Working Hardscapes into Your Landscape Design

Working Hardscapes into Your Landscape Design

Koi pond with stone surround

Hardscapes make all the difference in your landscape design. By providing visual interest, functionality, rhythm and beauty to your outdoor spaces, hardscapes can improve the value of your home while also improving your quality of life. When you’re trying to renovate your outdoor space, hardscapes make all the difference. There’s a lot to consider.

Knowing your options is important, as is working with the right hardscaping contractor and designer. At Ohio Valley Group, we can help you choose the right hardscaping for your property, as well as a lovely design that exceeds your expectations. It all starts with a few basic elements: patio or deck, water features, fireplaces, and so on. With the right design and installation, your home’s outdoor spaces will become the only place you want to spend time.

Patio Installation and Deck Installation

Patios are the perfect space for late afternoon lounging and sipping iced teas. Key elements like paver configuration, low walls and built-in benches are what make patios both attractive and fully functional. Shape, size and color of pavers makes all the difference, with some lending a sense of geometric patterning while others have a random, organic quality.

Your designer and contractor will help you choose a paver configuration that will appeal to your sense of aesthetics while also blending with the surrounding landscaping. Modern patios look best when paired with potted plants for shade. Tall plants like potted arborvitae can provide privacy as well.

Traditionally, patios were positioned in the rear of the house for privacy. Some modern homeowners with larger properties install patios in the front and back to provide dining and lounging options.

Decks, meanwhile, provide a view of the yard from above. Decades ago, decks were made exclusively wood. Today, most homeowners choose to build their deck with composite decking material because it’s long-lasting and never needs to be refinished.

Because modern decking materials are synthetic, they can also come in a range of shapes. Round decks and irregularly shaped decks are now possible, allowing homeowners to install decks that integrate more naturally into their landscaping. Decks also now feature lighting options to make outdoor nighttime entertainment easier and safer.

It’s vitally important to work with a professional when constructing a deck, as decks must be properly anchored to the house for safety. A knowledgeable landscaping contractor can build a deck that will last for decades.

Water Features, Fireplaces and Fire Pits

Water features provide beautiful sound as well as lovely visual focal points within the landscape. Installation of water features requires professional plumbing and proper design for durability and longevity. Water features come in choices like koi ponds, free-standing fountains and table-top fountains. Fountains are a common feature in zen gardens, but can be installed in outdoor eating areas, on patios and in cottage gardens as well.

Fireplaces and fire pits are a favorite among homeowners who enjoy spending time outdoors at night and who like entertaining friends and family on their property. Each fire feature has its own look and functionality.

Fireplaces tend to be large and formal, requiring a lot of stone. Often, homeowners install their fireplace at one end of their patio, in an area with outdoor seating for lounging. Fire pits can be installed further out in the yard, or maybe built into the patio itself.

The difference between a fire pit and fireplace is the height: whereas the fireplace stands up above the ground, fire pits are lower and good for huddling around. Each one provides its own special look and feel. Like the patio pavers, it’s important to choose the right materials for constructing your fireplace or fire pit. Stone color, shape and size makes a big difference in the appearance of your fire feature.

Pergolas, Trellises, Arbors

Pergolas, trellises and arbors are the flourishes of the garden. They provide a focal point on the landscape, a place for vining plants to grow, and a shady spot for lounging, reading, eating or just spending time.

Pergolas need to be constructed from the proper materials to be durable and long-lasting. While some homeowners still choose to construct their pergolas from rot-resistant wood, many now turn to composite wood, because it needs no refinishing or sealing as the years go by.

No matter what you choose for your pergola or trellis, be sure to use quality materials that won’t warp, fade or stain over time. Your designer and contractor can help direct you to the correct building materials for your particular garden.

Like the deck installation, it’s very important to hire a contractor who will construct a strong structure that can withstand years of exposure to the elements. Because pergolas tend to become surfaces on which vines grow, they must be capable of withstanding regular exposure to moisture, which becomes trapped between the plant and the structure.

Finding the Right Hardscaping Designer and Contractor

Before you can start renovation or installation of your home’s hardscaping, it’s important to hire the right design professional. Design is the basis for all good exterior upgrades.

Without beautiful design, your hardscaping may not be integrated into your landscaping for fully realized, finished results. Once the design has been finalized, you’ll still need the right contractor to make your dream a reality.

Not sure how to pick the right contractor? Look for a designer with a strong portfolio, references in the community, and good customer service practices. To get started with your home’s hardscaping upgrade, contact your hardscaping designer and contractor at the Ohio Valley Group.

With over 30 years in the business, we’ve got a portfolio you can trust, and a reputation for excellence in the community. For hardscaping services in Chagrin Falls and the surrounding area, call to make an appointment for consultation.