Trends in Hardscape Design

With the weather warming and the outdoors becoming more and more appealing, homeowners want to venture outside for the beauty and the fresh air without going too far from home. So, they are researching the ways that horticulturists, exterior design experts, and contractors can improve the yards that surround their home and make the entire piece of land livable year round. The materials involved in this aspect of exterior design are called hardscape.

Hardscape aesthetics involve all of the hard surfaces of your exterior spaces. This includes patios, decks, walkways, retaining walls, and driveways surrounding your property. Investing in your outdoor living spaces relates to your ability to enjoy the space for relaxation and recreation. Many homeowners are not only looking into the aesthetics of their outdoor living spaces, they are also looking into the long-term effects of the materials the choose to use to construct their outdoor structures. One of the largest trends is that many homeowners are opting for is pervious and permeable materials.

Pervious and permeable hardscape materials allow water passage during heavy rains. Standing water weighs down particular areas and as it evaporates, it gradually erodes certain areas, leaving the land uneven and nutrient poor for gardening. So, these more porous materials are being sought out for their economical and environmental impact. For example, these are used on retaining walls for gardening and walkways or driveways to prevent shifting and loss there as well. Visually, it is far more appealing to have a hardscape that drains properly and holds together beautifully than not. Environmentally, it is more responsible and cost efficient to protect the natural landscape and not have to continually replace parts or entire sections of any of the outdoor design and construction.

The environmental impact of pervious and permeable hardscape materials is far reaching and expected to continue in the future. Their LEED sustainability rating is promising. It helps with storm water distribution and it allows water to penetrate the plant life around and below the ground, instead of blocking passage with solid materials. It is certified as being a green building material. It will allow for greater housing and home environment possibilities, as it allows the landscape to remain in bloom and receive the nutrients needed to thrive. Not only do these trends in outdoor improvements help to keep a homeowner’s property beautiful, but also they help to protect the environment. So, do what you can to help and choose materials that are green!

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