Hardscapes need proper foundations. In the past and still today most people take an “add-on” approach to building landscape patios, decks, even rockeries, and water features. They don’t adjust the grade before the building is started. The end result of short-cutting the grading stage is lower quality, more future issues to alleviate (fix), unwanted settling after your contractor has been paid, and/or a job that just doesn’t feel right.
Building a project on unstable material that will liquefy in a big downpour is not acceptable, but yet is sometimes overlooked in the hurry to get a “cheap” price. Walk along the river walk pavers in Drake Park for an example! It’s always cheaper to do your job right the first time – redos – may mean starting over, but they also often mean removing the resulting mess first. Even if the problem doesn’t require removal, it’s usually hard to fix these kinds of issues once and for all and so they become reoccurring headaches.
Almost all residential landscaping designs lack the elevation plans always found with home building plans. Since you are really constructing outside rooms, of course, grading and levels are important. Grades and levels need to be brought up or down so that the final grade goes where it is meant to go. Often times sites have “blemishes” that should be graded out, filled in, or removed. Removing or repositioning rock, debris, and dirt needs to be done when access is less disruptive to the project. To avoid these and other common frustrations do the needed site preparation as your first step.
In “The Ultimate Simple Landscaping Book” you can learn much more about using materials and characteristics of your site to make construction easier and even cheaper! The book is guaranteed to save you money and it covers the subject above in much more specific detail. Fred has been doing landscape here in Central Oregon since 1970 and he does professional grading. Your site is the stage your landscape drama plays out on. It either comes off as a successful show or “bombs” because of the quality of grade work done first. For more information on hardscapes from Bend Pine Nursery call 541-382-5188 or email firstname.lastname@example.org