When Plan B stands for Beautiful!

Existing deck before Archadeck of Columbus began 3-season room addition.

Our clients had hoped to build their Dublin 3-season room on the structure of an existing deck that was in disrepair. This was certainly a great idea and a cost-savings tool that we use on many of our redecking and upgrade projects. Unfortunately, in this case, we found during our professional inspection that the foundation was not strong enough to use. And so we went with Plan B.

Dublin OH three season room
New three season room!

While it is always nice to save some money, pulling out an unsound foundation offers a few benefits. First, and most importantly, you are looking out for the safety of your family and everyone else who visits the new room.  Second, it frequently gives you some additional longevity on your project, whether it is a Columbus screened porch, 3-season or sunroom. Replacing the foundation also gives you extra flexibility when it comes to deciding on the “footprint” of the project. You can expand or alter the shape from your original deck easily when starting from scratch.

Interior of Dublin, OH, 3-season room.
Interior of Dublin, OH, 3-season room.

Screened porches are the center of much of the social activity in this neighborhood, so when our customers were ready for an upgrade they had a good idea of what they wanted. Their ideal space was a 3-season room that has both screens and windows so that they can enjoy the space nearly every day of the year. They chose Jeld-Wen Low-E windows which are extremely energy efficient and will save them money in the long term. They also wanted hardwood flooring to give the room a rustic feel.

Interior of Dublin, OH, 3-season room showing king truss detail.
Interior of Dublin, OH, 3-season room showing king truss detail.

Archadeck enhanced the rustic theme with cedar wrap and trim, as well as exposed tongue & groove wood on the ceiling and interior walls. The decorative king truss is a thing of beauty. It’s a stunning visual focal point for the entire room. From the outside you will see vinyl siding installed to match the existing home with cedar trim that will weather beautifully over time. Deckorators made the balusters for the exterior railing.

This three season room and patio prove that plan B can stand for beautiful!
This three season room and patio prove that plan B can stand for beautiful!

Because we were starting essentially with a clean slate, Archadeck of Columbus was also able to install a curved Unilock paver patio for eating or barbecuing. In one fell swoop this family traded one tired deck for a 3-season room-paver patio combination that will be the hot new place to visit and socialize in the neighborhood this spring, summer, and fall.

Archadeck of ColumbusIf you’re thinking about adding an outdoor living space to your Columbus backyard, give us a call to see how we can make creating your dream backyard an enjoyable experience, start to finish. The consultation is completely free. Call (740) 879 – 3730, email us at westcolumbus@archadeck.net or visit our website at columbus.archadeck.com. We look forward to connecting with you.

Our Hardscape and Softscape Project in London, OH, Merges New and Old Seamlessly!

London OH Retaining wallsThere is nothing more interesting than when Archadeck of Columbus gets the chance to work on a historic home in our local geography. It certainly does present some challenges in terms of keeping the integrity of the home while providing homeowners with all the practical elements and benefits that are all about today’s outdoor lifestyle. We recently worked on a project in London, OH, with a home built in 1865 on 7.5 acres that has steep history during the Civil War/Antebellum era.

London OH Hardscape project on historic home

The house has been restored numerous times throughout its lifespan, and luckily the previous owner did renovations to the home to code back in 2000 after investing almost $750K to restore it, including the home’s stunning original brick veneer. This home’s newest owners also wanted to do right to the structure to continue its legacy in the proper way and preserve its integrity, but also add plenty of energy that would enhance the exterior. They wanted a masterful intermingling of new and old.

London OH patio builderOn a project of this scope, the homeowner’s needed a highly skilled  company with expertise in these areas for a large-scale outdoor additions complete with landscaping that would elegantly blend the new upgrades so they would complement the existing look and feel of the home. The homeowners didn’t necessarily want to have a historically accurate renovation, but rather have the improvements to the outdoor entertaining areas marry beautifully with what was already in place. This delicate balance was struck with the addition of a large paver patio, retaining/seating walls and fire pit along with extensive landscape installation to create a tasteful and practical outdoor living space that would complement this gracious home and property without overpowering its handsome simple lines.

