How to Hardscape a Front Yard


Hardscaping, or the addition of hard elements (as opposed to “soft” plant materials) to your landscape, can really pull together your property and give it curb appeal. Or it can make your property look like a jumbled mess. Because hardscaping is generally costly, plenty of planning should take place before you begin any your project. Ideally, a designer should plan your hardscaping project, but if this isn’t feasible, carefully study professional designs and the use quality materials as you plan your hardscape.

  • Research the types hardscaping that suit your tastes. Hardscaping for the front yard may include walkways, fences, walls, gates, porches, decks, lighting fixtures, water features, decorative driveways, steps and pavers.

  • Examine your front yard as a whole. Before you make any hardscaping choices, think cohesively about your front yard. How will the hardscaping complement your home and highlight features you like about your property?

  • Plan one or two focal points in your front yard, then take a tip from the pros and create a path that directs the eye to the focal points.

  • Avoid trendy features, such as fire pits and ultra-modern designs, unless you know you'll like them long after the trend is over. They will quickly date your home.

  • Avoid straight lines, when possible. If you’re going to build a pathway, for example, don’t make it a straight line from point A to point B. Instead, allow the path to curve or wind a bit. This gives a more natural and relaxed look.

  • Sketch out your ideas so you can compare them. A sketch may also help any professionals you hire.

  • Remember drainage. Don’t add hardscaping that will ruin your land’s existing irrigation. For example, if your front yard is currently draining well, don’t build a wall that blocks its drainage path.

  • Consider matching materials, colors and textures, but only to a small extent. Compliment materials already used on your home, but remember that without variety, the end result will be blah. Go for materials that compliment each other but don’t match perfectly.

  • Consider which front-yard hardscaping element you want to begin with. Prioritize according to your budget, according to the element you most desire or according to the element that will look best all by itself until you can complete your hardscaping.

  • Get bids from at least three different qualified contractors. Call your local licensing board to check their record and to make sure they are licensed and bonded.

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