Essential Hard Landscaping Aspects to Consider

Oct 11, 2019

Good landscaping can take a property from average to amazing. Having your home look nice on the inside is great, but as New Zealanders, we tend to spend a lot of time in our outdoor areas. Having them looking fabulous and functioning well should be a top priority.

As with interior design, there are many different aspects involved in landscaping. Thinking of every part of a garden or property and how it will all fit together can be overwhelming for someone who’s not a professional landscape designer. So to make things a little easier, we have broken the art of landscaping down into some of its main components. These are all the things to take into account when planning your property—and all before you even get to planting and “soft” landscaping! 


Decks and patios

The classic Kiwi backyard accessory! A deck or patio is a hugely practical way to make use of your outdoor space, creating fantastic flow from the indoors out and providing what is essentially another living space when it’s warm. They are a relatively inexpensive way to add value to your property and can be designed to best fit a huge array of shapes and sizes.

If you are intending to landscape your property to be liveable and functional, a deck or patio is more or less essential, even if it’s a small one to transition from house to garden. You may also reconsider your existing deck and rebuild or make improvements—you want it to provide a comfortable space where you can enjoy the outdoors. What this looks like is different for every household, but consider whether the following basic features might be useful:

  • Built-in seating
  • A sheltered area or even a shade sail for sunny days
  • Wide stairs for easy access to both the house and the rest of the property
  • Areas for outdoor cooking and dining

You will also need to think about building codes and safety regulations when designing and building a deck or patio. They can use all kinds of materials, so think about how your new structure will fit aesthetically with the existing house.


Retaining walls and fences

Another structural aspect of landscaping, this is one of the foundation pieces of a design and should be thought of at the beginning of your plans. Strategically-placed retaining walls can provide flat areas of lawn, tidy garden areas, and a terraced property which is both attractive and practical. Along with fences, they can demarcate boundaries, frame certain areas of a property, and create new, separate spaces to incorporate into a landscape design.

Some retaining walls and fences are small and straightforward, while others are tall and require a lot of building and digging work. Take into account the size of the project, and find out what you’ll need to budget with a quote from your contractor.


Concreting and driveways

While most people like their outdoor areas to be lush and green, a bit of concrete is almost always necessary—even if it’s just to provide a place for cars to drive and park. Tidy, quality concreting is a huge asset to any property.

As well as making driveways and car parking spots, concrete can offer a solid base to garden paths, courtyards, pergolas, and more. It’s important to ensure that concreting is done well and to a high standard, so that it is both tidy and effective in its purpose—choose your concreting contractor carefully!


Tiling and paving

Not all hard surfaces in your garden need be concrete, of course. Tiles and pavers add texture and interest to courtyards, patios, paths, and garden edging, and are a fabulous, versatile choice as well as being easy to fix and maintain. 

Tiles and pavers come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, so there is plenty of choice for property owners planning out the look of their landscaped area. Give some good thought to whether tiling or paving is the way to go for well-trafficked areas in your garden, and how you would like them to look. 


Special features

Here we’ve grouped together all of those decorative or novelty features which can take a property from normal everyday garden to unique sanctuary. These can offer focal points in a garden—so when designing your ideal property, consider whether you’d like to include things such as:

  • Pergolas
  • Sheltered dining spaces
  • Fountains
  • Specimen trees
  • Play equipment for kids

A flexible contractor like Maintain Your Property can make and install a wide variety of features such as these, customised to your garden and your vision. They could be the icing on your landscaping cake.


Drainage and irrigation

It’s boring, and it’s invisible when done properly. Nobody really loves talking or thinking about drainage and irrigation, but they are crucial to keeping your outdoor spaces dry—or wet—and pleasant. Any planning for a property should include some time spent on ensuring that the drainage is up to scratch—it will pay off in the long run. If your landscape design includes a lot of greenery, and particularly if you are in a hot and dry location, irrigation may also be of concern.

Unless you’re a landscaper yourself or possibly a plumber, you will likely need to consult with professionals to come up with a drainage plan. Effective irrigation will also require some specialist input—so include these things in early talks with your contractor.

All of the aspects mentioned above are important pieces of the landscape design puzzle, and when put together properly they can create a beautiful-looking outdoor area that serves your household well. The team at Maintain Your Property are experienced and talented in all areas of hard landscaping and can help you to design and build your dream garden. Get a free quote today and start the process!