What is Hardscaping?
Hardscaping refers to man-made features, like stone walls or paved path, integrated into landscape design and architecture. Fountains, waterfalls, pond structures, patios, decks, walkways, retaining walls, outdoor kitchens and fireplaces, fire pits, pergolas, planting beds, and other rock formations are all elements found in hardscapes. The most common hardscape materials include concrete, stone, brick, wood, metal, gravel, and boulders.
We truly believe that hardscaping is an important component when creating a balanced and beautiful landscape design and provides many benefits to a homeowner and the property itself. Piggybacking off this notion is the idea of incorporating landscape lighting to marry both landscape and hardscape design creates a magical outdoor living experience. But, before we go any further with landscape lighting, let’s review the top 10 advantages of hardscaping.
Why Should I Invest in Hardscaping?
1. To expand your living space.
Hardscaping can be used to build an outdoor room with indoor amenities—such as lively full kitchen, a cozy fireplace, or peaceful lounge area—perfect for entertaining guests.
2. To increase property value.
Thoughtful, quality hardscaping extends your living space to the outdoors, provides outstanding curb appeal, and can therefore increase your property value. In fact, 85 percent of buyers look for an outdoor patio when purchasing a home, which can also provide a return on investment up to 500 percent, according to Extra Space Storage specialists.
3. To define spaces.
Using hardscape design features like built-in seating, pergolas, and walls create visual and physical borders that help define spaces within one area—and professionally designed hardscapes and landscapes are strategically laid out to be cohesive while still maintaining well-defined individual spaces.
4. To beautify your landscape and add dimension.
Applying hardscaping adds layers, texture, and diversity to a scene while creating strong visual focal points. It also replaces flat, uninteresting backyards with depth and dimension with tiered patios, various flower beds and garden boxes, pergolas—you name it! And bonus! Hardscaping can be enjoyed year-round, unlike most landscape design elements that are seasonal.
5. To extend usability.
By building a fireplace or adding a fire pit, you create an outdoor living space that can be used even during colder weather, a perfect solution for large holiday gatherings and general entertaining that may require additional space.
6. To fix grade issues and reduce erosion.
If you have an uneven yard or sloping grade to it, hardscaping can turn the area into a completely functional space. Think tiered patios, retaining walls, walkways, and and stairs. Hardscaping is also good way to help prevent erosion, a problem many homeowners face. By strategically placing stone or concrete barriers in erosion-prone areas, your ground will stay intact for years.
7. To direct foot traffic.
You spend a great deal of money on landscaping. Don’t jeopardize it’s beauty—or a visitor’s safety. Walkways, stone paths, edging, and landscaping beds can be used cleverly to steer guests exactly where you want their feet to go and clear of places they shouldn’t be. Fences, courtyard walls, stone boundaries, and pergolas all improve privacy from nearby neighbors and kindly alert them that they are trespassing.
8. To create shade and offer privacy.
Pergolas, stone or brick walls, covered patios, and trellises, are excellent solutions for reducing sun glare and their harmful effects on people and home furnishings. By producing shade in a creative, functional way, you make your outdoor living space more comfortable and enjoyable for all and increase the lifespan of your outdoor furniture and soft goods. At the same time, these very same hardscape features, in addition to the obvious fence solution, create privacy and helps to reduce noise pollution stemming from outside your property to give you that peace and tranquility you strive for in your backyard.
9. To reduce maintenance.
Adding hardscaping is one heck of a way to cut down on maintenance—no watering, mowing, pruning, trimming, and rarely weeding. Just build and enjoy your yard year after year.
10. More Sustainable and Water-Efficient
Hardscaping is a wonderful solution to combat overuse of water. Cutting down on plant life, trees, gardens, and lawn space means naturally reducing water usage. This is especially prudent and sustainable in areas prone to drought and water shortages.
How to Lighting Hardscape Designs
Now that you understand the many benefits of hardscaping, you’ll need to take it one step further to be able to use and appreciate the investment to its fullest extend and truly enhance your property’s beauty, usability, safety and security. This is achieved by installing landscape lighting, otherwise known as outdoor lighting.
You’ve invested all this time and money into creating an exceptional outdoor living space, make sure it can be taken advantage of day and night with landscape lighting. In addition, hardscape features can also serve as obstacles at night to unfamiliar parties. You can prevent risk of injury by being proactive and adding outdoor lighting.
Finally, we recommend hiring a professional landscape lighting designer to handle the design and installation of your outdoor lighting, and here’s why: Hardscapes often make use of plants and shrubs and many other landscape design elements in order to soften the look of its hard surfaces and sometimes harsh edges. It’s an artful strategy that requires an artful approach. Likewise, you need that same creative eye and professional know-how to properly create focal points, cohesion, and safe recreational environments. Not an easy task for the layperson.
While you’re weighing the benefits of hardscaping and landscape lighting, here are some resources you may find helpful in your decision making process: