Making Outdoor Dreams Come True

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, particularly in light of last month’s “Buy or Renovate?” feature and this issue’s Design 101 column, outdoor living spaces are all the rage. Sure, they’ve been popular for years, but the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus have resulted in even greater demand, new planning strategies, and interesting new amenities.

Todd and Jamie Maclsaacs Courtesy Photo

Two of the talented locals capitalizing on this trend are husband and wife Todd and Jamie MacIsaac. The Haymarket couple have a passion for spending time outdoors. Whether catching up with friends over dinner on the grill, or making smores with their kids Ashlyn, nine, and Hannah, six, around a fire, the couple has always believed that outdoor living space is an extension of one’s home.

As such, they’re the perfect people to own and run COVIS: Creating Outdoor Visions in Stone.

Launched in January of 2019, COVIS Stone VA has been and continues to be a successful enterprise that keeps Todd and Jamie spending their days helping homeowners make their vision of a beautiful outdoor space come to life.

“We knew that starting this venture would give us a way to connect with our community more than ever before and that is something we are both passionate about,” Jamie said. “We treat our customers as friends and hope they have the same feeling when they choose COVIS for their home project.”

From paver patios and fire pits, to fireplaces, grill islands, and complete outdoor kitchens, the MacIsaacs have helped their clients’ backyards become year-round entertaining spaces where they enjoy spending the majority of their time.

“It’s been a little overwhelming,” said Todd. “Our customers really love their backyard transformations.”


COVIS’ custom design process begins with a client consultation at the future hardscape construction site, although these days the company also offers contactless consultations to keep clients safe. Stone masons take necessary measurements while listening to the client’s goals and visions for the outdoor space, and the discussion encompasses every aspect of the project, from layout to materials and scheduling.

After this first step, designers draw and present a mockup of the space for client review. Details are finalized only after any requested revisions are made. Upon final client approval, contractors begin meticulously constructing the new space.

The result? Happy homeowners and backyards that are the envy of the neighborhood. Said one client in her review on the site, “We couldn’t be more pleased! From start to finish, Todd and his crew exceeded our expectations. Our patio is sure to be the envy of the neighborhood.”

Courtesy Photo
Courtesy Photo
Courtesy Photo

3 tips for planning your outdoor space

Think BIG! Outdoor hardscapes can be completed in phases. If your ideal vision for your space involves many facets, such as a patio, retaining walls, a custom stone fireplace, and seat wall, you can design your space with the full scope of the project in mind and implement it in sections.

Enjoy that extra square footage. A well-designed outdoor space can turn an unused portion of your yard into an entertainer’s dream. With the addition of patio seating space, elements such as a fireplace, custom smokeless fire pit, or a grill island, you can enjoy entertaining friends and family year-round in comfort and style.

Get creative! Don’t be afraid to mix textures and colors. Stone and stone veneer come in a wonderful variety and the most beautiful projects combine them artistically to achieve a layered, professional look. For example, your flagstones don’t have to match the stones in your retaining wall. Sure, they should complement each other but “matchy matchy” is so 2020.

2 more reasons to take a hard look at hardscapes:

Increased home value. Did you know that hardscapes not only increase curb appeal, but can actually increase your home value by as much as 20%?

Hardscapes are environmentally friendly. Retaining walls can prevent erosion and reduce the amount of soil that ends up in waterways. Proper grading and drainage can reduce stormwater runoff and help to prevent flooding.

Christine Craddock
About Christine Craddock 127 Articles
Christine Craddock is a writer, editor, photographer, wife, and mother of two adorable children. She is a faithful contributing writer for Haymarket Lifestyle magazine and has resided in Haymarket since 2006.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.