London OH Patios and Hardscapes

The home originally had an existing deck off the back which was long overdue for an upgrade, so we tore it down to make way for a whole new look that was more in keeping with the historical nature of the brick building. Archadeck of Columbus added a hardscape outdoor living environment with stunning curved tiered steps lead from one area to the other in a dreamy way that tempers the hard lines and materials. The project also includes all the softscape foliage landscaping as well.

London OH outdoor fire pit builderThe hardscapes are built solely using Unilock and Belgard pavers due to their beauty and hard-wearing nature. The patio features Unilock pavers from the Camelot series in the Riverblend color with plenty of natural hues. All the vertical hardscapes were built using Belgard pavers from their Bel-air line in the Fossil Beige color. Both of these beautifully complement each other and have a seamless feel. The softscaping installation pairs well with all the stonework and adds plenty of color thanks to gorgeous specimens of Hydrangeas, Lavender, KnockOut Roses, new trees and evergreens for year round green.

London OH hardscape outdoor living environment
Just look at the vantage point the family now has to enjoy the view!

The family is beyond overjoyed at their new outdoor living environment, and you can see it looks heavenly. These homeowner’s are now in the process of adding a tranquil backyard pool to further their enjoyment and are currently in discussions with Archadeck of Columbus to design and build a paver pool surround,  pavilion and a pool house — they are so excited, and we are too!

Not only did we meet their challenge of merging old and new, but the property now boasts a multi-faceted and multi-functional outdoor living space that increases the livability of this stately 18th century home.

Archadeck of ColumbusGot a challenging project for us? Give Archadeck of Columbus a call today for a free consultation at (740) 879 – 3730. We look forward to your call. Please also visit our website at http://columbus.archadeck.com.

A thousand small details add up to one stellar Columbus outdoor space

Take a look at the before and after of this stunning outdoor space
Take a look at the before and after of this stunning outdoor space

One glance at the “before” pictures and you can tell that this backyard space just wasn’t working. There were two small decks that came from two different parts of the house and there was nothing creating unity of space or purpose in between. Before, there was seating on three different levels, but everything was disjointed and awkward. The goal: create multiple beautiful spaces that could be enjoyed by parents and teens that encourages fluid movement throughout.

The clients originally started working with a lumber yard that also did some design work, but they lost confidence that the outfit was up to this challenge. One of our designers, Rob, stepped up to the plate and really hit this one out of the park. His solution of a covered TimberTech plank porch and multiple levels of Unilock Brussels paver patios hit every point on the customer’s wish list.

Columbus Powell open porch and multi-level patio lrThere are multiple decorative planting circles that create visual interest, define different spaces and give the owners a living creative outlet. Seating walls provide a casual place to relax and help keep landscaping in place. Gravel beds look decorative, but serve the added function of handling drainage. The fire pit has a gas starter and can burn either gas or wood– take your pick. The built-in grill is right outside the kitchen door and is convenient to inside or out making food transfer quick and simple.

Some of the critical details to the success of this project you might never notice; had to do with water management. The design of the patio or deck is what everyone sees. But as an outdoor designer, it’s our job to know about and take care of what everyone doesn’t see. In this case, that was water management.

The grade of the yard meant that we had to give lots of thought to water movement. We used a catch basin trenched into the woods to do the heavy lifting. We used a rubber roof system above the porch to handle rain and snowfall. The owners wanted everything to be easy to care for, that included having an irrigation system built in to the landscaping and planters. We also took care of rerouting hot water and dryer venting. We attended to every detail from start to finish.

So, if you are ever lucky enough to be invited to a barbecue at this Powell porch and patio combination, make sure you get a chance to admire the huge grand staircase that leads to the landing patio– you might stop at the bistro table there for a drink. Or, if the mosquitoes are biting, use the remote to start the ceiling fan. It does a great job of shooing them away. You might want to play around a bit with the lighting too. It’s on a dimmer and the owners made some very attractive lighting choices, replacing an old sconce and adding some stylish new fixtures.

Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus
Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus

If you’re thinking about adding an outdoor living space to your Columbus backyard, give us a call to see how we can make creating your dream backyard an enjoyable experience, start to finish. The consultation is completely free. Call (740) 879 – 3730, email us at westcolumbus@archadeck.net or visit our website at columbus.archadeck.com. We look forward to connecting with you.

6 reasons to pick a patio for your Columbus OH area home

Columbus OH patio around Japanese Maple tree lr
Different paver stones and blocks are used to create a sense of order and visual interest

When you want to create a beautiful and engaging outdoor living space low to the ground, you have a few different options, but the two most common are Columbus decks or patios. So, how do you choose between them? Here are a few things that I love about Columbus paver patios.

  1. You can be square…but why would you? Since pavers come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes and can be mixed and matched so easily, designing and laying out a patio in the custom shape of your choice is so much easier than trying to do the same thing with a deck. You can even inlay designs to a classic shape. It is also simpler to work around existing landscaping features like a stately old tree.
  2. Versatility thy name is paver. While engineered stone products are a huge seller because of their durability, availability, and attractive price point, they are certainly not the only paver options. While decks are generally limited to wood or synthetics, your patio could be natural stone, interlocking concrete, clay brick, slate, travertine, flagstone, granite, or something else entirely. Depending on the look you want, there are dozens of options available.
  3. It’s easy to mix and match. Many customers select one color, like classic red brick, but that doesn’t mean that you have to. Perhaps you’d like to accent around a fire pit or along a border with a darker color. You could even move from darker to lighter along a path, if you chose the type of paver. A thoughtful color choice will have great impact and help you control the mood set by your Columbus paver patio.
  4. There’s no need to be flat! It’s so easy to include vertical elements in patio design. Two of our favorites are seating walls and fire pits. Both serve a very practical purpose while drawing the eye up and across the space. We find that they also create natural gathering spaces whenever you entertain friends or family at your home.
  5. Built to last. A well-laid paver patio is incredibly durable and can last for decades. In the event that a piece comes loose or is broken, it’s usually a small matter to repair or replace the stone or section. We recommend keeping a few extra stones from your project in the event you need them down the road.
  6. The natural look. Even if you don’t choose a natural stone for your patio, it’s easy to have a natural look that blends with the environment of your yard. We can help you create a landscaping design that harmonizes yard, patio, and house all together in a combination that will have you looking forward all day to the time when you can get back out to your seat on the patio.
Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus
Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus

If you’re thinking about adding an outdoor living space to your Columbus backyard, give us a call to see how we can make creating your dream backyard an enjoyable experience, start to finish. The consultation is completely free. Call (740) 879 – 3730, email us at westcolumbus@archadeck.net or visit our website at columbus.archadeck.com. We look forward to connecting with you.

A paradise for pets and owners alike

Columbus cat porchHave you heard of the concept of a “catio”? It’s outdoor living space designed for pets. The new construction is usually a screened porch or sunroom where indoor cats or other pets can enjoy a taste of the outside without safety or inclement weather worries. While you are at work or out running errands, they can spend some time almost outside, taking in the sights and sounds of the world around.

Sixty-two percent of American households include at least one pet, according to the Humane Society. In my experience, that rate is even higher among the Columbus porch for happy catfamilies Archadeck serves. I’m often greeted by a friendly dog or two at the door or see a cat peeking at me from around a corner. Since most of our Columbus porch clients count at least one animal as a member of their family, it only makes sense to give them some thought when you are designing your new project.

Cats, dogs, ferrets, rabbits, and most other mammals have a natural affinity for the outside. They continue to be animals after all, even after domestication. Therefore, they are fascinated by what goes on outside. As any pet owner knows, most of them have two favorite places to be: under foot or sitting in a sunbeam at a window or door. One gets them love and attention; the other gets them warmth and something interesting to watch.

Your dog wants a great place to sun also
Your dog wants a great place to sun also

I don’t advocate going as far as some people do and building a space suitable only for animals, but Archadeck can easily put in screening, railings, doors or custom gates to keep your beloved cat or dog safe and in the area where they are supposed to be. As cat owners know, cats don’t actually need mazes to keep them entertained. They are just as happy to climb around on your furniture, cuddle up on one of your chairs or sit on your keyboard while you’re typing. The best pets love spending time with you as much as you enjoy them.

