The major points of the article as we see it are: planning, overall design and style, scale and structural integrity.
The resonating theme of the article and one that we see on a regular basis is planning. The biggest challenges in landscape and hardscape design usually arise from lack of planning. Careful research and planning of everything from overall design to building materials is crucial to achieve a desirable outcome.
Planning the whole space before the start of any project is again of the utmost importance. Even if the project is phased over a few years, it is very important to consider the whole landscape area no matter how small the current project being undertaken is. The article recommends planning a design for the whole area or consulting a professional to create a design for the entire space.
In all hardscape or landscape projects, consideration should be given to scale and natural curves and shapes of the space so that various elements fit in with the rest of the landscape.
Planning the whole design also enables the project owner to emerge with a specific style instead of mixing and matching something that could potentially clash.
The article offers and we wholeheartedly agree that no homeowner (who is not a structural engineer that is) should undertake a structural project or a significant size wall without consulting the proper engineering professional. Potential damage and even injury can be prevented with a simple engineer review and consult.
Following the relevant standards such as having the correct amount of base material that is properly compacted as well proper grades, levels and depths is of significant importance for a lasting hardscape project.