Save Tons of Money Now on These Thrifty Hardscaping Ideas

Hardscape outdoor patio with fireplace and sitting area

Hardscaping is an integral part of your home or business landscaping. Whether it’s a paved walkway, outdoor patio, firepit with seating, or stone water features.

Hardscape materials are available in a wide variety of styles and price ranges. Design planning, area preparation, and making sure you are meeting aesthetic best practices and code guidelines can all have an impact on hardscape pricing.

Hopefully, this article will help guide you in the right direction and help you save a bit of money too!

Hardscape Planning and Research

Raleigh hardscaping stone walkway with retaining wall
Retaining Wall, Stone Walkway

Saving money on hardscaping requires some planning and research. 

To begin, create a list of the hardscape elements you want in your yard and thoroughly conduct your due diligence. 

Research the types of materials it will take to complete the project, the amount of prep work required to prepare the area to support the hardscape, as well as price comparisons. There are plenty of hardscaping basic best practices you can follow. As you begin your plan, make sure to provide enough time for completing your project to avoid making rush decisions that could haunt you later. 

Hardscape Pro Tip: 

Oftentimes, landscape and hardscape companies can obtain contractor discounts. So keep that in mind. Furthermore, experienced hardscape specialists can help you save planning time and avoid failed project headaches with their advanced knowledge of building codes, topography preparation, and perfect installation. Versus a DIY project, it may be more beneficial to speak with a landscaper about your hardscape project.

If you have a hardscape idea, Call Us to discuss your design, and we can help you make sure it lines up with your goal budget.

Buy Hardscaping Material in Bulk

If your budget allows, buying in bulk can help you get the materials at lower prices. It is best to contact a hardscape distributor or wholesaler to buy the materials in bulk where and whenever you can.

Plan Your Hardscaping Project Ahead of Time

Every industry has its high and low seasons, and hardscaping is no exception. It’s always best to plan your project ahead of time. For example, if you’re looking to start a spring hardscape project, it’s best to prepare and plan during the fall. We can help you with any design option you can imagine. With our comprehensive design service, you will have the opportunity to see exactly what your hardscaping project will look like before starting.

Given today’s unreliable supply chain issues, planning way ahead will ensure your project will be completed on time. 

Additionally, landscaping contractors often try to book their spring schedule in advance, and booking the year before will usually guarantee you the last season’s prices. (It is common for hardscapes to adjust their price every year.) 

Hardscape Pro Tip:

Late summer – July and August – are generally the slowest months in the hardscaping industry, so we recommend booking during these months as well to save money.

Landscape Hardscape Edging

Edging can be purchased from a rock, paver, or landscape distribution center. If you want to keep your price as low as possible, ask if there are “leftovers” available where contractors bought too much job material. 

Another cost-saving tip on landscape edging is that you can also consider buying natural rock. They are much cheaper than pre-made edging materials and offer a more natural look to your flower beds, gardens, and walkways.

Do it Yourself (DIY) Hardscaping

Raleigh hardscaping images stone paver landing and walkway
Stone Paver Landing

DIY just might be the way to go. There are many hardscaping tasks that you can perform yourself to save on costs instead of hiring professionals. 

But, be careful! There is an art and science to designing, planning, and installing hardscapes, especially for larger-sized projects. The biggest challenge for DIY, especially as we’ve seen for stone paver walkways and patios, is that DIYers fail to properly establish a solid, supportive foundation. Without a proper underlying structure of compacted sand, dirt, and rock, many DIY projects end up as expensive re-dos down the road. 

If you plan to DIY, make sure you are well-informed regarding the proper setup and foundation for your particular hardscape project. Getting the correct foundation is the primary challenge for DIYers. Oftentimes, after heavy rains, water pooling can occur, as well as uneven paver stones from erosion.

If you want to make sure your hardscaping project is perfect the first time, and you’re looking for affordable options on a strict budget, give us a call for a quick quote at 919-796-1633.

Use Low-Maintenance Materials

Whether you want to create a seating area, or walkway or apply a nice rock edging, when it is feasible, always use low-maintenance materials like bricks, stones, pavers, etc. 

The best types of hardscaping materials are usually inexpensive, and also they are easy to repair or replace. Using lower-maintenance materials can save you money both on the installation (By doing it yourself) and in replacement costs whenever damage occurs.

Buy Hardscape Materials from Local Stores

When you can, support your local business. The biggest benefit to going local is cost savings and avoiding long-distance shipping costs. Buying from local stores within a range of 10 miles can save you tons of money on transportation, as well as save you on project time completion. 

Going local is a great way to speed up your hardscape build, save on project costs, and most importantly, help your community!

Hardscape Pro Tip:

Keep in mind that your local landscaper may have special contractor pricing via local gardening stores and hardscape material centers.

Use the Same Block Size

If you are looking to save money on a retaining wall project (or any hardscape project), using blocks and pavers of the same size will help. 

A popular option for retaining walls specifically is the standard square-foot block. The beautiful block comes in many different colors, is very easy to work with,  and is very reasonably priced. 

If you want to use pavers or other stone materials, it is important to choose combinations of pavers with the same thickness, which will also help you save money. 

Hardscape Pro Tip:

Contractors have to adjust their base price to accommodate different material thicknesses and sizes. If you’re working with a tight budget, utilizing materials of the same size can help you avoid shoveling out higher costs.

Bundle Your Hardscape Project(s)

Completing your project in stages may seem like the cheapest solution, but it could actually end up costing you more. 

A portion of your final bill will consist of the shipping costs for all incoming and transported materials (even from local providers). If you can finalize your material punch list and bundle your hardscape project materials together, you can save a lot of money on delivery charges. 

Hardscape Pro Tip:

It’s typical that many contractors will offer better pricing for larger projects. Certainly, your timeline and budget parameters will influence the overall scope of your hardscape project.

The Bottom Line to Awesome Hardscaping

commercial hardscaping project in Raleigh
Retaining Wall, Stone Stairs

Hardscaping projects involve many moving parts and pieces. Understanding how hardscape contractors plan and prepare projects, as well as knowing a bit about how the industry works can help you save time, money, and resources. 

We hope the following money-saving tips spurred some ideas and helped you finalize your hardscape project. 

If GrassMaster can help answer any hardscape questions, or you would like to better understand how we work with clients from hardscape design and installation, give us a call at 919-796-1633. We’d be glad to lead you in the right direction.