What is Hardscaping?
All Your Hardscaping Needs
Hardscapes consists of the non-living elements of landscaping, such as a brick patio, a stone wall, or a wood arbor. This refers to hard landscape materials in the built environment structures that are incorporated into a landscape. This can include paved areas, driveways, retaining walls, sleeper walls, stairs, walkways, and any other landscaping made up of hard-wearing materials. Common examples of hardscape materials include concrete, brick, stone, wood, and metal.
Hard landscaping involves projects that cover the entirety of the yard and that are necessary before soft landscaping features come into play. Hard landscaping is very much altering the foundation of the yard, the “bricks and mortar”, and so only once this is completed can the landscaper begin to focus on the more beautiful features of the yard, hard-soft landscaping such as the floral arrangements, trees and shrubs and perfecting color schemes.
Hardscape elements can also define the use of a space, such as with a driveway, or it can lead visitors through different zones of softscaping, as with a gravel path that winds through a grassy area and into a secluded garden. One key feature of hard landscaping is to do with the absorption of water – something that is of great importance given the climate. Hard landscaping ensures that worrying about water after heavy rain or snowfall is not an issue. There are so many ways to use hardscape elements to enhance your property:
- Stone retaining walls create planting areas or convert a slope to flat yard space.
- Concrete patios are the classic low-maintenance and versatile patio option.
- Brick patios offer a more upscale and natural look than concrete.
- Flagstone patios are the low-cost option for natural stone outdoor flooring.
- Tile patios are a great way to dress up a concrete patio slab.
- Stone walkways are ideal for garden paths.
- Gravel paths have a “softer” alternative to brick, concrete, or solid stone.
- Stone landscape steps have heavy stone slabs that make beautiful outdoor steps.
- Metal fences include coated steel, which is the modern standard, but iron is still an option.
- Wooden fences use the most versatile fence (and hardscaping) material—wood.
- Wooden decks are hardscaping, too, just like patios.
- Wooden arbors or gazebos enhance a landscape while providing shade.
- Pergolas are arbor-like structures attached to the house or other building.
From an urban planning perspective, hardscapes can include very large features, such as paved roads, driveways or fountains, and even small pools. Most water features are hardscapes because they require a barrier to retain the water, instead of letting it drain into the surrounding soil.
Step Tread, Various Shapes & Travertine
Anchored Diamond Modular Block, Flagstone Veneer, Flagstone/Stackhouse Venner
Outdoor Patios, Fire Pits & Kitchens
Belgard Flagstone, Crab Orchard, Bluestone
Precut Steptreads, Flagstone, Timber
Dry Creek Beds
Boulders, River Rock, Rip Rap
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