Hiring for the Right Job: Why Landscaping Companies aren't a Good Choice for Hardscapes

Simply Put: For a Landscaping company, hardscaping is a subcategory for something that shouldn’t be anything but a separate company

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By nature, a landscaping company’s specialty is landscaping, not hardscaping. A perfectly fine choice if you’re looking to have your grass cut, plants installed, an irrigation system installed, but if you need a patio or deck installed, you want a company whose specialty is in these areas. You wouldn’t hire an electrician to do your plumbing work. It’s two different areas of expertise.

 

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That is what we do. We specialize in Hardscaping. We never cut grass or install irrigation systems. We focus on creating the highest quality hardscapes that will last many decades.

 

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For many landscaping companies, they will install a patio or deck if requested. However, the skill and knowledge for a lasting patio is not something that naturally coincides. Kansas City Hardscapes is full of true craftsman with licensing and experience. Our crews have been doing hardscaping year-round for 10+ years. Since the landscaping companies only do hardscaping as they come, the experience of installed projects can probably be counted on one hand.

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We are constantly working to keep up to date with upcoming and new information for how to produce the best hardscapes. We attend paver company showcases and training classes. We attend the annual hardscape convention. We are constantly working to understand how to give you the best product. Our constant diligence and focus on hardscaping allows for a quicker, higher quality installation. A quick, cheap patio can mean a product that will not last and end up costing more than doing it right the first time. If you’re buying a new car, you’re not looking for the cheapest option because you want this product to last. The same mindset should be used for a patio, or you’ll end up at the mechanic with your car and seeing your patio settle and become uneven.

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We recommend looking at the reviews and pictures of completed projects. Many landscaping companies say they offer hardscaping but their reviews and pictures of completed projects do not reflect that they have experience, particularly good experience, with installation.

 

At Kansas City Hardscapes, we want to make sure that you are in the best hands when it comes to installing a hardscape. We are not saying that landscaping companies are the bad guys, just the wrong guys. Make the right decision for your family and your home. Call Kansas City Hardscapes for a free estimate on your new hardscape.

 

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There are many choices for how to incorporate elements into a hardscape. Adding one or more of these components to your hardscape can create focal points and intertwine stone and concrete with nature’s beauty. Read on and consider what element you will include in your hardscape.

Fire

One of the most popular hardscape elements is fire. Whether it be a firepit or a fireplace, there are many designs to consider. Both fire pits and fireplaces naturally become a spot to gather around with friends and family. They offer lighting and heating once the sun starts to set, and the ambiance will keep the conversations flowing. Not only are there different sizes and shapes, but firepits allow the choice to burn wood or gas and have colored glass or decorative rock fill the space to create a more modern look.

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Water

Adding a water feature to your hardscape increases the aesthetics tenfold. Not only are they beautiful, but the sound of flowing water creates a relaxing atmosphere. Close your eyes and you’ll be taken from suburbia to a spot right next to a flowing creek.

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Earth

The perfect addition to a hardscape is the surrounding landscape. Adding trees can create privacy, shade and bursts of color. Bordering flowers and other smaller greenery can expand the hardscape while adding texture and color. A mulch or decorative rock border can also be an excellent way to finish off the transition from the yard to the hardscape.

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Air

Taking an artistic license with the air element, we couldn’t leave out adding a pergola. Pergolas are a continuously growing trend allowing a place to add lighting, shade, hanging baskets, privacy and more. A pergola is an excellent place to have furniture under for outdoor meals or a sofa to relax on while the breeze allows absolute relaxation.

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Whether you choose one or multiple elements to include in your hardscape, adding these components will have you spending more time with the family outdoors than ever before. Get your free estimate and 3D design by calling 816-488-2547 or schedule an appointment now!

 

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& a special thanks to Belgard, Pavestone, Romanstone, Unilock, and
Techo-Bloc.

4 Things to Keep in Mind During the Planning Phase

Consider the Big Picture


If you have an existing patio, you may be already limiting your design ideas. The first thing to do is expand your view. Don’t just think of upgrading your patio, but rather upgrading your yard. Develop a plan for the entire area. Even if you only upgrade a portion of your yard now, don’t limit your future ideas. Whether it be a hot tub, a walkway, or landscaping elements, consider where future components could be included. 

