We sometimes get emails or phone calls asking what hardscaping is and what is the difference between hardscaping and landscaping. So, here’s a quick blog post to tell you how they are different and to settle the feud over hardscaping vs landscaping.
First off, I want you to keep in mind that hardscaping and landscaping typically go hand in hand. If you want a patio built in your backyard (the patio is a hardscape), you will probably want some plants, flowers, or beds around that patio (the plants, flowers, and beds are landscaping). Examples of hardscapes are retaining walls, patios, decks, outdoor rooms, fire pits, stairs, etc. Examples of landscapes are flower beds, turf grass, mulch beds, etc. Most people understand what landscaping is, so that part is easy, but understanding what goes into hardscaping is a little different. Here’s why:
When you tackle a landscaping project you typically need an area to put the project, the plants, shrubs, and flowers you want to plant and then maybe some edging and mulch. It’s pretty straightforward. Now if you want to do something a little bigger that would include some steps made from pavers or maybe a retaining wall with a flower bed on top of it, then you’re starting to get into hardscaping. One important fact about both of this terms most hardscaping companies have crews that have probably worked in landscaping for many years and can handle any of your landscaping needs. It doesn’t usually work the other way around. Hardscaping is more like carpentry or plumbing. It’s not something that just anyone can do well. It involves more items involving weight bearing, movement of the soil, traffic, erosion, etc. Most people forget about the weight of these items or the weight of the soil these items are holding back. If done incorrectly, they can be dangerous.
Most landscaping companies will tell you that they do hardscaping projects from time to time and can surely handle your project. But it would be like having a plumber handle your electrical issues…he might do it right and you might save some money by not paying the electrician to come do it, but it might end up costing you double because you’ll have to have the electrician come out and redo the entire project. We do a lot of hardscaping fixes that were done by someone’s cousin, brother, or a landscaping company that doesn’t specialize in hardscapes. Anyone can install a concrete patio, but only a professional who does it day and day out understands the little things that make sure that patio still looks great 10 or 20 years from now. It’s no different from anything else in life…if you want it done right, get an expert to do right the first time.
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