Get inspired: Tour this photo gallery of hardscapes and get ideas for your own yard.
Expand your outdoor living space. Many homeowners plan their hardscape completely, then tackle parts of the job in increments.
Enhance a barbecue. Whether you're using a small hibachi or a full-sized kitchen, hardscaping can create the space you need for efficient meal preparation and serving. This design by Jamie Durie creates a relaxed, comfortable space for enjoyable dining outdoors.
Direct traffic. Artfully positioned concrete pads form an elegant walkway to the home. The antiqued concrete complements the home's exterior and is found elsewhere on the property. The pattern mimicks the flooring in the foyer.
Define an area. Walkways, lattice and a bench help add structure for a vegetable and ornamental garden.
Create privacy. This stone wall creates a timeless garden border and adds charm and character to the garden.
Screen the view. Lattice and a triangle pergola form an airy hideaway on an exposed garage roof that looks down onto an alley.
Correct a grade. The left side of this house used to have a hazardous driveway that led to a basement-level garage.
Add playspace. Here, a chessboard serves as an extension of the patio.
Create Shade. A pergola or arbor provides a welcome respite on a hot sunny day and adds a comfortable sense of enclosure.
Add texture and color. This water feature is given a new dimension with small Mexican stones and large colored glass boulders.
Provide separation. This grid divider with a central buffet serves as an essential boundary between the patio and adjacent driveway.
Add art to the garden In this case, colorful mosaic panels do double duty in this small patio: They're hiding the utilities.
Add vertical interest. When the cannas fade in this garden, all eyes are on the spectacular morning-glory arbor, designed by Dan Berger.