When it comes to landscaping, people often think about trees, flowers, and gardens. And while these are a vital element of landscaping, they are only part of the picture.
Known as hardscaping, these elements help to transform your outdoor space into a functional and beautiful area that enhances the value of your home.
Among the beautiful homes and outdoor spaces of southeast Pennsylvania, walkways and driveways are popular features designed to add both usability and aesthetic appeal. These elements can be installed using a variety of materials, each with its own special characteristics. In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of three of the most common materials used in these hardscaping projects: brick, stone, and concrete.
Brick has been used in hardscaping for centuries, so it has the appeal of a traditional, elegant look. Many historical homes feature brick walkways, and choosing brick for your next hardscaping project can give your home a timeless, classic look.
Brick has lots of practical advantages as well. It is relatively easy to work with, versatile in that it can be placed in a range of patterns including the popular herringbone motif, and is durable. While brick is resistant to cracking and chipping, if damage does occur, it is easy to remove and replace a single piece. Brick is also easily cleaned with a regular garden hose, but can also withstand a fair degree of pressure from power washing.
Stone is a popular choice for walkways and driveways because it lends a natural look to the space. Available in a vast array of colors, shapes, and sizes, the design possibilities of stone are virtually limitless.
Some of the most common types of stone used in hardscaping are flagstone, slate, limestone, granite, and marble. Depending on the type of stone you use, you may have different requirements for maintenance. Many types of stone are porous, and so require regular application of a sealant to preserve their integrity. Be sure to talk with your landscaper about how to care for the type of stone you’ve chosen if you opt for this natural look in your hardscaping.
Gone are the days when concrete was just a boring flat grey surface. Modern use of concrete emphasizes a diversity of color, texture, and even shapes, so this durable material is increasingly being chosen for its beauty as well as functionality.
Concrete can be poured or purchased as interlocking pavers in a range of shapes and sizes. It can also be stamped to give the appearance of other materials that are usually more expensive, like stone. Prized for its durability, concrete is also appropriate for the heavy-duty wear and tear of driveways.
Which material is best for your walkway or driveway depends on your tastes and your needs, but knowing a bit about your options is a great way to start a conversation with your landscaping professional!