Stone Mailbox – Lincoln, MA

Stone Mailbox – Lincoln, MA

At this home in Lincoln, MA we are building a stone mailbox surround.  The column will be built entirely of stone and will surround a stainless steel mailbox.  Power will also be routed so a light can eventually go on top, and bluestone number plates will be included on the sides.

The material we will use is called Colonial Wallstone.  It is the same material as Bluestone and is generally the irregular cast of pieces from the bluestone quarries.  It can be called ‘stack stone’ or ‘thin stack’ as well and gives a neat, clean, and modern look.

Stone Mailbox Construction:

To build the stone mailbox column we first dig 2′ deep, pour concrete for a base, and install electrical conduits.  We then prep for the column by making a template and stretching plumb lines to the ground.  We use a stack of cinder blocks for the template to rest on.  Once the stone mailbox column is prepped we can start building up with our wallstone.  The stone is not a veneer, but full bed stone.  The stones are mortared, and the middle of the column is filled with concrete/mortar.

Stone Mailbox - Prep

Mailbox – Prep

Stone Mailbox - Construction

Mailbox – Construction

 

The process is slow going as there are four corners and not much space in between them.  The stones will look natural in the end but often need to be cut or trimmed to fit. We aim for a mix of sizes, level stones, but with varied courses.  The number plate is the same type of stone but cut from a bluestone paver.  The numbers will be drilled and attached later.

Stone Mailbox - Construction

Mailbox – Construction

Stone Mailbox - Construction

Construction

Stone Mailbox - Construction

Construction

The stone mailbox reaches final height and we are ready for the cap stone and numbers.  The cap stone is also bluestone, has a slight overhang, and gives the column a more finished look.

 

Stone Mailbox - Lincoln, MA

Stone Mailbox – Lincoln, MA

Stone Mailbox - Lincoln, MA

Stone Mailbox – Lincoln, MA

Bluestone Walkway Installation – Sudbury, MA

Bluestone Walkway Installation – Sudbury, MA

At this home in Sudbury, MA we will be doing a bluestone walkway installation to replace the current stepping stone walkway.  The owners are looking for something more functional and formal for their front entry.  There are also some overgrown shrubs at the door as well as a granite step that is out of level.  The plan is pretty straightforward.  We will install a thermal bluestone walkway that runs parallell to the house.  A landing area will extend from the front door to meet the walkway.  We will also remove the two shrubs that are crowding the door and install a new granite step. 

The bluestone we will be using is thermal blue which has a consistent surface texture and mild color range of blues and grays.

Before photos – Sudury, MA

Before photos – Sudury, MA

Before photos – Sudury, MA

Bluestone Walkway Preparation:

To prep the walkway we remove all the stone and excavate the area about 10″ deep.  This will leave enough room for  8″ of compacted base material, 1″ of bedding material, and then the bluestone.   The base material is a mixed aggregate that compacts very well.  The bedding material is a course sand that we use to set the stones in and fine tune the level.  

The step will be made from a single piece of antique granite.  This is old granite that was hand crafted long ago,  installed likely as a piece of curbing somewhere in Massachusetts, and then eventually pulled up and sent to a stoneyard to be re-sold.  Being handcrafted and having sat exposed to the elements and traffic for many years gives it a distinctly antique look that is hard to replicate with newly quarried granite.  Granite like this has to be carefully chosen piece by piece to get the size and regularity desired.

Bluestone Walkway Preparation - Sudbury, MA

Bluestone Walkway Preparation – Sudbury, MA

Bluestone Walkway Preparation - Sudbury, MA

Bluestone Walkway Preparation – Sudbury, MA

Bluestone Walkway Preparation - Sudbury, MA

Bluestone Walkway Preparation – Sudbury, MA

Bluestone Walkway Preparation - Sudbury, MA

Bluestone Walkway Preparation – Sudbury, MA

Bluestone Walkway Installation

Once the base is prepped and the step is in we can level the sand and start laying the bluestone.  The bluestone will be laid in a random pattern which is the more common/traditional style.  When laying a random bluestone pattern the goal is to avoid long joints, 4 corners, and to disperse the sizes randomly.

