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The Home Depot

Hardscape Installation Guide

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Landscaping > Hardscape Installation Guide
Hardscape Installation Guide

Working on your yard likely includes some heavy-duty work to install the various components of the landscaping. Plants and shrubbery are great points for a yard, but there are other details that also need your attention. Don’t overlook the hardscape to ensure that you create a balanced and healthy yard.


Save this heavy lifting for the professionals and hire a landscaper or team to install your hardscape in your yard. As difficult as the installation work may be, it will all be worth it when you behold your gorgeous yard that sends your neighbors into fits of envy.

  1. 1.What is Hardscape?

    "Hardscape enables you to create beautiful planting areas and other landscaping features, which increases the value of your home."

    Consider the various components that make up hardscape in a landscape. Hardscape includes a variety of items common in yards and other outdoor areas. Any paved surfaces, including driveways, walkways and sidewalks are hardscape. Outdoor living areas such as patios, terraces, porches and decks also qualify as hardscape. In addition, stepping stones, steps, stairways and bridges are classified as hardscape materials as well. Materials you use for groundcover, including gravel, pebbles and sand, qualify as hardscape. Any items you use to border landscaping areas, such as stones, bricks and wood, become hardscape in your yard.


    Hardscapes also include vertical surfaces, such as retaining walls, gates, fences, posts, screens, archways and growing trellises. Just about anything you’d find on a patio or deck qualifies as hardscape, including outdoor seating, tables, benches, fire pits, umbrellas, grills, awnings and outdoor bars. If you have a pool, hot tub, basketball hoop and swing set in your yard, these items are hardscape. If you decorate your outdoor living areas with sculptures, boulders, birdbaths and pottery, you are adding hardscape. Ponds and fountains are hardscape, as are the tiny additions you place here and there in your landscape such as signs, rain barrels, statues, containers, birdfeeders and planters.

  2. 2.What are the Benefits of Hardscape?

    Your yard will benefit in many ways from the installation of hardscape. Not only does hardscape add beauty and interest to your yard, it also serves in fundamental capacities. By placing hardscape on hills and slopes, you can control erosion. Hardscape enables you to create beautiful planting areas and other landscaping features, which increases the value of your home. You may find that your softscape – flowers, shrubs and trees – grows and thrives more energetically with quality hardscape installed around them. Hardscape also makes it easier for people to access various areas of your property, by providing walkways and pathways for travel. With hardscape, you can also create more privacy and comfort for family and friends as they use your yard.

  3. 3.Square Footage & Location

    Your hardscape installation can be extensive or simple, depending on the square footage of your lot and the terrain in which you are installing the features. To determine the scope of the project, measure your lot for square footage and use this as the basis of estimates for services.

  4. 4.Design Planning & Preparation

    A professional landscaper will provide assistance and guidance with design planning to help you beautify your landscape. The planning is one of the most important stages of this project, so make sure you have an expert on the job with the vision and knowledge necessary to design a beautiful yard. You might receive several design plans from more than one landscaper that allows you to compare the different designs and choose the one that fits your style and budget.

  5. 5.Problems That May Arise

    Improper installation of hardscape can cause issues in a landscape. Installing ground cover too thinly might not provide adequate erosion control. Improper construction of landscape features such as a fire pit, a gazebo, a deck or a walkway might cause issues when you cannot use the items conveniently. Poorly constructed hardscape can also cause serious injury to you and your family, so ensure that all structures are built to code, if required. Don't skimp on safety precautions just to stay under budget, as it may cost you much more in the long-run.

  6. 6.Maintaining Hardscape

    Once you install hardscape in your landscape, it will require ongoing maintenance. Fences and other wood surfaces will need staining, sealing or painting. Ground cover needs replenishing every year to keep it beautiful and effective. Walkways need maintenance to keep them groomed and attractive. Retaining walls can become weak and rundown, requiring the replacement of missing pieces, as necessary.

  7. 7.Cost to Install Hardscape

    Installing hardscape involves a variety of services, so the pricing varies extensively. For a large project that includes many different services, the price will be higher than a smaller or simpler job. Sometimes you might just need hardscape installation in a small area of your yard, and in other situations your entire yard might need an overhaul. Smaller jobs take less time, which also creates a smaller price tag. A large job, such as building a deck or retaining wall, will entail many work hours and materials. The price range for installing hardscape ranges between $339 for a simple job to $1,861 for an extensive job. The average cost to install hardscape is $795. To learn more, see our Hardscape Installation Cost Guide.

  8. 8.Hardscape Installation Service

    If you are ready to line up a Pro for a hardscape installation project, contact a Pro in your area to discuss the job. All of the Pros in our network have been background checked and our in-house staff has verified their credentials and insurance coverage. Hiring a quality Pro can give you the assurance the job will be done right, every step of the way.


    Beautify your yard with artfully-placed hardscape to add structure, design and appeal to your outdoor areas. You will increase your curb appeal and help your yard achieve the stylish appearance you want.

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