Backyard hardscapes include patios around swimming pools, retaining walls, water features, fire pits, landscape lighting, grill surrounds, pergolas, and more. You can think of them as simply an outdoor living room.
Consider your outdoor living area. Something tells me you wouldn’t go outside often if you didn’t have a designated place to sit and relax when you went out your back door. But if you have a brick patio with a table and comfortable chairs, you probably use it to enjoy a leisurely dinner or your morning cup of coffee. The joy that hardscaping brings is a place to unwind and enjoy the lovely flowers in bloom.
Making a statement in your yard is simple with a hardscape or any other sturdy landscaping surface or structure. Here are some hardscaping examples you can use in your landscaping project.
What is considered a hardscape?
Anything that is “non-living” can be used to build a hardscape. Sand, concrete, mortar, gravel, flagstone, river rock, chopped stone, boulders, concrete pavers, travertine tile, and wood are the most frequently used hardscaping components.
What are the most common Types of Stones Used in Hardscaping?
The types of stone can vary, even though most rock yards carry all the categories. Additionally, a rock may be referred to by one name in one yard and a different name in another. The fact that yards obtain their stone from various quarries contributes to this. As a result, rose granite may be present in one location but not another.
Even the native basalt from the Columbia River can be purchased under different names. If the name game seems confusing, remember that most of us don’t care much about it. What the rock looks like and whether it is suitable for our intended use are vital considerations. Visiting a few yards can help determine what is available and provide a price range.
It is relatively flat, available in various sizes, and has a thickness range of 3/4 inch to 3 inches. Tumbled type is randomly shaped with smooth edges, irregular type has sharp edges, and patterned or pattern-cut type has edges that are cut into squares and rectangles for a more formal appearance. Use for indoor coffee tables, patios, walkways, stepping stones, veneer on walls, and water features that require flat rock.
Flagstone is a type of natural stone that is often used in hardscaping design. It is known for its unique and beautiful appearance, which can add a touch of classiness and sophistication to any outdoor space. Flagstone is commonly used to create patios and decks and can be an excellent choice for anyone looking to improve their outdoor living space.
Stones of various sizes resemble small bricks. Use as edging for pathways, beds, borders, driveways, patios, and walkways. Also appropriate for tiny, dry-stacked walls. Thinner pieces are suitable for wall veneer. Stones look fantastic in most hardscaping projects.
Cobblestone is a type of natural stone that is often used in hardscaping design. It is known for its beautiful and unique appearance, which can add a touch of elegance and charm to any outdoor space. Cobblestone is commonly used to create walkways and driveways and can be an excellent choice for anyone looking to improve the look and feel of their outdoor space. The smooth, rounded edges of cobblestone give it a distinctive and timeless look that is sure to impress.
- GROUND COVER:
Everything from river rock to pea gravel to red lava is small, rounded, or crushed stone and can be used for building projects, water features, and permanent landscape mulch.
Small, rounded, or crushed stones like river rock, pea gravel, and red lava can add a beautiful touch to any hardscaping project. These types of stones are versatile and can be used in various ways to enhance the look and feel of your outdoor living space. For example, river rock and pea gravel can create paths and walkways, while red lava can be used as a decorative element in water features or as a permanent landscape mulch.
- River rock:
2 to 6 inches wide and rounded. Hardscaping river gravel is also available; its size ranges from 3/8 inch to 1 1/2 inch. The 3/4-inch size provides a stable ground for dog runs and kennels. River rock can also be used as a ground cover, at the bottom of streams or ponds, and to encircle stepping stones.
River rock is a type of natural stone that is typically rounded and smooth, used primarily on hardscaping projects. Named “river rock” because we find it along the banks of rivers, where it has been naturally shaped and polished over time by water flow. River rock can add a beautiful and natural touch to any hardscaping project, used in various ways to enhance the look and feel of your outdoor space. For example, it can create paths and walkways, accent water features, or act as a decorative element in landscaping.
- Pea gravel:
An excellent base for flagstone patios or walkways is the 3/8-inch size. However, for drainage projects like French drains and septic tanks, the 1 1/2-inch rocks are suitable.
Pea gravel is a small, rounded stone often used in hardscaping and landscaping projects. They are named “pea gravel” because the individual stones are about the size of peas. Pea gravel is versatile and used in various ways to enhance the look and function of your outdoor space. For example, pea gravel creates paths and walkways, provides a stable surface for patio furniture, or helps with drainage in garden beds. In addition, Pea gravel is a decorative element in landscaping, such as around water features or in rock gardens.
