Colors of Materials? How do you.....

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Steiner, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. Steiner

    Steiner LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 409

    Last year I left the choice of material colors up to the homeowner. They choose red/brown dublin modular, red brown timberlite gravel for the beds, red/brown plants, against a red/brown house. Needless to say the whole landscape was washed out and had no pop, no excitement. It was just blah and it should have been a spectacular landscape and walkway. I felt cheated as far as my portfolio was concerned.

    This year I have a large job coming up and I am nervous to take the clients stone shopping. I am doing a sitting wall with boulder ends, 600+ square foot patio, gas firepit, cast lighting, and native planting.

    The clients are leaning toward belgard products below, which I like because the pavers have a flat texture on top and the wall is a rough stone like texture.

    1. Celtik wall double sided
    2. Dublin Modular 3 piece

    My questions for you guys are as follows:

    1. Do you guys help your clients choose colors or try to sway them toward a particular color/color combo that would look best?

    2. Do you find that most clients get a wall stone and patio stone in the same color? Does that wash it out overall?

    3. Do you like to see different colors used for walls and patios?

    4. If you can't change their minds on colors do you use texture as a way to get some variety?

    5. Do you have clients that can't venture out? They choose a grey patio for a grey/blue house, or brick colors for a brick house? How do you tackle this?

    Lets get a discussion going about this topic because I think this detail is often overlooked. Many of us could use some wisdom, and need our jobs to pop!

    Please post pictures to show your most bland job color wise or your most vibrant contrast wise. I will post my bland job!


  2. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,580

    Color selection is a personal choice just as the clothes we each choose to wear.

    Everyone see's colors differently. What I know is grey, others will call blue.

    I NEVER assist in color selection. And neither did my builder when my home was built.

    I stay out of the color selection. I don't offer any comments and or opinions. It's a personal choice. And if they go with what I suggest and they don't like it - then they're complaining to me.

    Materials selection, I do get involved, but I use a tread lightly approach and I'm careful with my words and I explain WHY I may be recommending something.


  3. PaperCutter

    PaperCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,996

    We're the ones who have seen dozens, if not hundreds, of these jobs installed. Why would we not advise on material and color selections? Most homeowners can't envision what a square concrete slab will look like, never mind a k-pattern patio with a contrasting border. I select the finishes and colors, the waterline tile for their pool, even what color umbrella to get.
  4. Steiner

    Steiner LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 409

    I honestly was not expecting that comment from you DVS.

    I thought you would have a tried and true method or texture/color scheme for clients. After I got burned by the poor contrast job I posted I am going to make it my job to help customers decide on colors and get them the most bang for the buck.

    I mean lets face it the manufacturers colors are always changing. It can be tough to choose even a patio color to compliment a house let alone a multitude of hardscape items.

    I have always carried a color wheel with me to show clients how different plants will either subdue or invigorate a landscape. Colors opposite the wheel add excitement and energy......such as purple and yellow...think lakers....

    I guess I was just wondering how interior designers, LA, and other do this?

    My thought is color is very important, I can't put my finger on it, but I have seen some jobs that are just out of this world due mostly to colors.

  5. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,580

    Architects and interior designers are not construction contractors. They have a natural born knack for designing. From the time they were 11 their clothes always looked nice. They wake in the am and they fix their hair. Their cell phone cover matches their shoes. LOL!

    Me, I'm about constructing. And numbers. And Machinery. I have rough hands. Grease under my nails. I wake in the am and head out the door without looking in the mirror.

    Material color selection is up to my clients. They are capable of making their own decisions, that how they're able to have the luxury of such services.

    If you wanna know what block is better suited for a grade. I'll tell you. If you wanna know how to get the water to not flood the basement, I can tell you that too. If you wanna know why your trucks front tires keep cupping even after all new front end parts, I can tell you why the answer.

    If you wanna know about colors, I can't help help you, that's a personal choice. You know your taste.
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    Last edited: Apr 7, 2011
  6. vtscaper

    vtscaper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 159

    i always steer the clients towards colors that will work. most of our installations are from plans we have designed. its my experience that most people have a really hard time choosing colors for the landscape and subsequently end up making really poor choices.

    obviously we talk to clients about what their favorite/least liked colors are before we even put pen to paper.
  7. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,580

    You all must have a weird client following.

    In all the years I been in bidness, most of my clients have done well selecting colors and never struggled doing so. I go in their homes and the color schemes are magnificent and well docorated. Must be a State to state thing......

    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. sven1277

    sven1277 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 681

    For me, it depends. Sometimes the customer has no idea about material or color. This is when I will suggest what I think will look better. The type of house and location will also dictate my suggestions. For customers with old houses, I try to steer towards tumbled material. If a raised ranch and price is a priority, then non tumbled. Ultimately,it is the homeowners decision. I had a customer last year who lived in an historic district choose gray turf stone for their driveway with contrasting red crushed stone. I thought it looked hideous, but I did the job and got paid all the same. I was disapointed with the look of the results but the customer was excited. We don't tend to do many paver driveways, so not the ideal pictures for the website. What are you going to do? The job, then move on.
  9. vtscaper

    vtscaper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 159

  10. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,580

    Last edited: Apr 10, 2011

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