Particularly in neighborhoods where all of the homes have a similar look, today’s homeowners often love to add unique embellishments that will set their home apart from the crowd and allow them to exhibit a bit of individuality. This mindset presents an excellent opportunity for the savvy homebuilder or landscape contractor who can increase the scope of a project or boost profit margins by creatively incorporating hardscape upgrades into outdoor living designs.

Fire Features



Fire features consistently rank as one of the top must-haves in outdoor living today. Outdoor fireplaces and fire pits appeal to people of all ages and immediately become the favorite gathering spot in any backyard. Fire pits, in particular, are an affordable upgrade option for the average homeowner.

Seat Walls



According to the most recent annual survey by the American Society of Landscape Architects, built-in seating continues to gain popularity in outdoor living design. Seat walls are an excellent way to define an outdoor living space, create visual separation between different outdoor “rooms”, or create permanent seating in a dining area or around a fire feature.

Borders and Walkways



Bordering a garden or concrete patio, driveway, or walkway with pavers or curbing adds visual interest to an otherwise ordinary outdoor living space. In addition, look for opportunities to add a walkway or two that will not only add to the look of the design, but can provide utilitarian purposes for the homeowner, for example creating a path from a patio to a gardening shed.

Outdoor Kitchens



Although definitely a higher-end upgrade, some form of outdoor kitchen is becoming a standard for custom homes. Belgard Elementsallow you to offer the upgrade option of a designer outdoor kitchen for significantly less cost than a custom site build. With coordinating fire features also available, you can even offer a homeowner the option of building a designer outdoor living room that complements the outdoor kitchen.

Embellishments



Retaining wall block can be used to incorporate embellishments into a design to either stand alone or coordinate with retaining walls, seat walls or outdoor kitchens. Ideas include mailboxes, wall end caps, column wraps and planter boxes.