There are many choices for how to incorporate elements into a hardscape. Adding one or more of these components to your hardscape can create focal points and intertwine stone and concrete with nature’s beauty. Read on and consider what element you will include in your hardscape.


One of the most popular hardscape elements is fire. Whether it be a firepit or a fireplace, there are many designs to consider. Both fire pits and fireplaces naturally become a spot to gather around with friends and family. They offer lighting and heating once the sun starts to set, and the ambiance will keep the conversations flowing. Not only are there different sizes and shapes, but firepits allow the choice to burn wood or gas and have colored glass or decorative rock fill the space to create a more modern look.



Adding a water feature to your hardscape increases the aesthetics tenfold. Not only are they beautiful, but the sound of flowing water creates a relaxing atmosphere. Close your eyes and you’ll be taken from suburbia to a spot right next to a flowing creek.



The perfect addition to a hardscape is the surrounding landscape. Adding trees can create privacy, shade and bursts of color. Bordering flowers and other smaller greenery can expand the hardscape while adding texture and color. A mulch or decorative rock border can also be an excellent way to finish off the transition from the yard to the hardscape.



Taking an artistic license with the air element, we couldn’t leave out adding a pergola. Pergolas are a continuously growing trend allowing a place to add lighting, shade, hanging baskets, privacy and more. A pergola is an excellent place to have furniture under for outdoor meals or a sofa to relax on while the breeze allows absolute relaxation.


Whether you choose one or multiple elements to include in your hardscape, adding these components will have you spending more time with the family outdoors than ever before. Get your free estimate and 3D design by calling 816-488-2547 or schedule an appointment now!


Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Angie’s List, and Houzz!

& a special thanks to Belgard, Pavestone, Romanstone, Unilock, and

4 Things to Keep in Mind During the Planning Phase

Consider the Big Picture

If you have an existing patio, you may be already limiting your design ideas. The first thing to do is expand your view. Don’t just think of upgrading your patio, but rather upgrading your yard. Develop a plan for the entire area. Even if you only upgrade a portion of your yard now, don’t limit your future ideas. Whether it be a hot tub, a walkway, or landscaping elements, consider where future components could be included. 



Incorporate your Personal Style

There are many ways to make your hardscape unique to your tastes. Whether your home be more traditional or modern, you may prefer a space consisting of straight edges, perhaps with different heights, or maybe you’d prefer a more organic shape allowing the lay of the land to direct the shape. Our team will work with your preferences to create a hardscape that allows your personal touch to the design. 


Create a Focal Point

Consider what your priority is when either entertaining or using your space personally. A pergola can be a great way to add shade over a place to have a meal. A firepit can allow seating all around allowing conversation to flow. 

focal points.PNG

Add Landscaping Elements 

Landscaping can allow the flow from greenery to concrete and stone by adding color and texture. Trees can add privacy and shade, while flowers, decorative rock, or a mulch bed can open up the space and make it seem even larger. These elements can be predetermined and added during the hardscape installation. 

landscaping elements.PNG

We will help you every step of the way to make your dream backyard retreat become a reality. For a free estimate and 3D design, click the schedule an appointment button now or call 816.499.2547!

Outdoor Kitchen Trends


Just as the kitchen has always been the heart of the home, the outdoor kitchen is quickly becoming the heart of the backyard outdoor living space. According to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA), more than 75 percent of all U.S. households currently include an outdoor grill or smoker. However, that’s only part of the story. More and more homeowners are converting patio grilling areas into fully functioning kitchens that become the central gathering place for family and guests. Check out some of the latest trends.


Bar-style seating has become very popular in outdoor kitchen design for the same reason it’s popular in indoor kitchen design…it creates a communal atmosphere where family members and guests can all interact during the prep and cooking process. It also provides additional dining space, and with the addition of a television, becomes the perfect spot for outdoor tailgating.



Kitchen: Weston Stone®.  Bar Foot Rail: Bullnose Coping. Pavers: Bergerac® with Old York™ border.


