We are not here to turn your home into a construction site this holiday season — We are booked until early spring!

As we move into the winter seasons, we realize that very soon it is not going to feel like patio season anymore. Before we know it, everyone will be focused on visiting with out of town family and friends, keeping up with the holiday season festivities, and making plans to reign in the new year.


With that said, we know that hardscaping and construction are among the last things on your to do list or things that you even want to think about, let alone have done at your home during the holiday season—and we completely understand that! No one wants a construction zone during their family reunion or during all of the logistical chaos and endless to-do lists that ensue us all over the holidays. However, we would like to share that our schedule and project queue flow on a slightly different schedule than many may realize.

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While our company does work all year round, unlike some other hardscape and landscape companies, we have a major timeline already in play for the existing and upcoming year. Booking a project with us now, does not mean that we will be there tomorrow showing up at your door ready to work.

Booking now means that you are booking your spot for us to get started in mid March—nearly four months ahead and already into early spring.

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Given, our projects on average typically take between two weeks to a month to complete depending on the size and scope of the project, making the project completed date between late spring through mid-summer. In some instances, some projects, like small pergolas, can be squeezed into our schedule, but usually, you are looking at that two week to a month time frame for most projects.

With that said, if you have an upcoming project in mind that you were hoping to enjoy this summer, whether it be a new pergola, patio, outdoor kitchen, fire pit, fireplace, grilling station, or combination — whatever it may be — there’s not a moment to lose if you are needing it by the summer season!

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So give us a call to chat more about how to get your process started! We are more than happy to answer any questions you have and help you get started anyway we can!

The first big step of the process is to book your estimate appointment and get your design and quote going, then all you have to do is accept the quote, sign papers, and choose us to get your spot booked on our timeline. We can do that long before the busy time of the season really hits!

That way you can relax and enjoy your holiday season at ease knowing your project is taken care of and will be ready to go for you in the spring or summer of the new year!


Unplug and Reconnect with Others and the Outdoors!

Don’t forget to make time to recharge — and we don’t mean your electronics.

 

While spring is the perfect time for rebirth and renewal, we like to think that fall is the perfect time to recharge and reconnect with nature and those around us.


As we know, in our busy lives we can get so caught up in what is going on online and on social media, that we sometimes forget to make the time to reconnect to ourselves, to our passions, and with those around us!


One great way to do this is by being outside and getting back to nature. It can be a refreshing break from all the technology and it can be the perfect way to give yourself a little reset and give your mind some much needed rest.


But who says you have to do it alone? Take your family, take a friend, take your pet — take anyone you like — on this unplug challenge. Go and take new adventures, create new traditions, and make lifelong memories with those that mean the most to you!


Here are 10 great ways to ditch the screens this fall and reconnect with loved ones right outside on your hardscape:

 

1.      Build a fire and hang out with friends!

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2.     Have a game night or tailgate party by the glow of the fire!

Pull out the yard games or Play a game of touch football!

3.      Grill or Roast veggies together outside for a tasty side or snack!

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Here’s some great recipes for both grills or fire pits below:

https://www.bettycrocker.com/menus-holidays-parties/mhplibrary/recipes/15-foil-pack-favorites?utm_medium=social&utm_source=pinterest&utm_campaign=05_2016_standard&crlt.pid=camp.tlisk44aktqa

4.      Host a holiday gathering with family on the patio!

For example, a fall cookie exchange would be fun for all ages! Here’s some great recipes to get you started:

https://julieblanner.com/fall-cookies/

5.      Curl up with a good book and blanket by the glow of a fire

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6.      Harvest your outdoor garden or trim your flowers to make a Fall bouquet!

 

 

7.     Host an outdoor dinner party with old friends!

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Here’s some great pumpkin carving ideas for both advanced and beginners below:

https://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/design-101/advanced-halloween-pumpkin-carving-templates-pictures

https://www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/design-101/beginner-halloween-pumpkin-carving-templates-pictures

 

10.   Give Back to Someone in Need!



Rake some leaves for an elderly neighbor or volunteer to help out at a local fundraiser or charity event! (The sky is the limit and what a great tradition to start with the whole family!)



Having a outdoor space that fits your passions and needs can help you and your family unplug from the technology and reconnect with the outdoors and more importantly, each other! Not only this fall but all year long!

Don’t take our word for it though — Ditch the phones, get outside, and see for yourself!


Special thanks to HGTV.com, julieblanner.com, and www.bettycrocker.com for the Fall Fun Ideas!

Heart of the Backyard: KC Homes & Style Magazine October Issue

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The KC Homes & Style October Issue is here!

 

We are so excited to be collaborating again with KC Homes & Style, in the new article in their October Issue, Heart of the Backyard, written by Ann Butenas. In the article, one of our owners, Derek Nadler, talks about a beautiful fireplace project we completed for a client and why everyone should consider putting in a fire element into their fall backyard space.