- Crushed gravel:
The most significant pieces in the mixture were measured by screening, so the 3/4-inch size or 3/4-minus category includes everything that will fit through a 3/4-inch screen, right down to the dust. For driveways or sidewalks, 3/4-inch rocks work well as the base material. Driveways or pathways in muddy areas benefit from a topcoat of 1/2-inch rocks, and pathways or dry-stacked walls can be filled with 1 1/4-inch rocks.
Crushed gravel is often used as a surface material for driveways in hardscaping projects because it is a relatively affordable option that provides a good balance of durability and accessibility. Gravel is a natural material that is readily available and easy to work with, making it a popular choice for use in driveways. Additionally, crushed gravel is porous, allowing water to empty through it rather than pooling on the surface. Crushed gravel can help to prevent erosion and maintain the stability of the driveway over time.
Although driveways are challenging to design aesthetically in hardscaping designs, their size makes them crucial for curb appeal. Use eye-catching materials to enhance your driveways, such as concrete pavers, cobblestone, or stained concrete. A double-ribbon driveway made of concrete pavers, a permeable choice that filters rainwater, is featured in the HGTV Green Home 2008.
Concrete pavers, cobblestone, and stained concrete are popular materials used for driveways in hardscaping projects. These materials are chosen for their durability, longevity, and aesthetic appeal. Concrete pavers, cobblestone, and stained concrete are all relatively low-maintenance options that can withstand heavy loads and provide a stable, even surface for vehicles to drive on. Additionally, these materials are available in a wide range of colors, patterns, and styles, which allows homeowners to create a unique and visually appealing driveway that complements the overall design of their property.
There are many different surface options for walkways and paths, including pavers, brick, stone, concrete, terrazzo, and glass pebbles. Ensure your selected option fits your garden and looks good with your house. For example, the garden has a structure in the winter thanks to this straightforward brick path, which complements the warm hues of the summer flowers.
Hardscaping designs incorporating pavers, brick, stone, concrete, terrazzo, and glass pebbles can be gorgeous and elegant. These materials are chosen for their durability, longevity, and versatility and are used in various ways to create stunning outdoor spaces. For example, pavers, brick, and stone create paths, patios, and driveways. In contrast, concrete and terrazzo are used to create decorative elements such as planters, fire pits, and water features. Glass pebbles can be used as decorative elements in landscaping or to create colorful and unique pathways or surfaces. When used together, these materials can create hardscaping designs that are both functional and beautiful.
- Gravel Paths
Gravel paths offer flexibility in shape and design and are one of the simplest and least expensive landscaping projects. A mossy border accentuates this plain gravel path.
Gravel paths can positively affect our mood in outdoor living areas because they provide a natural and relaxed atmosphere that can help us feel calm and at ease. The sound of gravel underfoot can be soothing and meditative, and the stones’ natural colors and textures can help create a sense of harmony and balance in the outdoor space. Additionally, loose, irregular gravel paths can encourage us to slow down and take our time rather than rush through the space. Overall, gravel paths in outdoor living areas help create a peaceful and restful atmosphere that can improve our mood and overall well-being.
Your home may feel more private and secure with a fence around it. Taller, more solid fence walls shut out the outside world, while picket or narrow slats serve as a psychological barrier. With its horizontal planks, this attractive fence is the ideal height for privacy.
Wooden privacy fences can positively affect our mood in outdoor living spaces because they provide a sense of enclosure and protection that can make us feel more comfortable and secure. In addition, fences can create a sense of separation between our outdoor living space and the rest of the world, making us feel more private and relaxed. Privacy fences can be beneficial when using our decks and patios, as they can help us enjoy these spaces without feeling exposed or vulnerable. Additionally, the natural beauty of wood can add warmth and charm to any outdoor space, improving our overall mood and enjoyment of the area.
- Walls and Wall Materials
Walls are an enduring design statement built for stability, privacy, or function. Consider the architecture and location of the house when choosing the wall materials. Adding color and plants can transform an ugly wall into a work of art.
A stone wall can add a beautiful and natural touch to any landscape design and outdoor living area. Stone walls are made from various materials, including natural stone, brick, and concrete, and can be built in various styles and sizes. The natural texture and color of stone walls add depth and interest to a landscape and create a sense of warmth and welcome in an outdoor space. In addition, stone walls create boundaries and borders to define different landscape areas or add decorative elements such as steps, seating, or planters. Overall, the presence of a stone wall in a landscape can add beauty and interest to the area and enhance the outdoor space’s overall enjoyment.
Make sure to leave enough space on your patio to accommodate lounge chairs, cocktail tables, a bar, and plenty of room for movement. Flagstone, brick, stamped concrete, and concrete pavers are just a few used to build patios. In addition, consider adding a dining area and a barbecue island to a patio.
