Landscaping Ideas

Browse Landscapes

Get ideas for your yard
Find a Local
Concrete Contractor
See contractor photos & info in
your area on
Search by city/state or postal code
San Diego Landscaping Contractors

San Marcos Backyards Become Multi-dimensional Outdoor Rooms

A San Diego contractor specializes in updating backyards with fire features, bars and more

  • This project by Quality Living involved many kinds of paving and veneer materials on a very challenging cut-and-fill view lot with challenging grades.
  • The finished view from the elevated terrace above the pool shows the use of brick, flagstone, poured n place concrete and flagstone on grade.
  • This view shows permeable paving with poured in place concrete squares and flagstone on grade, with flagstone on slab in the foreground.
  • This view of the cut slope with its retaining walls, pool and paving demonstrates the complexity of hardscape construction on hillside view lots.
  • Just prior to laying paving, precise wood forms will result in perfect squares and note the depth of the slab at the spa to accommodate the thickness of bricks and mortar to come.
  • At Quality Living, lighting in poured concrete step faces and fire features plus scored joints demonstrate a high degree of expertise in this popular modern style material choice.
  • This project with its cut slope and a small lot was a challenge to create an outdoor grilling area while maximizing living space.
  • This beautiful example of concrete features the twin pilasters and retaining wall as well as the finer work of creating the seatwalls topped with poured in place caps.
  • This sideyard walk takes up grade with wide bands of flagstone between undulating poured conctrete.
  • The simplicity of poured concrete warmed with ipe wood built in seating at the fire feature is low maintenance and high profile living spaces for this view home.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10

Today many southern California homeowners are no longer trading up to more expensive homes. Instead Quality Living Landscapes helps them update their existing backyard into a multidimensional outdoor room for the entire family. "I love to do fire features, and we build a lot of fire pits and outdoor fire places because they really make the landscape beautiful, comfortable and fun after dark. Many of these projects also ask for a bar area with a refrigerator, and poured in place countertops," says company owner Mike Gonzales.

At Quality Living Landscapes, it's always about the details. Getting it right is everything to Mike who has a knack for solid hardscape construction. "Our recent projects demonstrate just how attentive we are to building quality outdoor living spaces. The plans for our latest project asked for many different paving materials on the same project." Such a landscape demonstrates better than anything just how well a contractor works in a variety of masonry options. From natural stone to precast pavers, poured in place concrete and a dozen different installation details show how well Mike attends to the bits and pieces often overlooked by less dedicated contractors.

Located in San Marcos, just north of San Diego near Encinitas, Mike's projects vary from high end coastal custom projects to warmer inland communities where swimming and backyard living is geared to family life. This contractor is versatile enough to achieve both. "I'm hand's on and I'm involved with every project we do. I'm kind of picky myself, and if there are flaws I always find them and make the field adjustments immediately. The process of building a landscape is one of solving problems, and I strive to do this in the field so that all our workmanship is first class. A lot of contractors try to go cheap and it turns into a big headache. Maybe it's not what the client wants at all. Inevitably they call me years down the road to redo it."

Explore some of the beautiful hardscapes created by Quality Living to see perfectly executed work. They range from rustic Tuscan architecture with plenty of stack stone and irregular materials to sleek poured in place ultra modern spaces. "We like poured in place projects because coloring makes the building material blend well with paving, and the way concrete is finished can give it really crisp, graphic appeal. Many of these projects include existing or new swimming pools where expansive deck and seating areas are flawlessly incorporated into small spaces as well as expansive estate yards." Mike's attention to detail also results in beautiful lighting integrated into cantilevered edges and step faces.

The one thing that links all Quality Living projects is craftsmanship, and that is a direct reflection of the owner's work philosophy. Such attention is not easy for a contractor who is often running from one job site to the next. "I need to be there to supervise the crew so they don't overlook the little things that mean a lot to our clients. Yes, it keeps me awake at night sometimes, but it's worth it in the end when a barren backyard is transformed into a luxurious landscape. Most important is creating a great family space that keeps everyone together at home outdoors having fun day and night."

Quality Living Landscapes
San Marcos, CA

Contributing Author:

Maureen Gilmer, contributing writer for Landscaping Network, author and syndicated columnist

Related Reading:

Free Weekly Newsletter

Love Landscaping Network? Sign up to receive the weekly newsletter from our sister site, Garden Design! You’ll join thousands of design-conscious readers to get gardening inspiration and innovative design solutions for enjoying outdoor spaces.

No Thanks

* Required

We will never sell or distribute your email to any other parties or organizations.