Your Backyard Hardscape: 4 Factors That Will Largely Determine Your Cost

As you’re working with a landscape designer to turn your outdoor living dreams into reality, it’s important to keep in mind your budget range. With careful planning and advice from a professional, you’ll be able to get the most from your backyard hardscape budget.

Keep these common factors in mind as you plan. These four areas will largely determine the overall cost of your project.

  • Scale – The scale, or size, of your backyard hardscape project will play a large part in your overall budget. Obviously, smaller projects should cost less than larger ones.
  • Landscape features – What features are most important in your project? Are you wanting a pool or other water feature? Do you have a patio in mind or an expanded outdoor kitchen? Doing your research and listing your desired landscape features in order of importance will help you set a realistic budget for your project.
  • Existing site – The current conditions of the site you’re designing will affect your bottom line. If significant work needs to be done leveling, removing trees or solving water runoff issues, your budget will need to be bigger. Working with a professional will help you determine what the true cost of preparing the site for construction should be.
  • Materials – The materials you choose to use will affect your budget, but they’re also what helps create the finished look of your backyard hardscape. Ideally, you’ll want to choose materials that enhance the look of existing architecture.

By working with a designer, you can determine your wants and needs early on to ensure your satisfaction with the final outcome and your bottom line.

For help planning your backyard hardscape, contact the pros at Associated Construction Projects. We’re a leader in landscape design and can help you with any phase and size of project.

If you own a commercial property in central Florida, taking care of it is just as important as taking care of your home. But maintaining a commercial property can be a bit more complicated. You have different and frequently more pressing environmental concerns. For example, because you probably have a large paved parking area, storm-water runoff could be an issue. Rainwater that would otherwise sink into the ground either has no place to run or collects in the wrong area. This is something you want to avoid, not only for aesthetic reasons, but also for environmental reasons.

Using interlocking pavers instead of ordinary asphalt or concrete is an ideal solution for storm water-runoff problems. Pavers have significantly fewer runoff issues. And when they’re used with an environmentally friendly storm-water management system, these pavers offer a way to maintain your site’s ecological balance.

Interlocking pavers are also a good choice from an aesthetic standpoint. For instance, you won’t have to deal with standing puddles of water that can collect after a hard rain. Having to walk through a puddle to get to your front door can put a customer in a bad mood before you even get to say hello. When your parking area has a paver surface, on the other hand, you’ll not only give your customers a pleasant initial experience, but also enhance the look of your property. These pavers come in a variety of unique styles, patterns and colors that help to set your business apart from others in the area.

Interlocking pavers require minimal maintenance when they’re properly installed. Unlike asphalt, concrete and stamped concrete, pavers resist cracking and flexing. As a result, pavers are capable of lasting for up to 30 years with minimal care. Pavers also remain cooler than typical asphalt or concrete, an important consideration in central Florida’s climate. .

Have questions about interlocking pavers? Contact Associated Construction Products in Lutz. We serve the outdoor paving needs of both residential and commercial customers.

Have you been redoing your home–perhaps upgrading the kitchen or even opening up your indoor space? That’s a major undertaking, one that’s sure to please you in the end. But have you thought about your swimming pool and your backyard living area? Compared with your freshened indoor space, your pool and backyard might look just a bit shabby. In fact, it might not complement your indoor living area at all. Why not remodel your outdoor space at the same time? Sure, it will make your project bigger, but you’ll wind up with indoor and outdoor areas that dovetail and look like one highly functional and pleasing space.

The first step in a remodeling project this extensive is hiring a design firm that can can envision your plans. Many design firms can handle an entire outdoor renovation–swimming pool and all–while others may provide basic plans only. Whichever route you go, make sure the contractor is experienced in outdoor remodels. This is especially important when it comes to remodeling the swimming pool, as this is a project that requires technical expertise. Corroded rebar, a leaky shell and subpar wiring are just three issues your contractor might have to tackle.

Think of your outdoor space as one comprehensive area that’s a natural extension of your interior. In addition to remodeling your pool, consider enhancing the space with  a pergola or fire feature. The inclusion of extra water features and unique lighting can make your pool especially dramatic.

Choose quality materials that are not only visually appealing, but also durable. Pavers and wall systems take heavy wear and are available in a range of styles and colors. Choose the colors and styles that complement your interior. For example, if your home has a Tuscan look and feel, choose pavers and wall systems that have an old European styling.

For an outdoor project as major as this, you need expert guidance. Why go it alone when you can rely on Associated Construction Products to see the project through, from design to completion. Contact us, and we can start making the space you envision a reality. We have been helping Florida property owners with outdoor improvements and hardscaping since 1986.


In Florida you can play outside nearly year round, so having a backyard play area is a must when children are a large part of your life. Whether you are a parent or grandparent, if you’re considering adding new equipment or if you’re modifying existing equipment, safety should be at the forefront. More injuries occur on private home playgrounds than on public playgrounds each year. Following these important tips can help you keep your children safe at the same time that you’re designing a backyard play area your children will love.

