Whether it’s Michael Jordan in ‘95 or Elvis Presley in ‘68, people love a comeback. That’s why we were so excited about Matt Scott and Ultimate Hardscapes’ HARDSCAPE HERO win in November. Matt’s been in the industry for fifteen years now and isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. While grateful for a little downtime around the holidays, he’s gearing up for a series of projects that will get going in the new year. Matt’s been getting more and more jobs since his last win in 2019, but we’re incredibly glad he was able to take the time and submit again after so many years. Needless to say, Ultimate Hardscapes is back in the HARDSCAPE HERO spotlight in a big way.
The homeowner for this project had been saving up for the better part of a decade to build the “ultimate” patio for his house. When the client saw pictures of Matt’s work with Ultimate Hardscapes he knew he’d found the person to create the outdoor oasis he had been dreaming of. With so much time to imagine every aspect of the project, the homeowner had a lot of input on the layout and details of the space. “It was very collaborative,” says Matt, “he and I went back and forth a lot bouncing around ideas and figuring out what was possible while sticking closely to his original vision.” The homeowner trusted Matt with his dream and was willing to make changes where they were needed. This vision included a multi-tiered space and with the slope of the yard Matt had to build a 200-foot retaining wall before anything else could go in. Once that was done they went corner by corner to decide on coping, pillars and pavers that matched what the homeowner had envisioned.
Matt’s favorite part of any job is the beginning when he gets to zoom in on the details and get into the technical aspect of planning. “I love figuring out the grade differentials and the math to make everything come together,” says Matt, “it’s really satisfying when you have everything laid out and all the pieces fall into place.” This job in particular had severe grade differentials and required a lot of planning on Matt’s part. Once the three-foot retaining walls were in place and everything was square, they began filling in the pavers. “We knew from the beginning we wanted to use Belgard products,” continues Matt, “not only because of the quality, but the scale of the project demanded a high-end product we could get in large quantities.” He credits Jacob at Yorktown Materials with the smoothness of the job, noting how willing he was to deliver large amounts of products daily to accommodate the scarce staging space on the property.
While Matt’s meticulous planning made most of the job smooth sailing, it wasn’t without a few challenges. The corner columns were taller than what Matt was used to, “I hadn’t ever done columns more than seven or eight block tall, and these were twelve.” Not only did he have to make sure the columns had the structural support they needed, but some of the block wasn’t lining up right. “Kevin Bice came by when we were having issues,” remembers Matt, “he was super helpful, and once we figured out the problem we adjusted and were on our way.”
Matt is incredibly grateful for the fantastic relationships he has with Belgard reps like Kevin and distributors like Jacob, which he says makes his success a possibility. He remembers when he was first starting out fifteen years ago, his supervisor didn’t like training new people, meaning he had to observe and try to absorb as much as he could on the job. For anyone just getting into the industry, Matt recommends finding someone with a lot of experience who is willing to share their knowledge. Beyond that, “triple-check your measurements,” he suggests, chuckling to himself, “if things are off by an inch it could mean a lot more work later, so make sure your math is right up front.” That precision is what put Matt and Ultimate Hardscapes back in the HARDSCAPE HERO winners’ circle, and we can’t wait to see what’s next for them.