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While most people are probably familiar with the field of landscaping and what kind of services and care that it includes, others might not be aware of the subfield of landscaping known as “hardscaping,” which can have an equally large impact on the exterior appeal of a home. While landscaping involves modifications to the land surrounding a home or building, hardscaping more specifically refers to the man-made elements included in such modifications – structures like fences, driveways, sidewalks, pools, firepits, and patios.

Hardscaping is not as simple as just laying cement or concrete in specific locations. Hardscaping is about creating complete harmony with your home’s exterior appearance. Because such hardscaping elements as sidewalks and other walkways are oftentimes the first thing a person notices when visiting a home for the first time, they can often set the tone of a home and leave quite a lasting impression on all who visit it. Below are some important considerations to make when hardscaping your home.

  1. First, consider the natural landscaping around your home. If you can, try and preserve some of the natural beauty around your home. Though not always ideal, working with what you’ve already got can definitely help save on costs as well as preserve your home’s unique original character.
  2. Second, be aware of all building and foundational requirements. Hardscapes can be ruined or damaged quite easily when one doesn’t pay attention to building requirements, particularly for drainage rules. For this reason, plans must be thorough and well researched.
  3. Third, choose the focal point of your outdoor space. You don’t want a space that’s so full of unique items and qualities that your guests don’t know where to look. Build your design around one central element, such as a gazebo or garden.
  4. Fourth, choose other elements that compliment and draw attention to the focal point. Hardscaping should look as natural as possible, almost as if it belongs there. Individual elements should never overpower each other, but instead work together and play off of each other to create a harmonious balance.
  5. Fifth, find a balance between natural and man-made elements. Hardscaped surfaces can do a lot to clean up and modernize a yard, but they should never overpower it. It’s a good idea to keep as much of the natural greenery as possible and only place a few key hard elements.
  6. Sixth, choose materials that fit with your home’s style. The exterior of your home should compliment the interior of your home, and vice versa. Choose materials that allow for an easy flow between your indoor and outdoor spaces.
  7. Seventh, prepare the site yourself or call in expert assistance. We always recommend consulting with a designer or landscaping specialist before taking on any large lawn projects yourself. Site preparation is really best performed by skilled tradespeople, and the experts at Shell Lumber would be more than happy to point you in the right direction.

For hardscaping or landscaping tips or materials in the South Florida area, visit Shell Lumber & Hardware in Miami, or call us at (305) 856-6401. We have all the essentials to spruce up any lawn, helping customers every day to bring their outdoor spaces to life.


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