Tips to keep your children safe while in their backyard play area

  • Make sure all equipment complies with ASTM standard F1148-93. This ensures that the equipment has passed rigorous safety testing.
  • If you’re assembling it by yourself, follow the design instructions exactly.
  • Spaces and openings should be smaller than 3 1/2 inches or larger than 9 inches to prevent strangulation hazards.
  • Always supervise small children when they’re using any playground equipment.
  • Dirt and grass are not sufficient padding to keep a child from being injured in a fall. Use a soft material such as mulch, rubber chips or other approved padding underneath playground equipment.
  • Inspect the bolts of the equipment often. If the equipment is wood, check for splintering and decaying, and treat the wood according to manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Trampolines are dangerous and should never be used as playground equipment, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
  • Do not make swings by tying objects to tree branches or play equipment with rope as this can pose a strangulation hazard
  • Ensure that children are not wearing loose clothing while using the play equipment, and supervise the children at play to ensure proper use of the equipment.
  • Do not place the equipment too close to walls, buildings, trees or roads. Separate equipment from roads with a fence whenever possible..

For more information on keeping your children safe while adding a fun backyard play area to your outdoor living area, please contact our experts at Associated Construction Products, Inc. We are a Better Business Bureau-accredited business.

As home improvements go, outdoor kitchens are quickly growing in popularity. They offer a good return on their cost by increasing the value of your home. Probably more important, they are ideal spots for entertaining, and when the weather’s mild, you can enjoy the pleasant breezes outside. To maximize the usefulness of an outdoor kitchen, it’s a good idea to add some form of shelter. A shelter can also add to your outdoor kitchen’s look and feel.

Improved comfort

Even a simple pergola can increase your comfort by providing some shade from the intense Florida sun. A full-fledged roof offers more protection–not only from the sun, but also from the rain. With the frequent downpours we experience, this can make a big difference in how frequently your outdoor kitchen gets used. Larger roofs may require you to add a vent hood to deal with the smoke the grill produces.

Improved look and feel

Adding shelter can make your outdoor kitchen feel more like the outdoor room it is intended to be. The improved protection from the elements can allow for more flexibility in the materials you use to construct your outdoor kitchen, so you can easily integrate the look and feel of your home’s interior. You may even be able to install indoor amenities like cable TV. And you will have more opportunities for customized lighting–from task lights to recessed lights.

For expert advice on designing a quality outdoor kitchen, contact Associated Construction Products. We’re family owned and operated and have been committed to helping Florida property owners realize their outdoor-living dreams since 1986.


The walkway to your front door is an important part of your home. It can play a significant role in how appealing your home looks from the curb and is one of the first features your guests will experience. Planning a perfect walkway is a three-step process. Spend time on each step, and the result will be an inviting first impression for your home.

  1. Width: A front walkway should be large enough to accommodate more than one person. It should be wide enough for two people to walk together. Five feet is an ideal width, but four feet can be sufficient.
  2. Shape: The best shape for your front walkway depends on the size of your yard and the style of your home. Large yards can benefit from the added interest a curving walkway can provide, while smaller yards are often best served by a simple, straight walkway. Traditional colonial and Victorian homes are well served by straight walkways, as they complement the prominence of the front door. The informal nature of a curved walkway can also clash with the formal nature of their architecture. Ranch, Mediterranean and contemporary homes are often complemented by the casualness of a curved walkway. In all cases, you should make sure the walkway follows a convenient route so that people are not tempted to take shortcuts.
  3. Paving materials: Your choice of paving material should take into account the materials used on the exterior of your house. In some cases the materials used on your home’s exterior, such as brick, can also be used in the walkway. At minimum, the paving material should complement the home’s exterior. Keep in mind the ease with which the materials can be traversed as well. Stepping stones or gravel can be hard to walk on if you’re wearing heels or you have a disability.

For advice on designing and installing a front walkway or another outdoor home improvement you have in mind, contact Associated Construction Products. Our family-owned company has been serving property owners in central Florida since 1986.

Your pool deck is unlike any other hardscape in your backyard. It’s wet most of the time, meaning mold and mildew can grow on it if you’re not careful. And because family members and friends are constantly getting in and out of the water, there’s always the risk of dangerous spills.

Interlocking pavers are an ideal solution for these potential problems. They’re extremely dense and nonporous, so they naturally resist algae, mold and mildew. Some also have a sealant for extra resistance. Their textured surface provides traction but is still comfortable on bare feet.

Here are some additional benefits that interlocking pavers offer:

  • Ease of repair: A surface of interlocking pavers is simple and easy to repair. If a paver becomes damaged, all you need to do is replace it. Replacement pavers, moreover, are easy to find.
  • Long-term value: Concrete pavers are less prone to develop cracks and settling problems. This makes them an excellent long-term investment.
  • Versatility: If you want to add to your hardscape later–for example, if you want to add an outdoor kitchen–it’s easy to extend your paver surface. You can also enhance your walkways with pavers. The ultimate effect is a backyard living area that has a cohesive and stylish look.
  • Appearance: You can choose from a range of styles and colors. Use a single style or color, or combine them. In addition, the chlorine in your pool will not discolor the pavers.

