Is your goal to turn your property into an outdoor oasis where you can relax?

Perhaps you’d like to add significant value to your investment?

In addition to maintaining lush and perfect grass and plants, the way your hardscape is designed and installed plays a major role in your space's curb appeal and functionality.

Before signing any contracts, let’s take a look at some of the top concerns to go over with your landscaping company.

Optimizing Yard Drainage

Water plays a significant role in the health of any outdoor space. Too little water, and your grass will turn yellow. Too much water and plant life will perish when puddles accumulate and roots are drowned out. How do you find the perfect balance?

Working with a landscape company that is well versed in hardscape design is one thing but connecting with an expert with a solid portfolio of water diversion and yard drainage solutions is where you’ll get the most value. This is where hardscaping specialists come in.

What Is Hardscaping?

Hardscaping refers to everything you plan to include in your green space that is made of solid material.

This includes:

  • Pathways
  • Driveways
  • Retaining structures
  • Stone pool decks
  • Patios
  • Outdoor kitchens
  • Outdoor fireplaces

As you may have guessed, these items block rainfall from absorbing into the ground. When major storms hit, you want to make sure your landscaper considered this, or you’ll be left with soggy feet and numerous pools of water that have nowhere to go.

Landscaping pros who are worth their salt are also expert drainage specialists.

Landscape Grading Matters— A Lot!

Just like the placement and composition of structures, landscape grading also plays a significant role in how your yard processes heavy amounts of rain. Without proper grading, even the best drainage solutions may not be enough to keep your basement dry.

Maintaining a grade of 5 degrees sloped away from your foundation (at minimum) ensures your foundation will remain intact. It also contributes to the longevity of other structures within your landscape, including pathways, patios, walkways, and driveways.

Suppose water is allowed to pool on stone installations. In that case, their anticipated lifespan becomes much shorter, and you may find you need to provide continuous maintenance to keep them looking the way you intended.

Aside from controlling water, precision grading also benefits your lawn by:

  • Removing bumps and other obstructions
  • Allows new grass seeds to form more robust root systems
  • Protects topsoil from sloughing off into other areas of your yard
  • May produce opportunities to recycle or utilize water for irrigation

Due to the many considerations that must be made to produce sustainable grading solutions, we recommend hiring a licensed landscaping company to complete this work.

Be sure to request samples of work they have completed recently so you can be confident in their ability to produce incredible and long-lasting value.

Brick and Stone Pavers: Quality Counts!

The type of materials used to make your vision come to life really does matter.

Brick and stone pavers add essential curb appeal to your property when installed correctly but can majorly detract from the look you were going for when they start to crack, crumble, and shift due to improper installation or water accumulation.

We recommend choosing a landscaping contractor with a long track record of satisfied clients and an excellent relationship with suppliers. This way, you’ll get the best deals on the materials that suit your taste, but you will also know the quality of the material you have selected is up to the task it will perform. For example, the type of sand, gravel, or mortar used beneath brick pavers plays a prominent role in how sturdy the structure will remain over time. An exceptional landscaping company will also take into consideration the amount of traffic the area will receive, making sure the materials used are fit for purpose.

Driveway Landscaping

Did you know your driveway is what usually makes the first impression on your guests?

A well-laid stone driveway is a sophisticated way to greet visitors to your home. When applied properly (and with a little light maintenance), stone pavers can last anywhere from 25-50 years.

Some of the most common problems associated with stone driveways can all be traced back to the way they were installed in the first place.

These problems include:

  • Separating pavers
  • Pavers that are always wet
  • Weeds and grass are growing between stones
  • There are low and high spots on what should be a smooth, flat surface
  • The borders are falling out of line
  • Pavers are lifting or heaving up from the ground in some places
  • The driveway appears poorly constructed to the eye

All the above problems can be avoided or fixed by a certified pro. As you can see, choosing the right landscaping company for an installation is a critical element to the overall long-term success of your investment.

Retaining Walls

Some people choose to add retaining walls to their property for purely aesthetic reasons, while others employ them to function as a barrier to prevent the collapse of earth and soil.  

There are 4 main components to a sturdy retaining wall. These include:

  1. Stem: the vertical part that is designed to contain the soil
  2. Toe: the footing placed at the front of the wall, which acts as a cantilever, holding the soil in place using the weight of the soil
  3. Heel: a second cantilever that holds soil in place, which is located at the base of the structure
  4. Shear Key: functions to reduce your new wall’s ability to slide forward

No matter how beautiful the final wall looks when it’s finished, if any of these 4 elements are missed or installed incorrectly, trouble is sure to follow.

Installing Stone Patios and Walkways  

Not only will installing a stone patio or walkway increase the appeal of your home, but it will also contribute to your comfort and level of overall enjoyment. Extending your home into the outdoors is a beautiful way to spend more time in nature and reclaim extra living space.

When you want a beautiful retaining wall that will withstand the test of time, be sure to partner with a landscaping company with a solid understanding of how each of these elements contributes to the success and stability of your landscape.

Ready to Start Your Landscaping Project?

Now that you’ve heard all about our landscaping insight, we want to hear from you. Contact J & S Lawn and Landscape LLC to get started on your landscaping project.