Hardscaping elements include any hard/permanent outdoor surface as opposed to landscaping, which includes soil, sod, trees, flowers and other foliage.
“The hardscaping trend is now all about bringing the indoors outside,” Langford said. “More and more we are looking at installing outdoor patio heaters, kitchens, fire pits, water features and barbeques.”
According to Langford, 15 to 20 years ago, the standard hardscaping for a home only included a concrete patio.
But regardless of the elements, hardscaping always requires a great deal of planning, so JDL thinks through the designs and logistics weeks before construction.
A major challenge involves working with different typographies. For example, if a backyard has a steep hill or curve, it might need to be terraced. And projects involving lights and heating require the installation of different elements at different stages.
“Electricians need to run power out to where you want lighting, the plumber needs to run gas lines, and we need to prepare the soil if we’re building a patio,” Langford said. “Larger patios also collect rainwater, so we need to decide if we’re sloping it or installing a drain that aligns with the home’s drainage.”
He added that the most important part of hardscaping is that it should compliment the landscaping and vice versa.
“A client recently came to us and said, ‘I want to build a French vineyard,’” Langford said.
He knew that, in order to accomplish this design in his client’s Vancouver backyard, he would have to find the right materials – an ordinary type of stone just wouldn’t do.
“I searched for something with a European feel,” Langford said. “The solution was a special flagstone called Pennsylvania Blue Stone.”
This is a shale type of stone that is not perfectly rounded and is laid in a way that allows moss to grow between each piece.
“It’s designed to be more natural and Old World looking – like something you would see in a French or English garden,” Langford said. “The homeowners are inspired by Europe and spend a lot of time there.”
JDL is also constructing a solid stone wall with tumbling perennials, as well as a water feature to enhance the overall European garden atmosphere.
But whether you want a European garden in your Pacific Northwest backyard or something completely different, JDL can work with you to develop your dream outdoor space.
If you are thinking about redoing your hardscaping or landscaping this summer, contact JDL Homes for a free consultation.