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Other than bringing warmth to the space, fire elements create amazing, showstopping features, can have many additional add-on’s for both function and design, cooking elements, and of course are a focal point and wonderful pastime for both entertaining and also for relaxing with the family!

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Want more? Read the full article here at this link below or on KC Homes and Styles Magazine website!

 https://issuu.com/contentmedia/docs/kchomesstyleoctober18/84

http://homesandstylekc.com/digital-edition/


See more of this space and get more inspiring fire element ideas for your backyard space on our social media channels below!


http://www.kansascityhardscapes.com/social/


Special Thanks to Kansas City Homes & Style Magazine and Ann Butenas for the article and to Matthew Anderson for the imagery within the article!


Fire Pit vs. Fireplace: Which is better for your space?

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When choosing an outdoor Fire element for your home there are two obvious choices that come to mind.

 One is the classic Fire pit, perfect addition to warm up those chilly nights and roast a few marshmallows over the fire with the family. Another feature that’s becoming more and more popular as the years progress is the outdoor fireplace. A beautiful design element, perfect for get togethers and having both friends and loved ones over as well as keeping those colder nights toasty as well. Both have low maintenance and many of the same capabilities.


You may be thinking, both sound so great how do you choose between the two?

No worries! We are here to help you out and give you an overview of factors to consider when choosing between a Fireplace or a Fire Pit.

Seating

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For starters, envision your future space. Who do you like to spend it with? Is it with friends? Family? Maybe both?

Depending on how many people and guests you may want to have at a given time or on average it could affect your decision making on whether you want a Fireplace vs. a Fire Pit. For example, Fireplaces generally have as much seating as you are able to put and extend in front of them, whereas Fire Pits typically have 360 Degree seating all around them.

 Also, with a fire pit you can add a built-in seating wall, which can give you additional seating and it feels like one cohesive piece with your firepit.

 However, don’t rule out a fireplace just yet, especially if you mainly only have mainly your immediate family at your home at one time! Fireplaces are still great options for anyone, just maybe consider the alternative if you enjoy hosting large parties each week and are looking for a larger amount of close seating to your fire!

 

Another side note to consider would be that while you can have more seating with fire pits, you also will have majority of the time more smoke coming from them and fireplaces are the exact opposite with less seating and less smoke. So, while you may gain space with a fire pit, you may prefer less smoke and prefer an option like a fireplace in the end.

Cooking and Add-On’s

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Next you need to envision what you are looking to do in your space.  Are you hoping to cook? Are you hoping to have more storage space? Or maybe something that doubles as another feature?

 Both Fire pits and Fireplaces  share many of these qualities. They of course can both have many different materials to light them, such as glass rocks or wood, and can also use gas or a regular flame to roast treats and eats on skewers, but mainly for cooking purposes, there are many more add-on’s for a fire pit. Some including but not limited to: a rotisserie, griddles, or grate, plus many more! Whereas Fireplaces you can again use skewers to cook or even add a pizza oven into the build of the fireplace itself, but that’s about as far as you can go with the add-on’s for a fireplace for cooking. So, we always say if you are into doing more “activities” with your fire element, the Fire pit maybe the way to go.

With that said, if you are looking for something with more add-on’s like space for storage of wood for example, Fireplaces can have many different designs where they can incorporate wood boxes while keeping their design and elegant look.

Fire pits can be a challenge to incorporate storage space into their designs, but they can often make up for it in doubling as another element. Many custom companies can make covers and tops for fire pits to be able to be used additionally as dinning or coffee tables. Taking the space to another level of functionality and unfortunately, fireplaces typically do not have add-on options like this available.

 

The Wow Factor

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On the other hand, if you care more about design over functionality and you are looking for something that’s going to stand out and elevate the look of your space, fireplaces may be the best option for you. While fire pits and fireplaces are both able to be potential wow factors for a backyard based on their design and materials, Fireplaces tend to be a big statement piece and make a bigger “wow” impression on guests. Due to their elegant feel and vertical designs, they tend to become a main focal point for the space and draw others in.

 

However, elevated design and a wow factor does come at a price. The average fireplace install is around $8,000, while the average fire pit install is around $2,000. So, if you are on a strict budget and watching your spending on your next backyard project, the fire pit is definitely the more cost effective option between the two.

 

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Overall, both are great options for any home and by reading these topics and putting them side by side, depending on your personal preferences and hobbies one may be better than the other for you and your family!

We hope that this blog has made that decision easier for you and has lead you closer to knowing which fire element is a better option for your space! In the end, you can’t go wrong with either!

 

 

Special thanks to the imagery from Belgard!

https://www.belgard.com/

https://www.houzz.com/photo/3360088-belgard-wexford-pizza-oven-and-outdoor-grill-collection-traditional-patio-milwaukee

 


City Permits and Regulations: What to Expect and How you can Prepare for your Hardscape Project!

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We know that obtaining city permits can sometimes be a headache and inconvience.  

