If you are considering adding a hardscape project to your home, you may have begun to notice that there are many factors to consider.
Of course, there are a few obvious factors that come to mind: the materials, the size, the design—but the most important decision that can often be overlooked, is the team that will make your outdoor vision a reality.
“Overlooked” may seem like a strong word to some, but sadly it’s true. Money is usually the number one reason why, because hardscaping projects are expensive. Depending on the project, the materials alone can cost around $5,000 or more. So, for anyone who is trying to stick to a project budget, it can be hard to hand over an extra $2,000 to a hardscaping company when their landscaping crew said they could do it for $2,000 less.
Which when looking at it initially, that’s completely understandable why people would consider other companies and individuals that don’t specialize in hardscaping. Why hire a hardscaping company when you could hire your landscaping company, an independent contractor, or even a friend or family member who enjoys home improvement work? It would seem to anyone to be the best deal, because technically, anyone can lay out pavers or pour concrete, and the best part is it also saves you money, right?
It may seem to save you money on the surface. At Kansas City Hardscapes, we unfortunately see many home owners who struggle with the aftermath of choosing the wrong company or individuals to install their hardscapes. $10-20,000 projects that are only a year or two old need repairs due to issues with the foundation, water pooling, and retaining walls that are bowing. Now their $20,000 project needs $5,000 of repairs, and they are having to spend $3,000 more than they would have originally spent had they used a specialized hardscaping company from the beginning.
We understand this can be hard to swallow and adding more money to a project is difficult, let alone when you there is a way to initially bring the costs down with someone who expertise isn't in hardscaping. However, this is one of those scenarios where the old saying “you get what you pay for” rings true. When you pay a lower price in certain industries, such as home improvement, you will get exactly the level of quality that you pay for. What level of quality you want all depends on personal preference, but let us ask you this—Do you want something that just works or do you want something that exceeds your expectations?
We feel like it’s a no brainer. If you already are spending a large sum of money on a project for the quality of the materials and design, why not give the same amount of quality to the work that goes into the craftsmanship and creation of the project? That way its completed exactly how you envisioned and you know that you won't have any worries with it down the road!
So when adding on that extra project cost for using a credible hardscaping company, think of it as an insurance investment. Take our company for example. At Kansas City Hardscapes, you are spending that extra money on the quality of craftsmanship, on a team of seasoned hardscaping professionals who know the ins and outs of hardscaping from construction to completion, and the peace of mind that your hardscaping project will look as good as new even 10, 20 years down the line. So that way, in a couple of years when issues would typically start to arise from poor installation, you can look at your beautiful hardscape project and thank yourself for saving yourself more money in the long run by going with a specialized hardscaping company.
We will finish this post with this final piece of advice: Just because anyone could do a hardscaping project, it does not necessarily mean that they should. Do thorough research and make sure the company or individual you hire is credible. A good way to do this is to ask them their experience level with hardscaping. If they don’t know typical hardscaping terms, or don't have any client credentials, or they don't have a portfolio of images for you to view of past work, that is a major red flag. That tells us that they do not typically work in this field and that your project could likely be their first. We can’t speak for others, but if we are putting $10,000 or more into a project for our home, we would rather put our money in good hands that we can count on and trust to do the project correctly. The only thing harder than having to spend a lot of money on a project is having to spend all that money and having the project come out wrong and then having to pay more in the long run to fix it. Spending a little more on the experts now will save you the stress, time, and money of doing the alternative, and you will have a beautiful project to love for years to come!