Hard Landscape Features

There’s more to a successful patio, driveway or paving project than just the paving. What about walls and fences? How are they built? How can terracing be created, and what should be used? How is artificial grass installed, and is decking a good choice? We’ll need lighting: how is that done? This section looks at all of these and more.


Steps are how we move from one level of paving to another. They may be single or a flight of multiple steps. This page looks at the principles involved in step design and construction, and some of the materials commonly used.

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Building a rectangular step

This page follows the construction of a simple rectangular step using readily available block paving materials.

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Block paving step construction

This page deals with the construction detail for steps constructed using block paving elements steps.

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Stepping Stones

Stepping stones, or step stones, is the term used to refer to small, isolated areas of paving within an area of other surfacing, usually turf or a loose material such as gravel. This page looks at how they are constructed.

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Decking: using planks of treated timber to provide a usable outdoor surface. Some love it, many hate it, but regardless of our own opinion, it has to be acknowledged as a valid choice for some projects. This page looks at the basic principles involved.

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Fences are another regular feature of hard-landscaping projects. Whether they are built from scratch using timber, or constructed using pre-formed modular components, such as posts and panels, this page aims to explore what's available and how they are best used.

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Millboard Decking

Decking is experiencing a massive resurgence in interest, and much of that is due to the use of new materials in place of traditional timber. Leading the charge is the inimitable Millboard - the deck-builder's decking of choice!

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Splash Strips

Those bands of gravel or shingle lying between the paving and the house - are they really necessary? Do they actually provide any real benefit? This page explores their uses and abuses.

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Plastic ducting is the best method of protecting any cables, pipes or other services that need to be buried beneath paving. This page looks at what is used, and how a simple colour scheme alerts others to just what lies within the buried plastic pipe.

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Flag-on-Edge Retainer

A Flag-On-Edge is a simple retainer structure suitable for shoring-up small differences in levels. This page looks at how they are constructed.

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Installing an artificial grass lawn

Artificial Grass has come on leaps-and-bounds compared to the knee-shredding plastic 'Astro-Turf' of the 1970s and is now a popular choice for many garden makeovers. This page follows the step-by-step installation of a modern artificial grass lawn to a small residential rear garden.

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Gabions, mattresses and baskets

Gabions, mattresses and baskets are, essentially, cages filled with rocks or stone which, when linked together, act as retaining structures with a more naturalistic look than brick or concrete walls. This page looks at their use and their potential for hard-landscaping projects.

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Lighting for Paving

Lighting is becoming increasingly popular for all sorts of paving schemes. This page aims to provide an overview of what is used and how.

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Installing a Lighting Column

This page follows the installation of an upright lighting column for residential driveways, paths or patios.

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Terracing is simply a way of creating wide steps on a gentle gradient. Using a wide variety of materials, this page aims to introduce the basic principles and techniques.

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This page provides a simple set of plans for building a timber garden pergola. Pergolas are used to provide a shaded walk within the garden and are typically draped with climbing plants such as roses, honeysuckle and clematis.

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Building with Sleepers

Sleepers, whether reclaimed railway sleepers or brand-new treated timber baulks, are an incredibly versatile building material for all sorts of hard-landscaping projects. This page looks at just a few of the potential uses.

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