Today’s outdoor chef isn’t happy with just a standard grill. Modern outdoor kitchen design quite often includes multiple cooking surfaces — including gas burners, gas or charcoal grills, ceramic smokers, and wood-burning or gas ovens.



Kitchen: Tandem® Modular Grid.  Pavers: Lafitt® Rustic Slab.


A growing trend in outdoor kitchen design is to include all the “creature comforts” of an indoor kitchen. Nearly every indoor kitchen appliance now has an outdoor-rated version — including ice makers, refrigerators, dishwashers, keg coolers and more. With a fully-functioning outdoor kitchen, there’s no need to constantly run indoors for supplies…everything you need is at your fingertips. Add a stereo system, wi-fi access and a TV, and you can truly live in your outdoor living space.



Kitchen: Celtik® Wall.  Pavers: Mega-Bergerac®.


Stainless steel doors and drawers are popular because they are resistant to rot, weather and insects. Stainless also adds a striking look to coordinate with grills and appliances. Over time, some stains will appear on the surface, but can easily be removed with a stainless steel cleaner, making them look as good as new.



Kitchen: Belair Wall®. Pavers: Lafitt® Rustic Slab.


Built-in seating has been trending for years in outdoor living rooms, especially around fire features. Now, the trend is making it’s way into the outdoor kitchen. A seat wall helps define the space, adds a striking aesthetic, and allows you to provide ample seating for large gatherings to supplement seating provided by barstools and dining tables.



(Left) Kitchen: Weston Stone®. Pavers: Lafitt® Rustic Slab with an inlaid Moduline Series® border. (right) Kitchen: Belair Wall®.


Forget calling for delivery when you can enjoy a homemade pizza with an amazing flame-grilled flavor. Whether we’re talking about economical gas-powered tabletop ovens, or gorgeous built-in wood-fired brick ovens, outdoor ovens are definitely trending. The great thing about a brick oven is that it’s not just for pizza. Nearly anything you would bake in an indoor oven can be cooked in a brick oven. You may never cook indoors again.



Oven: Bristol™ Series from the Belgard Elements Collection.


The Belgard® Elements Collection of modular outdoor kitchen units enables homeowners to have the look of a custom outdoor kitchen for a fraction of the cost and time. Belgard Elements are built in a factory setting and shipped in sections to be quickly installed on-site, meaning your kitchen will be installed in merely hours instead of weeks.



(left) Kitchen: Bordeaux™ Series from Belgard Elements Collection. Pavers: Laffit® Rustic Slab. (right) Kitchen: Bristol™ Series from the Belgard Elements Collection. Pavers: Lafitt® Rustic Slab with an inlaid Moduline Series® border.


Thank you to Outdoor Living by Belgard 2017

Outdoor Fireplace Design Ideas

Over the last decade, outdoor fireplaces have continued to be a rising trend in outdoor living design. A fireplace provides an elegant focal point that visually transforms a patio into an outdoor living room, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. When planning an outdoor fireplace, there are a number of options to consider.


Custom outdoor fireplaces can be built using a variety of masonry products, including nearly any Belgard retaining wall product. The benefit to a custom-built fireplace is that you have the design flexibility to create any size or style that suits you. Belgard also offers the Belgard Elements™ line of modular fireplaces that are pre-built in a factory setting, shipped in sections and installed with a pallet loader. The benefits are lower installation costs and a shorter construction window.



This custom-built fireplace, constructed with Celtik® Wall, features a raised hearth, symmetrical arched built-in wood boxes, and built-in low-voltage lighting for ambiance. A row of smooth-face block adds a contrasting element to the rough-hewn look of the design.



Belgard Elements™ fireplaces, such as this one from the Bristol™ Series, offer a custom-built look for a fraction of the cost. Custom-built elements, such as the landscape wall and water features in this design, can be added to enhance the custom-built look.


To enhance the “outdoor living room” feel, employ interior design techniques when designing your outdoor fireplace and surrounding patio. Examples include accessorizing the room or creating a faux rugin the paver design.