For more advice on using pavers to create your pool deck, contact Associated Construction Products. We can help you make your backyard a true oasis for family leisure and entertainment. We are family owned and have been serving property owners in central Florida since 1986.

Here in central Florida, we have the good fortune of being able to use our pools year-round. Adding a swimming pool to your property can transform it from ho-hum into a private vacation spot to enjoy with no traveling required. A pool can also turn your backyard into an outdoor room for entertaining. It may even add to your property value. No matter the size of your property, choosing the best pool location is key to getting the most from your investment.

Will your pool be part of a larger backyard scene that might include outdoor kitchen, fixed seating, relaxing water features, a hot tub or even a fireplace? Or will the pool be the focal point of a smaller, simpler lawn area?

Either way, the pool deck is an important centerpiece where everyone spends time socializing, eating, drinking, lounging and/or sunbathing. When planning your pool, provide for ample deck space. More design tips:

Location for swimming pool: Smaller property

A pool placed close to your home becomes an extension of the architecture. This scenario may call for classic lines—rectangular/oval—extending the overall house silhouette. A pool deck should be designed in a matching or complementary color palette. It should incorporate materials that are similar to the home’s exterior. Decking should also blend favorably with the look of garden pathways, sidewalks and edging.

Location for swimming pool: Larger property

On a large lot, your pool/deck can be located away from the home, creating a separate, unique identity. Consider a larger and grander deck space to showcase it. A free-form design can be quite striking with hardscape surfaces complementing the natural landscape.

How close is too close?

Consider the pool-area noise level. Will swimmers be splashing around, disturbing quieter activities taking place indoors? Working with your pool designer, create a quiet zone around the house and an easy-to-view pool area, perhaps surrounded by a fenced deck/garden to control entry. You’ll have a versatile pool environment for entertaining.

Ready to plan your pool area? Contact the experts at Associated Construction Products. Visit our website to learn more about hardscapes and outdoor design options for the creative and budget-conscious homeowner.

Pavers are a beautiful and practical way to enhance a landscape. You can use them to showcase an outdoor-kitchen area, a pool, a water feature or a fire pit. They also enhance walkways and patios. They can be installed in a variety of patterns to create a look that suits the style of your home. Here are five popular and easy paver patterns. It’s likely that one of them is just right for your project.

  1. Running bond: This is one of the easiest and cheapest patterns. Bricks are laid end-to-end in a row. The next row is offset at the beginning by a half brick. Then a full brick is used at the beginning of the third row. This creates an alternating pattern that’s especially appealing to those who like a traditional look.
  2. Basket weave: In this pattern, pairs of bricks are laid in alternating horizontal and vertical pairs, simulating the look of woven material. This is an intriguing, creative look.
  3. Herringbone: This pattern is accomplished by laying the pavers in a perpendicular fashion. The zigzagging creates a herringbone look that’s visually striking. It’s also a more traditional look. It’s highly recommended for areas that bear a lot of weight, such as driveways and patios with heavy furniture.
  4. Circular: Pavers can be used to create full, half or quarter circles. This pattern can be used to draw attention to a particular focal point. The pattern can also break up large expanses of hardscape.
  5. European fan: This complicated pattern is best left to a professional. Kits are also available. The pavers are narrow at the bottom and wider at the top. Laid together, they give the appearance of fans. This pattern is often seen in Europe.

For more information on paver patterns, contact Associated Construction Products. We have been helping homeowners in central Florida realize their outdoor-living dreams since 1986.

When you invite guests to your home, you want them to feel welcomed. One important way you can do that is by planning a front entry that visually rolls out the red carpet. A well-designed front entry has three major components:  the driveway, the walkway and the entry.


Most of your guests will arrive by car, so your driveway will be their first experience of your home. Make it a pleasant one. Special paving can transform a boring expanse of concrete or gravel into a visually inviting front-entry design element. Once your guests are out of the car, the surface should be easy to traverse.


After your guests park their cars, they’ll head toward your front door. Your walkway should be wide enough to accommodate at least two people at the same time. It should be at least four feet wide. Here again, special paving can give a front entry a distinguished look. You might want to make the treads wider or longer to enhance the look.


Finally, your guests will enter your home through the front door. Because many newer homes give more attention to garage doors than the front door, you might want to make your door more prominent. Consider wide steps and a large stoop to accommodate a large group of visitors (an especially good idea when the weather’s nasty). Make the area cozier with plants and smaller pieces of furniture, such as chairs. Your entry will become an area that is not only enjoyed by your guests, but by your family as well.

Do you want a front entry that gives the right impression? Let the experts Associated Construction Products give you a hand. We help central Florida residents plan, design and build truly distinctive outdoor areas.