Hardscaping involves the placement of non-plant elements, such as walkways, patios, stairs, fire pits, outdoor kitchen or anything else you can imagine to create a beautiful and useful addition to your property. Have Alpine help plan and build your next project! “If you can imagine it we can build it”


Definition: The placement of nonplant elements such as fences, walkways, patios, paving and lighting in a planned outdoor area.

Hardscape Features

Typical small-scale hardscaping examples include brick patios and sidewalks. Retaining walls are often used to create boundaries between hardscapes and earth landscaping features, or softscapes. From an urban planning perspective hardscapes can include very large features, such as paved roads. Most artificial water features are technically hardscapes because they require a barrier to retain the water, instead of letting it drain into the surrounding soil.

From an aesthetic perspective, hardscaping allows workers to erect landscaping features that would otherwise be impossible due to soil erosion, or that compensate for large amounts of human traffic that would cause wear on bare earth or grass. For example, sheer vertical features are possible.

Drainage Concerns

The water table in and around large areas of hardscape is usually very depleted because not enough rainwater is being absorbed into the soil of that area in order to help recharge the water table in that (usually urban) area. Such areas must then rely largely on “imported” freshwater from local or non-local lakes, reservoirs, dams, rivers, and streams. On the other hand, most homes in rural areas often use wells and springs as their primary source of freshwater because the local water table is being constantly recharged by the hydrologic cycle.

Without nearby bare soil, a hardscape requires artificial methods of drainage/runoff in order to carry off the sometimes massive volumes of water that would normally be mostly absorbed into the ground as groundwater. Lack of capacity can cause major problems after severe thunderstorms, hurricanes, typhoons, etc.

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