Your outdoor living space is just as important as your indoor living space and being able to use your entire outdoors just makes practical sense considering the investment you have made. However, some properties have unique challenges, such as sloped terrain, patios or decks that are not as easily accessible to other parts of the home, or areas that just require a walkway or set of steps that can make an area more easily to traverse or come together cohesively.
Landscapes that Flow
Creating a sense of flow on a property makes it easy to move from one place to another or to connect different sections to one another. Transitions between sections should be effortless. Think about the different sections in your yard, such as the front yard to the back, the interior of the house to outdoors, or a garden or any other special feature such as a fire pit or playhouse, etc. on your property. All of these create opportunities to create paths to follow. A well designed walkway or steps are hard to resist as it takes us on a visual journey by linking one experience in your yard to another.
Using Steps in Sloped Yards
Many homes face the challenges of a downhill or uphill slope and steps help to connect our outdoor spaces and give our property a multi-leveled appeal. This is where good landscape design can not only contribute to the basic functionality of the space, but can enhance your finished project by adding some creativity.
A massive row of steps can be softened by incorporating a landing area and a great place for you and guests to pause. Correct spacing of steps is also important as to not make the climb up or down challenging. And lastly, the materials you choose can make a huge difference aesthetically. Using natural stone blends into a natural landscape more than plopping a concrete walkway set of stairs.
There are plenty of options and solutions for steps and one product that we believe has very exciting qualities is Rock Steps by Techo-Bloc. Watch this video and learn more.
Some outdoor living areas have separate spaces for dining or sitting around a fire, etc. and often times a step or two will help divide the spaces into separate outdoor rooms.
Using Walkways to Connect Areas
Walkways are needed to take you to the front entrance, from a side door to the backyard or patio or generally any intention of controlling the flow of traffic around your property. But in addition, walkways contribute to the style and mood of your home which all add up to curb appeal and visual interest to your landscape. When thinking about a walkway, you’ll need to consider its size, shape, direction, and details. There are infinite options to consider when designing walkways, so you’ll want to become familiar with Walkway Design and Installation Tips and check out photos of actual installations. Some design elements would be: compatibility, straight vs curved walkways, width, landscaping and illumination.
Landings and Places to Pause
Landings give us a place to pause briefly as we’re going up or down stairs, whenever a space narrows down or a change of level occurs. They are particularly important to break up a long run of steps so that we may catch our breath and look towards to the next landing. You can make them deeper, wider, or another shape to set them apart from the path. They often provide a resting place for looking out onto your property, noticing and appreciating an attractive container or flower bed, or just signaling a short break in the flow.
Include Lighting in Your Transition Spaces
Landscape lighting is critical in making your outdoor living areas look great, not to mention the safety issue they provide when walking at night. Lights also can be built right into the stairs. Path lights can be installed along walkways or if you have any trees along your walkways, then lights can be installed in the trees to create downlighting (also called ‘moonlighting’). Imagine what light a full moon creates and the soft appeal it gives.
Choosing the Right Materials for Your Walkway and Steps
There are a wide variety of choices to choose for your surface. Some of the more popular choices are pavers, natural stone, timeless bluestone and flagstone slabs. Consider your surrounding landscape and style of your home. If your yard already has some boulders or natural stone, you’ll want to stick with a natural look that will complement your surroundings. Poured concrete is a common material for builders to use, but does little to contribute to the overall aesthetics and appeal of your yard. For additional reading, enjoy Natural Stone Patios and Walkways and How to Select the Right Pavers for Your New Patio or Walkway.
Good Landscape Design
Whitehouse Landscaping has 20 years years of landscape design experience and can design a walkway or a set of steps that will be aesthetically appealing, enhancing curb appeal as well as being functional regardless of the terrain or slope of the property. There are plenty of design build companies in the Pottstown, Phoenixville, Glenmoore and surrounding areas that are capable of installing steps and walkways but the design may be a more cookie cutter approach lacking creativity.
At Whitehouse Landscape, we treat walkways and steps with the same care in design and construction that we treat your ‘destination’ outdoor spaces, such as your patio. They become transitions that end up having their own personality and appeal and enhance your outdoor living space.
Finding the Best Walkway and Stair Contractors in Glenmoore, Pottstown, Phoenixville and Nearby Areas
Considering how walkways and steps add to your outdoor living space, it’s important they are designed and built well. Whether you a starting with a blank slate and would benefit from a master plan or simply need a hardscaping addition to connect two already existing areas on your property, you can trust Whitehouse Landscaping’s 20 years of experience to design and build a walkway or steps that are aesthetically appealing and functional as well. Your property is unique and we insist on a custom approach for every property.
If you’re looking for the perfect walkway or steps to add to your outdoor living space, or want to learn more about our design services for your Montgomery, Chester or Berks county home, call us at 484-300-4290 or contact us for a free consultation. We would be happy to explore all your options with you.