Bluestone Walkway Installation

Bluestone Walkway Installation

Bluestone Walkway Installation

Bluestone Walkway Installation

Bluestone Walkway Installation

Bluestone Walkway Installation

 

Bluestone Walkway Completion:

After all the bluestone is laid and leveled we edge the walkway with a plastic paver edging.  The edging sits below the surface and is staked into the ground with 10″ steel stakes.   This helps hold the edge stones from tipping or drifting over time.  In the joints we spread a polymeric joint sand.   This is a specially manufactured sand that will harden up to a consistency of hard rubber.  This joint sand is meant to remain slightly flexible and permeable to water, but to discourage weed growth and insects.  It also helps to lock everything together so none of the stones shift or tip when walked on.

The result is a sharp looking but classic bluestone walkway.  This bluestone walkway installation will last a long time and never go out of style.  

Bluestone Walkway Installation - Sudbury, MA

Bluestone Walkway Installation – Sudbury, MA

Bluestone Walkway Installation - Sudbury, MA

Bluestone Walkway Installation – Sudbury, MA

Bluestone Walkway Installation - Sudbury, MA

Bluestone Walkway Installation – Sudbury, MA

Bluestone Walkway Installation - Sudbury, MA

Bluestone Walkway Installation – Sudbury, MA

Free Standing Stone Wall – Sudbury, MA

Free Standing Stone Wall – Sudbury, MA

At this home in Sudbury, MA there is a vinyl post and rail fence and shrubs lining the front boundary of the property.   The current owners are looking to replace the plastic fence with a free standing stone wall, (or double sided stone wall), that will be much more fitting for this historic house.  As the name suggests, a free standing stone wall stands freely with both sides of the wall visible as opposed to a retaining wall that is built into a hillside with only one side visible.

The proposed wall be 150′ in length x 2.5′ high, and dry stacked with local weathered fieldstone.  We will also install two antique granite gate posts for an opening that will lead to the front door.

Free Standing Stone Wall Sudbury, MA - Before

Free Standing Stone Wall Sudbury, MA – Before

Free Standing Stone Wall Preparation:

To prepare for the free standing stone wall we remove the fence and shrubs and dig a trench for the wall base.  The base is first compacted, filled with crushed stone, and then compacted again.  This will provide a solid, well drained base for the stone wall.

Free Standing Stone Wall Installation:

The stone we use is sourced from a private landowner in Massachusetts.  For ‘weathered stone walls’ we will source stone that has come straight off of old walls or off the surface of the ground.  

We use the larges stones to set the base course, and fill the middle with ‘hearting’ or tightly packed smaller stones.  The stones are stacked up to the desired height and then we set the cap with large flat stones.  The large flat stones help hold everything in place and are also large enough that they won’t move or shift if people sit or walk on the wall.  Making a consistent cap to the wall gives it a very clean and finished appearance in the end.  

Free Standing Stone Wall Sudbury, MA - Installation

Free Standing Stone Wall Sudbury, MA – Installation

Free Standing Stone Wall Sudbury, MA - Installation

Stone Wall Installation

Free Standing Stone Wall Sudbury, MA - Installation

Installation

Free Standing Stone Wall Sudbury, MA - Installation

Installation

Free Standing Stone Wall Sudbury, MA - Installation

 Installation

The antique granite posts are hand selected from a granite supplier.  They are set into the wall so that they make a corner/end and also serve as a post to hand a gate from in the future.  Another piece of granite is used as a step in between the posts to make up a grade difference and lead to the front door.

Granite Post Installation - Sudbury, MA

Granite Post Installation – Sudbury, MA

Granite Post Installation - Sudbury, MA

Granite Post Installation – Sudbury, MA

Free Standing Stone Wall – Completion

A couple weeks of work and the free standing stone wall is complete.  The landscapers will come in afterwards to install sod and a granite walkway.  The result is a very handscome and classic New England stone wall to compliment this house.  It provides a solid barrier from the public street and sidewalk and will be an additional piece of history for this property and town.

 

Free Standing Stone Wall - Sudbury, MA

Stone Wall – Sudbury, MA

Free Standing Stone Wall - Sudbury, MA

Completed Stone Wall – Sudbury, MA

Free Standing Stone Wall - Sudbury, MA

Completed Stone Wall – Sudbury, MA

Free Standing Stone Wall - Sudbury, MA

Completed Stone Wall – Sudbury, MA

Free Standing Stone Wall - Sudbury, MA

Completed Stone Wall – Sudbury, MA

 

Free Standing Stone Wall - Sudbury, MA

Completed Stone Wall – Sudbury, MA

Free Standing Stone Wall - Sudbury, MA

Completed Stone Wall – Sudbury, MA

Free Standing Stone Wall - Sudbury, MA

Completed Stone Wall – Sudbury, MA