What in the world is “hardscaping?”

It’s okay if you haven’t heard of this before. For most people this is a brand new word, but hardscaping is not a new practice. By definition, it is the placement of backyard elements like walkways, pavement, fences, and lighting. Basically, landscaping is about the plants and greenery, and hardscaping is about everything else. Your backyard hardscape designer can make your outdoor space an oasis or the best entertainment spot in the city of Ann Arbor!

So you know what hardscaping is, now what?

Here are a few tips:

First, check the planning requirements and building regulations for large and/or above ground projects in Ann Arbor. Also, make sure you measure your yard carefully. Your backyard hardscape designer will be able to help out with the measurements , but if you decide to ‘DIY’ your hardscaping project you’ll want to measure twice.

When hardscaping, create pathways that are at least four feet wide. There should be enough space for mature plants to spill over the edge of the path.

Don’t forget to do some research, look at hardscaping pictures to become inspired and create a clear vision for your backyard. Casual water structures like informal ponds are very beautiful and relaxing features to have. If you have decided to become your own backyard hardscape designer, a backhoe may be a smart investment depending on how large your pond will be.

A lot of people in Ann Arbor are tackling home improvement projects themselves, and this may be fine for gravel surfaces, but more intricate designs and bigger projects will definitely require more expertise.

Make sure your expert is an expert!

You should know a few key things about hardscaping so you can ask questions. You will already know the answers of course, but the point is to make sure your backyard hardscape designer knows what they’re doing.

Ask about the excavation and sub-base process. Your expert should know that the most common measurements for total excavation range from nine to twelve inches deep.

Find out what is being used for base material. Granular stone-based materials like designated gravel should be used. Your backyard hardscape designer should also know that the compaction process should happen while the base of your structure is being built.

Here are few more things the expert should know:

•Base depths can vary from four to twelve inches depending on the soil and how often the path or structure will endure traffic.

•Geotextile fabric must be used in the space between the subsoil and the base gravel so the two substances do not mix.

•Concrete edge restraints are typically frowned upon.

•The design should include a plan for drainage. You don’t want your backyard to flood.

•Standard angular stand and Acrylic sand are both acceptable to use for jointing sand.

•Geogrid reinforcements are imperative to keep walls in place.

Let the hardscaping begin!

If your expert is an expert, then you are ready to hardscape! Create the outdoor living space of your dreams and enjoy the benefits of vacationing at home, all without having to leave Ann Arbor. You’ll be glad you did. Good luck and happy hardscaping!