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8 Hardscaping Ideas For Your Backyard

Written by:
Milo Forester
Big Rock Landscaping

Hardscaping your backyard gives it structure and form. Use hardscaping features to add livable outdoor spaces, direct foot traffic, and reduce lawn areas that make your yard easier to enjoy and maintain.

If you’re wondering where to start, here are eight hardscaping ideas that make your backyard perfect for entertaining and enjoying as a family.

The Basics of Hardscape Design

Hardscaping and softscaping are the two main parts of landscaping design. Hardscape features include any part of your landscaping that is not living. You use hardscaping to create form and function for the softer features to be installed.

Hardscaping gives your landscaping structure and organization and is a critical design part. Hardscaping includes everything from walls, lighting, and paths to buildings and water features. Without hardscaping features, your yard can lack purpose and definition.

When you are planning your backyard, it helps to get the advice of professionals. Because concrete will be used throughout your landscaping design project, it is a good idea to find a concrete contractor in Howard County, IN to assist you with the project design.

Concrete contractors with decades of experience can help you make decisions during early planning stages that will save you time and money later. Then, when you meet with them to discuss your project goals, it's easy to get a free quote.

The Benefits of Hardscaping

You need the right hardscaping features to maximize the use of space in your backyard. When properly designed, hardscaping features will create specific zones in your yard that make your yard more usable.

Hardscaping will also expand living spaces and guide traffic, making your yard easier to maintain and more enjoyable for leisure, play, and entertainment. 

Another benefit of hardscaping is reduced erosion and water conservation. You can conserve water when you properly define the spaces you need to keep irrigated.

Planning is The Key to Successful Hardscaping

Planning is essential to successful hardscaping design. All of the features in your backyard need to come together, function as one and match your home. 

Using a backyard design tool helps map out your plan.

8 Hardscaping Ideas for Your Backyard

backyard fire pit and sitting area

Many backyard enthusiasts want to get straight to planting flowers, trees, and patches of lawn. But the most intelligent homeowners take time to build hardscaping features before they start planting. Here are eight hardscaping ideas for your backyard. 

Water Features

Whether a small fountain, a pond, or a large swimming pool, water features are hardscaping features that require considerable planning to be installed properly. Once you have installed a water feature, you can use softscaping features to accent it. 


Lights are another hardscaping feature that people sometimes overlook when planning their backyard, but they are crucial for enjoying outdoor living spaces. 

When planning lighting for your backyard, remember that there are four main types of lighting used in landscaping. Some are purely decorative, and others are meant to accent other features, like water. Similar to interior lighting, outdoor lights have specific purposes.

Two other essential types of lighting to include in your backyard design are ambient lighting and task lighting. Know how you will use your yard, and then bring light to the areas that need it.

Seating Areas

If you don’t plan hardscaped seating areas into your overall backyard design, you can end up with lawn chairs placed willy-nilly about the yard without a sense of purpose. 

When you create a seating area with intention, you can make a secluded seating in the corner of your yard, add benches to your patio area, and include seating on your deck.

Retaining Walls

For yards with a steep slope, retaining walls are essential to direct water runoff away from the house and make more of your yard usable for softscaping features.

Retaining walls can add dimension to your yard. Unless you have a completely flat yard, you should be able to use retaining walls to create interest.

Decks and Patios

Decks and patios aren’t the same, but they are used similarly. People use patios and decks for entertaining, relaxing, and outdoor dining. 

Designing your deck and patio for optimal use means considering your home's layout. For example, if you want to use your patio for outdoor dining or barbecuing, make it easily accessible from the kitchen.

Pergolas, Arbors, and Trellises

Structures such as pergolas, arbors, and trellises support vines like clematis and climbing roses. 

As landscaping designs go, arbors and trellises provide a romantic feel to your backyard that you can’t get with other features. Pergolas are excellent for providing shade over a patio and can make your backyard more enjoyable to use.

Outdoor Kitchens

The outdoor kitchen is one of the most popular new trends in backyard design. From simple to elaborate, outdoor kitchens can add to the resale value of your home and can have a return on investment of 100% to 200%.


When carefully designing the features in your backyard, don’t neglect the paths connecting them. Creating paths with the same materials, edging, and lighting features can create a cohesive design look that helps tie your components together.

Be sure to put your paths where it is natural to walk and use them to guide traffic to different zones in your backyard

By Liliana Alvarez

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