How do you know which hardscape materials are best for your hardscape project?

If you’ve created any type or degree of outdoor living space, then you likely have a mix of both softscapes and hardscaping. As a gentle refresher, softscapes are those things that grow and are mostly green. In other words, softscapes are your plants and trees.

Hardscapes, on the other hand, are the elements that define, delineate, balance and lends focus to your softscapes – especially your garden. But hardscape offers other benefits as well. Your hardscaping gives your entire outdoor living space dimension and adds a complementary decorative aspect to your landscaping.

In fact, landscaping without some degree of hardscaping is incomplete; as if it’s still under construction. Have you ever seen a yard without rocks, bricks, wood, gravel, a gazebo, or some type of wood structure? It looks rather bland, doesn’t it? Furthermore, a yard full of plants and trees appears unkempt, like an overgrown jungle, without hardscape to “tame” and refine it.

If you realize your outdoor living space is a bit light on hardscape, what can you add and what material do you use?

Here is a quick list of types of hardscapes.

  • A deck
  • A patio
  • A pathway or walkway
  • A garden structure such as a pergola, gazebo, or arbor
  • Edging
  • Accent rocks and stones

Here are options for hardscape materials for various hardscape applications.

Synthetic decking, also called composite decking, is not real wood or aluminum – it’s mostly made of recycled plastics or wood fibers – but it’s made to last. It doesn’t splinter and is resistant to mold and rot; nor does it require sanding or resealing.  In addition, it gives terrific traction so it’s safe. It is a bit more expensive – after all, all those benefits do have a cost.

Concrete – which can be stapled, textured, stained and meshed with things like sea glass and pebbles – can be ideal for a patio or walkway. Decorative concrete isn’t as slippery as plain finished concrete and it’s certainly durable.

Brick is always a popular choice. Bricks have been used seemingly forever in all types of construction projects – from roads and walls to buildings and walkways.  Bricks can cast the image of your choosing; they can look informal or very formal depending on your current or preferred exterior style.

Pavers come in a range of types, among them are flagstone, concrete, and brick. Some paver projects can be do-it-yourself.  But you must build a border that is permanent and ensures that the pavers won’t shift or slide. Typically, they are placed over bedding sand or pea gravel, but they can also be put directly on grass or dirt.  Use pavers for just about any type of ground-based hardscape project.

Stone is also a good choice with flagstone and natural stone being the most popular and appealing. Ideal for courtyards and patios, flagstone and natural stone can be laid over a pea gravel or sand base. You may see some irregularities if you use natural stone, but the ridges and variances can lend more character to the hardscape.

For More Information on Hardscape Materials, Design, and Installation

Give Fresh Cut Lawn and Landscape a call today. We can be reached at 248-650-3600 or 586-739-6646.  We provide hardscape design and installation services throughout Metro Detroit.