Backyard Curb appeal with outdoor fireplace with a bit of artificial grass

Summer is coming to a close. With it is a decline in the use of your outdoor space with the cooler weather. You have built your deck and finished the barbeque and outdoor kitchen areas, but looking at the rest of the yard, you decide it still needs work.

Fall and early winter are a great time to retain a landscape design company. They will be able to move earth and construct new pathways and garden beds that can support further construction for next summer. First, though, you need an idea and a vision that the landscape company can help implement.

What is your vision, and where does your pathway lead?

Pathways and garden bed plans are the first stages of your dream plan for the rest of your backyard. You may want to break your dream development into phases, to help space out financial considerations. Do you want to use paving stones for the walkway and retaining walls for garden beds? Many people are opting for natural flagstone pathways and stairs as well. Does the path need to be straight or winding? Does it lead to a given structure like a garage? What about considering poured concrete curbing instead of edging stones?

To visualize the placement of the pathway, use your garden hose to lay out different patterns. If you are going with paving stones, they come in many materials and sizes. Patterns, colours, and textures add interest in a walkway. There are new applications for concrete walkways, including aggregate finishes and stains.

Skimming through Pinterest or the internet can give many ideas you think might work for your yard. A trip to stone suppliers can give you an idea of the many materials on the market to consider for your plan. You will want to choose materials within your budget that enhance your home’s exterior, blending in with the natural surroundings.

Make An Action Plan For Your Backyard

Once you have narrowed down your choices and ideas, it is a good idea to talk to a reputable landscape design contractor. A consultation will determine whether the bones of your yard can fit your vision and accommodate the materials you choose. A landscaping company will work with you to plan out the design to achieve your final goal and determine what will accommodate future additions.

They will look at things like grading of the yard, and where drainage areas need to be so you don’t wind up with boggy spots or water running into the house or garage. Additionally, they can take accurate measurements to cost out the materials and construction costs.

Custom landscape design drawing for a landscape. Drawing outlines entire landscape in great detail.
AutoCAD drawing used to accurately develop landscape design and provide client insight.

A landscaper can tell you what machines and tools are needed and whether they can gain access to do the work. Many people don’t realize if bobcat work is necessary, there needs to be an acceptable entry to the property, especially with no alley residences.

Use Due Diligence When Hiring A Contractor

 Make sure you research information on the contractor before retaining them. Go to several before you decide. You need one you can communicate and feel comfortable with. They also need to have a team that will carry through and get the job done efficiently. Ask to look at previous projects or get references. Get a written contract and quotes. A regular pathway might cost up to $8,000 for materials and labour. Most projects will cost more for labour than materials. 

This investment can be money well spent. Landscaping contractors may get discounts from retailers that you don’t have access to. Additionally, you won’t have to struggle with the physical aspects of the job or find a place to rent tools. A landscaping company will free up your time while providing you with a quality foundation for future work.

Make An Action Plan For Your Backyard

Once you have narrowed down your choices and ideas, it is a good idea to talk to a reputable landscape design contractor. A consultation will determine whether the bones of your yard can fit your vision and accommodate the materials you choose. A landscaping company will work with you to plan out the design to achieve your final goal and determine what will accommodate future additions.

They will look at things like grading of the yard, and where drainage areas need to be so you don’t wind up with boggy spots or water running into the house or garage. Additionally, they can take accurate measurements to cost out the materials and construction costs.

Granite pathway

Let The Landscaping Begin

A good walkway starts with a good foundation. Sod or old concrete and existing pathway material need removal. The ground needs grading, ensuring proper drainage. It is an excellent time to consider running an irrigation, electrical, or plumbing line for future development projects.

Laying a construction grade weed barrier before laying base materials is a good precaution. The proper base material is put down and compacted to make sure there is a solid base for the pathway material you choose. 

With paving stones, improper base preparation can lead to stones heaving and shifting at a later time. Wooden forms will be staked to contain the shape of the pathway. Edging is usually recommended for pathways, reinforcing the sidewalk material. Edging gives a clean walkway line and provides a barrier against encroaching garden or grass materials. It is usually dug down for installation, and then the final sidewalk material is placed. 

Reinforcing rebar will also be placed before a cement pour. A coarse granular or polymer sand tops pavers is swept into the cracks, to solidify the stones. Continuous concrete edging can be done at a later time. Sealing chemicals are used to maintain stone pathways. Stone is porous, so water can get in and cause cracking with freeze-thaw temperatures. It also protects the stones from the elements or spills.

Adding Garden Beds

Once the pathway is firmly in place, laying out areas for garden beds can be done. Placing or pouring edging and building retaining stone or paver walls sets the foundation for bed construction and soil addition. Transplanting existing perennials, shrubs and trees can be done in the fall, once the plants are dormant. However, if the snow flies too early, the transplanting can also be left until the spring when new plants arrive.  

There are several great planning guides available if you are still in the idea stage. Just keep in mind, now is a great time to start looking for and hiring contractors. Many people wait until spring and then the landscaping company you have in mind may be fully booked. 

 

Whether you are looking to add a touch of polish to your outdoor space or if you need a full-scale landscape design & construction solution, Curb Design has you covered. Give us a call today to and find out what we can do for you, your family, or your business.