Hardscaping your outdoors

The Stone block walk path in the park with green grass backgrounWe all know what’s involved with landscaping. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as the “modification or ornamentation of a natural landscape by altering the plant cover”. Every spring, homeowners head outside to improve their home’s lawn and gardens, knowing that attractive landscaping is an integral part of good curb appeal. We all know what’s involved with landscaping. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as the “modification or ornamentation of a natural landscape by altering the plant cover”. Every spring, homeowners head outside to improve their home’s lawn and gardens, knowing that attractive landscaping is an integral part of good curb appeal.

Another term that may not be quite as familiar is “hardscaping”, which refers to the non-living elements of your yard – think walkways, patios, fencing, rocks and retaining walls. The latter is a design element that can be as simple or intricate as you can imagine. Landscape designers have raised the bar in the past few years, building spectacular retaining walls that truly become the focal point in a backyard’s design. Traditionally built to serve a purpose – holding back soil – retaining walls are now functional and aesthetically pleasing, creating beautiful garden beds, planters, fire pits, seating areas and more.

If you think your outdoor space would benefit from the addition of a retaining wall and you’re the handy type, it’s definitely a weekend project that you can tackle this summer. All it takes is some research, the correct materials and a little creative vision!

Here are a few tips for building a retaining wall in your yard:

1. Map out your plan before starting. Determine the purpose of the wall and what, if any, design elements you would like to include.

2. Size, namely height, is an important consideration. The higher the wall, the sturdier it will need to be. You may need to check local building codes for anything over four feet.

3. When it comes to material, manufactured blocks and stones will be your best friend. Working with uniform-sized pieces will make the process run much smoother.

4. Take drainage into consideration. Depending on where you are building the wall, it might impact the natural water drainage on your property or that of your neighbours.

5. Be sure to constantly check that your surface is level. Being off even an inch or two will be very noticeable with certain types of stone.

As with any home project, leave this job to the experts if you’re hesitant.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s