In the same way that we can build in special accommodations for people with mobility issues so that they can easily access porches or decks, we can give similar thought and consideration for your aging pet. If you dog is suffering from arthritis or hip dysplasia, we can build a ramp or shallower, wider steps to give him easier access from the house to the yard. In the case of larger dogs, this may even allow them to be able to live at home longer with an improved quality of life. If your cat wants fresh air, a great view of squirrels and warm sunshine on his back, a screened porch is the best option. This way, both the humans and the pets can enjoy the cool breeze, the smell of rain, and the feeling of warm sunshine on your shoulder.

Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus
Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus

If you’re thinking about adding an outdoor living space to your Columbus backyard, give us a call to see how we can make creating your dream backyard an enjoyable experience, start to finish. The consultation is completely free. Call (740) 879 – 3730, email us at westcolumbus@archadeck.net or visit our website at columbus.archadeck.com. We look forward to connecting with you.


You don’t need a large space to make a big statement for your Columbus OH home

TimberTech tigerwood decking with mocha picture frame lrMany of our Columbus deck and patio improvement projects have expansion as a key component. Clients want to capture more living area when they replace an existing structure. This Grove City patio and deck combination was a little different. We built on a slightly bigger footprint, but the main focus was to upgrade the entire space to be more useful, more beautiful, and to flow more naturally from home to pool and back.

The original deck had two levels that stepped up into a dead end. The deck was round and, because of the design of the railings, a little claustrophobic. We regraded space so that the deck area adjacent to the house was the higher part of the project. We used TimberTech Tigerwood decking with a Mocha picture frame and lights built into the steps. We took out a few shrubs, but kept lovelier landscaping pieces like the dwarf Japanese red maple tree and even designed one of the walkways to feature it.

Columbus OH paver patio with seating wall lrFrom the deck, you now step down into the patio area laid with Beacon Hill Sierra pavers. The soldier course along the outer edge is in a black called Copthorne Basalt which is a new product from Unilock. I like the way it calls to mind the look of dark river stones. The low seating wall only goes along part of the perimeter, defining the space, but leaving two pathways open: one going back up to the house and the other down to the pool. Where the homeowners used to have to troop across the lawn to get the the pool, they now can choose one of two feature walkways.

We gave a lot of thought to color on this project. The old deck railings looked a little anemic against the tan stucco of the home. The new color palette celebrates a wide range of earthtone browns from light to dark, bringing in colors from both the home and the yard. The result is both artistic and Columbus OH patio around Japanese Maple tree lrharmonious. We saved much of the existing landscaping, keeping it either in place or moving it to a more advantageous location. We added in a few additional pieces as needed.

The takeaways from the project? A little more space, sure. But now the family also has significantly improved traffic flow on their deck/patio combination that is made of low-maintenance, long-lasting materials. The entire yard has a more open design. There is  built-in lighting on steps and rails that allows for safe, paved access from home to pool. Other bonuses include a custom layout with lots of attention to design details,color, and built-in seating.

Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus
Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus

If you’re thinking about adding an outdoor living space to your Columbus backyard, give us a call to see how we can make creating your dream backyard an enjoyable experience, start to finish. The consultation is completely free. Call (740) 879 – 3730 or email us at westcolumbus@archadeck.net. We look forward to your call.


Paradise by the porch/deck light

We just put the finishing touches on a design for an outdoor living space that includes everything but a restroom. This Gahanna patio-porch combination will certainly set the standard for entertaining in the neighborhood. We are very excited to break ground on this project which is sure to see lots of fun in the sun this spring, summer and fall.

