Do you know the difference between hardscaping and landscaping? Many people think that landscaping includes everything in the yard, but it actually only refers to those parts of your lawn that are alive. When you’re talking about fire pits, fountains, paved paths, or outdoor kitchens, you’re talking about hardscaping.
The two are very different, but they should work together. While 80% of homeowners want landscapes that are low maintenance, most people are also more likely to enjoy their time at home when they add hardscaping features. Combining low maintenance flowering shrubs and low maintenance hardscaping like patios and pavers is ideal.
There are several hardscaping trends forming among homeowners, with outdoor dining spaces being the most popular.
The outdoor dining area has been popular for some time. In fact, 84% of homeowners are more likely to enjoy their time at home with a new patio. But the old problems of shifting an entire meal outdoors buffet-style are now being eliminated by installing a permanent outdoor dining area alongside a fixed outdoor kitchen.
Outdoor kitchens can enhance your home value, provide a luxurious outdoor space for gathering, and improve your backyard’s overall functionality and versatility by making it more than just a spot for lounging.
Fire pit and fire features
Fire pits are next on the list of popular hardscaping, and they are a very smart investment. You can recover about 67% of the installation cost when you resell your home. Other popular fire features include outdoor fireplaces, fire tables within a fire-proof outdoor dining table, and the Chiminea similar to a fire pit, but with several safety features important for families.
Gazebos and more – backyard structures
The gazebo is one of the most desired backyard structures, but it can also be out of reach of the budget of some homeowners. A pergola is more budget friendly, but doesn’t offer protection from wind or rain. You can also opt for a canopy, or the traditional covered porch.
If you plan on using your outdoor kitchen and dining area frequently, investing in a gazebo is a wise investment that requires little maintenance.
Fountains and water features
While they can require extra care and more frequent maintenance, fountains and other water features are also quite popular. The bird bath is the easiest type of water feature to install in your lawn, while garden ponds should be paired with a waterfall. This keeps the water churning, which in turn lessens the amount of maintenance required. A hot tub is another option, but not all lawns or decks are suitable.
Paths and walkways
Of all of these, the most common type of hardscaping are paths and walkways, with over 85% of hardscaping including upgrades like walkways of natural stone. Regardless of the other features of your lawn and garden, paths paved with decorative stones, bricks, or other materials are the string that ties all of them together. No matter what type of outdoor improvements you make, paved paths make them more easily accessible.
Who says the traverse from the outdoor kitchen to the pool should be boring? Custom or decorative pavers, smoothed stones, and mosaic tiles all create beautiful and interesting paths from one area of the yard to another. Let the paths wind around the outdoor kitchen, outdoor dining or gazebo, gardens, and pool.
Paths and walkways are a great way to add character to your lawn, and the only maintenance you will need to worry about is sweeping.