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The day you realize your walkway or patio is starting to look like an obstacle course is the time to think about replacing it.
Replacing a walkway, driveway or patio is known as hardscaping, and finding a hardscaping contractor who can design and install one that suits your house, your sensibilities and your pocketbook often requires diligent research and some price comparison to get the best value for your money. Not surprisingly, the best value is not always the cheapest.
A growing number of homeowners have discovered that one of the most versatile and customizable pavement options is interlocking concrete pavers. That said, the next step to a new walkway is finding the right person to install it. In order to ensure a quality installation, you should ask questions of the contractor like:
- How long have they been installing pavers?
- Have they been trained by a manufacturer or the ICPI? Are they ICPI Certified Installers?
- What percentage of their total business consists of installing concrete pavers?
- Will they provide you with three references? Be sure to ask for references from recent andpast jobs. Can you contact their references and inspect the jobs?
- Do they have a portfolio of photos and letters to qualify themselves?
While the contractor is working on your property, they should be insured for any damage and injuries that may occur. Check your homeowner's insurance policy for coverage of the contractor while on your property.
- Can the contractor provide proof that worker's compensation insurance covers all employees on the job?
- Do they have current liability insurance? Ask for a copy of the certificate.
- Will they install the job per ICPI specifications? Can they supply a copy?
- Do they provide a written, itemized proposal outlining the scope of work and terms of payment? It should include starting and completion dates, demolition and excavation, paving and base materials, and taxes.
- Do they guarantee their work and will they return to inspect it?
- Are they members of the ICPI or other associations?
Check out the Contractor Comparison Checklist. You can learn more about concrete pavers and find an ICPI Certified Installer by visiting the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute www.icpi.org. Dreamscapes Landscape & Design is an ICPI Certified installer. To schedule a consultation to discuss your project give us a call at 360-580-5106 or fill out our contact form.> Add a comment >
Have you ever considered adding a water feature to your landscaping? Water features add sound, texture, and movement to landscaping designs and help homeowners to feel that their surroundings are more natural and unique.
Landscaping water elements are eye-catching, but they're more than that. A functional and eye-pleasing landscape consists of several different elements working harmoniously together. One landscaping element that greatly contributes to the overall beauty of a design is water. Including water features in your landscaping provides some unexpected benefits.Add a comment >
If it’s time for the deck in your backyard to walk the plank, you may want to look into replacing it with a raised paver patio.
It’s not surprising that the addition of raised concrete paver patios in the backyard is a growing trend. Raised patios using segmental concrete retaining walls and interlocking concrete pavers give homeowners the beauty of natural stone at surprisingly modest prices. They’re also maintenance free.
There are a number of practical reasons why raised patios have become a favorite family gathering place in so many homes. Patios using concrete pavers are not only beautiful, they can be easily installed and are known for their durability. Also, raised patios with segmental concrete retaining walls create new space in sloped backyards, and can even extend an existing raised deck.> Add a comment >
The right path to impressing guests and prospective buyers for your home may be right in front of your eyes — the driveway, walkway and front porch.
More than ever, homeowners are discovering, the best material for such things may be concrete pavers for several reasons.
- Are beautiful. They come in many shapes and colors. Suppliers stock rustic stone-like pavers and others that look like clay brick. Light colored pavers can offer a cooler surface around patios and pool decks.
- Don’t crack like asphalt or poured-in-place concrete. Each unit has joints that allow for a small amount of movement without cracking.
- Are easy to repair. You can remove and reinstate the same pavers with no ugly patches after repairs to the base or underground utilities. Other pavements can’t make this claim.
- Resist deterioration from freeze-thaw cycles and deicing salts better than other surfaces. Snow removal is the same as with other pavements. Interlocking concrete pavements can even accommodate snow melting systems. These consist of hot water filled tubing or radiant wires placed right in the pavement. They turn on automatically when a snowstorm starts, eliminating plowing, ice hazards and the need for de-icing salts.
- Resist oil and antifreeze that leak from cars, making the pavers particularly good for driveways.
- Can accommodate lighting fixtures that fit right into the paver pattern. These systems include wiring and a transformer that plug into a standard 110-volt outdoor receptacle. The lighting defines patios, walkways, and driveways at night, increasing safety and adding a bit of mystique to your home.
- Can define and enlarge space for planting beds.
Installing an outdoor lighting system on your home has many benefits. Not only can these transform the look of your house immensely, but they can also enable daily improvements in the functionality of your yard.
- Appearance. The obvious benefit to lighting up your outdoors is the enhancement of your home’s look. With proper positioning, your outdoor lights can make the architectural features of your home stand out, creating an enchanting façade after sundown. You can also use these lights to create an inviting and colorful curb appeal.
We specialize in residential lighting, with a mastery of how to properly design and install them to suit your purpose. These are LED lighting systems, which are not just bright and long lasting, but also energy-efficient.
- Functionality. Landscape lighting can also play a pivotal role in the way you use your outdoor spaces. If you’re not using a deck or patio after the sun goes down, you could be missing out on a whole lot of fun. After all, there’s no better time to enjoy the cool evening breeze and just unwind from the stress of a long day.
- Safety and Security. A well-lit yard means you don’t have to grope about in the darkness when moving in or out of your building. It also makes your home less inviting to potential intruders, since there are no shadows or dark spots to provide cover.
- Extended Décor. It’s one thing to have bright lights illuminating the outside of your building, but it’s another thing to use those lights for decorative purposes. This is especially true for homeowners looking to enhance the beauty of their property using exterior lighting.
What sets us apart is our more than 10 years of experience in the industry, as well as the high quality of our LED lighting systems. Take advantage of this investment today by discussing your lighting needs with Dreamscapes Landscape & Design. Call us at 360-580-5106 or fill out our contact form to schedule your consultation.
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