Masonry & Hardscape
Hardscape elements exist in the space between the built and natural environments. Good hardscape design can visually and functionally tie a building together with the landscape while helping to expand useful living space beyond the walls of the house. We install hardscapes constructed with a variety of materials but our focus and specialization is building with natural stone. Locally quarried stones such as granite, granite-gneiss, or mixed native stone unearthed from excavation are economical and relatively environmentally friendly.
Retaining Walls & Steps
Retaining walls can be used to manipulate the grade to increase usable space, as well as to control runoff and erosion. We build both dry stacked and mortared stone retaining walls. Dry stacked stone is held together by friction and gravity rather than mortar so over time the stones are able to shift without cracking or structural damage. Dry stacked walls can last hundreds of years with little maintenance, but the construction is more labor intensive and therefore more expensive than mortared stone. Mortared stone retaining walls can be built in a similar style to dry stack, where the mortar is hidden and the load of the stone face is transferred directly down the wall from stone to stone. These construction methods can also be used to build stair steps, free standing walls, bridges, and sculptural highlight features. Retaining walls and stairs can also be constructed from wood, concrete, brick, or a mixture of several materials.
Patios & Pathways
Patios and pathways can range from clean and architectural to rough and natural depending on their location and function. Patios can be built out of many different materials such as flagstone, brick, pavers and concrete but our specialization is natural stone. Granite flagstone can be acquired locally in both natural and geometric cut shapes at a cheaper price than palletized and freighted stone. Pathways can use the same pallet of materials or can be made out of different types of gravel aggregate or woodchips with wood, stone, brick or metal borders.