Friday, January 12, 2018

Stressing about a backyard project? Cross these off your "worry list!"

When you look at your backyard, what do you see? Does your family’s ideal outdoor space come to life, complete with kitchen, living area, fireplace, and more…or do you only see potential renovation challenges? At Pittsburgh Stone and Waterscapes, we don’t want anyone to waste time and energy making mountains out of molehills… or any other kind of hill. In most cases, the potential problem you think you see isn’t an issue at all. Here are some worries you can cross off your list: Whatever went wrong with your neighbor’s backyard renovation. Some clients are afraid to invest in backyard amenities like waterfalls or patio pavers because they know someone who had a bad experience with that kind of project. In reality, these issues almost always relate to the contractor. Choosing contractors based on the quality of their work rather than the price they charge means you don’t need to worry about problems with installation or maintenance. Feeling like you can’t envision the final product…or final cost. It’s normal to feel discouraged if you can’t visualize how your yard will look once it’s been transformed. Remember that a good landscape design firm will always produce layout images, product pictures, an itemized proposal, and a complete cost breakdown of the project. This will help you to clearly identify the finished project and ensure you know exactly what you are paying for. The Pittsburgh Stone and Waterscapes Team works with 3-D renderings so clients can really visualize and experience their project from the outset.
  You live in Western Pennsylvania, so your yard is hilly. People sometimes see rolling hillsides on their property and think there’s no chance a backyard project could work. We get it—we live with hilly yards, too. Fortunately, you don’t need to worry about those hills because they’re actually an asset! An experienced landscape designer will utilize hillsides to create elevation changes or backdrops that enhance your project. Now that these non-issues aren’t keeping you up at night, you’re ready to start planning for that dream outdoor living space. Here are three potential problems that can be solved ahead of time, paving the way for a smooth project.
  A few potential problems and solutions: Potential Problem: Your property plan Solution: Review your property plan first, before you tackle any other steps in the project. Your home’s property plan was issued by the builder or seller, and you should have received a copy at your closing. It discloses all setback, easement, and property restrictions you need to know about your property. Not reviewing this at the outset could mean you have to alter or even eliminate your project later. Potential Problem: Staging and accessibility Solution: Ensure you have at least an 8’ wide pathway to get a truck or skid steer to the project area. You’ll also need ample space to stage bulk materials as they are delivered. Without these in place, your contractor will have to do additional work and costs will climb. Potential Problem: Existing drainage issues Solution: Water is the #1 culprit of projects failing, so proper drainage solutions for the project area have to come first. Without this, the project has no chance of survival over time. Creating a complete outdoor living space is well worth the time, effort, and money you’ll put into it. But there’s no need to worry when you don’t have to. Contact Pittsburgh Stone and Waterscapes to get started, and let us take the stress off of your shoulders!

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