• Hardscape

    Comparing Brick, Stone and Wooden Landscape Design Materials

    When you engage with a professional to create a landscape design, you get a wealth of experience. At Hittle Landscaping, we bring decades of experience to each project. We can help you explore all of your options and determine priorities.

    Together, we can build a landscape design to meet your needs and wants. Let’s review the benefits and drawbacks of these popular landscape design materials: brick, stone and wood.

    Pros and Cons of Using Brick Materials in Landscape Design

    Basically, brick is a natural material made from clay and shale. During the firing process, the brick gains durability and strength.

    The kiln eliminates the need for a sealer. Brick can be a great investment because it can last for more than 40 years.

    Pros of brick: Low-maintenance, color-fast, durable, easy to blend with other materials.

    Cons: Limited color range, installation can be labor-intensive and expensive.

    Pros and Cons of Using Stone Materials in Landscape Design

    Stone materials can be used in many landscape design applications. It can replace mulch. It can be used in hardscape structures like pathways or firepits.

    Pros of stone: Less maintenance, longevity, less debris, less fungal growth. Landscape stone, or decorative gravel, comes in many colors, blends, sizes and shapes.

    Whether your aesthetic preference is the smooth and rounded river stones or the jagged interest of broken rock, you can find stone to match.

    Cons: Less moisture retention for soil underneath, no compost (as with mulch) for plants, and material cost. Stone is also heavier than mulch, obviously, and costs more to transport and spread.

    This can increase labor costs, depending on the scale. Bear in mind, however, this is more of an initial expense. Because stone doesn’t decay, you won’t need to replace it annually, as with mulch.

    Pros and Cons of Using Wooden Materials in Landscape Design

    A perennial favorite among DIY and professional landscape designers, wood brings a natural beauty to any outdoor space. It’s a natural material and provides warmth while softening the appearance of a hardscape. It blends easily with softscapes like trees and shrubbery.

    Some may be more low-maintenance, such as cedar, which weathers beautifully. If your property slopes, a tiered deck can accommodate these challenges. For cost-efficiency, many people opt for pressure-treated pine. While not as aesthetically attractive as cedar or redwood, it’s long-lasting.

    Professionals in landscape design are constantly looking for new options for clients, in materials or treatments.

    One, which is not new, exactly, is a Japanese tactic from the 1700s known as shou sugi ban. By pre-burning the surface of the wood, it becomes more resistant to fire. This was a big deal in 1700s Japan, when the majority of homes were built of wood.

    A happy discovery was the treatment also resists pests and rot. Recently, professionals determined the charred wood is also more UV-resistant.

    It’s reported a shou sugi ban finish may last as long as 80 to 100 hundred years with minimal maintenance. This tactic reduces its lifetime cost and contributes to an eco-friendly landscape design. What a gift to future generations!

    Pros of wood: Versatile, sustainable and flexible. Offers a wide range of treatment options.

    Cons: If not properly treated, it’s vulnerable to rot. Certain woods are less flexible than others. In structures like decks, pergolas or gazebos, wood requires maintenance, to preserve the look or integrity.

    Consult with Hittle for Landscape Material Expertise

    When you’re ready to make your dreams into reality, we’re eager to listen to your ideas. We bring more than 40 years of experience in thoughtful landscaping, lighting and design to create something extraordinary for you.

    Locally-owned and operated, Hittle Landscaping applies our trademark attention to detail to every project. To explore a professional landscape design for your residential or commercial property, call Hittle Landscaping today for a complimentary consultation.

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