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What is Hardscape Design?

If you’ve ever enjoyed a glass of wine on a neighbor’s patio on a Saturday evening, you may have enjoyed the comfort and beauty of hardscape design without realizing it. A hardscape is an outdoor surface, structure, or design element that has been constructed using either natural or man-made materials. However, the most important differentiation between a hardscape and other parts of your outdoor living space is the fact that hardscapes are non-living.

There are many different types of hardscape designs. Some of the most common are patios and retaining walls, but they can also include the following:

  • Walkways
  • Gravel paths or driveways
  • Fences
  • Decks
  • Stairs
  • Fire pits
  • Outdoor fireplaces
  • Gazebos
  • Pool decks
  • Outdoor kitchens

Hardscapes can also be constructed with a variety of materials. In the past, poured concrete patios were some of the most common designs one might see, but many businesses and homeowners now prefer a more natural look. For example, your hardscape can be built with:

  • Brick
  • Interlocking concrete pavers
  • Permeable concrete pavers
  • Natural stone
  • Masoned stone

The designs and hardscape materials you choose will depend on what you wish to do in your outdoor living space, as well as what sort of atmosphere you wish to create. For example, brick may seem a bit utilitarian at first glance, but when placed creatively, it can invoke the ambiance of Mediterranean architecture. On the other hand, natural stone can add natural color and texture to your garden.

How Does Hardscape Design Work?

Hardscape design is a mix of artistry, strategy, and craftsmanship. Generally, a hardscape contractor will meet with you for an initial site visit and consultation. Your contractor will survey the site, taking into account any relevant soil conditions, grades, drainage systems, and other existing conditions, such as property lines and irrigation.

After the initial site visit, you contractor will discuss your goals for your space and how you hope to achieve them. It’s okay if you aren't completely settled on what to do with your space. Even if you only have an image in your mind or an idea of what you want to use your space for, your contractor can work with you to bring it to life.

Once you’ve established your vision, your contractor will create a layout for all the features you wish to see in your outdoor living space, both in terms of hardscapes and landscapes. Even if you can’t specifically name which hardscape designs you want, a good hardscape designer will be able to make suggestions based on how you intend to spend time in your space.

One of the most important aspects of hardscape design is ensuring your hardscape works well with the surrounding softscape, or landscape. Your softscape includes everything other than your hardscape, including plants, soil, mulch, and flower beds.

Once a final design has been put in place, your contractor will begin work on your hardscape. It could be that you enlist your contractor to create a new softscape as well. Your hardscape design may include retaining walls, walkways, patios, and other hardscape design elements, but they will all work harmoniously to create an attractive, inviting, and enjoyable outdoor living space.

Call Sheridan Landscaping for Your Hardscape & Excavation Needs

Whether you just want to install a new walkway or you need to completely transform your backyard, Sheridan Landscaping, a full service hardscaping and landscaping company, can take care of all your needs. We provide hardscape and landscape services to residents in Plymouth, Massachusetts and surrounding towns. Our outdoor living space designers are ready to assess your needs and bring your vision to life. Contact us online or call us directly at (774) 413-5012 to get started.

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