Stone Wall Installation – Westford, MA

Stone Wall Installation in Westford, MA

At this home in Westford the owners would like to add to the curb appeal of their home while creating some separation from a busy road.  Weighing their options between a wood fence and a stone wall, they decide on a 2.5′ stone wall to run the length of the property.

Stone Wall Prep

The stone wall will be dry stacked with local fieldstone.  A dry stacked stone wall is fairly fast to install, long lasting, and has a traditional New England look.  The wall will be about 100′ long by 2.5′ high, and will take about 40 tons of fieldstone to construct.  Our fieldstone is sourced directly from a farm in MA.  The stone is unsorted meaning it comes with a mix of sizes and shapes like a traditional stone wall would.  To prep for the wall we dig a trench and fill with compacted crushed stone.  This will provide a solid base as well as drainage to prevent frost heaving.

Proposed Fieldstone Wall

Proposed Fieldstone Wall

 

Stone Wall Installation

To build the stone wall we use the largest stones first for the base course, and then build up from there.  We choose nicer looking stones with adequate size for the face stones, and then fill the middle with small and odder shaped stones.  Large flat stones are saved for the cap to create a clean finish and also to help hold everything in place.  This stone wall has 3 different sections, that means there will 6 total wall ends or “cheek ends”.  These cheeks ends take extra care to build so that they remain square and stand sturdy.

Stone Wall Installation - Westford, MA

Stone Wall Installation – Westford, MA

Stone Wall Installation - Westford, MA

Stone Wall Installation – Westford, MA

Stone Wall Completion

The completed stone wall arcs to follow the slight curve of the road while maintaining a consistent height.   It stands handsomely in front of the house while providing a physical barrier from traffic.  The wall also helps to prevent erosion from the uphill yard, and, stops road salt from getting on the lawn.  A drystacked wall such as this is very easy to repair were anything to damage it, and otherwise will stand quite a long time with little to no maintenance.  In the end if this wall ever needs to come down, the stones will be perfectly reusable and will have actually gained valuable weathering and patina.

Completed Stone Wall - Westford, MA

Completed Stone Wall – Westford, MA

Completed Stone Wall - Westford, MA

Completed Stone Wall – Westford, MA

Completed Stone Wall - Westford, MA

Completed Stone Wall – Westford, MA

 

Cheek End

Cheek End

Cheek End

Cheek End

Cheek End

Cheek End

Stone Wall Cap

Stone Wall Cap

 

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

 

 

 

 

Flagstone/Bluestone Patio – Lincoln, MA

Rebuilding a Flagstone Patio in Lincoln, MA

At this home in Lincoln, MA the existing flagstone patio was badly overgrown and out of level.  The original flagstone patio had apparently been laid directly on the soil with wide joints.  Being it a sunny area, weeds grew rampant and the patio had deteriorated considerably.

IMG_1059

Original Flagstone Patio – Lincoln, MA

Flagstone Patio Lincoln, MA - Before

Original Flagstone Patio – Lincoln, MA

IMG_1054

Original Flagstone Patio – Lincoln, MA

 

To solve this problem the plan was to take up the existing flagstone, excavate the soil, lay weed block fabric, base material, and re-lay the patio with 1/2″ joints.

In order to achieve tight joints the stones must be cut and pieced together.  It is a labor intensive process but the results are attractive and potentially make it harder for weeds to take root.  To make up the difference in area that we lose with tighter joints and cutting waste, we purchased a couple additional pallet of Irregular Bluestone to match the existing patio flagstones.  The larger section of the patio is made up of the existing flagstones, the smaller portion of patio beneath the Japanese Maple is made up of the new flagstone that we would usually use.

Assembling the Flagstone Patio - Lincoln, MA

Assembling the Flagstone Patio – Lincoln, MA

IMG_1146

Assembling the Flagstone Patio – Lincoln, MA

 

The base material consists of ~4″ gravel and ~2″ of stone dust.  The gravel base is sturdy and drains well, the stone dust (fine crushed up stone) is workable and lets us level each stone.  Gravity holds everything in place while the patio remains flexible to minor movements in the ground.  This method is more cost effective than cementing the patio stones and there is no risk of visual cracks in the cement if things eventually shift.

The flagstone patio is complete in time to enjoy a lovely autumn in New England:

Flagstone Patio - Lincoln, MA

Flagstone Patio – Lincoln, MA

Flagstone Patio - Lincoln ,MA

Flagstone Patio – Lincoln ,MA

Flagstone Patio - Lincoln, MA

Flagstone Patio – Lincoln, MA

Flagstone Patio - Lincoln, MA

Flagstone Patio – Lincoln, MA

Flagstone Patio - Lincoln, MA

Flagstone Patio – Lincoln, MA