Getting Your Next Hardscape Project Plan Underway

Successful Hardscape Planning

Hardscaping offers many inspiring options ... from a quiet patio to a full outdoor living room and kitchen. Planning for your project, whether small or complex, can be an intimidating task. There are several factors to consider to stay on budget, have the build go smooth, get what you actually wanted, and follow all the regulations and restrictions in your area. We are here to offer you guidance along the way.

Getting Started

It is important to consider the entire area available to you for hardscape projects before you design, even if you're just tackling one part of it for now. Remember to plan for the 'whole picture'. If you do have limited space be sure to prioritize your wishlist first and let that help guide your decision process. Here are some factors to review to help you think through the process.








Use Of Space



Outdoor Living Room

Quite Santuary/Privacy

Outdoor Kitchen


Outdoor Bar

Playground/Kid Space

Sit Around a Fire

Extra Shade

Pool/Spa Features

Garden Showcase



Fire Feature


Kitchen Accessories





Seating Areas

Retaining Walls

Water Feature

Sound System




Hire Professional Service


Material Selection



Select a Contractor



Diggers Hotline

Electrical Needs



Area Restrictions

Guidelines for Measuring Your Yard

Follow these guidelines to create an accurate measurement of your outdoor living space.


Make a Rough Sketch

Create a rough sketch of the basic shape of your property, include the location of the house, driveway, trees, fences, utility poles and any other structures or elements. Use your sketch to clealy record the measurements while making sure your can identify your dimensions later on.


Find Your Boundaries

First, measure the outside boundaries of your property. Next, measure each side of the house and place those dimensions on your sketch. You can round measurements to the nearest inch.


Property Angles

The next step is to measure the distance from the nearest property line to every corner of the house that is in line with the side of your house. If the property line and side of your house are not parallel or the corners of the house are not right angles, measure the distance from the property line to the center of each side of your house.


Add All the Elements

Measure the distance from each element on your property to the nearest boundary in both directions, making the two measurements at a 90-degree angle. Record its width and lengh in its position. To find the position, say you have a shed in the southeast corner, measure the distance to the south boundary and to the east boundary so you can correctly place it on your sketch. Continue with the width, length and position of the driveway, garage, sheds, trees, planting beds, walls and any other objects fixed on your property.


Transfer to Graph Paper

Using a compass, mark a north arrow on your sketch and one on a new sheet of graph paper. Place your rough sketch beside the graph paper so both have north pointing up. Now you will transfter the sketch to a scaled drawing. Before you start, decide on an appropriate scale so that your entire property fits on the paper. For moderate yards, make one-quarter inch equal to 1 foot. For large yards, use a scale that allows you to put the whole yard on one piece of paper. Start by drawing the property boundaries on your graph paper, keeping the measurements to scale.


Finishing Up

Place your walkways, driveway, buildings, garage, trees, planting beds and any other permanent structures on the graph paper according to your measured distances from the property line. When completed, be sure to compare your techical drawing your actually property for accuracy. If anything looks out of place or does not line up, retake measurements and correct your drawing. For DIY designing, make a copy and add your new elements and features to your layout.

How to Calculate Square Footage

To decide how many pavers or blocks to order, you will need to find the square footage of the area you are going to build out. Remember to buy more than you need. For a square or rectangular area, just multiply the length and width of the area. Use the calculator below to assist you. Click in front of the "ft" to add your dimension.

Square Footage Calculator

DIY Tips

Need Help With Your Hardscape Design?

Unique Supply offers landscape design services that can take your ideas and turn them into your dream space. With our fully-visual 3D renderings, you see your vision come to life before you break ground. A perfect start for the do-it-yourself project.