Columbus OH deck open porch and paver patio

The curvilinear Unilock paver patio has plenty of room, over 1,000 square feet, for multiple conversation and activity areas. Close to the house it will include a complete outdoor kitchen with granite countertops, a built-in grill and a refrigerator.  A second area is designated for relaxed socializing. A third is a circular stone firepit with a retaining wall and plenty of space for chairs. The entire patio also serves as an unifying space which joins the two decked areas. We haven’t settled on exactly which color paver we will use, but intend to use darker, contrasting stones for a framing course along the edge and around the firepit.

The flow of the project is ideal. Leaving the rear of the home, guests will emerge onto a low-to-grade deck with no rails. That space is intended primarily for dining, but almost has the feeling of a balcony. From there people can move easily down the grand staircase toward the conversation cluster or off to the side for use the barbecue. The hot tub sits near the firepit and adjoining the covered porch, in case there is a bit of a chill in the air after a quick dip. It’s also just a few steps from the hot tub to the fridge if a frosty beverage is needed.

The covered porch is original to the house. This Archadeck endeavor is primarily new construction, but part of the overall building project involves redecking to minimize unnecessary costs while ensuring top-quality and a unified look for the entire space. We’ll use TimberTech Terrain for the new deck with white trim and white risers on the stairs. TimberTech’s CONCEALoc® hidden fasteners will add to the seamless, high-end feel of this Gahanna porch.

Another terrific design detail you should note is the way that we were able to integrate the hot tub with both the covered porch and the Gahanna paver patio. You can easily enter the tub from the top rim using the porch, from partway up via the stairs or lever yourself over the side from ground level. As with all of our projects, we consider functionality and fabulous looks for every part of the whole space.

Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus
Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus

If you have a Columbus outdoor living space you are considering for 2015, we’d love to hear from you: (740) 879 – 3730 or email us at westcolumbus@archadeck.net.  The consultation is completely free.

Archadeck of Columbus on the road in Canada

panoramic Canada lakeside patio by Archadeck ColumbusEach fall, as our busiest season winds down, I try to bring some of my crew members up to my family’s cabin in Canada for a little well-earned break. You can’t beat the scenery there in October. Our place sits on the banks of the Ottawa River in Ontario and looks across to a provincial park in Quebec. We all have a great time fishing, relaxing, and enjoying Molson Canadian.

building lake side patio Columbus OH lrAt heart though, we are all builders and our conversations inevitably turn to what projects we could do that would make the place a little nicer for our next trip up. We have a nice space inside for watching the river go by, but it’s a little short on seating. There is plenty of room outside, but the property slopes away from the house down to the water. We wanted to build something that would give us plenty of space and stability to enjoy our time outside looking at the blaze of autumn color across the river or counting the stars.

The first question was whether it should be a deck or patio. We wanted something low profile and natural to the setting. The winters are extremely harsh up there and I didn’t want to add one more thing that required maintenance. These factors made the choice pretty simple: paver patio.

Taking our show on the road presented a few challenges. We had to source our materials locally and we were ordering them at the end of the building season when stock is a little scarce. Chuck at Reiche & Sons took great care of us. We were able to order Oaks pavers, a product I’ve used to build Columbus patios. We designed and built the whole project in less than a week pavers for patio by Archadeck of Columbus lrwith time to spare for happy hours and fishing breaks. Thanks also to Pat Stewart who was kind enough to loan us his loader and Kubota tractor: that really made the job easier!

The finished patio is roughly 14’x20’ with room for 12 chairs. There is a drop off on one side of about 28” which I imagine will end up being a seating wall for the kids. We used graystone and buff for the pavers and Oaks Gardenia greystone for the retaining wall. We worked most of the day Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. On Sunday we put in polymeric sand and we were done. It won’t require any maintenance. Period.

While we were lucky with the weather and have never had a better view at a job site, I’m thrilled to have the work done. It was really cool to have the chance to add a new amenity to the cabin that my grandfather built with his guys back in the early 1940s. Having seen how much joy the place has given four generations of family (so far), I know how meaningful a building project like this can be. I’m looking forward to hearing and seeing the reactions and pictures from my extended family during their trips to “Harry’s Haven” next year. They are gonna love it! Special thanks to Rob Mitchell, Phil Sluss, Seth Mitchell, and his dad Rahe. Outstanding work, guys!

Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus
Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus

If you’re thinking about adding an outdoor living space to your Columbus backyard, give us a call to see how we can make creating your dream backyard an enjoyable experience, start to finish. The consultation is completely free. Call (740) 879 – 3730 or email us at westcolumbus@archadeck.net. We look forward to your call.


Dinner made in the shade

Stunning open porch Powell Columbus OHThis family in Powell, OH wanted to expand their covered patio on the south side of their home so that they could have additional shade in the summertime and room to create an outdoor kitchen.  The space abuts the garage, which is a little unusual.  The existing wall is 12’ high, but we wanted a lower patio roof to provide more shaded space, so the open porch area is 10’ tall with a hip roof to match the home.  Underneath the roof, the ceiling is vaulted and finished with plybead to match the porch at the front of the home.

Matching the existing pavers was a bit of a challenge because the old ones are no longer made, so we did some research with our extensive list of suppliers and found a nice solution with Unilock Beacon Hill pavers.  The entire covered area is about 20’x16’ and is supported with four pillars made with Unilock Brussels, nicely complementing the fabulous open porch beadboard ceiling Columbus OHpavers on the ground.  Brussels was also used on the seating walls and to build the outdoor kitchen.

As with most of our projects, this one has several thoughtful details that make it special.  We modified the support columns with hand-carved flutes to match existing columns at the front of the home.  The pillar caps are made from a genuine stone called Brentwood which is quarried in Oklahoma.  It is so striking because it looks like petrified wood.  We also used it for the kitchen and seating bar countertops, creating a rich and distinctive focal point.  There is a built-in footrest all around the bottom of the bar. Little details mean a lot!  The roof posts and beam, columns and king truss were all wrapped in Paulownia wood which has a high weight-strength ratio and is easy to work with for details like the column flutes.

Powell OH outdoor barThe finishing touches on this new cooking/eating/entertainment area were the installation of top-quality appliances and the wiring for lights and speakers.  With the flick of a switch, light fills the space and highlights those polished stone countertops.  One more turns on the music and then it’s time to fire up the grill and start taking drink orders.  Powell’s newest exclusive eating area is open for friends and family to enjoy.

Contact Archadeck of Columbus today to see how we can make creating your dream backyard an enjoyable experience, start to finish. The consultation is completely free.

Call (740) 879 – 3730

Email: westcolumbus@archadeck.net.

Visit our website to see more Columbus open porch photos

We look forward to your call.

Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus
Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus

Archadeck of Columbus discusses the importance of promoting enviromental sustainability in our softscape designs

As the first portion in part 3 of our series on softscapes, Archadeck of Columbus discusses the importance of environmental sustainability within the landscape.

Environmental SustainabilityHave you ever heard the old saying “beauty is in the eye of the beholder?” When it comes to creating beauty within your landscape, what is beautiful to the naked eye can also be planned in such a way that is beautiful for our environment.  The importance of creating environmentally sustaining landscapes in our own backyards can contribute to sustainability on a global level. A little extra effort, and thinking beyond the here and now when planning your softscape design is doing our part to support our environment.

According to the EPA “traditional landscaping and current landscape maintenance practices, while frequently meeting human needs and aesthetics, often have harmful impacts. The clearing of native woodlands and other natural habitats for urban/suburban growth and subsequent planting of grounds with vast lawns and manicured arrangements of exotic ornamental plants place a heavy toll on environmental and human health. This type of landscape requires extensive use of mechanical equipment, unnecessary consumption of our limited natural resources (water and fossil fuels), frequent application of fertilizers and pesticides, and the generation of significant quantities of solid waste. As a result, our surface and ground waters are being polluted; destructive flooding is more commonplace; our neighborhood’s tranquility and air quality are compromised by noisy, polluting landscape equipment; and our landfills are being consumed by yard waste. Furthermore, the biodiversity of our ecosystems is suffering from the introduction of invasive exotic landscape plants.”

Columbus OH Hardscape front of home additions
This paver sidewalk, landing and softscape surround is carved out into the landscape with site conditions in mind to reduce water runoff.

