The Hard Fact of Hardscapes: What You Should Know Before You Build

Hardscapes transform yards into comfortable, beautiful dreamscapes that can be used throughout the year. From simple patio stylings to lavish outdoor kitchens, bars, and sitting areas, a hardscape can add value to your home and allow you to create a custom outdoor living space tailored to exactly what you want. 

However, before you go build-crazy, it’s important to take a moment to assess what it is you want and if that is possible with what you have. Follow these simple steps before you break ground to ensure you don’t run into any costly issues mid-build—or worse—have to abandon your project. 

Do your research 

You may have fallen in love with an outdoor living concept you saw in a magazine or when visiting a friend on the West Coast, but it’s important to make sure you can achieve the look you love before committing to it. Take some time to think about what the space you want to build will be used for, what details are important to you (think furniture, a sink, grilling area, outdoor kitchen, etc.), what you want the space to feel like, and who is going to be using it. 

These details will help you accurately complete your project and create an outdoor space that doesn’t just look amazing, but is also functional and worth the money you’ll be spending. 

Dig into your space

This is one of the most important steps before a build: get to know your yard—really know it. You may have ideas rolling around in your brain about a full outdoor kitchen with cooktops, grills, wet bars, and a stone patio that can fit 25 people—but, if your yard feels cramped with just a few lawn chairs laid out, you may need to reevaluate your plans. 

Be careful to analyze the space you have, where you want to place your hardscape, and think ahead so you have room for your space to grow in the future. Hardscapes can add immense value to your home, however, if carelessly or randomly placed, they can actually shrink your space and deter you from making your home more attractive with other elements, such as gardens, flower beds, shrubbery, or pergolas. 

Check the details 

The less fun, but certainly most important part, of developing your hardscape is to double check tactical things, such as drainage, where your plumbing and utility lines lie, and how and where to install a solid foundation. Make a plan for drainage runoff before you build to allow for a steady flow when water collects on the surface of your patio. You can construct a simple runoff to put water back into your yard to keep your lawn fresh and green, which is good for the environment and your hardscape. 

You’ll also need to be able to build a strong foundation, compacting soil to ensure your hardscape is built to last. This step can be the most challenging, so it’s a good idea to call in the professionals (we’re here to help)  to assist you install your hardscape’s foundation at the very least. 

Being thorough from the start of your project will help eliminate issues, rule out unexpected problems, and ensure you get the hardscape you want, all within your budget and space limitations.