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Incorporate your Personal Style


There are many ways to make your hardscape unique to your tastes. Whether your home be more traditional or modern, you may prefer a space consisting of straight edges, perhaps with different heights, or maybe you’d prefer a more organic shape allowing the lay of the land to direct the shape. Our team will work with your preferences to create a hardscape that allows your personal touch to the design. 

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Create a Focal Point


Consider what your priority is when either entertaining or using your space personally. A pergola can be a great way to add shade over a place to have a meal. A firepit can allow seating all around allowing conversation to flow. 

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Add Landscaping Elements 


Landscaping can allow the flow from greenery to concrete and stone by adding color and texture. Trees can add privacy and shade, while flowers, decorative rock, or a mulch bed can open up the space and make it seem even larger. These elements can be predetermined and added during the hardscape installation. 

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We will help you every step of the way to make your dream backyard retreat become a reality. For a free estimate and 3D design, click the schedule an appointment button now or call 816.499.2547!

Outdoor Kitchen Trends

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Just as the kitchen has always been the heart of the home, the outdoor kitchen is quickly becoming the heart of the backyard outdoor living space. According to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA), more than 75 percent of all U.S. households currently include an outdoor grill or smoker. However, that’s only part of the story. More and more homeowners are converting patio grilling areas into fully functioning kitchens that become the central gathering place for family and guests. Check out some of the latest trends.

BAR-STYLE SEATING

Bar-style seating has become very popular in outdoor kitchen design for the same reason it’s popular in indoor kitchen design…it creates a communal atmosphere where family members and guests can all interact during the prep and cooking process. It also provides additional dining space, and with the addition of a television, becomes the perfect spot for outdoor tailgating.

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Kitchen: Weston Stone®.  Bar Foot Rail: Bullnose Coping. Pavers: Bergerac® with Old York™ border.

MULTIPLE COOKING SURFACES

Today’s outdoor chef isn’t happy with just a standard grill. Modern outdoor kitchen design quite often includes multiple cooking surfaces — including gas burners, gas or charcoal grills, ceramic smokers, and wood-burning or gas ovens.

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Kitchen: Tandem® Modular Grid.  Pavers: Lafitt® Rustic Slab.

EVERYTHING INCLUDING THE KITCHEN SINK

A growing trend in outdoor kitchen design is to include all the “creature comforts” of an indoor kitchen. Nearly every indoor kitchen appliance now has an outdoor-rated version — including ice makers, refrigerators, dishwashers, keg coolers and more. With a fully-functioning outdoor kitchen, there’s no need to constantly run indoors for supplies…everything you need is at your fingertips. Add a stereo system, wi-fi access and a TV, and you can truly live in your outdoor living space.

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Kitchen: Celtik® Wall.  Pavers: Mega-Bergerac®.

STAINLESS STEEL CABINETS

Stainless steel doors and drawers are popular because they are resistant to rot, weather and insects. Stainless also adds a striking look to coordinate with grills and appliances. Over time, some stains will appear on the surface, but can easily be removed with a stainless steel cleaner, making them look as good as new.

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Kitchen: Belair Wall®. Pavers: Lafitt® Rustic Slab.

SEAT WALLS

Built-in seating has been trending for years in outdoor living rooms, especially around fire features. Now, the trend is making it’s way into the outdoor kitchen. A seat wall helps define the space, adds a striking aesthetic, and allows you to provide ample seating for large gatherings to supplement seating provided by barstools and dining tables.

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(Left) Kitchen: Weston Stone®. Pavers: Lafitt® Rustic Slab with an inlaid Moduline Series® border. (right) Kitchen: Belair Wall®.

PIZZA OVENS

Forget calling for delivery when you can enjoy a homemade pizza with an amazing flame-grilled flavor. Whether we’re talking about economical gas-powered tabletop ovens, or gorgeous built-in wood-fired brick ovens, outdoor ovens are definitely trending. The great thing about a brick oven is that it’s not just for pizza. Nearly anything you would bake in an indoor oven can be cooked in a brick oven. You may never cook indoors again.

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Oven: Bristol™ Series from the Belgard Elements Collection.

