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Hardscapes

Hardscapes

If you are considering the installation of a new patio, or the possibility of replacing your old patio, look no further.  At Hurth Waterscapes we have twenty years of experience installing all different types of hardscapes.  We would love to install your patio, walkway, driveway, or stepping stone path for you.  The materials used for these hardscapes are either natural stone, concrete, or brick.  These products will last for a very long time, so it is important that they are installed according to very strict guidelines to ensure that the quality of installation will last as long as the product itself.  We pride ourselves on our work, we will construct a hardscape for you that will last as long as the paving material.  We offer a ten year warranty on all of our workmanship and we honor all manufacturer’s warranties.

Flexibility

The wide variety of colors, shapes, sizes and textures of today’s brick pavers allow us the flexibility to design and install a patio, driveway or walkway that specifically suits your needs and wants.  Patios can be contoured to fit beautifully into any yard.  Often times a free-flowing design fits best with the existing landscaping.  The addition of a paver patio and walkway can dramatically increase the usability and aesthetic appeal of your yard.  With the right combination of color, texture and pattern brick paver patios and walkways can compliment the look of your home immensely.  The addition of new top quality hardscapes to your yard will increase your enjoyment of the yard and increase your property values as well.

We use Unilock products when installing hardscapes.  The Unilock company has a wide array of different pavers to choose from and the quality of their product is always top notch.

When contemplating the installation of a brick or stone hardscape in your yard, there are a few things you should consider:

 

Type of Material

Which material you choose will depend greatly on personal taste and budget.  Natural stone is very beautiful and durable, but often times much more expensive than man-made products.  Poured in place concrete is probably the ultimate for durability and low cost, but it leaves a bit to be desired as far as aesthetic appeal.  Clay brick pavers are aesthetically pleasing, but they often deteriorate with weather as the clay is not as durable as concrete and can crack in extreme temperatures such as the freeze and thaw associated with Wisconsin winters.  Our favorite hard surface, and the favorite of many of our clients, is concrete brick pavers.  Today’s concrete brick pavers are reasonably priced and are made with concrete, so they are very durable and weather resistant.  The days of the patios with the broken and crumbling clay brick pavers are over.  The new concrete pavers look like clay brick, hold their color like clay brick, but will last much much longer.  Every year the concrete paver industry improves and there are more and more products to offer.  They even make concrete pavers that look like real stone.

 

Type of Use

It is also important to consider how you will most often use your hard surface.  If you and your family will just be relaxing and playing on the patio on the weekends, the material choice is much less critical than it is for someone who has many dinner parties and formal events.  The more likely it is that people will be wearing high heals on your hard surface, the more important the texture and the fit of the surface is.  The last thing that you need is someone’s high heel dropping between loose stone pavers or guests tripping over some of the rough paver textures.  Consider the use carefully, your new patio will be there for a long time.

 

Colors, Patterns and Borders

Your chosen contractor should be able to show you examples of different colors, textures, pattern and borders available for your hardscape.  The pavers will come in different sizes, shapes, colors and patterns.  The major brick paver manufacturers distribute nice color catalogs showcasing their products.  Ask to see a catalog and ask about the different types of pavers, textures and patterns.  Take your time and choose wisely, but never allow your contractor to place a paver order until you get actual brick samples to your home.  The colors in the catalogs look nice, but they often times are not quite what the pavers look like at your home.  Don’t agree to a color or texture until you have held the samples in your hand and placed them where they will meet or be near the house to check for color compliment and contrast.  In most cases, your contractor will suggest a border of contrasting color or texture.  Most paver installations look good with a border.  Ask to see an example on site, and discuss how the paver and border pattern will lay out.

 

Consider Future Needs

Before the hard surface is installed, be sure to consider any future need for electrical or water to pass under the hardscape area.  Think hard, now is the time to plan ahead, before the hardscape is in.  We often install a PVC sleeve below the base for use in the future.

Quality of Installation

When choosing a paving contractor, take your time, choose wisely and don’t choose on price alone.  You will want to hire a professional with many years of experience and many happy customers for you to talk to.  The materials are the same cost for everyone, so when you look at the cheap bids, you need to ask yourself where that contractor is cutting costs?  Is he skimping on the excavation and base compaction work?  A large part of the installation is excavating the base and installing a minimum of six inches of traffic bond, leveled and compacted every two inches.  Six inches is a minimum because if you are digging for the base and you haven’t hit hardpan soil yet, you must keep digging.  Compacting a base on top of soft soils will only result in a temporary job that will settle, sag and need to be reset in a matter of several years.  The base needs to be excavated until hardpan is hit whether that be in six inches or twenty inches.  The unscrupulous contractor will shave off a few inches of topsoil and lay the base on whatever is down there.  It will look good, he will get paid and then, after he is long gone and no longer returning phone calls, the base will fail, the hard surface will sag and the homeowner will be stuck paying someone to redo the shoddy work.  You only want to pay for it once, pay a quality contractor and have it done right the first time.  Call some of their references and ask about the quality of their work and their customer service.  If they are lacking in either of these areas, call us, we can help.

Call us to discuss your hardscape project!
262-268-1121

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