Backyard Retaining Walls

At this home in Concord, MA we are renovating the back yard by flattening the grade with fieldstone retaining walls. The plan is to wrap the area with the walls to raise the grade to level, and in the corner extend the walls up further to create a sitting wall. In a somewhat unique fashion the walls will be capped with granite curbing to give it a clean finish and sturdy top to step or sit on.

before
before
before
before
before

Building the Walls

To prep the walls we dig out a trench and lay compacted crushed stone as a base. We then bring local fieldstone from our private supplier and stack the wall. The wall is dry-laid without any mortar. Crushed stone and rip-rap goes behind the face stones, and behind that there is a layer of fabric to separate the stone from the dirt behind. This creates a natural looking, well drained, and long lasting wall.

Building the Wall

Once the wall is up to height we cap it with granite curbing. This granite is 4″ thick x 18″ wide x 4′ long. The wide, heavy stones make for a sturdy, flat top, and give the wall a unique appearance. In the far corner we build the wall up above grade another ~2′ to create a closed in area and sitting wall.

In the end the customer now has flat useable area with attractive stone walls to sit and enjoy their view of the river.

Outdoor Fireplace – Sudbury, MA

At this home in Sudbury, MA we are hired to build an outdoor fireplace and cooking area along with a set of granite stairs. For the fireplace we use a pre-cast option to save on costs, and custom build the surrounding counters and storage compartments. The fireplace will be veneered with a stacked stone style veneer in the full color blend. And the counters/hearth/caps/stairs will be made from Blue Mist Granite, which is a dark grey/blue type of granite.

Prep

To begin we install concrete foundations for the fireplace and stairs. We pour an 8″ thick pad to ensure the structure has a stable base and will not move or settle over time.

The fireplace is a pre-cast product which comes already formed and bricked on the inside. At times this can be a good option to speed up the process and save costs, but does limit design options. We set the pre-cast fireplace on the base and start blocking up the surrounding counters and compartments. On either side we build a 2′ deep counter space with 1′ raised shelf at the back. There is also a wood storage compartment to the right, and a set of drawers to the left. Lastly we build in a space for a regular grill so the owners can wheel their existing grill into place instead of building a whole new built-in grill.

pre-cast fireplace
pre-cast fireplace
Fireplace Blockwork
Fireplace Blockwork
Fireplace Blockwork
Fireplace Blockwork

Veneer Installation

We finish the blockwork and then start installing the veneer. We use a thin sawn veneer in the stacked stone style full color blend. This is a natural stone product that is sawn down to about 1″ thick. We lay the stones level, and follow the same rules that would apply to full natural stones to mimic an authentic look.

Outdoor Fireplace Veneer
Outdoor Fireplace Veneer
Outdoor Fireplace Veneer
Outdoor Fireplace Veneer
Outdoor Fireplace Veneer
Outdoor Fireplace Veneer

Capping + Completion

The veneer work is complete and we start to install the granite caps. We use 2″ thick blue mist granite to make the hearth, counters, and fireplace caps. 7″ thick blue mist granite is also used for a set of wrap around stairs to enter the house.

Fireplace Caps
Fireplace Caps
Fireplace Caps
Fireplace Caps
Fireplace Caps
Fireplace Caps
Wrap Around Stairs
Wrap Around Stairs

Antique Stone Wall – Windsor, CT

Antique Stone Wall – Windsor, Ct

At this home in Windsor, CT we return to build an antique stone wall to line the back edge of the property.  A stone wall for the front of the property was built by us in previous years.  This property is the main house to an old farm on the Connecticut River.  The house has a lot of history and the owners are looking for walls that look the part and compliment the historic property.   We use weathered fieldstone which is carefully selected from existing walls off a farm in Massachusettes.  The weathered stone will give the new wall an immediate antique look, and we will drystack it in the traditional method.  The result will be a classic looking stone wall that the owners will be able to enjoy for many years to come.

First we clear brush in the area of the new wall and excavate the base.  We lay compacted gravel as the base and start building the wall.  We use the weathered/lichen-y side of the stones whenever possible, and finish the wall off with precise cap line.  The result is a very sharp but classic looking wall to compliment the property.  The new wall will provide a nice view from the back patio, and help define the edge of the property.

Antique Stone Wall

Antique Stone Wall

Antique Stone Wall

Antique Stone Wall

Antique Stone Wall

Antique Stone Wall

Antique Stone Wall

Antique Stone Wall

Antique Stone Wall

Antique Stone Wall

Antique Stone Wall

Antique Stone Wall