MODULAR KITCHENS

The Belgard® Elements Collection of modular outdoor kitchen units enables homeowners to have the look of a custom outdoor kitchen for a fraction of the cost and time. Belgard Elements are built in a factory setting and shipped in sections to be quickly installed on-site, meaning your kitchen will be installed in merely hours instead of weeks.

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(left) Kitchen: Bordeaux™ Series from Belgard Elements Collection. Pavers: Laffit® Rustic Slab. (right) Kitchen: Bristol™ Series from the Belgard Elements Collection. Pavers: Lafitt® Rustic Slab with an inlaid Moduline Series® border.

 

Thank you to Outdoor Living by Belgard 2017

Outdoor Fireplace Design Ideas

Over the last decade, outdoor fireplaces have continued to be a rising trend in outdoor living design. A fireplace provides an elegant focal point that visually transforms a patio into an outdoor living room, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. When planning an outdoor fireplace, there are a number of options to consider.

CUSTOM-BUILD VERSUS MODULAR UNITS

Custom outdoor fireplaces can be built using a variety of masonry products, including nearly any Belgard retaining wall product. The benefit to a custom-built fireplace is that you have the design flexibility to create any size or style that suits you. Belgard also offers the Belgard Elements™ line of modular fireplaces that are pre-built in a factory setting, shipped in sections and installed with a pallet loader. The benefits are lower installation costs and a shorter construction window.

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This custom-built fireplace, constructed with Celtik® Wall, features a raised hearth, symmetrical arched built-in wood boxes, and built-in low-voltage lighting for ambiance. A row of smooth-face block adds a contrasting element to the rough-hewn look of the design.

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Belgard Elements™ fireplaces, such as this one from the Bristol™ Series, offer a custom-built look for a fraction of the cost. Custom-built elements, such as the landscape wall and water features in this design, can be added to enhance the custom-built look.

USE INTERIOR DESIGN PRINCIPLES

To enhance the “outdoor living room” feel, employ interior design techniques when designing your outdoor fireplace and surrounding patio. Examples include accessorizing the room or creating a faux rugin the paver design.

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A semi-circular design of Mega-Arbel® pavers creates the look of an inlaid rug in front of this Brighton™ Elements fireplace and Bristol™ Elements wood boxes.

RESEARCH LOCAL BUILDING CODES

Codes will vary by municipality, but in general terms, gas-burning fireplaces have fewer restrictions and can typically be placed anywhere in a design, including directly against another structure. Wood-burning fireplaces typically need to be placed at least 10 feet from another structure. Some building codes require additional safety measures or restrict the use of wood-burning units altogether.

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The chimney of this wood-burning fireplace from the Bordeaux™ Elements collection was extended upward to comply with local building codes, due to its proximity to another structure.

BUILT-IN OUTDOOR GAS FIREPLACES

An economical option that can typically be installed anywhere is a built-in gas fireplace, which can be built on the exterior of the home, on a porch or under a pavilion.

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The built-in outdoor gas fireplace on the left was designed to emulate the look of an indoor fireplace using Tandem® Modular Grid. The same wall product was used to build out an adjacent outdoor kitchen. The design on the right used Weston Stone® retaining wall block with accents of Urbana® Stone and Mega-Arbel® pavers to emulate the look of a freestanding Bristol™ Elements fireplace. The same paver and wall products were used throughout the design to tie the look together.

THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX

When creating a custom build, consider how you want to use the space and work with your contractor to come with with creative solutions and ideas.

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This custom fire feature is both a fireplace and a brick oven. A built-in overhead light adds a dramatic look to the piece while providing ample light for operating the brick oven in the evenings.

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This outdoor living room incorporates dual open-sided European-style gas fireplaces, constructed using Tandem® Wall. The same wall product was used to build seat walls around the perimeter of the patio, as well as columns for the pavilion, tying all of the outdoor rooms together into one cohesive design.

CONSIDER BUILT-IN SEATING

Built-in seating is one of the leading trends in outdoor design and makes an excellent addition to an outdoor fireplace, adding both form and function to an outdoor room.

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This custom natural stone fireplace is flanked with two seat walls, constructed with Celtik® Wall. The rough-hewn face of the Celtik® Wall adds a textural element to this eclectic design.

Thank you to OUTDOOR LIVING BY BELGARD , December 8 2017