Heard of “hardscaping”? Chances are even if you haven’t, you’ve seen it.

The hardscaping trend relates to all outdoor things made of stone—walkways, driveways, outdoor fireplaces and fire pits, patios and decks, edgings, walls and flowerbeds, and built-in seating.  In our work with homeowners in Nashville and beyond, we see clients increasingly favor stone over wood because of stone’s natural beauty and durability; in fact, many think stonework only grows more beautiful with time—unlike decking, which inevitably shows wear and tear over the years.

hardscaping Nashville

A Stratton Exteriors outdoor fireplace

Stone tends to require less maintenance, too. While traditional concrete driveways will crack and pit in the elements, driveways made of block or brick seldom need repairs. Not to mention that there’s just something about masonry work that gives every home a custom, handcrafted touch. That’s why lots of homeowners are requesting stone design elements like a Belgian block border flanking their paved drive, a circle design in the center of a driveway, or a herringbone pattern before an outdoor fireplace.

Hardscaping also falls into step with another trend—the modern homeowner’s desire to improve his outdoor entertaining space and to diversify it with more uses. A recent survey by the American Society of Landscape Architects found that 96 percent of those surveyed would like to have an outdoor fireplace, followed in popularity by outdoor kitchens, entertainment spaces, and installed seating.  And when considering that the National Association of Realtors reports that curb appeal sells 49 percent of all houses, hardscaping is a smart investment whether an owner plans to stay in his home for the short- or longterm.