What Are Hardscapes? Take Your Outdoor Space to the Next Level

What Are Hardscapes? Take Your Outdoor Space to the Next Level

The pandemic refocused a lot of people’s attention on their homes. After all, many people are still spending most of their time at home courtesy of remote work. That’s led many of them to take on one or more popular home improvement ideas, with landscaping at the top of many lists.

Of course, landscaping mostly focuses on greenery. That’s great if you live in New England or the Midwest, but it’s less helpful if you live somewhere arid or don’t enjoy groundskeeping. Enter hardscapes.

Are you asking yourself, “What are hardscapes?” Keep reading to find out more about how hardscaping can boost your home’s outdoor appeal.

What Are Hardscapes?

There is a good chance that you already have or have seen some rudimentary hardscaping. For example, is there a brick patio at your home? That’s one element of hardscaping.

In essence, hardscaping focuses on the literal hard, such as:

  • Brick
  • Concrete
  • Gravel

These become the main features of your outdoor space and create a more functional outdoor living area. You can think of it like another room, just one that’s open to the sky.

Why Install a Hardscape?

For many homeowners, a hardscape means an escape from constant lawn maintenance, shrub trimming, and leaf raking. For those living in more arid areas, hardscape design is a way that you can beautify the exterior of your home without committing to constant watering.

Hardscape design often employs walkways, fire pits, pergolas, and sitting walls. It may also use colored gravel to create eye-pleasing patterns and designs. You can learn more about hardscape design on this page.

Benefits of a Hardscape?

Hardscapes offer a number of potential benefits depending on your location and the design features. For those living in desert areas, it cuts way down on your irrigation needs. Where hardscaping uses plants, it focuses on local plants that can survive in an area with minimal care.

Hardscapes require substantially less hands-on maintenance than traditional landscaping. You can often get by with little more than sweeping, very occasional raking, and a spray down with a water hose.

A hardscape also opens up some possibilities in terms of outdoor living. For example, you can incorporate an outdoor kitchen into your hardscape design.

Outdoor kitchens come at all levels of complexity, but almost always include a gas grill, a power burner, and some storage space. If you want to take it up a notch, you can include a pizza oven, smoker, and even a wine cooler.

Hardscapes and Your Home

Now that you’ve got a handle on the question of what are hardscapes, you must decide if a hardscape is right for your home. Hardscapes can offer benefits like less outdoor maintenance, more outdoor living options, and reduced water usage.

On the flip side, hardscapes are much more permanent additions to your home. Changing hardscaping is much more work.

For those who don’t enjoy the month-in and month-out tasks that go with traditional landscaping, though, hardscaping can prove a good solution.

Looking for more home improvement ideas? Check out the posts in our Home and Garden sections.

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