Creating a Hardscape Oasis at Your House

By Brittany Cotton

Your home’s hardscape refers to all the solid materials in your backyard, such as brick, stone, wood and concrete. Although you might have a grassy backyard, the hardscape also plays a role by tempting guests outside to enjoy the fresh air. By upgrading your hardscape, the backyard becomes an oasis for your loved ones and a boost to your property value.


  1. Choose New Elements


First, select a material type for your new hardscape features. For example, concrete creates a modern appearance, whereas brick has a more traditional look. Next, consider what type of elements you’d like in the backyard. Stone patios, wood decks and water features are all upgrades that add interest and value to the property.


Furthermore, adding one element at a time can fit into nearly any budget. If you can’t afford to upgrade the entire yard right now, remodel a corner to start the process. As a result, your yard looks refreshed without breaking the bank.


  1. Use the Right Tools


Before breaking ground, consider the scope of your project. If you’re installing a few simple items, such as stepping stones, a DIY project is certainly possible. In contrast, a major upgrade to your yard requires a professional contractor. For example, they might bring in heavy machinery with proper final drive units to dig up the land and install the features.


In addition, renting tools instead of buying them is always a smart cost-cutting strategy. Presumably, you’ll only upgrade the backyard one time. As a result, there’s no need to buy tools for one-time use.


  1. Update a Small Backyard


A hardscape oasis is possible for any yard size. For example, a small backyard with only a grassy area can benefit from a whimsical pathway meandering across its length.


Indeed, you can also update a small yard by focusing on its intended purpose. If you want to hold many parties, consider a focal point like an outdoor grill station and seating area. For owners who want a tranquil yard, a small patio with cushioned patio furniture is a better plan. As a result, your needs dictate the right features to add to your yard.


  1. Invest in Structural Installations


Improving your home’s value starts with key elements in your hardscape oasis. For larger yards, consider an outdoor kitchen. These installations include sinks, grills and food preparation areas. Additionally, adding a patio cover over this area is another strategy to boost your home’s value. Certainly, it protects the outdoor kitchen from the weathering elements and offers a reprieve from the sun on hot days.


Another structural installation that creates a focal point is a permanent firepit. Construct it into almost any size that works for the yard’s aesthetic. In the end, firepits are attractive as gathering areas for families on summer evenings, which leads to more value for your property.


  1. Consider Future Maintenance


As you plan your oasis, look at how future maintenance might impact your family. For instance, water features add a relaxing element to the yard but they require regular maintenance. If there are any organic elements, such as fish, then the maintenance is even more detailed.


Other additions, such as wood decks, have their maintenance schedules. Sealing and repairing the wood as the seasons change will be a constant. As an alternative, consider stone or concrete because these materials don’t demand as much attention as wood.


  1. Complement the Hardscape With Softscape


Balance out the hardscape with softscape additions, such as flowers and bushes. Plant the organic elements around the hardscape so that they become focal points. Alternatively, use potted plants for more versatility. For example, swap out seasonal plants with ease by repotting them. As a result, you reserve the yard for permanent additions, such as small trees or bushes.


Choose plants with attention to their maintenance, too. Plants that drop a lot of leaves, flowers or seeds can become a nuisance around water features or patios. Select plants with minimal droppings for the cleanest look.


In the end, selecting timeless materials and a classic design will give you the most value for your dollar. A hardscape oasis stands the test of time when properly installed. Plan out your project for a rewarding experience in your backyard.

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