The technique of incorporating non-living, or “hard,” materials into a landscape design is known as “hardscape design.” Incorporating hardscapes can improve functionality, lower maintenance, and improve the aesthetics of your property whether you’re creating a new project or enhancing an existing one. Additionally, by enhancing or adding to your usable outdoor space, you can raise the overall value of your house. So let’s take a look at hardscape design ideas and the best way to execute them.
Imagine how difficult it must have been for the Incas to construct Machu Picchu if you think your sloped garden is a challenging location to work. Gravity is the first thing that will work against your hardscaping endeavor. When you operate on a slope or when you construct upward from the ground, you are resisting gravity. Having a level base is how you can overcome gravity. Different projects will be leveled in different ways. Each block or piece of wood in the base layer of a wall should be level in order for it to function properly; leveled pieces can be stair-stepped to allow a slope along the wall’s course. Even though a flagstone route may have modest inclines and declines along its linear axis, the path should be leveled over its whole width. Water features must be level in all directions in order to keep water for an extended period of time.
Attention must be given to this crucial issue if you don’t want to risk damage and ruin from runoff, regardless of whether the water will be used as part of the hardscape project or not.
Consider: Rainwater from higher elevations will be used unless the project is located exactly at the top of the hill. Where will the project’s runoff enter and exit? Should a drain pipe or another type of diversion be used to accommodate it? Where will these components be put in place? It will be a brand-new source of runoff if you are building a sizable impervious surface, such as a concrete patio or driveway, and you will need materials to direct, disperse, slow down, or contain the precipitation.
You don’t build a house on sand, and neither do you build your hardscape. Hardscaping fundamentals were grasped by the Roman Colosseum’s constructors. They flattened the land and included a strategy for the water that would pose a barrier to their progress. But without a strong foundation, neither of those factors would have been sufficient. If hardscaping is to last, it must be constructed on a foundation that won’t move, wash away, settle, or heave during the freeze-thaw cycle. In most places, you must first dig down into the “mineral soil” layer that lies beneath the topsoil.
By bridging the gap between a home’s interior and outside, hardscaping may significantly enhance the look and allure of an outdoor living space. When constructing a smooth and aesthetically beautiful design, you should give special attention to places like paths, pathways, and patios. In addition to mere aesthetics, hardscaping can also be used for a variety of purposes. It can offer protection and shade in the shape of overhangs or buildings like gazebos, privacy in the form of fencing, and topographical organization in the form of retaining walls.
For years, open patios and decks have been popular places for homeowners to host barbecues and other informal gatherings. But nowadays, it’s popular to build a covered outdoor space that you can use all year long. This could range from a built-in LED widescreen TV in the entertainment center to a fun area (pool table, ping pong) with a complete bar or beer taps.
While gas grills have long been the norm for cookouts, why limit yourself to just that when you can host events all year long with an outdoor kitchen that includes a gas grill, fire pit, or fireplace?
Although concrete blocks are a reliable and good choice for construction, they don’t have much in the way of aesthetic appeal. In order to replicate the look, feel, and color of natural stone, many homeowners are turning to manufactured stone items. A preferred material for outdoor kitchens, barbecues, and fireplaces is cast veneer stone. Because Bristol Stone doesn’t heat up like natural stone and maintains a soft texture that is comfortable for bare feet, it is perfect for patios and pool areas.
Today, saving water is a huge priority across the nation, and there are many environmentally friendly goods that can help with this. Eco Pavers, which benefit the environment by enabling rainwater to recharge the ground and reducing the quantity of stormwater runoff onto driveways and streets, is one of the most efficient.
There are numerous other solutions that might increase the homeowner’s enjoyment and value in addition to the hardscaping ideas mentioned above. These include new pool decks, Coventry borders, seat walls, sculpture gardens, and resurfaced roadways.
Planning your hardscape should start with a completely other “scape” called the landscape. Consider the full area you have to work with before attempting to picture any future expansions, such as a patio, pool, fire pit, etc. If you can, draw a mental, physical, or digital map of the area, or get a professional to do it for you.
Second, provide a location for water to travel other than your basement or crawlspace. To put it another way, make sure your hardscape design slopes away from your home so that water will naturally drain and won’t pool in the design’s corners or middle. Pour water into a catch so you may use it later to water your landscaping plants for additional credit.
Choose a focal point next. Whether it’s an eating space, a fire pit, or a sitting room with a flat-screen TV, you want your design to feel purposeful.
When creating your hardscape, curves are your friend. Keep in mind that Mother Nature doesn’t construct in straight lines, and this is an outside living area. You must not do it either.