- Products – Ask what materials are offered for a patio. A pro will provide concrete, brick, stone, and pavers. If you choose pavers, make sure your contractor purchases them from a reputable manufacturer, as inferior pavers will fade and often are not as durable.
- Warranties & Guarantees – Ask if the contractor guarantee their work, and if there are warranties on the products (usually pavers) discuss the specifics until you understand them and have both the guarantee and warranty spelled out in writing.
- Websites with Portfolios – Top pros have websites that help educate the public about hardscaping issues such as the pros and cons of various materials used for patios. The consummate professionals will as have portfolios for you to peruse to see their work and what different elements look like so that you can make an educated decision regarding your patio.
- Professional Organizations & Continued Education – Look for a contractor who belongs to professional organizations such as New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association (NJLCA) that promote professionalism, safety, environmental protection, and education.
- Local Knowledge – Many communities have specific codes and restrictions for patio additions-choose a contractor experienced in navigating these restrictions and regulations to create the sort of patio that fulfills your needs and wants.
When choosing a professional to lay your patio, you should take a practical approach before making your decision. Ask straightforward questions and look for some basic support. Here are some helpful hints on what you should ask before your dream garden project begins:
- Get some different quotes for your project, checking that they include all the products and services you will need. Make sure there are no hidden extras such as soil removal. TIP: Ask how long the project will last.
- Check how long the company has been laying paving products.
- Ask for some recent references of completed patio installation and read their online reviews. A reputable contractor will be enthusiastic about showing off recent work. Expect to see photographs and details of recent, similar work that you can visit for a reference. This is usually part of any professional presentation.
- Ask questions such as if the cost of a dumpster and jointing sand is included?
- Check if the contractor has the appropriate liability insurance.
- Ask for a final written quotation from your chosen contractor.
- A reputable patio installer will not cut corners but work to the highest standard to build a patio that is beautiful and will remain that way for years to come. A true professional will have no problem guaranteeing their work.
Starting with basic research and asking the right questions will help ensure that you choose a trustworthy and reliable contractor. Stories about unlicensed and even licensed contractors facing fines and imprisonment for shoddy work and fraud have consumers on edge about adding a patio. You want your patio and garden project to be completed to the highest standard; something you, your family and friends can enjoy for many years to come.
Spades and Shovels
A spade is used for digging and a flat shovel is used for creating bigger spaces or removing dirt. There is quite a variety in the different shovels, including different sizes and shapes. Handles are different lengths as well. If you are going to use it for digging in a small area, then you will want a shorter handle length. If you are using it predominantly for moving dirt, then you will want a longer handle.
Rake It Up
The best and most useful of the landscaping tools that you can purchase is a metal rake. Rakes come in all different price ranges, but a rake with metal teeth will last longer and will be a lot stronger for those landscaping jobs. Rakes can help you move dirt and debris from any landscaped area with very little effort and time.
Wheelbarrows and Garden Hoses
In the landscaping process, you will find that wheelbarrows can help you quite a bit. They can help you to move dirt, plants, or debris from one area to the next. Carrying supplies in your yard is also made easier with the wheelbarrow. If you want to carry around your garden tools, you may want to consider purchasing a cart to carry them. Carts cost less money and they weight quite a bit less, which will make it easier to maneuver in your yard.
Garden hoses come in different lengths so you need to evaluate the distance from your water spigot to the areas that you will need to be watering. You will also want to consider purchasing a hose rack or wheel to store your hose on and keep it free from kinks that can keep the water from flowing through your hose efficiently. Storing your garden hose neatly will help keep your lawn uncluttered and neat.
Landscaping tools are a great gift for yourself or for someone else. A few other tools that can be quite helpful in landscaping include water cans, lawnmowers, gloves, pole pruners, and trimmers.
Some people find sitting around a fire, on the ground, whether on blankets or just on the grass somewhat uncomfortable. This is when a pit table can make the experience complete. A fire pit table is a table that has a pit in the middle of the table and a wide surface area that your guests can place plates or drinks on.
Almost all the fire pit tables are designed to have the fire in the center. It raises the flames off of the ground, making it accessible to everyone to toast marshmallows or roast a hot dog without a lot of bending over.
Pit tables comes in many different shapes and styles. Most of the pits are made of metal and comes in all colors, so matching it to your patio furniture is extremely easy. Although metal is the most frequently chosen material, fire pit tables can be made of wood, stone, copper and stainless steel.
If you want a more sophisticated look, some of the tables also comes in granite. This is sure to add a to the look of quality of your patio furniture. They are safe and the table stays cool to the touch, avoiding serious burns.
A fire pit table is great for family functions because older friends and relatives may have a difficult time standing or sitting on the ground. It can provide a warm atmosphere on a cool night. Depending on the style of table that you choose, the prices will vary. A standard metal table starts at around one hundred dollars and can reach thousands of dollars.
You can find fire pit tables in catalogs and home improvement stores across the country. They are also available on line. By doing a simple Google search, you will find millions of links for shops that sell fire pits of all kinds and types. Many people are using the on line option because vendors are in fierce competition and offer incredible discounts.
The pit tables add an air of elegance to any outdoor patio. They are easy to use and easy to clean. You will want to host parties and small get-togethers just to show it off. Although those tables are durable, you need to take into consideration the climate in which it will be kept. If you live in an area that has consistently warm weather, a metal copper or stainless steel fire pit table is perfect for you.
Much like going on a job interview, your initial presentation sticks in the mind of the viewer long after the interview is over. Likewise, if your front yard is overgrown and landscaped in a haphazard way, your visitor receives an uninviting impression of not only your home, but you and your family, which is clearly undesirable. If you are trying to sell your home, your front yard landscape can kill the deal before they ever set foot in your house.
So you can see that your front yard landscape is important. Maybe you do not see yourself as an artistic landscaper and feel at a loss as to how to proceed. If you can afford it, the easiest solution is to contact a reputable landscaper to help you out. Depending on the size of your front yard and the amount of work required, a professional front yard landscape design can prove quite expensive. However, even if you do not feel up to the entire task, there are a number of aspects you can define and tasks easily accomplished before consulting a professional.
For example, if you have overgrown areas which you obviously want to get rid of, get out the weed whacker and spend the morning clearing that area. Just like cleaning up a cluttered room, you will immediately have a better idea of both space and what you have to work with. If you have got toys, bikes or a bunch of pots from summer garden work cluttering the area, clean that up as well. Simple tasks like these can inspire you with ideas of what you might like to see in their place.
The now cleared area you have serviced with the weed whacker may be larger than you would have thought and in your mind’s eye, your new front yard landscape should have an eye-filling burst of springtime color, with tulips and daffodils dotting the area. Maybe a climbing rose would look nice making its way along the porch supports. Look through garden magazines and books,which are full of front yard landscape ideas. How about a natural stone pathway or brick retaining wall?
Everyone knows what they would like to see in their front yard landscape, even though they may not know exactly how to execute their plan. Get out a tape measure and make a scale drawing of the portion of the house facing front as well as the dimensions of the front yard. Mark tress and fences and other garden elements you wish to retain.