Hardscaping Tips That Will Make Your Jacksonville Home Stand Out

by Megan WildAugust 25, 2017

Construction and renovation options outside your home structure are often overlooked in the general scheme of a property upgrade. However, there are many options, such as hardscaping.

What is it exactly? Hardscaping refers to the use of “hard” material such as brick, stone and concrete to incorporate permanent structures into your landscape design. Hardscape construction includes the addition of pathways, patios, fences, steps, etc.

If you are searching for ways to make your Jacksonville home stand out, consider thinking outside the box! Check out these creative and unique renovation tips:

1. Design While You Drain

Does your home sit on a relatively flat plot? Jacksonville soil, characteristically dense with sand or clay, may present a drainage challenge to your property — especially during tropical storm season or after typical heavy summer rains.

Examine the possibility of creating a downward sloping stone pathway. Fill the path with gravel and point it in the direction of a drain line. Dig a slight U-shape and place attractive large stepping stones over the gravel. In doing so, you have not only added visual appeal, but also assured efficient drainage.
Wooden Arbor

2. Create Family Memories

Approximately two-thirds of all Jacksonville homes are family owned. Yards are typical home-extensions used for play, entertaining and relaxation. You may have already thought of adding a patio or deck if one doesn’t already exist, but what about an adjoining arbor?

Arbors are central in countless family ceremonies — from prom pictures to backyard weddings. Arbors can be built from a variety of available materials including wood, steel and even wrought-iron, and since they are vertical, they leave a small footprint on your property. You might also consider incorporating seating or a swing into your design, too, for added aesthetics and practicality.

3. Go From Hot to Hotter

Jacksonville is known for its plentiful sunshine and beach couture, but you’ll still find refreshingly cool evenings through much of the year. If you truly want your Florida home to stand out, imagine an outdoor fireplace. In keeping with the idea of seamlessly extending your home’s indoor space toward outside utility, an exterior hearth makes perfect sense.

Adding an outdoor fireplace can be as simple as purchasing a ready-made kit and installing it yourself, or as complicated as designing a unique unit from scratch. Look at your space availability and budget when exploring options.

Outdoor Fireplacevia DIY Network

4. Crunch the Numbers

When you’re considering hardscape renovation that involves construction, it requires a close look at operating costs. The simple approach is to compare contractor bids and delegate your project.

Depending on the nature of your project, though, you might be able to do it yourself — which could reduce your overall expenses.

5. Haul The Heavy Stuff

The need to move heavy material from one place to another underlies most hardscape projects. Tight space maneuverability may be an additional requirement when construction is slated for residential sites. Compact wheel and skid steer loaders both do the job, but skid steer loaders have smaller turn ratios and more attachment options.

You’ll also want to consider whether you want to rent or buy any machinery you need for your project. Most homeowners gravitate toward the possibility of renting since equipment use is often a one-time occurrence.

If you are looking at buying, though, you might consider the purchase of a second-hand model. For instance, used skid steer loaders are typically $5000+ and are handy to have if you foresee multiple uses in the future. Once you gain confidence in your hardscaping abilities and reap their immediate benefit, you just might start planning additional renovations as a routine matter of course.
Skid-steer

6. See the Big Picture

Hardscaping is hard work. It can be inconvenient, frustrating and costly. But the process of making your home stand out adds significantly to its price point value as well as the comfort and joy of daily use.

So go ahead. Walk along your drainage-friendly pathway toward a crackling outdoor fire and stop to arrange the hanging Staghorn fern draped over your arbor. Aren’t you glad you considered hardscaping?

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About The Author
Megan Wild
Megan Wild enjoys finding easy and low-stress ways to improve your home. In her downtime, she enjoys flipping flea market finds, hanging out with her dog, and writing on her home-themed blog, Your Wild Home. She's passionate about sustainability and environmentalism, and you can find her tweeting about both @Megan_Wild.

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