Unfortunately, they take time, money, and can change the course of a project's schedule. 

We understand that this creates an obvious obstacle for many homeowners. However, have no fear! We are here to help you get all the necessary permits and regulations to allow you to create your dream hardscape space!

 


In this blog, we hope to better explain how permits are an important and a necessary part of the process for all hardscaping and home projects, and how as a homeowner you can prepare for them and know what to expect to see from them as you go through your hardscape project's process.

 

As a home owner, here is what you should expect and what you should prepare for during the process of getting a city permit:

 

Each City has different regulations and permit requirements

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Starting from the beginning, city permits are required for a number of home projects and often times, especially as of recent, cities will have multiple requirements and will require you to have approval, plot and survey planning, and all the necessary permits in order to add on and create hardscaping projects onto your home and property.

Due to that each city has different regulations, the requirements will vary depending on the city. Some cities may require a simple city permit which we can put in approval for and obtain for you, and other cities may require you to go a little further and get a city permit, go in front of a board to get approval, and also get approval from a city commissioner.

Additionally, in our personal experience, we have found that the cities with the most regulations tend to be: Leawood, Mission Hills, and Prairie Village, and permits also tend to be needed mainly for Kansas cities rather than Missouri cities. With that said, when you are ready to move forward with a project and get started, it never hurts to do prior research on what your city requires of you to have. That way you can get an idea of what you will be looking at needing ahead of time for your project, which will be especially helpful if you live in any of the above cities where regulations are most common. City requirements are also frequently updated so it is also good to refresh yourself on what may have changed for your city as of recent!

However, regardless of whatever the specific regulations may be for your city, our team at Kansas City Hardscapes has a wide variety of experience with the processes of getting city permits and we are happy to do the work for you if you would rather not go through the process yourself.

While this is an additional service that we offer and have an additional fee for, by having us do it for you, it eliminates the headache of doing it yourself and also makes it so you do not have to waste your own personal time going through the permit process!

 

 

Permits and Regulations have potential to change your project’s timeline

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As we mentioned above, each city has different types of regulations and permits that it may require you to have before we can begin work on any hardscape project on your home. With that, each type of regulation and permit that is needed has potential to impact your final timeline of your project.

For example, you could live in Stilwell, Kansas and only need one permit which could take as little as a week for us to put in for the approval, obtain the permit, and get permission to begin the project.

Whereas on the other hand, you may live in Mission Hills, Kansas, which could have multiple regulations and permits and could take as long as 6 weeks for us to put in approval for permits, obtain the permits, and get permission to begin the project from the city.

This is important information to consider if you are planning to start a project, because without these permits your start date and completion date with us to will be pushed back until we are able to obtain the proper city permits and begin work.

However, once you begin the project process with us, we are very familiar with the permit system and what each city requires, and we will communicate to you and help you know what permits you will need to get and answer any questions you may have about the timing or the process of obtaining the specific permits. Then from there you can choose if you would like to obtain the permits yourself or have us obtain them for you. We always try to make it as easy and as fast of a process as we possibly can, but regardless, it is always still good to know ahead of time that having certain permits may cause a change in your project's schedule.

 

 

Permits and Regulations will have additional costs and fee’s associated with them

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Unfortunately, if you have ever had any experience with getting permits and regulations prior to starting a new project, you will know that there are always some extra fee’s associated with obtaining government permits. They are not usually very pricey, many can be as low as a $100.

Although, we know this can still be a bit of a headache, especially when you have a specific budget in mind for your current project. However, when considering what could happen if you do not have the proper permits before starting a project, you will be saving yourself a lot of time and money down the road.

Many alternate hardscaping companies may disregard these permits and processes, and not give it the attention it needs, which will cause you to be looking at an aftermath of thousands of dollars in fines and issues that the city will bring to attention at the expense of the homeowner. This is why at Kansas City Hardscapes, we do not cut any corners and we always make sure we have proper permits and are up to code before we start building on any project. Like they say, "the honest way is usually the easiest way", and without obtaining the proper permits, it will only cause an even bigger headache for you to have to deal with later on and burn an even bigger hole in your pocket in the process.

 

 

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In conclusion, We know that permits are a headache of a process. We also know that they are absolutely necessary to adding a hardscape onto your home and it is important to do the process correctly.

We will tell it to you straight, permits will take time and money, but taking the necessary steps to complete and get proper city permits for your project is a small price to pay in consideration to the alternative that you would have to pay later on if the process was not completed properly—and fortunately, we can do the entire permit process for you!

That way you can stress less and not worry about things like city permits and the process of obtaining them, and instead be able to put your energy towards getting excited about the addition of your new hardscape project!

 

 

Special thanks to The Shawnee Mission Post and 24hplans.com for the imagery!

https://shawneemissionpost.com/2017/06/14/leawood-public-works-and-information-services-directors-announce-their-retirements-63771

https://www.24hplans.com/do-i-need-a-building-permit/