Understanding The Intricacies Of Hardscaping

January 9, 2015

 

Hardscaping, like landscaping, is all about improving the aesthetic appeal of your outdoor space. It is in fact a subcategory of landscaping which incorporates non living features into your garden. It is a wide field of landscaping which includes structures such as walkways, gazebos, fences and fountains. In a nutshell, it is all about adding functional features to your home’s landscape. The aim is always to create visually stunning elements that require little to no maintenance.

What makes hardscaping special?

Beautiful things often come at a price. That is exactly what hardscaping does to a home. It increases its property value. But that is not all. Since it incorporates non living things, it does call for the aforementioned little to no maintenance. That means you will save a lot. Hardscaping is therefore ideal for homeowners who do not have the time and energy to take care of their lawns. It is also ideal for homeowners in arid and semi arid regions.

Which hardscaping elements are ideal?

It is hard to put a finger on a landscaping element that can be considered as a ‘one size fits all’ element. There are however a few hardscaping elements that can be considered ideal for homeowners on a budget. Use of brick pavers is one such element. You can consider the pavers around swimming pools and landscaped gardens. Keep in mind though that brick pavers also come in subcategories with each subcategory featuring different textures. You must therefore hire a hardscaping expert who should be able to advice you on what will work for you. In a nutshell, consider hardscaping services that can guarantee you value for money.

Which element can complement my structures with ease?

Again, it is hard to put a finger on such an element. You only need to consider traffic - both human and vehicular. The latter kind of traffic calls for strong and durable hardscaping elements. Use of stone is highly recommended.  Human traffic on the other hand calls for simple hardscaping elements. You can consider two or even more kinds of shades. Stone and wooden structures can complement each other well. Wood is easy to customize and often add some warmth to hardscaping designs.

Does hardscaping make gardens functional?

Yes. Remember the desired effect is to come up with fully functional yet scintillating external spaces that can offer you and your guests a calm, comfortable and relaxing atmosphere. Pools and water fountains can significantly improve the ambience of your garden, however small it is. They can also go a long way to drown noise pollution and attract local fauna at the same time.

Can hardscaping hide flaws?

Yes they can. Take stone ways for instance. There is much more into them than just acting as design elements. They can go a long way to hide problem spots where flowers and grass take forever to take root. Fences and rock walls can also hide flaws. They are strong wind barriers and can at the same time improve privacy. There is simply so much you can do with hardscaping ideas to hide flaws that may otherwise become eyesores to you and your guests.

What about water consumption?

It depends with the kind of hardscaping designs you go for. Some additions will certainly affect water absorption of the soil in your garden. Others like rock cisterns will improve water distribution around your garden. Just keep in mind that anything placed or fixed over the ground either permanently or temporarily will always have an impact on the overall water content and water distribution of your garden lawn. If therefore you plan to install lots of brick or stone pavers into the landscape of your home, installing water sprinklers may come in handy to ensure your vegetation will not compete for water with your hardscaping elements.

A skilled hardscaper will study each design feature carefully. He will then direct water accordingly. Whatever direction he chooses should benefit your garden’s foliage. This may sound complicated but it is not. It is all about diverting water flow towards hardscaping elements that need the most amount of water from elements and plants that can survive with just what is enough.

What about hygiene?

This should not be a problem for any skilled or experienced hardscaping expert. Use of sealers is highly recommended as far as hygiene is concerned. They make cleaning surfaces easy. It is easy to understand how sealers work and how hardscaping experts use them. When applied, they make protective barriers that prevent gasoline, oil, food debris and other forms of staining the surfaces. Good sealers can reduce weed growth and prevent rodents and pests from making a home underneath your stone surfaces. Sealers can also prevent corrosive substances like salt from taking a toll on the general appearance of your surfaces.

Is hardscaping a DIY project?

It isn’t. You will need an expert to come up with designs that can complement your home. Keep in mind that some hardscaping elements like rock patterns are considered as a form of art. Only a few can master it. Then again, you must arrange rocks and stones in a way that won’t pose danger to the people around your home.


 

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