Base Preparation is the Foundation of a Beautiful and Long-Lasting Hardscape

Base preparation for a front walkway

Everyone loves the look of a nice stonewall, patio or walkway. There are some great hardscape materials to use, no matter what your style or budget may be.

But did you know that 80% of the work that goes into installing those walls, patios and walkways is underground?

The excavation piece of those hardscape projects is actually the hardest part. Preparing the base of the hardscape design – what’s underneath your patio or walkway – is crucial to endurance.

Creating a hardscape for your yard is a lot like building a house. You start with a good foundation and build up. With a solid foundation, that house will last a long time. It’s the same with a patio, wall or pathway in your yard. The base preparations made in the very beginning of the project will help the finished project last for a long time.

The finished walkway

Cutting corners in the installation will only cost you money in the long run. There’s a lot to take into consideration when approaching these landscaping projects, including:

  • Depth and underlayment of the gravel base
  • Geosynthetics, for soil separation and stability
  • Proper backfill material (and enough of it)
  • Compaction equipment, to eliminate settling
  • Accurate grading

Whether you are doing it yourself or hiring a professional landscape company, you want to make sure the proper installation methods are being used. If you don’t know what the above bullet points mean, you probably want to hire professionals. It may seem more expensive at first, but you’ll save money in the long run.

Here at M. J. Storey Landscape Construction, all of our staff is certified by SRW and ICPI standards. Certified work makes a difference in longevity, which is particularly important in Maine because of the clay in the soils and the extreme freeze – thaw cycles we endure.

The most important work done for your hardscape is the work that people don’t see. There are serious implications for longevity and your investment if you ignore the base preparations.

April Showers Bring Attention to Drainage Problems

bad drainageApril showers bring May flowers. These showers also bring attention to the drainage problems in your yard.

With all the recent rain we’ve been having here in Maine, you know if you have a drainage problem right now. Constant puddles and wet, mucky areas in the yard. Standing water. Flooding of walkways. Saturated grass that’s too wet to mow, even after the rain has come and gone.

If you wait for the grass to dry or the big puddles in your yard to evaporate, the problem will never go away. In fact, it might get worse. And all that water can damage the nice landscaping you have in place.

Late winter / early spring (now!) is a good time to take care of drainage issues because you can call someone like us out to take a look at the problem while it is obvious.

Call us when the moisture is noticeable, and we can come up with some solutions for you.

The good news is that there are some simple, affordable solutions to help fix your drainage problems. Solutions that don’t include a big, ugly drain spout that only shifts water to a different location.

At M. J. Storey Landscape Construction, we install

  • Gutter drains – an underground piping system that catches gutter water and removes it from your property
  • French drains – where we fill a trench with crushed stone in a saturated or standing water area, giving the water a place to go
  • Drainage Swale and Grading– designed to manage water runoff

If you’re in Maine, and you can’t mow or can’t walk through your yard because it’s too wet and mucky, contact us now. We can see where your problem is and help you come up with the best solution for your drainage problem.

Restore and Protect Your Hardscapes, Don’t Replace Them

M. J. Storey Landscape Construction has installed hardscapes in Maine for more than a decade. Over the years, we’ve recognized the need for a specialized service that focuses on preserving these beautiful hardscapes and preventing deterioration. We’re excited to announce the launch of a new company, Perfect Pavers.

Maine has the harshest climate for hardscapes, yet there aren’t any companies out there protecting these hardscapes. While our Canadian neighbors up north freeze during the winter, we go through constant freeze-thaw cycles throughout the season. The harsh weather, time, and regular human traffic takes a toll on Maine hardscapes. Think of it this way. If you leave your car outside for 10 years, without any maintenance, how is that car going to look after a few years?

People put a lot of money into their patios, walkways, and other hardscapes, but they tend to forget to maintain them. After a while, surfaces start to wear, colors fade, and pavers shift. If you don’t protect your investment, you end up having to pay for a whole new hardscape installation down the road. Unfortunately, the proper maintenance techniques, such as cleaning, sealing, and joint stabilization aren’t practical for the average homeowner to perform by themselves.

Perfect Pavers provides high quality hardscape restoration, maintenance, cleaning, joint stabilization and sealing services to commercial and residential clients in Maine. Our services restore existing hardscapes such as concrete pavers and steps, clay brick, natural stonewalls and patios, to an original or enhanced appearance. We restore the critical components that allow your hardscape to function, which increases the longevity. Our professionals are all ICPI and Techniseal certified, so you know the job will be done right.

Find out more about how restoring your hardscape can save you money in the long run. Visit the Perfect Pavers website or contact us at (207) 829-4345.

10 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Landscaping Company

hardscapeWhile we certainly would love for you to call M.J. Storey Landscape Construction for your outdoor project in Maine, we also encourage you to do your homework when choosing a landscaper.

It’s important to call early (like now!) to get on a landscaper’s schedule before you lose precious summer months to outdoor projects and inconveniences. You want to work with a reputable company that will get the job done right so you don’t have problems down the road.

But how do you know if the person that came to your house and gave you a quote is someone you want to complete your landscaping project?

Here are 10 questions to ask when choosing a landscaping company:

  1. How long have they been in business? Experience can make a big difference in the outcome of your project, especially if it’s a larger one.
  2. Have they completed a project like this before? You might find a company that can do a project for a good price. Make sure they know what they are doing before they start.
  3. Are they insured? This question is a no brainer. It’s surprising how many people forget to ask this simple question. Unfortunately, there are many landscapers out there who are not properly insured.
  4. What is included in the cost? When you get an estimate from a landscaping company, you want to see the breakdown of everything that is included in the projected cost. Some projects can get particularly complicated with materials, time and labor. Do you know what you are going to get when you hire them?
  5. What kind of equipment do they have? Reputable companies have their own equipment that is insured and will make the job easy and efficient.
  6. What will the process be like once you start working with them? After you choose the landscaper, you want to know what happens next. Are you on a schedule? Do you need to make accommodations while they are working on your project? Make sure there aren’t any surprises along the way.
  7. Are they certified? There are several certifications that landscapers can acquire. While not required, those that are certified have the education and knowledge to complete a variety of landscaping jobs.
  8. What kind of products do they use? You want to make sure the products used in your space will last for a long time and won’t hurt the environment.
  9. Can you see comparable projects? Seeing completed projects from the landscaping company will give you a good idea of the work they do. Be leery if they can’t give you a couple of addresses to drive by or show you some photos.
  10. What is the experience of their staff? Landscaping companies often hire inexperienced labor for the summer to fill in holes in their staffing. Are they trained? Do they know what they are doing? You want to feel comfortable with the crew working on your project.

Give us a call at 207-829-4345 or get a free estimate. We promise a detailed estimate and will answer any questions you may have.