We had the opportunity to build a front entrance with steps for a client with a creative and artistic side recently. She was dissatisfied with her simple wooden steps and wanted some stone steps to make a statement and help tie her entrance to the stonework and boulders around her home. I worked closely with her on the design of the project, using her input each step of the way to create something unique and unusual to welcome guests to her home.
One of the main things we do is repairs to existing masonry. We find it very rewarding to help homeowners solve problems with leaky chimney and sketchy sidewalks. The last two jobs we did were of this type.
This picture shows a walkway we recently repaired. The owners were concerned because the walkway was uneven, with large gravel joints between the stones. The opted to have us completely rebuild the sidewalk, salvaging as much material as possible and using cement between the stones. The result is a beautiful stone sidewalk that will be safe and maintenance free for years to come.
After a brief absence of blogging, including a broken camera, we are back and better than ever with new camera, and fresh photos. We finished the project from the previous post, and I have completed some other projects as well. A consistent theme lately has been homeowners requesting that we fix or redo other masons work. That is why choosing the lowest priced contractor doesnt always pay; good stonework should last for decades or more with only minimal upkeep.
We started a new job monday building a patio, walls, walkway, columns, and steps. The job is for some of my former clients who brought us back to enhance their property. Last year we built their outdoor fireplace and some walls. But first we had to dig....
Hey there- its been a while. We have worked our way through lots of micro jobs lately, appearing at as many as 4 jobsites in 3 days! Following are some photos and descriptions of our travels.
Finished the boulder wall thursday, and was pleased with the results. Walls of this type a a great alternative to traditional masonry walls because of the lower cost and shorter time to construct. To build the equivalent wall from stacked stone would have taken at least twice the money and probably four times as long.
I think we made a huge improvement over the previous wall and steps.
We finished the drystone wall in Daisy Ridge last week and we were very happy with how it turned out.
Next project was to use a small excavator to remove a wall and steps that were failing and replace them with boulders supplied by Solid Ground grading.
Josh used a jackhammer to remove the concrete steps.
Next I had to pick out a boulder and start building.
Finished photos coming soon!
We had great weather today and were able to work on our tans, which is always a plus! I made good progress in capping the wall, but we were slowed down by a feature of this project. The owner requested part of the wall rise above grade so the stonework would be visible from the driveway. The challenge here was to transition from a retaining wall to a 2-sided wall.
Today we worked on the drystone retaining wall in Daisy Ridge. Walls like this are different, and much more labor and stone intensive, than a mortared or veneer stone wall. The reason is that the wall has to be structural, as well as look good, so the stones have to tie back deeper into the backfill and be fitted much more carefully.
Yesterday we finished the chimney for http://kingfishcabin.com and our next project is a stone retaining wall in the Daisy Ridge development of Valle Crucis. The owner had a wall built from pressure treated 6X6 and it was rotten and starting to fail after 15 years. Our job is to replace the wall and build a smaller wall to stop water from flowing down a set of steps during a flood.
Establishing the footing course. We use the biggest, roughest rocks in the footing because they provide a solid base for the rest of the wall. The white fabric is a soil separator I use to keep dirt out of my gravel so water drains freely through the wall. Also we use the scrap stone from trimming as fill because it settles and moves less than gravel.
William Waller, owner Living Stone Masonry