What is Hardscape?

Landscaping Resources

What is Hardscape?

Posted by All Metro Service Companies LLC
5 years ago | June 24, 2016

When dealing with landscaping (or even just watching your favorite fixer-upper tv show), you are more than likely going to hear the word “hardscape” thrown around  in conversation. It seems as though the word has gained even more popularity within the past decade but it can still be confusing as to what it is exactly. So what is it?

What is Hardscape?

Simply put, hardscape is a combination of two words: “hard” and “landscape,” and refers to hard landscaping materials. Areas that have pavers, sidewalks, rocks, fountains, fences, etc., can all be considered as different variations of hardscape. Softscape would be the opposite of hardscape and refers to all the living objects in landscaping like flowers, shrubs and tree.

Stone, brick, concrete, wood, metal, and manmade materials are all commonly used in hardscaping. But, even though that garden gnome you have in your yard is manmade, it wouldn’t be considered hardscaping. Hardscaping is considered to be something more structural.

Uses of Hardscaping

Some common uses of hardscaping are (but not limited to):

  • Retaining Walls
  • Stone or Concrete Walkways
  • Fences
  • Fountains or Ponds
  • Patios and Decks
  • Pergolas and Gazebos

Benefits of Adding Hardscaping to Your Yard

Hardscaping is not only used for aesthetic reasons but also for functionality purposes as well. For instance, adding a retaining wall to a hill or lake shore property can help with certain soil erosion problems. It is also great for areas that don’t grow plants or grass or are have heavy foot traffic.

Before you Begin a Hardscape Project

Keep in mind that the most common mistake found in do-it-yourself hardscaped projects is improper drainage. Adding things like concrete, pavers, and retaining walls will ultimately affect the way water drains away from your house and yard. If you are worried about issues that may arise from doing it yourself, talk to a licensed contractor that is experienced in hardscaping.

Because of the intense manual labor (and sometimes the need of big machinery), it is common to see hardscaping projects done by hired professionals. If you decide to go this route, look over portfolios and make sure to ask questions so you are sure you are getting what you want!

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