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Hardscaping Made Simple: Tips for First-Timers From Pro Quality Property Maintenance

You may be ready to try your hand at hardscaping for the first time. While the prospect of installing landscape features like patios, retaining walls, walkways, and outdoor kitchens can seem daunting, Pro Quality Property Maintenance has the tips you need to make your hardscaping project a success. With proper planning, high-quality materials, and attention to crucial construction details, you can create beautiful, functional hardscapes that will enhance your outdoor living space for years to come.

Pro Quality Property Maintenance, a leading property management company known for their expertise in hardscaping projects, provides their best practices so you can avoid common beginner mistakes. Follow their advice for a smooth, frustration-free hardscaping experience. Get started on planning your dream outdoor living space today by visiting Pro Quality Property Maintenance's guide to hardscaping for first-timers. Their step-by-step instructions will make you feel like a pro in no time.

What Is Hardscaping?

Hardscaping refers to the non-living elements incorporated into a landscape design. This includes structures such as:

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Pathways and Walkways

  • Constructing paved or gravel pathways to guide foot traffic and improve accessibility. Pathways should be at least 3 to 4 feet wide for easy navigation.

Patios and Decks

  • Wood, stone or concrete platforms for outdoor seating or dining. Patios and decks require a solid foundation and drainage to prevent damage.

Retaining Walls

  • Vertical structures that stabilize slopes and prevent soil erosion. Retaining walls redirect the flow of water and support the weight of the soil behind them. They require drainage materials like gravel behind the wall.


  • Paved routes for vehicle access to structures. Driveways should be at least 9 to 12 feet wide for a standard vehicle.

Hardscaping elements enhance the functionality and aesthetic appeal of outdoor spaces. With some basic DIY knowledge or by hiring a professional, you can transform your yard into an inviting, low-maintenance area. For more information on how to get started with hardscaping, visit HGTV

Contact Pro Quality Property Maintenance for a free hardscaping consultation. We have the experience and expertise to design and build custom, high-quality hardscapes for residential and commercial properties.

Top 5 Hardscaping Materials for Your Project

Concrete Pavers

Concrete pavers are extremely durable and low-maintenance. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors to suit your design needs. Pavers can be installed on a gravel base, sand, or concrete foundation. They are a great option if you're on a budget since they typically cost between $2 to $10 per square foot.

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Natural Stone

Natural stone materials like granite, slate, and limestone add beauty and value to any landscape. While more expensive, starting at $15 per square foot, natural stone is a long-lasting choice. It does require annual sealing to prevent staining, however. For a rustic look, consider irregularly-shaped flagstone. For a more formal space, choose cut stone with uniform dimensions.

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Gravel or Crushed Stone

Gravel and crushed stone are inexpensive, permeable, and low-maintenance. Pea gravel, river rock, and crushed granite are popular, decorative options for walkways, patios and driveways. Installation is easy, but gravel does require edge restraints like plastic or metal edging to prevent scattering. Replenish and level the gravel as needed over time.

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Clay or concrete bricks provide a traditional hardscaping material perfect for paths, patios, and walkways. Bricks typically cost between $0.50 to $1 each. They require a concrete foundation and sand for leveling and spacing the bricks. Bricks may fade over time and need occasional cleaning and sealing. For a stylish accent, incorporate brick patterns or designs in the layout.

Hardscaping materials like concrete pavers, natural stone, gravel, and bricks offer attractive and durable options for your DIY landscaping project. Do your research to determine costs and maintenance needs. And remember, it’s best to start small by focusing on high-impact areas before tackling larger hardscapes. With some patience, you'll gain confidence and skills to enhance your entire outdoor space.

Design Considerations for Your Hardscape Project

When planning a hardscape project for your property, several design factors should be carefully considered. The layout, materials used, and functional elements incorporated into the design all significantly impact the overall esthetics and utility of the finished hardscape.


The layout of walkways, patios, and other hardscape features should complement the architecture of the home and flow naturally with the surrounding landscape. Straight lines and sharp angles tend to appear more formal and contemporary, while curving paths and round shapes feel more casual and traditional. Consider how people will move through and utilize the space to create a layout that is both attractive and functional.


The materials selected for a hardscape project determine its style, durability, and maintenance requirements. Concrete, stone, and brick are traditional options, while permeable pavers and gravel are more eco-friendly choices. Compare the pros and cons of each material based on your climate, budget, and desired esthetic before making a final decision. For high-traffic, commercial properties, longevity and low-maintenance materials are especially important.

Functional Elements

Incorporating functional elements into a hardscape design improves its usability and enhances the overall experience of the space. Things like lighting, seating, planters, pergolas or overhead structures, and fire pits extend the time the space can be enjoyed and provide visual interest. However, be careful not to overcrowd the design with too many functional elements, which can make the space feel cluttered and reduce its functionality.

A well-designed hardscape can significantly improve the curb appeal and usability of a property. By considering layout, materials, and functional elements that reflect your unique needs and style, you can create an inviting space for relaxing, entertaining, or conducting business. For professional guidance on designing a hardscape project for your commercial or residential property, contact Pro Quality Property Maintenance.

Common Hardscaping Mistakes to Avoid

While hardscaping projects can significantly enhance your property’s curb appeal and functionality, improper installation or material selection can lead to costly mistakes. As a homeowner undertaking a DIY hardscaping project, be sure to avoid the following common errors:

Choosing the Wrong Materials

Select materials that complement your home’s architectural style and that can withstand your climate conditions. For example, natural stone pavers may not be ideal for areas with harsh, frequent freezes. Seek advice from a landscape professional on the best materials for your needs. They can also help ensure you purchase enough of each material to complete your project.

Improper Base Preparation

A solid base made of compacted gravel, sand, and crushed stone is essential for any hardscape structure. Without a proper base, pavers can become uneven, walkways can shift, and retaining walls can fail over time. For best results, excavate to a depth of at least 6 to 8 inches and compact the base in 2-inch layers.

Inadequate Drainage

Water damage is one of the most common issues with DIY hardscaping projects. Ensure you grade walkways and patios to direct water away from structures. For retaining walls, install a drainage pipe to move water away from the base. Lack of adequate drainage can lead to flooding, erosion, and structural damage.

Unsecured Edging

Edging helps contain the rock, stone, mulch, or other material within your hardscape and keeps it from spilling into the surrounding lawn or garden. Secure edging around the entire perimeter of your project to maintain a neat appearance and prevent erosion. Metal and plastic edging that is properly staked works well for most applications.

By avoiding these common mistakes and paying close attention to details like proper base preparation, drainage, and edging, your hardscaping project is sure to provide lasting functionality and beauty. However, for professional results on more complex jobs, it is best to hire an experienced landscaping company. Contact Pro Quality Property Maintenance today for professional hardscaping services. Our team has over 10 years of experience designing and installing beautiful, functional hardscapes. Click here to view our hardscaping project portfolio.


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