What You Need to Know Before Beginning a New Hardscape

Attractive landscaping and hardscapes are sure to draw the eye and spark envy among your neighbours. Whether you’re upgrading your existing property or designing your dream home, your outdoor living space is the icing on the cake of a beautiful home.

We’ve all heard how important curb appeal is. Any realtor will remind you that an attractive front yard gives a great first impression to a potential buyer. However, beautifying your entire property will pay off handsomely. It will give you more to enjoy about your home and increase your family’s living space
while adding to your home’s value.

Before jumping into designing new hardscapes, there are a few things you need to know before getting started. Let’s look at the key things to consider.

What Does Hardscaping Mean?
Most people have heard the word landscaping, which refers to softscapes like gardens, trees, lawns and other natural elements around your property. Closely related to landscaping, hardscaping refers to the “harder” aspects of your outdoor living space, the structural elements that are constructed. These
typically include projects like decks, patios, fencing, retaining walls, pool decks, rooftop environments, walkways, balconies and more.

The most attractive outdoor living spaces are those that strike an equilibrium between landscaping and hardscapes. This balance keeps things from feeling too artificial, paved over, or soft like a golf course.

How to Budget for your Hardscape Project
Budget will be your primary consideration when planning a new hardscaping project. You’ll need to assess what you can comfortably afford and how much you’re willing to spend. Hardscaping projects come in a variety of price points, ranging from simple patios or walkways to outdoor kitchens and rooftop decks. In short, regardless of budget, there are plenty of ways to upgrade your outdoor living space.

If you’re hiring a contractor to manage your project, we recommend budgeting an extra 10 to 15 percent of the provided estimate to protect against cost overruns and unforeseen expenses. Get quotes from at least three local contractors to get a good idea of average cost and reasonable expense. You’ll
also need to decide whether you prefer maintenance-free hardscapes, which come at a higher up-front cost, or hardscapes that cost a little less initially but will require regular maintenance and repairs.

Which Hardscaping Materials to Use
Now that you’ve decided on a project, its design and your budget, the next step is determining which materials you want to use in your hardscape. The final determiner of most of your material decisions comes down to functionality. For example: when constructing a rooftop deck, drainage, noise and roofing membrane protection are all crucial factors in deciding which materials to use. In this example, concrete and wood can probably be ruled out, while a pedestal system may be the ideal way to accomplish all your goals.

Here’s another example: When building a patio, you can go the traditional route – digging down 18-24 inches, excavating, replacing with aggregate, level and then pouring concrete or installing interlock; keeping your fingers crossed that the patio does not shift in the spring. Alternatively, using a soil grid system could save you a lot of work and money. 

Long-lasting surface materials like porcelain tiles offer functionality and aesthetics and require virtually no maintenance. They are also exceptionally durable and do not need to be sanded & stained every couple of years. 

Aesthetics, maintenance, durability, functionality and cost are all key things to consider when planning a new hardscape project. Decide the look you want, how long you want it to last, how much time you’re willing to put into maintaining it, how you want it to work and how much you want to spend – now and over time.

Choosing materials that save you time, labour and money is always a win. Are you looking for high-quality, durable, innovative products for your hardscaping projects? Stone Deck Innovations offers Canada’s best hardscaping materials for your outdoor projects. Need help, materials or ideas?
Visit Stone Deck Innovations – Canada’s deck life experts