Whether you’re looking to increase the value of your property or just want to build an outdoor space worthy of being featured in Better Homes and Gardens, you cannot go wrong with natural stone. Hardscaping, the practice of building elaborate outdoor spaces with natural stone, is an ancient practice the Greeks learned from the Babylonians, and it has become increasingly popular in recent years. Here are a few mistakes you’ll want to avoid when hardscaping your outdoor spaces.
1. Failing to Plan the Layout
There is more to hardscaping than just building natural stone structures around grassy areas, swimming pools, and plants. Don’t get started on a hardscaping project without having designed and visualized ideas that consider vegetation, colors, existing elements, and your house. You may want to begin with a mobile app such as Home Outside.
2. Failing to Achieve Balance
A balanced design is intended to create visual impact while maintaining a natural look. A straight stone path in a patio that does not clearly separate vegetation will not look natural, and the same goes for an outdoor chimney or fire pit obstructed by trees or shrubs. Color is another important element to consider when designing outdoor spaces. Keep in mind contrasts do not look the same outside as they do in living spaces.
3. Forgetting About Drainage
If you live in a rainy region, make sure your natural-stone structures do not redirect water toward the house. You should also consider the level of your patio surfaces to avoid excessive and uneven rain accumulation.
4. Choosing Overly Delicate Stone
You can certainly install marble, granite, and even sandstone in outdoor spaces, but they will need to be protected from the elements. A summer kitchen will look great with a granite countertop and honed marble floors, but only if they are under a roof. As for fireplaces, walking paths, and garden walls, you will be better off installing bluestone, slate, or flagstone.
5. Failing to Maintain a Good Seal
By being in the outdoors, the natural stone you choose for your patio will require a good protective seal to prevent staining, etching, and discoloration. Even if the stone you choose does not have a polished finish, it will still require frequent cleaning and resealing. Thankfully, this is something you can accomplish on your own with a stone-safe granite sealer.
6. Not Cleaning Frequently
Wet leaves and dead insects should not be allowed to sit on top of natural-stone surfaces because they have a high potential for leaving stubborn stains. If you don’t know how to clean outdoor stone, simply sweep a couple of times a week and wipe down slabs and tiles with a natural-stone cleaner such as Granite Gold Outdoor Stone Cleaner®, and never with common household cleaning products.
If you have additional questions about caring for natural stone in your backyard, patio, or other outdoor space, reach out to Granite Gold®. All of our products are safe to use on granite, sandstone, slate, bluestone, and all other types of natural stone. Give us a call today at 1-800-475-STONE.