Many people put a lot of thought and energy into creating a beautiful landscape, but overlook the importance of hardscaping. While patios may be the first thing that come to mind when you think of hardscaping, it includes much more than that. Hardscaping is all of the non-living components of your landscape, such as patios, walkways, retaining walls, outdoor kitchens, outdoor fireplaces, fire pits, waterfalls, ponds, pergolas, planting beds, outdoor lighting, and more. It is a crucial component in landscape design. Incorporating well-designed hardscaping into your landscape provides a number of benefits.
Increase your property value. The right hardscaping can increase your property value as well as your home’s curb appeal. One recent study suggested that hardscaping projects can deliver a return on investment as high as 150 percent.
Expand your living space. Hardscaping can be used to create an outdoor room with amenities that rival your indoor space, such as a full outdoor kitchen, built-in seating, and an outdoor fireplace or fire pit. This outdoor space will be perfect for entertaining guests and will allow you to enjoy nature and immerse yourself in your landscape rather than just admire it from your window.
Define separate spaces. Use components such as built-in seating, retaining walls, and pergolas to create borders and define individual functional areas while still creating a beautiful and cohesive outdoor living space.
Enhance your landscape. Incorporating hardscaping into your landscape creates contrast, texture, and diversity and provides the perfect framework and focal points for your landscaping. And, unlike your landscaping, hardscaping won’t go dormant over the winter.
Extend usability. Adding a fireplace or a fire pit allows you to use your outdoor space during cooler weather. The ambient light will allow you to enjoy your space later into the day as well. In addition, a fireplace or fire pit creates the perfect area for guests to gather.
Fix grade issues. If you have a sloping or uneven yard, hardscaping such as retaining walls, tiered patios, and stone stairs and paths can transform it into usable space. It can also help prevent erosion.
Direct the flow of traffic. Sidewalks, stone paths, and landscaping beds can be used to direct the flow of traffic and keep people where you want them and out of places you don’t.
Provide shade and privacy. Covered patios, trellises, stone walls, and pergolas are perfect for creating shade, allowing you to enjoy your outdoor area out of the glare of the sun. These same structures can also provide privacy from high traffic areas or nosy neighbors.
Reduce maintenance. Because it doesn’t need watering, mowing, or weeding, adding hardscaping is a great way to reduce the maintenance needed for your landscape. Instead, just sit back and enjoy. It’s also a great way to conserve water.