Hardscape gains credibility Email
Tuesday, February 07, 2017 07:00 AM

Cara & David Doyle, Summit Lawn & LandscapeOur business has evolved as hardscape gained credibility. What was once seen as an “eco” or trendy item has in these stronger, post-recession years become a necessity. Canada and Europe have had paving systems in place for hundreds of years and we are finally catching on. Landscape architects now call for ICPI certified installed hardscapes in their designs both residential and commercial. On the commercial level, city ordinances, such as those in Fort Collins, require new construction to be more sustainable and to have a certain percentage of permeable pavers installed to help offset and manage stormwater runoff. These factors also play into our business and the services we offer.

More trends we can sell
Keeping up with what product manufacturers such as Belgard, Pavestone and Borgert unveil at large conventions like ProGreen EXPO and HNA/Hardscapes of North America, is thrilling because they present fresh opportunity. The tools and materials of the trade are improving—from polymeric sand and sealers to saws, tools and equipment used to install hardscapes—and make us better at what we do. But seeing more distinctive products we can offer clients really gets us excited. We come home with the latest ideas we can apply to our designs.

Some of the trends we are selling include:

  • LED lights that specifically fit into pavers and/or under caps on stairs, and on barbecues.
  • Mixing different types of colors, textures and patterns between pavers to break up a large expanse of patio or to designate separate areas for dining or for gathering around a fire pit.
  • The new porcelain tiles, recently introduced by one manufacturer, are another fun option that isn’t an actual concrete paver. They have a psi strength rating of over 38,000 lbs. The tiles ward off troublesome stains including red wine and oil and the color will never fade, nor will they need to be sealed. We like the more contemporary feel they bring to the landscape.
  • Fire elements remain very popular and now, there are options for every budget that give clients a lot of choices. We use colored glass and materials such as concrete, natural stone and various metals to complement the style of the home. To make barbecues and brick pizza ovens more functional, we use natural sandstone slabs custom cut from the local quarry to add countertop space.

Our business will always have a landscaping crew. Hardscaping and landscaping go hand in hand. They both need each other to make a property feel complete. This combination of softscape and hardscape is where we hope we can always find our own space and stand out from the crowd.

David Doyle & Cara Doyle are the owners of Summit Lawn and Landscape in Fort Collins. Read more about their business in the January/February 2017 issue of Colorado Green.

Read more in this issue of Colorado Green NOW:
One man’s trash, another man’s treasure
State bill fact sheet: Revised Definition of Commercial Motor Vehicle
Four tips for networking success
Handling alcohol or drug impairment on the job