That is a good way to do it, but you should investigate creating your own custom add-on pack if you are using hooks and filters.
BTW, SLP4 and the related add-on packs will be providing full layout control over all elements:
Pro Pack : overall page layout, the order the search form, map, and results blocks appear.
Enhanced Search : layout of the search form
Enhanced Map : layout of the map and the info bubble
Enhanced Results : layout of the results
The primary goal of SLP4 is to allow for very customized user experiences without writing/hacking code. Update a few admin boxes and create some CSS rules and you can avoid coding.
Some of it has been documented in the videos. I’ll be adding a few more videos to the online docs page shortly.