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Hardscape Trends in Residential Developments

By Niles Romano, Pavestone Company






Drais-Thompson homebuilders created a dream home for the syndicated "Designing Texas" television show located in a 550-acre, limited-access, master-planned Starwood community in Frisco, Texas. Planned with a distinct village concept, the homes are nestled among Starwood's rolling terrain and creek-side vistas. The dream home's Tudor-influenced design is located on a landscaped hilltop-view lot and includes a dramatic a 4,000 plus sq. ft. paving stone driveway. The Villa Stone, a 4-shape combo, in the Heritage tumbled series provided the antiqued European design intent. Photos Courtesy of Pavestone Company


Record-breaking numbers of new housing permits have been submitted across the United States during the past two years. As each new permit finds approval or denial by local governments throughout the country so too does the demand for residential driveways, patios and walkways.

Over the last two years there has been a significant shift in the material of these new driveways that are being installed. Just as laminate countertops have been almost entirely replaced by more attractive and upscale materials in residential developments, so too is the ubiquitous and bland gray poured concrete giving way to decorative paving stones. Many of the nation's fastest growing housing markets are setting the residential trends for the rest of the country. These markets include Phoenix, Reno, Nevada, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Atlanta.






The tumbled pave stones create a dramatic entry of casual elegance to this stylish home. The old world grandeur comes alive with the blending of stone, wood and iron amenities. As the hardscape industry continues to mature in the United States, manufacturers invest in new and improved multi-million dollar modern German manufacturing technologies. The advancements in technology allow for delivery of unique pave stone shapes, sizes and color blends. The different sized shapes allow for new installation patterns; combined with new options in three and four color blends and texture features, the hardscape product offerings continue to deliver an impressive array of design options.


As the demand for housing continues to reach unsurpassed levels, the residential housing industry is gearing up and working harder than ever. The housing industry remains at an all time high accounting for one of the nation's largest and strongest gross domestic products in the history of the world. Many of the nation's most conservative economists assert that the residential housing market has kept the United States from going into further recession and out of a potential depression.

In 2004, Heather Peters, Pavestone Company sales representative, alone sold more than 4 million square feet of concrete pave stones in the Arizona market. "It is amazing what has happened with the residential market and significant increase in demand for pavers. One of the largest residential architects began implementing paving stones into most of their new projects and their competitors followed. Decorative pave stones create a beautiful dramatic landscape when colors are selected to match the homes exteriors and rooftops; a sense of community is enhanced with an undeniable elegant ambience."






The Jack Nicklaus Signature Course at Walnut Cove is embraced by the Pisgah National Forest and Blue Ridge Parkway. The beauty of this natural splendor provides a perfect backdrop for the course's pro shop. A 4-stone paving system combination of squares and rectangles work in tandem to create a random design. The unique and distinct cast edge treatment sets this stone apart from other pavers.









Decorative hardscapes such as paving stones and segmental retaining walls are fueling the quest for the preferred beauty and ideal structure of new residential communities. With an expansive array of shapes, colors and texture options, landscape designers and developers alike are creating developments with a balanced sense of uniqueness in style and community for residents.

As the hardscape industry continues to mature in the U.S., manufacturers invest in new and improved multi-million dollar modern German manufacturing technologies. The advancements in technology allow for delivery of unique pave stone shapes, sizes and color blends. The different sized shapes allow for new installation patterns; combined with new options in three and four color blends and texture features, the hardscape product offerings continue to deliver an impressive array of design options.

Further technological advances have even been made augmenting the overall paving system. Advances such as new polymeric sand that is being used to help serve as a cohesive bond in locking the paving stones together has now resulted in lower maintenance for homeowners. This process is possible by the polymeric sand that is applied dry between the paver joints and becomes hard after it is mitigated. Also, advances in polymeric sand are providing better joint stabilization while inhibiting weed growth much better than traditional sanded joints. The polymeric sand is a lower cost alternative from a material and labor perspective and allows for any type of sealant to be applied. Choices in sand colors now available to complement or contrast the paving stone have enhanced the design pallet even more.

In states where there have been recent legislative changes regarding new home warranties, it is no surprise to see the increased implementation of paving stones and segmental retaining walls in new construction projects. Some of the legislative changes hold the construction builder responsible for extended warranties including flat work in driveways.

"Landscape designers and developers are beginning with the end in mind" according to Chris Callahan, Pavestone Company, Reno, Nev. "With the structural integrity and low-maintenance of concrete paving stones properly installed by an ICPI-certified installer, pave stones actually lower the number of expensive warranty call-backs, saving the builder time, money and the headache of dealing with a disgruntled home owner."

Recently, top builders and developers for the Texas market journeyed west to Las Vegas to experience the trend first hand.

"I can see how specifying Pavestone into a master planned development really makes a difference once the community has been completed. I plan on using pavers for my upcoming sub-division in North Richland Hills," said Pete Edwards, president of Ahlborn Development.

But the upswing of hardscaped landscapes in residential communities is not limited to the western U.S.; it is a developing trend that is growing strong.

Nestled in the heart of the Carolina Preserve, near Asheville North Carolina, The Cliffs is a master-planned community built around the Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course which opened in April 2005. "The Cliffs incorporated 110,000 square feet of paving stones; the Plaza I rectangles and square pavers were chosen for the subtle cobble-stone appearance. The pave stones were chosen to further distinguish The Cliffs from other area developments while emphasizing their commitment to quality and instant beautiful curb appeal. The Meadow homes reflect the English countryside with Old World designs and finishes pre-approved by the community's Architectural Review Board; the tumbled pave stones delivered the perfect antiqued effect to complement the intended design," said Jerry Jones, Pavestone Company.

By placement of the amenity dollars where they'll be most visible, in the drive-up aspects of a community, developers are able to signature properties with a beautiful, structurally sound design.






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October 17, 2019, 6:21 am PDT

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