Hardscaping is a hot term, and HGTV and home improvement blogs are both abuzz with mentions of this trend. But regardless of how much you’ve investigated it, you’re likely to have some questions. Here are answers to five of the most common:
- What Is Hardscaping, Specifically?
Some people assume that hardscaping always refers to high-end projects such as outdoor kitchens. But really, hardscaping just refers to any part of landscaping design that uses non-living materials. That often includes concrete, stone pavers, landscaping rocks, brick, wood and similar materials. Patios, walls, fences, walkways, benches, pergolas, archways and gazebos are all hardscaping projects.
- Does Hardscaping Reduce Maintenance?
Absolutely, and this is one of the primary reasons that many people choose to install hardscaping as part of their front or backyard landscaping plan. Once installed, hardscaping tends to need very little upkeep — giving you a break from watering, mowing, mulching and hoeing. These materials are also extremely durable, so you won’t need to be worrying about replacement any time soon.
- Are Landscaping Rock and Stone the Same?
Most of the time, the terms “rock” and “stone” are interchangeable. But in this context, it’s worth making a distinction. Landscaping rocks are raw pieces broken off from a larger underground mass; rocks have been quarried. Landscaping stones, on the other hand, have been at the earth’s surface for longer, and have been worn down (sometimes worn quite smooth) by the elements.
- Is Hardscaping Prohibitively Expensive?
This is a common concern. It’s true that hardscaping costs more than average landscaping, on average. But the projects are also longer-lasting and provide additional functions. You have to consider not only the cost, but the value of something like a built-in bench, a beautiful retaining wall, a large patio, a masonry fireplace or an outdoor kitchen. And, as in any type of building project, there are many types of materials and you can work with hardscaping companies to keep the costs down.
- What’s the ROI for Hardscaping Projects?
Putting an exact number on this would require data that simply isn’t available. Calculating this figure is even more complex because very few outdoor design projects utilize purely landscaping or purely hardscaping; a combination is almost always involved. But in general, homebuyers are willing to pay more for a house that offers an “outdoor room” concept, rather than just a standard backyard lawn.
What other questions do you have about hardscaping? Have you done any hardscaping on your property? Use the comments section below to chime in.