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Hardscaping

Hardscaping Design Ideas

Get ready to create the outdoor space of your dreams with these handy hardscape design ideas.
As you consider deck and patio design ideas, keep in mind that you can add tremendous appeal and value to your outdoor living space with hardscaping. And many new hardscape design ideas can help inspire you to create the space you’ve always dreamed of.
The first thing to focus on as you plan your hardscape is another “scape” entirely: the landscape. Consider the entire area available for your design, and then try to imagine any additions you might want over time: a patio, a pool, a fire pit, etc. Map out the area in your mind, on paper and digitally if possible—or have a pro do it for you.
Secondly, give water a place to go—someplace besides your basement or crawlspace. In other words, make sure your hardscape design grades away from your home so that water will drain naturally and won’t pool in corners or the middle of the design. For extra credit, have water drain into a catch so that you can use it later for watering your landscaping plants.
Next up, identify a focal point. You want your design to feel like it has a purpose, whether it’s a dining area, a fire pit or a sitting area with flat-screen TV.
Curves are your friend when designing your hardscape. Remember, this is an outdoor living space, and Mother Nature doesn’t build in straight lines. You shouldn’t either.
And speaking of nature, keep the greenery if you can. Complement the hardscape design by populating it with plants or shrubs along edges, so that it feels like a part of the environment.
Lastly, if your hardscape design is complex—and especially if it involves reforming the existing landscape (creating a retaining wall for a hill, for example)—you should call in the experts. They’ll work with your design ideas but ensure that all the building is done safely and in compliance with applicable codes.

Hardscaping: What You Should Know

Hardscaping refers to paved or stone walkways, patios and other “hard” surfaces or objects incorporated into a yard’s landscaping. Fences, lawn ornaments and rocks can also sometimes be referred to as hardscaping.

Hardscaping can greatly improve the appearance and overall appeal of an outdoor living space by creating a transition between a home’s interior and exterior. Paths, walkways and patios are areas where you should pay particular attention in creating a design that’s seamless and aesthetically pleasing.

Hardscaping can serve many functions other than simple beautification, as well. It can provide privacy in the form of fencing, shade and shelter via overhangs or structures like gazebos; it can also provide topographical organization in the form of retaining walls.

Hardscaping also naturally reduces the amount of exposed lawn in an outdoor space, which will appeal to anyone who’s “mower averse.” Whether your hardscaping is intended for purely aesthetic purposes or also to configure and organize your outdoor living space, you’re sure to find a more pleasing, proportional and easy-to-maintain space once it’s installed.

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