Outdoor living is more popular than ever with more and more homeowners taking their living spaces outside. When it comes to creating an outdoor living space, many homeowners spend a large amount of time on the landscaping and overlook the hardscaping component of creating an outdoor living space. Well thought-out hardscapes can take an outdoor living area to the next level and make it comfortable for use year round. There are a few key elements that need to be considered in order to create a functional hardscape.
The first thing that should be considered when hardscaping for an outdoor living area is drainage. Plenty of outdoor spaces have been ruined or made unusable by poor drainage that compromises the hardscape elements being used. Drainage must be properly planned for when creating a hardscape of any type whether it be a patio or even something as complex as an outdoor kitchen. Another key component in creating a hardscape is grading the landscape. The land should be at least slightly sloped in order for water to be able to flow away from the living area and not to collect in puddles. Other drainage features such as drains, retention ponds, and even mechanical pumps can also be used to keep a space water free.
Using the right materials is also a key component in creating a functional and comfortable outdoor area. The most common materials used in hardscapes are stone, wood, and concrete. Each type of material has its own benefits and uses. When choosing hardscape materials things like climate, estimated amount of use, and appearance should all be taken into account. The materials used should be able to stand up to the elements and be temperature resistant. Stone is often used in hardscapes because of its durability and attractive appearance. Certain types of stone, such as travertine, are also heat and cold resistant which makes them ideal for outdoor use.
Lighting is another, often overlooked, element that is essential to get right in a hardscape. Lighting affects the mood and ambiance of an outdoor living space. Good lighting is also essential around elements such as stairs. There are plenty of lights specifically designed for hardscapes to choose from. Thin profile lights can be placed under stairs in order to light the way at night. They can also be used on other surfaces to produce unobtrusive lighting. Solar lighting and LEDs can also be used in hardscapes. Lighting should be used to both accentuate attractive features and make the space usable at night.
Hardscaping is an important part of creating an outdoor living area that is often overlooked. Good drainage, the right materials, and well-planned lighting are essential for creating a comfortable space. For more tips on creating the perfect outdoor living area, contact a company like Green Acres.