Improve a sloped backyard so more space can be used in the yard. Here’s how a landscaper can help with professional grading and structurally sound elevation to expand your home outdoors. Top it all with practical, functional and beautiful clay pavers.

Even brand-new homes need landscaping help. This Mebane, NC home came with a relatively small lot with a steep slope that made the backyard and side yards difficult to enjoy. Landscaper JB Brown had the solution: 4700 pavers, 600 Versa-lok blocks, 60 tons of stone, 10 yards of sand, 300 feet of pipe, a fire pit, a sitting wall and a herringbone pattern walkway around the entire house.

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Brown’s Burlington-based Quality Landscapes made it look easy. The owners are ecstatic.

The home’s backyard was unusable for recreation, dropping off steeply. And the side yards were narrow with similar topography.

“The home had issues with being a pad house on a sloping lot,” explained Brown. “In the back it dropped straight off three to five feet in elevation.”

Brown solved the biggest problem with manmade elevation he created using crusher run (large gravel) –contained by the blocks. So the backyard became a flat terrace.

“The owners wanted to be able to traverse all around the house without the incline, especially as they got older,” said Brown.

Pine Hall Brick clay pavers provided the functional feature and the beauty: a roomy patio in back – including a fire pit – and attractive walkways embracing the sides of the home.

Improve a sloped backyard with paver hardscapes that will last decades

Brown recommends clay pavers over formed concrete pavers because they’re colorfast and even when chipped the color is literally baked in.

“Fifty years from now you go in there and pressure wash them and they look like they’re brand new,” said Brown.

Rumbled Main Street, ID shot

For the Mebane project, he chose Rumbled Main Street pavers and used a herringbone pattern on all applications. The project demonstrates how well pavers allow you create rounded edges and walkway curves.

Main Street has a “full range” look with some flashing (note the white spot above) mixed in that really pleased the owners.

Like many landscapers now, Brown’s business is booming. Some of this he attributes to the pandemic keeping people at home more and making investments to expand their usable space outdoors.

“We’ve done a lot of hardscapes this year from stone work, brick work and pre-cast retaining walls,” said Brown. “The next four or five weeks we’re doing nothing but pavers and stone work.”

Quality Landscapes was founded by Brown right out of college in 1995. As a business major he’s been able balance client satisfaction with cost and value. As a landscaper – a trade learned in summer jobs – he’s developed an eye for aesthetic problem solving.

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