Planning A Large Concrete Paver Hardscape Project In Stages
Planning a Multi-Year Hardscape Project With Pavers
For many homeowners in the California Bay area, hardscape is a beautiful choice for developing and creating their outdoor space. Outdoor hardscaping can increase the living area of your home by giving you an area to enjoy the cool Bay area nights with family and friends. Whether it's an outdoor kitchen or a luxurious custom built fireplace the right hardscape project can add value to your home, as well as provide you with the perfect space for entertaining.
One of the significant benefits of hardscaping is that a project can expand as your needs change, or your budget allows. If your considering building your hardscape in phases, proper planning before you begin can save you time, money and hassles. Here are some tips for planning and organizing your outdoor living space in stages over time.
The First Step: Hire The Right Professional Hardscape Design Build Contractor
Your home is your sanctuary and creating a large outdoor living area is an important investment in your home. Don't trust it to just anyone. If your vision is a large hardscape area, you want to find a contractor with the experience and resources to handle the job.
If you're considering building your project in phases, it's important to find a contractor that can also provide you with top-notch design capabilities. When vetting potential partners, there are a few questions you should ask to make sure that the contractor you're considering can handle the job.
• Ask For References
A qualified contractor will be happy to provide you with names and even addresses of recent projects. Call the homeowner and ask how the job was handled. Was it completed on schedule and within their budget? Did the contractor show up on time and perform the work promised? Are they happy with their experience? The answers to these questions can help you to narrow your search.
• Ask to See Examples of Their Work
Ask to see photos of their past projects. This can give you an idea of their design capabilities as well as an understanding of their creativity and expertise.
• Visit Their Website
Check their website for customer testimonials and project photos. Make sure that the site is current.
• Will Their Team Handle All Aspects of Your Project?
Frequently a hardscape project will require several different trades to complete. For example, if you're installing an outdoor kitchen, you may need plumbing, electrical, and lighting work done. Will your contractor be hiring the right subs, or just handle the hardscape?
• Start Date and Turn Around Time
Make sure that any contractor can give you firm dates for starting your project as well as an estimated date of completion.
Choosing the right partner for your hardscape project is an essential first step. Once you've made your choice, it's time to design your project.
Design Your Entire Dream Space Before Your Build
Planning a phased project starts with a workable design. Your contractor will work with you to prepare the entire project upfront. It can always be scaled back, but it can be much more costly to retrofit a space later. For example, if you want to add a complete outdoor kitchen later in the process, it's easier to know where it will be located before you invest in a hardscape patio that may need to be removed later to make way for your kitchen.
Understanding your future infrastructure needs before you start is also a way to save on future costs. If a future project needs footings or utilities, knowing where they will run can again keep you from pulling up pieces of a project to retrofit them later.
Many contractors will charge you more for a complete design upfront but will credit it back when the work is completed. Today, many contractors use three-dimensional modeling software which can give to an idea of exactly what your finished project will look like. Starting with architectural plans or photos of your home, your contractor can create a rendering that includes furniture placement and potential landscaping. Virtual reality renderings can allow you to perform a “virtual walkthrough” of your project so you can get a real feel for how you'll use the space and can catch potential design issues before construction.
Preplan Future Hardscape Phases
Having an overall picture of your project and preplanning later phases can help you to save money. Think of planning your outdoor space just like you would an indoor living space. Think about lighting, music, and cooking needs. Consider how you'll cool the space in the summer and heat it in the winter if you're planning on using it year round. Fortunately, here in the Bay area with a little forethought, you can use your space year round.
Running utilities all at once, including ones you won't need until later phases, can save a ton of money in the end. If you're planning on installing heavy elements like an outdoor fireplace, or a pool house, be sure to design and install any footings you'll need before hardscaping that area.
Consider Your Lifestyle Needs
When preplanning discuss how you're planning on using the space with your contractor. The more they understand your lifestyle and your needs, the better they can plan phases to fit your budget and lifestyle. For example, if you're planning an outdoor living space that includes a full outdoor kitchen, patio, fireplace, and seating walls, the phases may consist of:
• Phase 1 – Flat surfaces, patio and kitchen area flooring, install utilities and footings
• Phase 2 – Outdoor kitchen including all utility hookups
• Phase 3 – Outdoor fireplace
• Phase 4 – seat walls, lighting, and sound
Depending on your lifestyle needs you may want to rearrange the order or build out your space in sections.
Creating your dream outdoor hardscape space can offer you years of enjoyment and increase the value of your California Bay area home. Properly planning your project over phases can help you to lower your costs, and give you an idea of the finished project before your break ground on phase one. Working with a qualified professional hardscape design-build contractor can make the entire process run smoothly and ensure that in the end, you'll have the outdoor living space you've been dreaming of!
If you're planning on creating an outdoor living space for your Sonoma County home, give the experts at Bayside Pavers a call at 1-866-287-2837. We can help you design the perfect phased project to meet your family's unique needs. Our knowledgeable team members are ready to help you create the outdoor living space you've been dreaming about!
If you're in the San Francisco Bay area, our location in Concord, CA at 2455 Bates Ave, Ste K, services East Bay and South Bay homeowners. Our Santa Rosa, CA location at 1619 4th Street Ste 12 can help you with your North Bay hardscaping projects.