What is hardscaping

The average US home has about 0.5 acres of yard space that need to be taken care of. When you have a large yard, it is tempting to just focus on maintaining the grass, but there are plenty of other ways to make your space appealing.

Hardscaping will turn your yard into an outdoor living space that is beautiful and functional. Your lawn will always be the perfect environment, whether you are hosting barbeques or relaxing with your family.

But what is hardscaping, and how can it make your home the envy of the neighborhood? Read on to find out.

What Is Hardscaping?

The question, “What is hardscaping?” can be answered in a variety of ways. The most basic definition is that it is the use of hard landscaping materials within your yard design. It can refer to any man-made structure in a landscaping project, such as a patio, fire pit, outdoor kitchen, walkways, stone walls, etc.

Landscaping vs Hardscaping

Hardscaping uses materials like concrete, stone, and wood to improve the visual appearance of an area. Landscaping, on the other hand, involves plants and other soft materials that add value to a space.

Benefits of Hardscaping

Hardscaping can complement your existing landscape, or it can completely replace softscape elements like ferns and bushes. The goal is to add stability to a yard design by providing structure and definition for other features—like decorative lighting or outdoor furniture sets.

But the benefits of hardscaping services go beyond visual appeal. Here are some of the reasons why it is one of the best ways to update your home.

Outdoor Entertainment Areas

A brick or stone patio is a great choice for adding space outside your house where you can spend time with friends and family. Take your patio to another level by adding an outdoor kitchen. You might even consider building a fire pit to have s’mores in the summer or roast marshmallows during winter evenings.


Privacy is essential to many homeowners and homebuyers. Stone, brick, and wooden walls can offer the seclusion that many people desire. You can also use these materials to hide intimate areas, like a backyard hot tub.

Increase Property Value

A professional hardscape design will add beauty and elegance to any outdoor space. Having a charming backyard can dramatically increase your curb appeal. When it is time to sell your home, the beauty of your hardscape will attract buyers and you’ll close a deal faster than you could imagine.

You also do not have to worry about selling your home right away. Enjoy the beauty of your hardscape designs for as long as you want. The durable materials will maintain their value and appeal over time, so you will not have to rush to move.

Direct Traffic

Patios, walkways, and retaining walls create a clear path for people to follow around your lawn. It makes it easy for guests to find their way from one part of your yard to another without damaging your plants or tripping over your furniture.

Types of Hardscapes

The type of hardscape you choose for your yard depends on the style you want your home’s exterior to reflect. A patio can be built using concrete to symbolize the strength of your family ties. If you are looking for something more artsy, gravel and brick can create a walkway that’s as unique as your personality.

Here are some popular types of hardscapes to use as inspiration for your yard.

Gravel Paths

Gravel lends an organic look to even the most cultivated landscapes. Choose gravel for your flower beds or walkways to add some texture to your yard.

Retaining Walls

Retaining walls are large structures that support plant life or act as the back of a patio area. They are also useful for keeping soil from washing away during heavy rains.


Fountains are a great way to bring the tranquility of water into your yard. You will also enjoy the eye-catching butterflies and birds that will flock to your property for a drink of water.

Not all hardscaping companies offer fountains as part of their services, but those that do will usually construct them with stone because it’s a particularly durable material. Consider how a stone fountain will complement the existing hardscape in your yard before committing to one.

Hardscaping Ideas

Before deciding on your hardscaping materials and layout, consider any drainage issues that may arise when installing new surfaces. Account for how much water will flow through your hardscape designs during heavy rains before making any final decisions about what type of surface should go where.

This said, there are several ways to create a hardscaped yard that will complement your landscaping and protect it. Below are some ideas that combine modern and traditional elements for a cohesive and practical space.

Mix Concrete with Greenery

The defensive greys of concrete need a splash of color to make them more attractive. The refreshing green shades of plants are a perfect way to offset the dullness of concrete. By mixing concrete with greenery, you can create a contemporary look that soothes your nerves and brightens up your day.

Wood Accents and Brick Flooring

The combination of wood and brick is a smart choice for Mediterranean, farmhouse, and rustic yards. The warmth of natural wood lends an air of comfort to any outdoor space. Bricks provide a solid base while adding some texture to your design.

If you want a cheerful atmosphere with plenty of sunlight, use whitewashed brick to amplify the rays.

Pair Concrete with Steel

Concrete alone can feel too heavy in an outdoor living area. To combat the weightiness, add steel accents to your design. Steel chairs and tables are a striking choice for outdoor furniture that won’t go unnoticed.

Make Your Outdoor Space Come Alive

What is hardscaping? It is the best way to make your yard feel more like a getaway. The use of natural materials and classic design elements can bring a whole new level of comfort and beauty to your outdoor living space.

If you are ready to create an inviting property that you will love coming home to, then contact Martin John Company for a consultation. We have been transforming outdoor spaces for over 20 years, so we know exactly how to bring your vision to life!