Consumer demand still high for hardscapes

Hardscapes in high demand and are here to stay. Professionals looking to earn profits in residential landscape design and construction would do well to recommend fire pits, fireplaces, and permeable paving as options for their customers, according to a recent study.

[Photo above: Builder Chris Clement demonstrates how Oyster Pearl gives a civilized fireplace—complete with TV mount—an appropriately rustic look for the patio on this million dollar home near Greensboro.]

The American Society of Landscape Architecture recently released its 2018 Residential Landscape Architecture Trends Survey, which asked its members to rate the expected popularity of a variety of residential outdoor landscape elements this year. As in the past, hardscape elements were in high demand.

patio house using Pine Hall Brick

Here’s an interior shot of an open “patio house” that uses Pine Hall Brick thin pavers over a concrete slab, plus Pine Hall Brick facebrick to create an outdoor grilling space that rivals a nice interior kitchen.


brick bar meets pavers

Pavers meet brick bar in open-air patio house.


ASLA revised the survey this year to include new types of outdoor amenities that appeal to both single-family and multi-family owners and residents. Residential design, including single-family homes, multi-family residential projects such as apartments, townhouses and condominiums and retirement communities, is important because it is the largest market sector for landscape architects.

Because of the change, flexible outdoor spaces for such activities as yoga, outdoor movie nights and charging stations for mobile devices entered the top 10 project types for the first time.

The survey results indicate that the three most popular outdoor design elements include fire pits and fireplaces, lighting, and seating and dining areas.  Drilling down into the numbers show that the top 10 project types with the highest expected consumer demand are, in order:

  • Native plants
  • Native/adapted drought-tolerant plants
  • Low-maintenance landscapes
  • Flexible use space (for yoga classes, movie night), etc.
  • Drip/water-efficient irrigation
  • Permeable Paving
  • Rain gardens
  • Reduced lawn area
  • Food/vegetable gardens (including orchards, vineyards, etc.)
  • Charging stations for mobile devices

Hardscape designs can be included in many of the most popular projects that consumers want.

indoor look outdoors

Interior-style fireplaces make the trip outside with Pine Hall Brick. Builder Don Hamrick treated himself to this beauty as part of his own award-winning home in Winston-Salem.

Installing a conventional clay paver patio by Pine Hall Brick Company, for example, would accomplish several design goals, including a reduced lawn area, a low-maintenance landscape and flexible use space for such things as yoga and movie nights. Installing Pine Hall Brick’s permeable paving product, StormPave, would fulfill the demand for permeable paving and the outflow underneath could be re-directed for water efficient irrigation to native and drought-resistant plants and a rain garden. Other suggestions that would also use Pine Hall Brick products involve facebrick for a seat wall for guests and an outdoor fireplace.

Bunn House with Pine Hall Brick patio

Outdoor entertaining expands any home. It can be as fancy or as rustic as you please.

The benefit to professionals who decide to add hardscape design and installation is that they can bid on higher-end jobs, with a resulting higher profit margin.

Read the ASLA study here.

Pathway Full Range from Pine Hall Brick



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  • Five tactics for expanding your landscaping business
    Posted at 09:59h, 06 March Reply

    […] Either way, expanding further into hardscaping means that you can tap into broader demand. […]

  • John Mann
    Posted at 17:09h, 30 September Reply

    great write up!! i love the pictures and designs and the explanations, A lot of people don’t understand the difference between hardscaping and landscaping. But this is great gives some information on the subject along with some great pictures. Look forward to seeing more work!

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