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Everything you need to know about building your dream hardscape.

When people want to add hardscaping to their property—features like patios, stone walkways, fire pits, retaining walls, outdoor kitchens, lighting, and more—they often have a unique vision in mind. Sometimes it’s a specific plan, other times it’s more conceptual.

At Engledow, our job is to get a detailed understanding of your vision and bring it to life. But with the huge range of choices in design options and building materials, integrating them into your site can get a little overwhelming—which is why we’re here to help you make the right decisions based on your budget and taste.

When thinking about a new hardscape, the first concern most clients have is getting the most value. There’s a lot of variation these days in quality of building materials—for example, some patio pavers come with lifetime warranties against damage from ice melt, while others don’t. It’s important to work with a contractor who understands the differences between these materials and which ones provide the best value.

Another big concern clients have is wanting to make sure the look of their new hardscape is exactly what they want. That’s why we create detailed design models, which we’re able to do with incredible realism using our 3-D design tools. We can switch out thousands of different building materials, patterns, colors, and hardscaping features to give you an accurate rendering of every option available. It’s the best way to see and refine your vision, and it’s critical for making sure that your dream fits the final design.

One concern that many clients don’t consider is drainage. Overlooking this aspect of your hardscape design is a big mistake for one reason: A high percentage of hardscaping issues and failures are because of water. The good news is that water behaves in a predictable manner, and when working with a contractor who understands drainage, these problems can be eliminated through skilled design. Our team at Engledow knows how to work with water so it won’t threaten your hardscape features next year—or ten years from now.

When selecting a contractor, it’s important to pick an installer that has the experience required to do the job correctly. Many consumers aren’t aware that it is recommended to hire a certified installer for pavers and retaining walls. The Interlocking Concrete Paver Institute (ICPI) and the National Concrete Masonry Association (NCMA) are organizations that have recommended best practices, and they educate and certify installers for interlocking concrete paver installations and for segmented retaining wall installations. Hiring a contractor that employs one or more certified installers is a must to insure your project is done right.

At Engledow, we have multiple installers certified by ICPI, and two of our installers have earned ICPI’s Advanced Residential Certification—something that takes years to get. We’re also certified contractors for many of our biggest suppliers—including Unilock, Techo-Bloc, and The Stone Center of Indiana—which is recognition we’ve earned because of our hard work and consistent results.

Hardscaping can be the difference in transforming a great home into your dream home. But with all the options to choose from, you need to be careful to make sure you’re getting the look you want at a price you can afford. Just remember that working with an experienced, qualified contractor goes a long way.

Our team at Engledow would love to show you how we can bring your hardscaping vision to life. Contact us today to learn more—and be sure to check out the gallery below to see examples of our hardscaping work.