What is Hardscaping?
When altering your landscape, you might need to incorporate both hard and soft landscaping materials.
Hard landscaping, or hardscaping refers to using non-living materials to create structured elements such as patio paving, stonework, decomposed granite pathway, retaining wall or pergola. Soft landscaping, or softscaping may indicate the use of soil, plants and mulches.
What are Hardscaping Services?
Hardscaping services could include anything added to your landscape which is created using non-living materials.
The most common hardscaping services include installing landscape rock or flagstone, creating mortared stone structures like garden bed edging or a grilling station, pouring concrete patio surfaces or creating wooden structures such as a patio cover.
Difference Between Landscaping and Hardscaping?
Landscaping is a general term which refers to the process of altering your land.
Hardscaping is a more specific word indicating the use of “hard” materials when changing your landscape.
For example, if you were to install a new garden bed for your plants and add a mortared stone edging around it. The entire design plan may be considered landscaping but the mortared stone edging is considered the hardscaping part of your plan.
What is Hardscape Design?
Hardscape design is the creation of a plan for the structural elements of your landscape construction project.
This could include the design of an outdoor living space with a pergola and outdoor kitchen area. This might also include a design of retaining structures stone seating or gravel pathways.
How Much Does Hardscaping Cost?
The cost of hardscaping will vary depending on the scope of the project, cost of the materials and the skills required for installation.
For example, the cost to install a granite and flagstone pathway may cost between $8-10 per sq ft. These materials are readily available, the costs don’t fluctuate very much and can be installed by most general laborers.
Another example of installing a 6 ft stone grilling station with a Lueders stone countertop might cost between $3,500-$5,500. This type of hardscaping work includes material with a wide cost range and requires a stone masonry worker with specific masonry skills.
Finally, installing a 10 ft x 10 ft wooden pergola may cost between $4,500-$8,500. Woodworking typically requires permits, includes using lumber which is subject to great fluctuations in market cost, can often include a wide range of custom features and definitely requires a skilled trades person with a specific set of skills.
Types of Materials Used in Hardscape Construction?
Hardscape construction materials can be anything which is “non-living”. The most frequently used hardscaping materials are: sand, concrete, mortar, gravel, flagstone, river rock, chopped stone, boulders, concrete pavers, travertine tile and wood.
What is a Hardscape Contractor?
A hardscape contractor would be someone who specializes in installing custom-built structures to your landscaping other than tree and plant installations.
Most hardscape contractors are stone masons and/or skilled construction workers.
A hardscape contractor might not be able to give you advice on what plants to install, but they can certainly create a structure where they could grow.
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