Whether you’re looking to host large family dinners or intimate gatherings, by incorporating hardscapes such as walkways, paths, patios, decks, stone walls, terraced beds, fire pits, and outdoor kitchens, you can add value to your property and increase the functionality of your outdoor living space. Hardscapes require minimal maintenance and by paving over an area, you reduce or eliminate lawn care, thus beatifying your property while saving money on landscaping costs. Here are a few hardscape options to consider for the multiple elements within your design:
Created by firing a mixture of clay and other materials in a kiln, brick has been used to create roads, sidewalks, and buildings for centuries. Its durability, affordability, and classic look makes it a great choice for multiple hardscape elements. Beyond traditional red rectangles, brick is also available in a variety of colors such as pink, grey, brown, multicolored, and shapes such as squared, circular, or curved. Since they are naturally colored, bricks are able to retain their color even in heavily UV exposed areas. Bricks are often salvaged, cleaned, and reused, making them a sustainable choice.
Manufactured brick-like pavers are available in multiple styles, colors, and patterns. Their durability, low maintenance, and clean look make them a great choice for patios, walkways and driveways. Pavers are less expensive and available in more design and color options than brick, but since they’re dyed, they can fade over time.
Using natural stone means you will be dealing with non-uniform surfaces and varying heights and weights, but they can stand up to the elements.
- Flagstones: Flagstones are large, flat, irregularly shaped slabs of sedimentary rock that are usually 1 to 3 inches thick. Flagstones can be uniformly shaped into squares or rectangles to create a formal pattern perfect for pathways and patios. Irregularly shaped flagstones can provide a more rustic look. Flagstone’s slightly roughened surface will provide good traction when it is wet which is why it is often used as the foundation for water features.
- Limestone: Limestone consists of compressed grains of rock, fossils, plants, mud, and sand. It comes in a range of colors and works well as a wall stone or for creating flooring such as patios or walking paths.
- Sandstone: Created when grains of sand and minerals are cemented together to produce a rock ranging from reddish brown to white, sandstone makes an excellent paving stone. It is also a good choice for retaining walls and privacy walls.
- Granite: Available in a variety of colors, large, course crystals of quartz, feldspars, and mica, give granite a speckled look. Hard and nonporous, it is most commonly used for outdoor kitchen countertops, but it can also be used as flooring and occasionally even gravel.
- Slate: A common roofing material, slate also works well in hardscapes. Available in grays, greens or blues, it easily cracks into thin slabs of rocks, making it a good paving stone. Its natural water-resistance also makes it a good option for water features.
With so many choices in hardscape materials it can be difficult to choose an option that fits your design ideas, is functional, and complements your home. Contact Atlanta Porch and Patio today and we will work with you to find the best materials for maximizing your outdoor space.