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Transform Your Yard with Hardscaping: An Interview with Jim Walsh of Outdoor Hardscapes

By Jim Walsh

Please tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

In the early 90s, I saw a need for California homes to utilize their precious outdoor space. I decided to help homeowners make their outdoor space livable and luxurious, and Outdoor Hardscapes was formed. The company offers design and installation of countless outdoor amenities, including but not limited to outdoor kitchens, open and closed cabanas, swimming pools, spas, outdoor living rooms, Fire pits, custom patios, outdoor television installation, waterfalls, custom LED low-voltage lighting, synthetic lawn and putting green installations, and designer driveways.

What are some of the most popular outdoor hardscapes for Southern California homes?

Some of the most popular hardscape choices for Southern California homeowners are pools and spas. Rather than having to join a club, why not have all the amenities a club has to offer in your backyard? Outdoor living rooms are very popular as well, especially for yards that are not that large. No matter what the size, you can always make space for an outdoor living room.

What do you think is one of the most important considerations for homeowners who want to install new hardscaping?

When having a new hardscape installed, it is important to consider your reason why. Is it to save on maintenance? Is it to give your home more curb appeal? Do you want people to gravitate outdoors when you have gatherings? Do you want to add value to your house? Keeping your values and priorities in mind helps us to focus your design and budget on what you really want ? and make it happen!

How do hardscapes help people better utilize their outdoor spaces?

Hardscaping is a great way to utilize their outdoor space. First, it offers them multiple options that solely green landscape cannot; it makes their space livable and comfortable. Being able to go into your backyard and sit around a fire with the tranquil sounds of a water feature, going over to your outdoor bar area and mixing a cocktail for you and your friends, getting into your fully automated spa and relaxing with your spouse, or having a meal with your family outside under the stars. Building outdoor living space adds more square footage to your home and quality to your life. Once you have it you will wonder how you did without it!

Is there anything about hardscapes that most people don't know that they should know?

There are many hardscape materials to choose from but some materials are situation specific. For example, when building an outdoor barbecue, someone may choose a ceasar counter top; this would be a great choice for an indoor project but not appropriate outdoors. This is why it is important to consult with an experienced designer and installer when choosing materials. There is a saying you get what you pay for. This can't be any more true when installing your new hardscape project.

Do you have any maintenance tips for newly installed hardscapes?

One of the reasons for installing hardscaping versus plants or grass is that it eliminates most maintenance. If you decide to seal your newly installed hardscape, make sure you consult with a professional because the wrong sealer can damage and even ruin a project. Additionally, if you have a pool or spa, we recommend salt water which produces chlorine naturally and lessens maintenance. As always, consult with a professional.

What's the best way for people to contact your company?

The best way for people to contact my company is by reaching me by email jimwalsh@outdoorhardscapes.com. You can also fill out a contact form on our website .

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