A semi-circular design of Mega-Arbel® pavers creates the look of an inlaid rug in front of this Brighton™ Elements fireplace and Bristol™ Elements wood boxes.


Codes will vary by municipality, but in general terms, gas-burning fireplaces have fewer restrictions and can typically be placed anywhere in a design, including directly against another structure. Wood-burning fireplaces typically need to be placed at least 10 feet from another structure. Some building codes require additional safety measures or restrict the use of wood-burning units altogether.



The chimney of this wood-burning fireplace from the Bordeaux™ Elements collection was extended upward to comply with local building codes, due to its proximity to another structure.


An economical option that can typically be installed anywhere is a built-in gas fireplace, which can be built on the exterior of the home, on a porch or under a pavilion.



The built-in outdoor gas fireplace on the left was designed to emulate the look of an indoor fireplace using Tandem® Modular Grid. The same wall product was used to build out an adjacent outdoor kitchen. The design on the right used Weston Stone® retaining wall block with accents of Urbana® Stone and Mega-Arbel® pavers to emulate the look of a freestanding Bristol™ Elements fireplace. The same paver and wall products were used throughout the design to tie the look together.


When creating a custom build, consider how you want to use the space and work with your contractor to come with with creative solutions and ideas.



This custom fire feature is both a fireplace and a brick oven. A built-in overhead light adds a dramatic look to the piece while providing ample light for operating the brick oven in the evenings.



This outdoor living room incorporates dual open-sided European-style gas fireplaces, constructed using Tandem® Wall. The same wall product was used to build seat walls around the perimeter of the patio, as well as columns for the pavilion, tying all of the outdoor rooms together into one cohesive design.


Built-in seating is one of the leading trends in outdoor design and makes an excellent addition to an outdoor fireplace, adding both form and function to an outdoor room.



This custom natural stone fireplace is flanked with two seat walls, constructed with Celtik® Wall. The rough-hewn face of the Celtik® Wall adds a textural element to this eclectic design.

Thank you to OUTDOOR LIVING BY BELGARD , December 8 2017

5 Reasons a Patio is Better Than a Deck



If you are a homeowner planning a makeover for your backyard, you are probably trying to decide if a deck or patio is the right choice for you. Indeed, both choices are popular because they create a surface for outdoor seating, grills, and more. Plus, between the usability and aesthetics, a patio or deck adds value to your home.


Choosing between a patio or deck is where some homeowners find themselves stuck. Many of our clients come to us with the question of which is a better option for their home. At Kansas City Hardscapes, we typically encourage homeowners to choose a patio over a deck. We aren’t biased, we just believe patios are the better option.

Take a look at some Kansas City Hardscapes' Patios and read why we recommend a patio:




#1. Patios are Budget Friendly: Even if you choose the most economical materials, a deck will cost an average of $30 for each square foot. Patios are more budget friendly, costing an average of $15 for each square foot.


#2. Patios are Low Maintenance: As long as your patio is installed by a reliable contractor who knows how to prepare the ground for installation, patios are much more durable than decks. Patios are very low maintenance, requiring little to no upkeep from the homeowner.





#3. Patios Have a Long Lifespan: We know that in Kansas City, we see every side of Mother Nature. The materials used for patios are incredibly durable and they stand up to rain and extreme temperature changes better than wood used for decks. Because of this, a properly installed patio has a much longer lifespan than a deck, averaging 25 years of maintenance free life.

DSC_3548 fixed again.jpg


#4. Patios Offers Endless Design Options: Recent advances in hardscaping allows homeowners to choose from endless design options. Not only are patios available in stamped concrete, porcelain tile, or pavers, they can also be stained or dyed to suit the homeowner’s preferences.





#5. Patios Offer a High Return on Investment: Both decks and patios increase the resale value of the home, but patios seem to have offer a higher return on investment. Decks typically increase the home’s value by roughly 10 percent while patios increase the home’s value by closer to 12 percent.


At Kansas City Hardscapes, we offer a variety of high quality patio options to homeowners in Kansas City and the surrounding areas. To learn more about the services we offer and get a free quote for your new patio, call 816.499.2547!