The warm weather inspires many of us to whip our overgrown back yards into shape.

But according to a report by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), homeowners want more than just a neatly trimmed square of turf in their back yard. Outdoor living spaces, specifically kitchens and entertainment areas, received a 94.5 percent popularity rating in the most recent ASLA survey.

Demand for outdoor living spaces loaded with features and hardscape continues to grow. Hardscape is defined as the human-built surfaces and structures that form the solid backbone of your landscaping. These include walkways, stairs, fences, retaining walls, decks, patios, shade structures, garden borders, water features, fire features, and more.

Consider these tips when creating an outdoor living space and installing hardscape:

Create a Plan

Knowing as much as you can about your destination always makes the journey easier. Look around and dream about what it is that would make the ideal space for you to enjoy. And once you’ve gotten a basic idea of what you are wanting, talk to a professional to have them create a master plan for your entire property that includes landscaping and hardscaping that match the vision you have. If it’s not realistic to tackle all of your backyard projects at once, develop a plan that can be carried out in phases. Depending on the project, you may need to pull permits and call for utility line locates (and do so well in advance). Thorough preparation and planning reduces errors, which can save you a ton of time, energy, and money.

Hardscape Before You Plant

Hardscaping projects usually involve construction and equipment, which can compact soil, tear up your lawn, and damage plantings and irrigation systems. Whenever possible, install hardscape first before you plant.

Consider Sun Exposure

Few people enjoy spending time on a patio that’s a scorching heat sink. The Georgia sun is intense, and our weather can change on a dime, so be sure to consider durable materials and protection from the elements when planning outdoor living areas, such as decks and patios.

Guide Foot Traffic

Create well-defined walkways that welcome guests to your front door, lead them to special features, and invite them to explore gardens. Paths provide safe transitions between popular areas of your yard, and they can set the mood, formal or informal, for your landscape.

Don’t forget to facilitate foot traffic flow between indoor and outdoor living spaces. Over sized entries, such as folding glass-panel wall systems, French doors, or pocket doors, make it easy to entertain and maximize both living spaces.

Take the Heat Outside

A natural gas fireplace or fire pit is the perfect anchor for a seating area, adding ambiance and warmth when the air turns chilly.

Grilling stations and outdoor kitchens allow you to cook full meals without heating up the house on hot summer days and nights.


Deck Additions Can be Built Quickly

If you’re looking to add space to your home, a deck addition is one of the quickest ways to do so. It’s also a cheaper option for adding an outdoor area to gather and enjoy.

Outdoor living spaces and hardscape provide year-round enjoyment and boost the value of your property. If you’re not sure where to start with an outdoor building project, contact a professional landscape architect or residential remodeler to help you design your backyard escape.


Contact your local award winning Landscape & Design Contractor

Cutting Edge Landscape Contractors, Inc.

(770) 420-0558

Kristen Bland

Kristen Bland