Natural Stone Wall – Windsor, CT

Natural Stone Wall

The owners of this home are looking for natural stone wall to compliment their historic property in Windsor, CT.  They contact us in particular after reading about a wall we built in Concord, MA.  They are looking for nicely weathered stones that will give the wall an instantly antique look.   Stones like this are not easy to come by as they have to harvested right off of old walls.  We find a batch and secure them right away, and have them delivered to the rear of the property so we can return when schedule permits to build the wall.

Natural Stone Wall - Windsor, CT

Natural Stone Wall – Windsor, CT

 

Natural Stone Wall Construction

To build the wall we dig a shallow trench and fill with crushed stone as a base, and then spread the wallstone out along the length of the wall.  We’ll use biggest stones for the base, build the wall up exposing as much of the moss/lichen as possible, and save big flat stones for the cap.  The stones are dry stacked (without mortar) in the traditional method.  Dry stacked walls provide traditional/anitique look and will last many years.  They owners ask us to leave a gap in the middle so they can later install a picket gate.

Natural Stone Wall - Prep

Natural Stone Wall – Prep

 

Natural Stone Wall - S. Windsor, CT

Antique Stone Wall – S. Windsor, CT

 

Natural Stone Wall - S. Windsor, CT

Antique Stone Wall – S. Windsor, CT

 

Natural Stone Wall - S. Windsor, CT

 Antique Stone Wall – S. Windsor, CT

 

Natural Stone Wall – Completion

The wall comes together nicely.  It is ~80 feet in length and ~2.5′ high and consists of about 25 tons of fieldstone.  Freestanding walls take some care in that we must face both sides of the wall, but, they move along quickly as the work site is most often in the open and easy access.  The work takes a week or less and the owners are very happy with the result.

Drystack Stone Wall - S. Windsor, CT

Drystack Stone Wall – S. Windsor, CT

Drystack Stone Wall - S. Windsor, CT

Drystack Stone Wall – S. Windsor, CT

Drystack Stone Wall - S. Windsor, CT

Drystack Stone Wall – S. Windsor, CT

Drystack Stone Wall - S. Windsor, CT

Drystack Stone Wall – S. Windsor, CT

Drystack Stone Wall - S. Windsor, CT

Drystack Stone Wall – S. Windsor, CT

Drystack Stone Wall – S. Windsor, CT

 

Stone Retaining Wall – Concord, MA

Stone Retaining Wall – Concord, MA

At this home in Concord, MA there is a large stump obstructing part of the driveway, and an unattractive hillside/chainlink fence.  The owner wants to remove the stump, widen the driveway, retain the edge with a stone wall, and then top it with a cedar fence.

Before

Before

 

Stone Retaining Wall – Prep

First we bring in the machinery to dig out the stump and excavate for the walls.  We hope to save the existing stone pier but the stump has grown underneath it and it comes down during excavation.  We also must be careful of town water an sewer that runs underneath the excavation area.  Once the major excavation is done we set sonot tubes in the ground in preparation for the fence.  The tubes are set several feet into the ground, we will build the wall around them, and then install the fence at the end.

Stone Wall Prep

Stone Wall Prep

 

Stone Retaining Wall – Construction

Next we bring in weathered fieldstone and start building the wall.  The stone comes from our private source in Western MA.  Much of it comes off of old farm walls and has a nice weathered color and texture as opposed to the smoother, lighter colored stones that are dug up during excavations.  We use a mix of large stones, small stones, flats, and rounds to create a classic New England style wall.

The stone column belongs to the neighbor and has history so we save much of the old stone, and re-build the column.  The original column used cement, but, we drystack it to match our wall and tie it all together.

Stone Retaining Wall

Stone Retaining Wall

Stone Retaining Wall

Stone Retaining Wall

 

Stone Retaining Wall – Completion

The stone wall is finished and capped.  It gets backfilled and graded behind, new gravel on the driveway, and the fence installed into our pre-laid tubes.  The driveway is now wide enough for two cars to fit, and the home has more privacy and a solid hillside that won’t wash out.

Completed Stone Retaining Wall

Completed Stone Retaining Wall

Completed Stone Retaining Wall

Completed Stone Retaining Wall

Completed Stone Retaining Wall

Completed Stone Retaining Wall

Completed Stone Retaining Wall

Completed Stone Retaining Wall

Bluestone Patio + Walkway – Concord, MA

Bluestone Patio + Walkways

At this recently built home in Concord, MA the owners are looking to add a bluestone patio and bluestone walkway.

After discussing options we decide on thermal bluestone for the patio and bluestone stepping stones for the walkways.  The stepping stone walkways save on material costs and labor and also compliment the modern style of the house.

Before

Before

Bluestone Patio + Walkway Prep

First the grades are set, the base is dug out, the subsoil compacted, and then filled with a crushed stone base.  Proper base prep is important for a long lasting patio.  When digging the base we want to remove all organic earth and/or clay until solid well drained subsoil is reached.  In most areas this won’t be more than 8-12″ deep.

Bluestone Patio Prep

Bluestone Patio Prep

Bluestone Patio Prep

Bluestone Patio Prep

Bluestone Patio + Walkway Installation

After the base is prepped we lay a thin layer of bedding material to level and set the stones.  Here we use 3/8″ crushed stone or “chip stone”.  It is a fine gravel that spreads easily, provides a solid base, and good drainage.

The bluestone pattern is planned out ahead of time.  The idea is to create a random pattern without any running joints or four corners.  The walkway stones are spaced to create an easy stride.

The patio joints will be filled with the same chip stone to create a fully permeable system.  More and more popular these days, a fully permeable patio eliminates potential drainage issues and puddling.  It also means the patio does not have to sloped as much to shed water which can be visually noticeable against level lines on a house.  The walkway joints will be filled with loam and seeded with grass.

Bluestone Patio Installation

Bluestone Patio Installation

Bluestone Walkway Installation

Bluestone Walkway Installation

Bluestone Patio + Walkway Completion

Ones the stones are set we sweep in the joint material and the patio is ready to enjoy.

Bluestone Walkway - Concord, MA

Bluestone Walkway – Concord, MA

Bluestone Patio - Concord, MA

Bluestone Patio - Concord, MA

Bluestone Patio – Concord, MA

Bluestone Patio - Concord, MA

Bluestone Patio – Concord, MA