Add a wow factor to your landscaping project by adding hardscaping components to complement and enhance living elements.

Posted by & filed under Cast stone Hardscape, Customized Concrete.

Pavers Rico Color

In case you haven’t heard the term before, hardscaping is any part of your outdoor landscaping that is manmade, including items made from Cast stone, brick, concrete, metal, or wood. This is as opposed to living plantscape, which generally consists of the flora in your yard.

A modern outdoor design project will incorporate both hard and soft elements working together to create a beautiful and functional outdoor space that acts as an extension of your home for your family and friends to enjoy. If you do it right, your hardscaping could even transform your outdoor space from a traditional yard with pretty flowers and plants to an exciting and unique living space.

Here are a few helpful hardscaping tips that will allow any homeowner to make the most of available outdoor space.

1. Measure Your Space

You can’t really get started planning your hardscaping project until you know what kind of space you’re working with. This knowledge can help you to put together a design and create a budget before starting your project.

2. Plan Ahead

There are two things to consider in the planning process: budget and design. You don’t want to start any hardscaping project if you’re missing one or both of these elements.

If your budget allows, consider hiring a professional to put together a design for you. There are programs you can use to dream up your outdoor spaces on your own, but without a background in design you might end up with a major disaster in your yard.

3. Comparison Shop

Even with a design in place that sketches out the basic layout of your yard, you might not have a firm handle on the hardscape materials and elements you want to include.

Your best bet is to comparison shop, learning about the differences in cost, construction, durability, and aesthetic appeal associated with a variety of materials. Even though you might like the price point of concrete, the look may not appeal to you as much as, say, natural stone. So shop around before making any decisions.

4. Functionality

In design, form follows function. Before you start perusing planter boxes and pavers, you need to make sure that you have considered how you want your yard to function, as well as the role that your intended usage, regional weather, and other environmental factors will play.

5. Aesthetics

Finally, it’s time to think about the element of beauty in your yard. Hardscaping, when done right, can transform your yard into an attractive retreat.

Think about how every paver, planter, and piece of furniture will work together to create a cohesive whole and provide visual appeal, in addition to functional value. You’ll end up with a hardscape that perfectly compliments your living landscape and makes your home more attractive overall.

Posted by & filed under Customized Concrete.

Here at DC Kerckhoff Company we have been a leader in the manufacture of cast stone concrete products since 1972. We provide the highest quality stone for everything from pool copings, planters, and balustrades all the way to grand columns, hardscapes, and pavers. In this article we are going to talk about some of the things you will need to consider while picking out a pool for your back yard.

Concrete Pools

Installing a beautiful in-ground pool is a great way to increase the aesthetics, functionality, and fun of your back yard. The first step of getting your perfect pool is to decide what kind of pool you want. There are three main types of pools available today. The most popular of these three are concrete pools.

Concrete pools are truly custom built. There is no cookie-cutter template for concrete pools available today. The installation consists of putting solid, steel-reinforced walls down into the earth and then shooting concrete out of a gun like apparatus onto these walls. This system is why you will sometimes here concrete pools referred to as Shotcrete or Gunite pools. As the concrete finishes curing it can be plastered smooth, painted, tiled, etc.

Concrete pools generally take longer to install than any other type of pool (usually between 3 and 12 weeks). With this added time comes a stronger and more durable pool however. In fact, many of these pools last for well over 50 years. This is also the only type in-ground pool which can be expanded, updated, or remodeled. This is one of the huge benefits to having a concrete pool.

Vinyl Pools

Another type of pool is made of vinyl. These are made from a preformed flexible liner that fits into a hole and attaches to a reinforced frame. This frame is normally made of steel, aluminum, or non-corrosive polymer. A majority of vinyl pools are rectangular, but there are other shapes which can be found. These flexible liners come in a multitude of colors and visual textures for your viewing pleasure.

One major drawback to vinyl pools is that they can be punctured by some tools, toys or other sharp implements. If you choose a vinyl pool make sure you get it at least 1 inch thick and treat it with some degree of care.

The typical installation time for a vinyl pool is 1-3 weeks.

Fiberglass Pools

The last type of pool you will want to look into is a fiberglass pool. These are usually bowl shaped and can be dropped into a hole in your yard using a crane. Fiberglass pools have a lot less variety in shape and size than their vinyl and concrete counterparts, but they are very smooth to touch and considerably more durable than vinyl pools.

Fiberglass pools can take a long time to have delivered. This is due to the driving routes that truck drivers must take with such an oversized load.

Summary

All three of these pools are quite popular in the USA. You will want to look at what qualities are important to you. Do you want the pool up and running in as little time as possible? Well then vinyl might be a good option for you. Do you want a custom pool that will last for years? Well then you should look into concrete. Do you want a smooth and simply shaped pool? In that case, you may want to check out your fiberglass options.

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