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

 

Stone Stairway and Walls – Maynard, MA

At this charming home in Maynard, MA the front entry way and retaining walls were in disrepair and unsightly.  With an appreciation for stonework, the homeowner desired to replace the wooden stairway with a natural stone stairway and to sure up the existing retaining walls.

Maynard, MA - before

Maynard, MA – before

Maynard, MA - Before

Maynard, MA – Before

After considering the site and deciding on materials, we draw a simple plan so that the homeowner can better visualize how the stairs will be situated.  Granite steps will be used for the stairs, bluestone pavers for the landings, and Pennsylvania Fieldstone for the walls.

Maynard, MA - Landscape Plan

Maynard, MA – Landscape Plan

Next we break ground and excavate for the new stairways.  Any good sized stones are saved to aid in the rebuilding of the walls.

Maynard, MA - Excavated Site

Maynard, MA – Excavated Site

Next the stairs and walls start going in.  We set the step, and then build the walls up to meet the level, and so on.  The stairway walls are mortared with cement but are meant to look like they aren’t.  The side walls and retaining walls are dry laid without the use of mortar.

Maynard, MA - Stone Steps

Maynard, MA – Stone Steps

The walls grow higher.  The #3 is salvaged from the original wall and set at eye level in the new stairway.

Maynard, MA - Stone Steps and Fieldstone Walls

Maynard, MA – Stone Steps and Fieldstone Walls

The stairs and walls reach finish height.  The upper retaining wall is built higher than the original was to help flatten out the steep grade of the gardens.  The side retaining walls are built with the existing stone and supplemented by the larger pieces of the PA wallstone that were purchased for the stairway.  Cobble stones and clay brick make up the bottom landing while bluestone is used for the upper landings and to cap the stairway wall.

Maynard, MA - Stone Steps and Stone Walls

Maynard, MA – Stone Steps and Stone Walls

After the railings go in the project is complete and some nice fall decorations bring it all together.   Take a look at the before and after.

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before

Maynard, MA - Stone Stairway and Fieldstone Walls

Maynard, MA – Stone Stairway and Fieldstone Walls

IMG_1155

Maynard, MA – Completed Granite Steps and Stone Walls

IMG_1158

Maynard, MA – Completed Granite Steps and Fieldstone Walls

IMG_1156

Maynard, MA – Completed Stone Stairway with Bluestone Landing

 

 

Irregular Bluestone Patio – Marlborough, MA

At his home in Marlborough, MA an old concrete patio had shifted and cracked and was pitching water towards the house.  Knowing something had to be done, the homeowners decided this was a great opportunity to liven up their outdoor space with a new and improved patio.

existing concrete patio.  windows boarded in preparation for demo

existing concrete patio. windows boarded in preparation for demo

existing paito

existing patio

We remove the concrete with a machine and then proceed to dig out the base for the patio.  The granite step is saved to be used for the new patio, and plenty of stones come out of the ground that we save for the upcoming fieldstone wall.

concrete removed

concrete removed

For the steps we purchase some additional granite.  We picked out antique granite steps to match the existing one and also some additional fieldstone for the walls.  Next we set the steps in place, fill the patio base, and set our base stones for the raised bluestone patio.

patio fill and granite steps

patio fill and granite steps

Next we build the wall that will run one side of the patio.  We use stones that came out of the ground and some supplemental fieldstone from the stoneyard.  The client is looking for a quaint, farm house wall with rounded stones.

fieldstone wall

fieldstone wall

Fieldstone Wall

Fieldstone Wall

Wall and Steps complete

Wall and Steps complete

After the wall and steps are set – we fill in the rest with irregular bluestone.  Irregular bluestone makes a nice patio.  There are many different ways to fit and cut the stones.  We try to fit the stones fairly tight without letting it look like we made the cuts.  This gives it a consistent but natural/authentic look.

Irregular bluestone patio

Irregular bluestone patio

Bluestone patio, fieldstone wall, granite steps

Bluestone patio, fieldstone wall, granite steps

The following season a new patio door goes in, and some plantings and patio furniture bring it all together.

new patio with furniture

new patio with furniture

Patio with furniture

Patio with furniture