“I want a new patio.” ... Your first Interview

I get called to many clients’ homes to help them decipher what type of patio/walkway/hardscaping they want to replace their existing set-up with. Oftentimes I hear, “Oh! I saw a walkway that the neighbors just put in down the street. I really like that one.” OR “I read that this type of patio is going to fall apart in a few years”. No offense, but this generally goes in one ear and out the other for me. I love to hear that my customers are taking the time to educate themselves about what they want to do in their yards. However, I just want you to peer into the world of a landscape designer for a brief moment.

Today I would like to officially put in my two cents. Not all hardscaping installations are alike. Believe it or not, material isn’t even the only consideration. More likely than not, all of your neighbors are second hand educating each other on their outdoor living projects. Better yet they are all using different contractors! How confusing…

Personally, my first considerations when designing anything on a customers’ property is function. If it doesn’t fulfill its’ purpose; what’s the point?

Practical functions:

Where are you travelling to and from?

How often will you use this space?

What are you going to use the space for?

Who is the space for?

Does the use justify the cost?

Maintenance functions:

Is the location of the space wet? dry? sunny? shady?

Are you ever going to bring heavy things over it?

Do you use a maintenance service?(Mario Andretti on a Dixi Chopper can cause problems)

How consistent are you with maintenance?

Aesthetic functions:

Which other materials are used on site? Are they in context(nearby)?

Does the function warrant the aesthetic(a grand slate walkway to your garbage cans is stupid)?

How does it compare to neighboring properties? Do you give a crap?

Do you have strong preferences? What are they?

Feel free to read through my questions and answer them for yourselves. If you would like email me a summary of your project and the answers to my questions above. Later on I am going to debunk these things and get us into level two of demystifying our project. How do we build it? Which materials make sense? How big do I need it? How should it look?

Thanks for checking in!