Patios are often built with flagstone, brick, stamped concrete, and concrete pavers because these materials are durable, long-lasting, and easy to maintain. Flagstone, brick, and concrete are popular for patio surfaces because they are solid, able to withstand heavy loads, and resistant to weathering and other environmental factors. Additionally, these materials are available in a wide range of colors, patterns, and styles, which allows homeowners to choose the perfect patio surface to suit their tastes and needs.
Stamped concrete and concrete pavers are popular choices because they create patterns and designs that mimic the look of natural stone, brick, or other materials but at a lower cost. Overall, flagstone, brick, stamped concrete, and concrete pavers are excellent patio surfaces and can help create beautiful and functional outdoor living spaces.
- Grill Surround
Enjoy grilling? Your patio can get a grill surround added. Everything would match because the grill surround would be constructed from the same stone as the sitting wall. A granite countertop could be added around your grill to give you more cooking space or a place to set your preferred beverage. Again, your grill would be surrounded by the same stone as the sitting wall.
Installing a concrete or stone grill surround on a patio can have several benefits. First, a grill surround can provide a stable and level surface for your grill, which can help to prevent accidents and injuries. A grill surround can also help protect your patio from the heat and flames of the grill, which can prevent damage to the patio’s surface.
Additionally, a grill surround can add a decorative element to your patio and help create a more cohesive overall design. Concrete and stone are both popular materials for grill surround because they are durable, long-lasting, and easy to maintain. Overall, a grill surround can be a valuable addition to any patio and help enhance your outdoor living space’s safety, function, and appearance.
- Retaining Walls
Does your yard have a significant incline? Retaining walls level the yard, making it flat and helpful in constructing a patio or other outdoor gathering area. Another illustration would be the need to keep soil contained on your yard’s sides. That could be achieved with a retaining wall, significantly improving the area’s aesthetics.
A stone retaining wall can be a beautiful and functional addition to any landscape design. Retaining walls are structures built to hold back soil or other materials and are commonly used on sloped or uneven ground to create level areas for plants or other features. Stone is a popular material for retaining walls because it is strong, durable, and long-lasting, and it can also add a natural and elegant touch to any landscape.
In addition to their practical function, retaining walls can also serve as decorative elements in a landscape and can be used to create terraced gardens, raised beds, or other visual features. Overall, a stone retaining wall can add beauty and functionality to any landscape design.
- Fire Pit
A fire pit in your backyard, either part of the patio or separate from it, is a fantastic place to spend relaxed evenings. Fire pits come with a gas insert or a wood-burning option. You can have your wood-burning pizza ovens or outdoor fireplaces.
There are several benefits to having a landscape design company build a stone fire pit for your outdoor living area. First, a professional landscape design company will have the experience and expertise to design and build a high-quality stone fire pit that is safe, functional, and beautiful. They will be able to help you choose the suitable materials, size, and design for your fire pit and will ensure that it is properly installed and integrated into your landscape.
Additionally, a professional landscape design company can provide ongoing maintenance and support for your fire pit, which can help ensure that it continues to function correctly and look its best. Hiring a professional landscape design company to build a stone fire pit for your outdoor living area can give you the peace of mind of knowing that your fire pit is built to last and will provide you with years of enjoyment.
Wood or low-maintenance composite material are used to construct decks. Decks should have enough space for dining, sunbathing, and other activities, just like patios do. Clean white railings on this deck’s design go perfectly with the lightly stained wood.
Wooden decks and patios can positively affect our mood in a landscape design because they provide a natural and inviting atmosphere that can make us feel relaxed and at ease. The warmth and texture of the wood can add a sense of comfort and familiarity to any outdoor space, and the natural colors and patterns of wood can help to create a sense of harmony and balance.
Additionally, a wooden deck or patio can encourage us to spend more time outdoors, providing many mental and physical health benefits. Using wooden decks and patios in a landscape design can help create an inviting and enjoyable outdoor space that can improve our mood and overall well-being.
- Stairs for Your Landscape
Consider the topography if you’re designing a set of stairs for your landscape. Stairs should be divided into sets with landings, turns, or switchbacks if the slope is steep. Here, fragrant thyme highlights the stairway’s gentle curve and connects it to the surrounding landscape.
When designing a set of stairs for your landscape, it is vital to consider the area’s topography. Topography refers to the land’s natural features, such as its elevation, slope, and contours. These features can affect the design of the stairs and can determine where the stairs should be located, how steep they should be, and how many steps will be needed.
For example, if the land is sloping, the stairs may need to be built on a slope to provide a safe and comfortable ascent or descent. On the other hand, if the land is relatively flat, stairs are built on a level surface. The land’s topography can also affect the materials and design of the stairs, as well as any safety features needed. Overall, considering the land’s topography is essential in designing a set of stairs in your landscape.
