Landscaping is the general act of modifying terrain to make it more useful and/or attractive, and this is often done both for private properties (like a suburban home’s yards) and commercial property. Commercial landscaping may be done to create or improve a public park or the front grounds of a school, office building, bank, or apartment or hotel. Such pleasant grounds may be quite attractive and make a good impression on guests or potential tenants, which may in turn help bolster traffic and profits. Meanwhile, landscaping might be divided into two general categories: hardscaping, and softscaping. Softscaping projects may involve planting or cultivating natural features such as rich green grass, shrubs, trees, and flower beds. Hardscaping construction, meanwhile, high quality materials may be used by hardscaping contractors to build concrete or stone walkways, driveways, fences, retaining walls on hills, or even outdoor fireplaces or wooden decks or patios. Hardscape designs may be practical for public areas such as a retaining wall, but for a homeowner, hardscaping costs may be dedicated to making the lawn attractive and fun. Meanwhile, a city council may consider a budget for hardscaping costs in public areas. What might these hardscaping costs pay for after the job is done?
Hardscaping costs will certainly factor into a city council’s budget plans for public works, and these hardscaping projects tend to create useful and practical things as well as attractive ones. A public park may get some hardscaping done when stone or concrete walkways are built, and these may be highly useful for guests who want to walk around or ride their bikes. Hardscaping may also feature park benches near the playground or along the walkways where people can sit, and hardscaping may also involve a public picnic area. This may involve a a wide concrete area with picnic tables and seating, and that may also include an open-air roof to protect park guests from rain or strong sunlight exposure.
Hardscaping may also involve the creation of retaining walls. What are these? Such walls do not divide two regions, but rather, they will prevent a trimmed hill from spilling its contents onto a public area. If a hill is blocking construction for a walkway or parking lot, contractors may remove a large amount of dirt and rocks to create a smooth, flat, vertical surface that opens up a lot of free space. A retaining wall will be built to keep that trimmed hill in shape. A crowded and densely populated area may make good use of these walls if hills are blocking intended construction.
At the Home
Hardscaping doesn’t just have to be for public parks or retaining walls. Many homeowners today like to launch landscaping projects in their front and back yards, and this includes factoring in hardscaping costs. Many homeowners will have rich green grass and trees and shrubs, but a backyard might not truly become a fun, public area until hardscaping is done. For example, the homeowner may hire contractor crews in their area to build a wooden deck in the backyard, and the wood will be treated to protect it from rain and exposure. This deck can be decorated with outdoor furniture such as lawn chairs, recliners, couches, and more that are comfortable and designed to endure constant exposure. This makes for a nice outdoor living space, but a homeowner can do more.
An entire outdoor kitchen can also be installed when the right contractor are hired for the job, and they will set up counter space and cabinets, a sink, a stove, a fridge, and even a microwave if so desired. Not to mention storage space for cookware and ingredients. This outdoor kitchen will have water pipes, gas pipes, and electrical cables in place to keep it powered, and once done, a homeowner can use it to prepare meals outside and also grill meats and vegetables. With an outdoor table and chairs nearby, this makes for a great setup for a party.
For decoration, a homeowner may choose to have an outdoor fireplace built, complete with bricks and a chimney. This makes for a pleasant scene for a fire in the evenings, and guests can even roast hot dogs or marshmallows with it if they want. Metal screens will prevent burning logs or embers from escaping.