When creating a hardscape proposal or design for a homeowner or customer, there are an unlimited amount of options to consider for materials and finishes.
Once you define what the customer is looking for and what their budget might be, consider using prefabricated hardscape kits, which can be a huge time and labor saver.
Often two people can build most kits in a day or two, from start to finish.
The kits available range from sitting walls and fire features, to outdoor kitchens (grill islands) and more—all simple yet elegant features that can add a great focal point, symmetry and function to any outdoor space.
Start with a solid foundation
Hardscape kits often include everything needed to complete the build with the exception of the structure’s base. Once the grade is established at the proper location and excavation has been completed, then apply the recommended base for the kit—typically four to six inches of compacted aggregates or poured concrete.
This is the most critical step when building kits because a square and level base layer is the key to having the most successful build possible.
Once your base is established, the kit is ready to install. Most hardscape kits will issue instructions to guide you, layer by layer, through the entire project.
Building layer by layer
Many kits are composed of a concrete blocks with pre-measured and cut concrete or granite counter tops.
Some, like Ready-to-Finish (RTF) Systems outdoor cabinets, are ready to veneer as soon as they are assembled and leveled.
Adhesive, shims, lintels and gloves may also be included in the kit, depending on the manufacturer. Fire feature kits may also come with vents, if natural gas or propane is being used.
When building through the layers, making sure to stay level and plum, adhering the pieces as you go.
Tips of the trade
It’s recommended to wait 48 hours before using any kit with a fire feature or 24 hours for wall kits and cabinets to allow your adhesive to bond.
Don’t forget to include lighting in your proposal. This can make the simplest of designs feel more elegant and can easily be added during installation.
These jobs can be planned around tight deadlines and even when weather threatens productivity. Most projects can be built in the rain with the help of a canopy over the project site.
When the project is complete your customer will definitely be impressed with the speed and professional quality work that can be achieved from hardscape kits.