What’s involved when installing a patio?

Stone and brick paved path

A lot goes into creating a new patio and corners can easily be cut. It is important for homeowners to know what to look for while their patio is being constructed to be sure it can be enjoyed for years to come.

Base prep

The most important part of any patio is the base. just like a house foundation, it is what will support the structure. Mid-Michigan has heavy clay soils which hold water. It is important to excavate this material and replace it with a substance that offers both great compaction and drainage. We use limestone fines which we compact in a series of lifts. Patio bases can vary on thickness depending on the existing soil conditions, but are typically 4″-6″. Adding 6″ of material and compacting it all at once is ineffective and will only compact the first 1″-2″. We add 2″ of material at a time and compact as we go until reaching our desired base thickness. This process ensures the entire base is compacted and will not settle in the future.

Setting bed prep

Following base compaction the setting bed is added. Pavers will sit directly on top of this and it is crucial there are no humps or dips. 3/4″ screed pipes are placed on the base and limestone fines are spread between the pipes. Following this a level is run over the tops of the pipes creating perfectly flat surface. During this step we also ensure proper pitch is set to allow water to run away from foundations.

Paver laying

The laying of the pavers is the fastest step. With our time being focused on the base, the process should go smoothly. If curves are present, we over lay past the desired distance and cut the curve in place. Following paver laying edging is added to prevent lateral movement. Sand is also swept into the joints to lock pavers in place. Any damage done to the surrounding lawn and garden is restored and patio furniture is added. This is my favorite part as it means our client can now enjoy our hard work!

Below are a couple samples of hardscaping work we have recently completed. We look forward to helping you with your outdoor space.

~Tom Morgan

Have you been a victim of BWL’s tree trimming?

Winter tree trimming

We have been receiving a lot of call’s lately from customers concerned with BWL’s tree trimming practices. It is a shame our historic neighborhoods are being robbed of mature canopies, but we’re here to help! Last fall I went out to look at a backyard in East Lansing that recently had three gorgeous maples removed. Our customer was frustrated that he now had a direct view to his neighbors living room, along with no blockage from the sun on his patio. I drew up a design, thinking of ways to re-enclose the space, all while keeping his budget in mind. I also wanted to be sure the trees we planted would not cause future problems with the power-lines. The Con-color fir, Hemlock, and White spruce we chose will grow to create a wall against the fence. The nice thing about these trees is that they are upright, and require minimal selective pruning. This spring we will be planting hydrangeas, perennials, and ground-cover to add summer color.

If you can relate to this feeling of frustration we would love to hear from you. Feel free to send a message on our website, or contact us directly at 517-515-1723. Thanks for reading our blog!


~Tom Morgan

Why should I get a design made for my yard?

Bud Branch and Blossom landscape design

I am often asked about the benefits of getting a landscape design made. Many customers are excited to get started with their project, and feel the design will hinder the process. After all, you have the vision in your head and have conveyed it to us, so what’s the point? Landscapes always turn out better if a plan is made. In addition to taking the exact size of the area into account to make sure we don’t over/under plant, a design allows us to come up with other ideas you may not have thought of. Our clients are often surprised at what that process can reveal.

During our presentation, we provide pictures and samples of the materials and plants used. This will help you understand the themes and textures we have incorporated. Need to take it a step further? With the digital tools available today, we are even able to create a 3-D design! You’ll be able to fly through your future yard and see first hand how the heights and textures compliment your home’s architecture and color.

Late winter/early spring is a great time for you to get on our design schedule. This ensures enough time for us to put adequate thought into your project before the planting season begins in spring.

Here’s to warmer days,

Tom Morgan