3 Hardscape Designs That Improve Quality Of Life & Property Value

by Jodie Franklin 08/07/2022

It may come as something of a surprise, but a wide range of relatively inexpensive materials exist on the market. Items such as colorful and textured concrete mirror the natural luster of flagstone and marble slabs. When everyday people add up the cost of concrete, reclaimed wood and metals, their quality of life investment may look affordable. The next logical step is to identify hardscape designs that provide an outdoor space to relax and increase property values.

1: Patios With Raised Gardens

Integrating softscape assets such as native grasses and flowering perennials with hardscapes brings together the best of both worlds' experience. Designs that employ flagstone or concrete pavers create an expansive sense of space. Leaving it open to position outdoor furniture and a gas grill as needed also gives homeowners tremendous flexibility.

One of the subtle ways that patio designs include flora is to create fixed beds where the family gardener can dabble. This design succeeds when the sitting ledge around the raised beds employs the same long pavers as the flooring. This allows homeowners and guests to sit and relax among the roses, if you will.

2: Integrate A Fire Pit Into Your Stone Patio

Although homeowners must remain vigilant about the safe enjoyment of fire, sweeping stone patios create an opportunity. If combustible materials remain at a safe distance, integrating a fire pit does more than increase quality of life and property values. A place to roast marshmallows and hot dogs over an open flame also creates lasting memories.

There are wide-ranging fire pit designs that can work on a hardscape patio. Perhaps the most effective design involves having a contractor remove existing pavers and establish a fire brick base. Fire brick minimizes heat transfers common to many stone products. They also reduce the risk that pavers will overheat, crack and require replacement. A tip that many homeowners find fruitful is to leave at least one side open to make ash removal easier.

3: Install Thin Brick Facades

To say that developing the perfect outdoor living area remains a work in progress would be an understatement. There always seems to be one more thing to accomplish or redefine. For example, that outdoor hot tub or stainless steel gas grill may just need something to make it fit the overall ambiance.

Homeowners can blend these and other assets with the overall hardscape theme by leveraging thin, veneer bricks. These products can be purchased and installed just like their full-sized counterparts, but at a reduced cost.

Hardscape elements remain a tried and true way to increase quality of life experiences and home values. The good news for households on a budget is that attractive materials may not be as expensive as you once thought.

About the Author

Jodie Franklin

I love helping people find their dream home or sell their house in order to achieve their next goals. I have been working hard for my clients for over 15 years throughout southeast Michigan. I have experienced every kind of transaction there is. 

Helping my community and being involved is extremely important to me. I am Past President and current board member of the Michigan Ability Partners board, which helps Veterans and people with disabilities reach independent, self-supported, and satisfying lives. I am also a member of the City of Milan Tax Review Board and Zoning Board, and involved in Milan Main Street. I have been a major sponsor of events for Michigan Ability Partners, Aid in Milan, Milan Main Street, and many more organizations that wok to make our communities better. 

I was 2018 President of the Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors, Realtor of the year in 2016 for AAABOR and nominee for Michigan Realtor of the Year. I serve on many committees with the local board and was a member of the Housing Opportunity Committee for the National Association of Realtors (2018-19).