). We strongly recommend that all contractors provide proof of insurance, documentation proving their licensure and certification of their work once it’s completed. Contractors are required to attend yearly training seminars to ensure they are consistent with current techniques in the industry.
Tips on Hiring a Contractor
Finding a contractor that you trust can feel like an impossible task. The primary things to focus on are hiring a company to do the job right, stay on time, and stick to the budget. Hopefully, the tips below will help you hire the right contractor:
- Ask your neighbors, friends, and family, or reference your local St Louis hardscaping company
- Determine the scope of the project – consider their specializations
- Schedule free on-site visits to get job estimates
- Ask for documentation proving licensing, insurance, and any additional industry certifications
- Choose the contractor best suiting your project, personality & budget
- Ask for an estimate to include start and end dates
- Request a detailed contract – get everything in writing
- Ask for a lien waiver to protect yourself from being responsible for paying subcontractors
Frequently Asked Questions when Hiring a Contractor
Most certainly you’ll have questions in mind as you start to evaluate different contractors. However, common pitfalls can be avoided if you plan out what you should find out ahead of time. There can be nothing more devastating than finding out after you’ve already hired a company, that something was left unexplored that exposes you to potential liability and responsibility. The wisest choice is to hammer out as many details as possible before you hire a company to work on the desired hardscaping project.
FAQs to Consider
Q: Will you require that I put down a deposit before agreeing to do the job?
A: Very often, some kind of deposit will be required for the contractor to put your project on their schedule. It is typical to ask for 30/30/30 (30% down to initiate the beginning of the project, 30% additional paid once they deliver the materials/product and equipment to the project site, and the final 30% balance once the hardscaping project is complete.
Q: Do you offer a project warranty on the completed work?
A: In most cases, contractors do offer some type of project warranty that extends for a very specific amount of time. The warranty varies with the type of hardscaping project.
Q: Are there any industry certifications that your craftsman are required to have?
A: There are certifications that exist. The ICPI (Interlocking Concrete Paver Institute) is the certification for pavers. The NCMA (National Concrete Masonry Association) provides certification for retaining walls. In each case, there are educational programs designed to equip contract workers with the basics required for installation. There are also additional courses and hands-on training that reputable manufacturers will offer for contractors to stay up-to-date with industry standards.
Q: Do you have samples of previously completed projects I can go visit?
A: The most reliable way to assess the work and standards of a hardscaping contractor is to actually see completed work. It’s also a great idea to speak with the customer who hired the workers. Any contractor who isn’t willing to provide you with completed projects is suspect.
Q: Is a lien waiver something to be concerned about?
A: Having a lien waiver is extremely significant. It protects you from being held responsible for paying for suppliers of subcontractors that the contractor might have involved once you have paid the contractor’s balance in full. Without a lien waiver, you can be legally required to pay for any expenses from third party entities. If you don’t pay them, they are legally entitled to attach a claim against your property title. It’s very important to ensure your contractor has included a lien waiver in your contract for service.
Q: Do the hardscape materials and products come with warranties?
A: Anchor Retaining Wall Systems have limited product warranties and Bella Pavers have a full lifetime warranty. Any contractor who uses these products on your project should make them available to you.
For obvious reasons, you’ll want to keep all the documentation involving any company or contractors you choose to work with together and in a safe & reliable place. In the best-case scenario, you’ll likely never need to access them. But for your protection, they should be at the ready should you need them.
Let’s Sum It All Up!
Whether you are looking to update and change the street appeal of your home and are looking for front porch hardscape ideas or are wanting to enhance or change your backyard, a St Louis hardscaping company is a great resource for you. STL hardscapes can create a beautiful and functional outdoor space at your home. A St Louis hardscaping company is the handy go-to solution in your toolbox for transforming your home.