A beautiful walkway and a “come sit by me and stay a while” patio are a wonderful addition to your home, they also increase your property value. Your walkway is the first impression people will have as they approach your home; it should harmonize with the surrounding landscape and should serve as a snapshot of your home’s personality. Something beautiful to see when driving from either side of the street towards your house; it’s literally your home’s best foot forward. A patio, on the other hand is an extension of your living space, where you can express your personality as well as your home’s, and where you can create a vacation oasis within the confines of your property. Paying attention to the design of both of these elements can pay great long-term dividends.
For example, having a beautiful, well-maintained front walk increases curb appeal immediately, adds value to your home and not coincidentally, makes coming home each day a more pleasant experience. Who couldn’t use THAT at the end of a long work day? Aside from being unsightly, cracked and damaged walkways present an inherent danger to you and your family, and frankly, to anyone who approaches your front door. Beauty as well as safety need to be taken into account when deciding whether to repair or replace. This is where consulting an expert is critical. A proper evaluation must be done to weigh the cost of repair versus the need to replace completely based on cracking, chipping and potential soil erosion.
If you decide replacing is the best option, it’s important to consider the types of materials available. Crushed stone and gravel are inexpensive and easy to install, though the gravel will scatter and need replenishing from time to time. Be sure to add solid edging to contain the stones. This option, though inexpensive, may require more upkeep than your lifestyle will allow. Also, gravel paths are very difficult to keep clear when it snows.
Brick, flagstone and pavers are the longest-lasting option and visually the most striking. To put it in perspective, a brick walkway can last over 100 years. However, because of their longevity and the level of craftsmanship required not only to lay, but to prep the site, they can be the most expensive. To counterbalance this, however, the repair to them is fairly easy and economical since you can replace individual stones as needed.
With all of the options referenced above, you can also kick it up a notch by adding landscape lighting. It can make a huge impact on curb appeal in addition to providing collateral safety and security. If you’re not able to use lights that require wiring, you can opt for solar fixtures instead.
A patio, on the other hand, is an extension of your living space. Usually not accessible to the public unless invited. Location, location, location is an important consideration. How much sun will your patio receive? Too much or too little? How’s your view? Are there large trees nearby that could suffer root damage or damage the patio? Is there privacy? Does sound carry? If you’re planning to use your patio for outdoor entertaining and dining, you will want to have it close to the house, as it will increase the likelihood that you will use it.
The key is to design a patio that allows for easy flow between the indoors and out. There are endless design options to explore: make the space feel like a room by adding a pergola, use an existing wall of your home as a partial enclosure, wire it for electricity and gas, etc. In the planning stage, as you are assisted by your landscape expert, you can play with options, deciding first and foremost, what size and scale will fit your needs and your budget.
All of these options can be explored with the help of a landscape professional such as Sunrise Landscape and Design; we can help you plan what you see in your mind’s eye with OUR eye towards what is the best suited aesthetically for your existing landscape and what fits within your budget. With Sunrise Landscape and Design, we can make your vision a reality!
Sunrise Landscape and Design provides superior landscape and design, and landscape management services to Northern Virginia. Our landscape and design services include various hardscapes such as water features, patios, walkways, fire features and landscape lighting. Our property maintenance services will keep your landscape vibrant and healthy year round with mulching, edging, garden cleanups, lawn mowing, tree pruning and mosquito/deer control. Contact us today for all your landscape and lawn care needs!