A Few Tips Before Starting a Hardscaping Project

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Spring has definitely sprung in Atlanta!  All you need to do is take a look outside your window to see all the blooming trees and flowers. Just as there are many varieties of colorful flowers to choose from, there are also many varieties of exterior hardscapes to design, from pathways and patios to a retaining wall that might also serve as a bench overlooking a waterfall.

Thanks to Eric King of King Landscaping and Rick Goldstein of the Mosaic Group, I now at least understand some of the different hardscaping materials used in our area and why planning and hiring an experienced and knowledgeable mason is so important.  As Rick said in the Saturday class I attended at Mosaic Group, “Planning is so key because if you don’t plan properly, the problems you will have down the road will be costly.”RickandEricFor instance, when using pavers, you can’t just plunk them down in a nice circle on loose dirt.  There has to be a foundation that will not only be sturdy but that will also allow for water to pass through.  When hiring a mason, look at their work, and ask the following questions:

  • Are the pavers level?
  • Do the pavers fit snugly together, showing a little mortar between them but not many broken pieces of stone to make it all fit together nicely?
  • Do you want a more informal patio with pavers of different sizes and shapes or a more formal design where the pavers are more uniform?
  • What color are you considering?
  • And how will the pavers fit with the other elements in you outdoor living space?

Eric King explained that while some hardscaping projects can be tackled by weekend warriors (Not that I would attempt any of the projects described on my own.), a water feature is best left to the professionals.  “It is very hard to build a man-made water feature that truly looks and sounds ‘natural,'” he said. Did you know the trick to creating that sound is using different sized rocks to control the water flow?RickandJenniferI could go on and on about what I learned in just one hour of this class, but I will come back another day with more tips. We will also have a hardscape materials chart in the May issue of Atlanta Home Improvement magazine and on our website in May that I think you will find very helpful. Thank you, Eric and Rick. I look forward to another course at The Mosaic Group soon.

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