When it comes to creating your own beautiful outdoor space, hardscaping and landscaping are both important elements of the building process. While the terms hardscape, landscape, and masonry are used interchangeably, they are all in fact very different. Landscape consists of the natural elements, such as the lawn and plants, and their strategic placement. Hardscape consists of the solid materials that are used to create your outdoor living space and support the landscaping such as retaining walls and pavers. Masonry is the process of working with solid materials to create structures such as patios, fireplaces, and chimneys, regardless of the landscaping. It is important for homeowners to know the difference between the three terms when preparing to renovate or update their home and work with contractors!
Landscaping is used to enhance the aesthetic appeal and functionality of your surroundings to bring life to your yard and create a harmonious balance with nature. Landscape design includes irrigation system installation, soil preparation, placement, planting, and ongoing maintenance such as pruning and fertilizing. Landscaping projects are for aesthetic purposes, using the strategic placement of soil, grass, mulch, rocks, plants, flowers, shrubs, and trees to add beauty, a touch of nature, and curb appeal to your home.
Hardscaping projects include all of the non-living elements in your outdoor area and serve a more practical purpose than landscaping. Hardscape materials include stone, brick, concrete, natural stone, and other solid materials. There are a number of hardscaping features that you can add to your home including retaining walls, steps and staircases, walkways, driveways and entrances, outdoor fireplaces and fire pits, garden beds and planters, and water features. These features can be used to create a patio space, pool area, outdoor kitchen, garden, back yard, or front yard.
While masonry is a type of hardscape, the terms are not synonymous. Hardscaping is a broad term and includes different outdoor design elements. Masonry is a type of hardscaping that involves working with specific materials to create certain structures such as stone walls, outdoor brick or natural stone fireplaces, and retaining wall block water features. Brick, natural and manufactured stone, CMU, and various other types of products can be used for masonry.
When planning any renovation or remodel project, it is essential to know the difference between terms and materials when working with a professional so they can accurately meet your specific needs and ideas!