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In the March 2009 Hardscape Issue:

Elevate Property Values By Going From Good To Great
Homeowners who don’t wish to “buy up” in a cool economy are finding ways to make their current homes more luxurious and functional and many are looking outdoors for more living space and more return on their investment.

Homeowners Get Cooking with Outdoor Kitchens
Outdoor cooking areas are the hottest trend in residential landscape design, thanks in no small part to the versatility of segmental retaining wall systems (SRWs). They can range from a modest firepit to a full-blown outdoor kitchen that will rival the most lavish indoor cooking areas, replete with stainless-steel appliances, granite countertops and fully plumbed sinks.

Durable Community Fencing Improves the Property Value of Many Homes
The Evergreen Community Association (ECA) in Woodbury, Minnesota, replaced its deteriorating cedar fencing with mortarless concrete unit fencing for durability, aesthetics, and improved management of traffic noise.

Versatile Wall and Paver System Creates a Dramatic Retreat
A series of outdoor living and entertaining spaces was created using segmental retaining walls (SRW) for this Delaware, Ohio residence. Steps and tiered walls tied grade changes together to give the impression that the house is elevated high on a hill.

Detail Of The Month: Building A Fire Pit
Homeowners are requesting fire pits for their outdoor entertainment area; this can be easily accomplished through the use of a flexible SRW system. Start by determining the location of your fire pit, then lay out the first course of blocks to find the size of your fire pit and establish where the sod and soil will be removed to construct the base.

Technical Resources
Discover manuals, software and design guides for building beautiful, solid segmental retaining walls that withstand the test of time, all available from the NCMA online bookstore.