5 Hardscaping Trends

Explore 5 beautiful ways to upgrade and enjoy your property.

Related To:
Get Out of the House and Into the Yard

Get Out of the House and Into the Yard

Enjoy the outdoors in a protected living room space regardless of the weather.

Photo by: Image courtesy of EP Henry

Image courtesy of EP Henry

Enjoy the outdoors in a protected living room space regardless of the weather.

The real estate market is slowly coming back from a long slump, and companies that specialize in landscaping and hardscaping are starting to see a rise in home improvement projects. Part of this is due to low refinancing rates and the desire of homeowners to upgrade their property so they can get more enjoyment out of it. 

Joe Fields, Director of Contractor Services for EP Henry, a family-owned hardscaping company in Woodbury, New Jersey, reveals some trends in hardscape design.

Outdoor Living Rooms

Open patios or decks where homeowners can enjoy cookouts and casual entertaining have been popular for years. But the trend today is to create a covered outdoor room that you can enjoy all year. This could include everything from an entertainment center with a built-in LED widescreen TV to a recreational room (pool table, ping pong) with a full bar or beer taps.

Mark Biechler, lead designer with Pearson Landscape Services in Austin, Texas, says for some of his clients he is “literally building a small house in the backyard. They want dishwashers and ice makers and outdoor bathrooms that are tied directly into the sewer lines. They have pitched roofs and 30-year shingles. It’s bigger than what they have inside.” These structures also provide an outdoor/indoor area and safe environment where children can hang out with their friends.

Multifunctional Kits

Additions to the home that offer dual usage are on the rise. One example is EP Henry’s Solitaire Kit, which allows customers to convert outdoor fire pits into aquatic gardens or fish ponds during the summer months and then change them back for use as heating and ambiance in the fall and early spring.

Outdoor Kitchens

Gas grills have been the standard for cookouts for years, but why settle for that when you can have a full outdoor kitchen complete with a gas grill, fire pit, or fireplace for entertaining year round? 

Natural-Looking Stone Products

Concrete blocks are a good, dependable building material, but they don’t offer much in the way of aesthetic appeal. This is why many homeowners are gravitating toward using manufactured stone products that have the appearance, color and texture of natural stone. Cast Veneer Stone is a popular favorite for outdoor kitchens, grills and fireplaces. Bristol Stone is ideal for patios and pool surfaces because it does not heat up like natural stone and retains a soft texture that is comfortable for bare feet. Devonstone has the look of bluestone, slate and limestone; it makes attractive flagging, stairs and walkways. 

Of course, some homeowners prefer the real thing and Biechler states that in the Austin area there is so much limestone available that “we just pull it out of the ground here versus manufacturing something.”

Sustainable Products

Water conservation is a major concern across the country today and there are a number of eco-friendly products that help manage this. One of the most effective is Eco Pavers, which help the environment by allowing rainwater to recharge the ground and reduce the amount of storm water runoff into driveways and streets. 

Biechler says rain collection systems are becoming more popular in the southwest. Some homeowners are channeling their stormwater runoff from hardscape surfaces or roof gutters into underground collection tanks, which are tied into bigger irrigation systems. 

In addition to the hardscaping concepts listed above, there are many other options that can bring additional value and enjoyment to the homeowner. Among these are sculpture gardens, coventry borders, seatwalls, new swimming pool decks, and resurfaced driveways. 

Keep Reading

Next Up

Hardscaping Basics

Follow these tips and tricks to help with your next landscape project.

Hardscaping: What You Should Know

Learn about the most important aspects of hardscaping for your outdoor living project.

Hardscaping Bricks and Pavers

Learn about hardscaping bricks and pavers, and get info on options for design and materials as you plan your outdoor living space.

Curb Appeal Tips: Landscaping and Hardscaping

You don't have to have a green thumb to landscape your way to terrific curb appeal. Follow these tips for a front lawn that wows.

From the Pros to Your Home: 5 Ways to Enliven Your Yard for Winter

Want to transform your yard into a seasonal stunner? Try these expert tips from Minnesota-based firm, Mom's Design Build.

5 Fire Pit Ideas to Steal for Cozy Fall Nights

Check out a few of our favorite ideas to steal for your own fire pit design dreams, as well as some tips for creating the coziest outdoor spots this fall.

5 Foolproof Ways to Improve Your Curb Appeal in a Single Weekend

No-hassle home projects are just the way we like it.

19 Drool-Worthy Spaces Just for Your Dog + 5 Dog Treat Recipes

It’s National Dog Day! Don’t miss an opportunity to pamper your pup.

1,000+ Photos

Browse beautiful photos of our favorite outdoor spaces: decks, patios, porches and more.


Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.