- Built-In Furniture
The garden’s furniture combines practicality with aesthetic appeal. Your outdoor furniture should reflect the architectural style of your house. This hand-painted bench invites you to sit at the edge of the lawn while being hugged by morning glory flowers.
Hardscaping features with built-in furniture are outdoor structures or surfaces that incorporate seating, tables, or other types of furniture. These features are designed to provide a functional and comfortable outdoor living space and can include patios with built-in seating, decks with built-in benches, or outdoor kitchens with built-in countertops and seating.
Built-in furniture can be made from various materials, such as wood, stone, concrete, or metal, and can be incorporated into various hardscaping features, such as retaining walls, pergolas, or gazebos. Built-in furniture can provide a convenient and comfortable outdoor living space and can help to enhance the overall enjoyment of your outdoor area.
Pergolas are an eye-catching architectural feature that also adds to the curb appeal. They can be made out of a variety of materials and can either be freestanding or cantilevered from your home. Both options are wood or vinyl pergolas with fiberglass columns, stone piers, or metal framing. Electricity can also be run through them. This pergola provides a lovely view and cozy, covered seating.
A pergola is a type of outdoor form that consists of vertical posts or columns supporting a lattice or open-rafter roof. Pergolas are often used as a form of outdoor shading and can protect from the sun, rain, or wind. They can also be used to create a visual boundary or separation between different landscape areas or to add a decorative element to an outdoor space. Pergolas can be freestanding or connected to a building and can be made from various materials, such as wood, metal, or vinyl. Overall, the function of a pergola is to provide shade and shelter in an outdoor space and enhance the area’s appearance and enjoyment.
A ramada is a hardscape building erected in a yard to offer shade, similar to a pergola. It is covered by a roof and frequently matches the home’s design. With plush wicker furniture and cozy copper and stone accents, this ramada is all about comfort and style. To completely block out the sweltering summer sun, it also has curtains.
Ramadas are often used as a form of outdoor shading and can protect from the sun, rain, or wind. They can also create a sense of enclosure or privacy in an outdoor space or add a decorative element to a landscape. Ramadas can be freestanding or attached to a building and can be made from various materials, such as wood, metal, or stone. In terms of appearance, ramadas typically have a rectangular or square shape and can be decorated with various architectural details, such as columns, arches, or decorative accents. Overall, the appearance of a ramada is typically that of a sturdy, solid outdoor structure that provides shade and shelter in an outdoor space.
An arbor transforms an ordinary walkway, gate, or patio into a focal point and is a lovely addition to any landscape. Additionally useful, arbors provide treillage for plants. This arbor becomes a charming focal point when surrounded by lush vegetation.
An arbor is an outdoor structure with an open roof supported by columns or posts. Arbors are similar to pergolas and ramadas but are typically smaller and more decorative. Arbors are often used as outdoor shadind. They can also create a sense of enclosure or privacy in an outdoor space or add a decorative element to a landscape. Arbors can be freestanding or attached to a building and can be made from various materials, such as wood, metal, or stone.
There are several benefits to having an arbor in your landscaping design. First, an arbor can provide shade and shelter in an outdoor space, making the area more comfortable and enjoyable. Arbors can also add visual interest and charm to a landscape and can be decorated with climbing plants or other decorative elements. Additionally, arbors can be used as a focal point or gathering place in a landscape, creating a sense of intimacy and connection in an outdoor space. Overall, the presence of an arbor in a landscape can provide many benefits and can help to enhance the overall enjoyment of the outdoor area.
In landscaping projects, freestanding gazebos are extremely popular. Make sure it has a purpose before you throw one into your garden. Decide what you want to use the structure for, whether it be a spa enclosure, a sheltered play area for your children, or a satellite patio.
A gazebo is a freestanding outdoor structure with a roof, columns, and an open design. Gazebos are often used as a form of outdoor shading and can protect from the sun, rain, or wind. They can also be used as a gathering place or seating area in a landscape and add a decorative element to an outdoor space. Gazebos can be made from various materials, such as wood, metal, or stone, and can be decorated with various architectural details, such as railings, balustrades, or decorative accents.
In terms of beauty, gazebos are often considered elegant and graceful structures and can add a touch of charm and sophistication to any landscape. The open design of a gazebo allows it to blend seamlessly with its surroundings, and the variety of materials and styles available can be incorporated into almost any landscape design. Overall, the beauty of a gazebo lies in its ability to provide shade and shelter in an outdoor space while also adding visual interest and charm to the area.
Everyone desires an outdoor area for entertaining, unwinding, and socializing with friends and family. That space gains a touch of beauty and usefulness thanks to the hardscaping! Contact us at Straight Edgez to freshen up your landscaping or create new backyard designs. We have everything you require to design your ideal backyard!