Project Planning- Essential to Achieving Your Vision

Whether you are dreaming of a welcoming walkway, a relaxing patio or pool area complete with seat walls, an outdoor kitchen with all the amenities, or an impressive driveway, thoughtful planning is key to achieving your vision. 

Consideration of the following will go far toward making your project a success:
  • Style, Shape and Colors
    • Is your house modern, traditional, colonial, or rustic? We offer shapes, sizes and finishes to complement any style.
    • Color is the number one reason why people select Ideal and you have a choice of a wide range of eye-catching colors inspired by the deep, rich hues authentic to New England. Choose from our large selection of sophisticated grays, earth tone shades of tans or one of our beautiful blends with flashed tones. Feel creative? Mix and match colors to create your own unique blend!  And always remember to use actual samples to make your final decision. Our colors last!
  • Form
    • Consider the layout for your walkway or driveway. Do you prefer straight linear lines or does a curved, flowing design appeal to your style? Do you want your patio on-grade or raised with step-downs or perhaps multi-levels that differentiate the space and how you envision its use?
    • Walls have style too! Both in styles and form. Low rise planter beds provide a beautiful accent and retaining walls can be curved or linear, tiered and terraced as they shape your yard space.
    • Think patterns! You have lots of choices. Our website will guide you on any paver and wall style you consider!
  • Function
    • Relaxation & Entertainment – Do you envision a place to unwind sitting around a cozy fire pit or is an area to entertain friends and neighbors your inspiration?
    • Dining and Cooking – Outdoor kitchens are the latest trend and choosing the right grill and accessories are important. We have a large assortment of grills and accessories to fit your taste and budget.
    • Provide Privacy – A “close-by” place to make your “get away.” A personal place reserved for you!
    • Transition from one area or level to another.- Utilize the space you have. Our steps and stairs make traversing grade changes easy and practical.
  • Appearance
    • The interior of your home reflects your personal taste. Bring that same ambiance outdoors with selections from our Finishing Touches.
    • How will the space look from the inside looking out? Enjoy the vista. It can be your second living room!
  • Space and Scale
    • Consider the relationship of your house to the surrounding yard. Outdoor living spaces can range from small, casual entertaining spaces to expansive “rooms” with an outdoor kitchen with a built-in grilling space and a sink.
    • Sun vs. shade. Position the focal point where it captures the setting you prefer.
    • When locating a fire pit or fireplace, take into consideration the proximity of combustible structures and the typical direction of wind. Be sure to check building codes in your area or with your local fire department. There may be restrictions on open fires or where you can place the fire pit in relation to your house or other structures.
    • What is the flow from the house and to other areas of the yard? For serious grillers, built-in grills and cooking accessories should have easy access to your indoor kitchen.
  • Make sure you have safe clearances from heat/flames, distance from fire pit and grill to eating/sitting areas.
  • What is the number of people you wish to accommodate? Is your space intended for you and yours or is entertaining your style?
  • Consider larger scale is typically more cost effective as equipment and mobilization costs are factored in to all size projects.
  • The Future
    • Will this project integrate with outdoor spaces you plan to add later? Always look at the entire site, even if your budget is limited to one area. By thinking out a design for the whole site initially, your plan can be incorporated at a later date.
Added Features to Consider
  • Landscape Lighting
    • Outdoor lighting can dramatically transform landscapes by providing safety, security, accent, and character. Even a few well-placed lights can have an enormous impact. Low voltage lighting can be easily integrated into pavements as a way of making walkways and steps safer to navigate at night. Lights strategically placed under wall coping can cast dramatic down-lighting onto to your wall.
  • Low Voltage Lighting is relatively inexpensive and can be done by most hardscape contractors during installation. Because there are a number of techniques such as up-lighting and moon-lighting that can be used to accent plantings through-out your yard, you should consider a lighting professional to achieve the dramatic wow factor of more ambitious night lighting.
  • Heated Walkways, Paths, Steps and Driveways
    • Snowmelt systems are an easy, convenient, and inexpensive way to keep your driveway, walkway and patio free of snow and avoid slips and falls due to ice. Electric heating systems are popular because of their ease of installation and surprisingly reasonable cost to operate. When snow falls, a sensor device activates power to the insulated cables. The heated pavement melts snow upon contact and prevents ice from forming on the surface. No more going out in the cold to shovel, snow blow or plow!
    • If dealing with snow and ice is something you want to cross off your list, check out the ProLine page in the Finishing Touches section on our website for more information.
  • Safety
    • Always play it safe! Be sure to call 811 to contact Dig Safe or Call Before You Dig prior to starting excavation.
  • Flowers, Plants and Shrubs
    • Who isn’t impressed with a beautifully landscaped home? Give careful thought to plant beds, flowers and shrubs as they are key elements when complimenting your hardscape design regardless of how small or large your space.
  • Building Codes
    • Is a permit required? Built-in grills and gas fire pits require the services of licensed plumbers and, most likely, a permit.
    • Verify your property lines. Local ordinances may have setback requirements.
    • If a retaining wall is planned, check with your local building department to see if a stamped drawing is required. Your Ideal Dealer can help if it is!

DIY or professionally designed and installed?

Deciding this question often depends on the size and scope of the work, as well as how ambitious you are.  While small walks may be a weekend project, other projects will take far longer.  The installation instructions provided on our product pages should help you make a decision. 

Consider that professional contractors have the experience, equipment, and manpower to get the job done expeditiously and with the look and feel that you envision. Many offer design services and will work closely with you and your budget to determine the appropriate materials, size, and layout of your space to maximize the functionality for you, your family and guests.

If you decide to hire a professional, we’ll be happy to suggest two or three well suited to your project.  Just fill out this form.

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