One of the biggest problems in an urban environment is water runoff. Keep in mind that a lawn, or garden, has less than 10% the water absorption capacity of natural woodland. This is a main reason for suburban flooding. In addition, it is not just water that is “running off” into storm drains either. Yard wastes including grass clippings, and even landscaping materials such as mulch comprise 20% of municipal solid waste collected and most still ends up in landfills.

Keep in mind, from a global perspective, we cannot forever continue to abuse our surroundings and still expect a healthy, attractive community or planet for future generations to enjoy!  In order for success we must learn to balance our needs with those of the environment. Beneficial landscaping attempts to do just that. And, in addition to protecting and conserving our natural resources, this method of landscaping can save considerable time and money for homeowners with reduced maintenance requirements. Archadeck of Columbus embraces the use of environmental guidelines for responsible landscaping in all of our softscape designs and installations. We also encourage the homeowner to continue “green” practices when maintaining and using their softscape.

Below is a list of tips and ideas that will help reduce the global impact your landscape has on the environment:

  • Learn about your site or yard – Knowing about your yard’s resources and problems is key to making good decisions about your plants, soil, water, and wildlife.
  • Choose plants native to your area
    Choose plants native to your specific area in order to promote sustainability within your softscape.

    Choose the right plant for the right spot –  If a plant is in a location where it must struggle to survive, chances are the homeowner will respond with additional water, fertilizers, or pesticides to improve the situation. A properly acclimated plant will require less maintenance and pruning and avoid the cost and waste of replacing it.

  • Select regionally native plants -To form the backbone of the landscape. Select appropriate plants for each particular site (each plant has its unique requirements and most sites have a variety of conditions). While there isn’t usually a problem with occasional use of exotic plants, native plants have evolved to local conditions over millions of years and they form an integral part in the life cycles of the local wildlife. They also give an area its unique sense of place.
  • Use plantings to reduce heating/cooling needs – Deciduous trees planted appropriately along the south sides of buildings can reduce air conditioning costs by up to 20%. In winter they allow the sun’s rays to warm buildings. Coniferous trees planted to block prevailing NW winter winds can reduce heating costs.
  • Avoid choosing invasive exotics – These out compete native plants and result in declines in biodiversity. Examples include: Norway maples, kudzu, purple loosestrife, Japanese honeysuckle and multiflora rose. Here’s a great rule of thumb. If it’s going to take over, then steer clear from planting in within your landscape!
  • Healthy and fertile soil is necessary for good plant growth
    Healthy and fertile soil is necessary for good plant growth.

    Build healthy soil and use fertilizer responsibly – Healthy and fertile soil is necessary for good plant growth, supports microorganisms, and results in plants that are more resistant to disease and pests.

  • Reduce waste and recycle nutrients – Reducing yard waste that otherwise could be sent to a landfill reduces the need to create more or larger landfill operations. Recycling nutrients through composting and recycling grass clippings reduces the need for fertilizers or other soil supplements.
  • Practice soil and water conservation – Stabilize slopes with natural plantings, mulch around plants, and install drought- tolerant species. Even hardscaped areas can be planned and built in such as way as to promote water-run off. Using  pavers that water can soak through, such as Unilock and Belgard’s permeable pavers allow you to recharge groundwater on site. This means you don’t have to create extra ditches, and/or piping to move the water away into storm drains. Permeable pavers can also aid in helping landscapes with existing drainage issues too!

Many of these helpful hints come from The Lawns and the Environment Initiative as outlined by the Center for Resource Management and from the EPA outline for Greener communities through beneficial landscaping.

Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus
Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus

Archadeck of Columbus realizes that knowledgeable and thoughtful plant selection, soil criteria and averting water runoff are key factors in creating an environmentally friendly softscape. We can help you plan and design the outdoor oasis you have always imagined with a keen eye on how your little slice of heaven can impact the world as a whole — we firmly believe a greener tomorrow begins in your own backyard! (740) 879 – 3730

Please visit our extensive hardscape photo gallery on our website, including our patios and covered patio photo galleries, for more backyard ideas!