What is Backyard Hardscape Design? A Complete Guide

Backyard Patio and Hardscape Design by Gallivan

Backyard hardscape design concerns all of the non-organic features on your property. From stone fixtures to water features, seating, pool areas, and other similar elements, these are the framework through which you can create a beautiful and functional outdoor space.

While some backyard hardscape design is purely functional, much of it can also be aesthetically pleasing. In fact, many people find that they enjoy spending time in their backyard more when it has been designed with great care and meticulous attention to detail.

If you’re considering a backyard hardscape design project, here are some tips to keep in mind.

Beginning Your Backyard Hardscape Design Project

Determine the Purpose of Your Design

First, you’ll need to decide what purpose your backyard hardscape design will serve. Are you looking to create a space for entertaining guests? Or are you hoping to create a personal getaway where you can relax and escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life? Once you know how you want to use your backyard, it will be easier to choose the right elements for your hardscape design.

Decide the Specific Features You Want in Your Backyard

Now that you know the purpose of your backyard hardscape design, it’s time to start thinking about specific features. If you’re entertaining guests, you may want to consider adding a built-in BBQ or outdoor kitchen. If privacy is a priority, you might opt for tall hedges or privacy screens.

Other popular backyard hardscape features include:

  • Pool Areas
  • Stone seating
  • Gateways
  • Stone countertops
  • Trellises and pillars
  • Built-in planters
  • Gazebos
  • Wood or stone steps
  • A new deck or patio
  • Edging stones for garden perimeters

If you are unsure which features might complement the aesthetic of your yard, you can always consult with one of Gallivan’s hardscape design professionals. They can recommend specific features and materials based on what you have envisioned for the final result.

Choose the Your Favorite Materials

The materials you choose for your backyard hardscape design will impact the overall appearance and atmosphere of the space. If you’re going for a more natural look, consider using brick or stone pavers.

For a more modern look, polished concrete can offer a sleeker and more even look. If you’re hoping to create a backyard that feels like an extension of your indoor living space, tile or stamped concrete might be the way to go.

Create a Plan

Once you’ve determined the purpose of your backyard hardscape design and chosen the right materials, it’s time to start putting together a plan. This plan will help you map out the specific features you want to include and ensure that everything flows together nicely.

If you’re not sure where to start, there are plenty of backyard hardscape design ideas online or in magazines. The professional hardscape designers at Gallivan can help you visualize your project plans with 3D renderings!

Landscape design rendering showing pool scape

Acquire Any Necessary Municipal Permits

Depending on the hardscape features you want to include, you may need to acquire permits from your municipality. For example, if you’re planning on adding a pool or a gas line for a grill, you will likely have to obtain the proper local permit beforehand. You may also want to contact a utility locating service to make sure there are no decommissioned septic tanks or oil lines underneath your yard before you dig.

Check with your local municipal office to see if any of your features require permitting before you begin your project. One of our local hardscape design professionals can advise you and assist you with the permit application to help streamline this process and acquire the necessary authorization in a timely manner.

How Hardscaping Differs from Landscaping Maintenance

It’s important to note that backyard hardscape design is different from landscaping maintenance. Landscaping maintenance generally refers to the upkeep of your yard, such as mowing the lawn, trimming hedges, and planting new flowers.

Hardscape design, on the other hand, focuses on the non-plant elements of your backyard. While you do not have to trim, water, or seed any part of your hardscape features, there are other maintenance tasks involved, such as:

  • Cleaning surfaces from dirt and algae
  • Trimming nearby plants to prevent overgrowth
  • Repairing or replacing any cracked or broken stones
  • Weeding between cracks in stone or tiles
  • Treating water features, such as chlorinating a pool

While these maintenance tasks may seem difficult or time-consuming, they do not have to be. Use a hardscape design specialist that also offers maintenance services to help keep your non-organic features looking as clean and new as possible.

Begin Your Own Backyard Hardscape Design Project in the NY Capital Region

At Gallivan Corporation, our team of professional landscape and hardscape design professionals work with homeowners across the New York Capital Region to help bring their vision for their yard to life. We apply our expertise and wealth of experience to create a personalized experience for each project.

To learn more about starting your own hardscape design project for your home, contact us today to speak with someone from our team.

Newsletter Sign-Up

Request A Quote
Request A Quote