HOME & GARDEN | OUTDOOR DESIGN

Blue Mountain Eagle

Hardscaping doesn’t have to be hard at all. In fact, with a little creativity and sweat equity, hardscaping can be an enjoyable experience that adds serious style points to your home’s outdoor areas.

So what is hardscaping? It involves all of the design elements on your property that aren’t plants, grass or flowers. This sector of your landscaping strategy includes retaining walls, fire pits, decks, fences, paved walkways and sculptures.

Many hardscaping-specific specialty stores and contractors have popped up in recent years, as the practice has become big business. And because so many projects involve factors that can effect yard slope, water drainage and electrical add-ons, it may be your best bet to hire an accredited professional to help safely and compliantly achieve your outdoor vision.

If you’re feeling handy and confident in handling certain projects, you can certainly save some money in your budget by doing the work yourself. If you do decide to go the DIY route, there are some things to remember as you prepare.

Research is key. Watch tutorials, talk with trained professionals, ask your hardware specialist – feeling comfortable scouting out a project will help you cover your bases before you jump in.

Also, check with your municipality to see if you need a permit and to ensure that you’re complying with local bylaws.

Do you live in a country setting with ample space for outdoor additions? Or is your living situation more suburban with a limited yard? Either option can be greatly enhanced with strategically added touches.

Outdoor kitchens, family rooms, barbecue areas, fire pits and greenhouses can all be awe-inspiring additions, if space allows. Smaller quarters may require only a stone walkway or outdoor sitting area to spruce things up.

Analyze your space to make an educated decision on your hardscaping plans.

When adding outdoor elements, it isn’t necessary to build everything at once or incorporate all items at the same time.

As long as you have a plan for how the entire space will eventually be laid out, you can save yourself some time – and money – by waiting for great deals on certain items before purchasing them for your hardscaping purposes.

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