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View Full Version : Our Rock Walls


JimLewis
11-23-2005, 05:45 AM
I just added a new photo section to our website with photos of our rock walls. Most all of these were done this year. The walls in the first set of pictures we just completed a week ago. Check them out and let me know what you think.

Any favorites? Any I should move up higher on the list? Any that you think don't belong?

http://www.lewislandscape.com/photos/gallery/Rock-Walls

Green-Pro
11-23-2005, 08:54 AM
nice work!! Hard to choose if any should be moved up, I like the basalt steps in basalt wall on page two. The stone is contrasted quite well with the mulch. If I were to move one up it would be that one IMO.

MarcusLndscp
11-23-2005, 08:42 PM
Jim,
The style of the stonework all looks the same to me (obviously as it's all the same product) but I would say some of the better pictures are the ones that have a softscape to go with it. The first set of pics doesn't do much for me visually (please don't think I am saying it's bad work) as it's just a couple rock walls with a rather bland area surrounding them. I personally would be more apt to use the pics with more brilliance and color up top although they may be smaller projects. They just look much cleaner and brighter to me. Just my .02
Marcus

cleancutccl
11-24-2005, 10:39 AM
How are you able to anchor the wall to the soil? Do you put mortar along the back?

MarcusLndscp
11-24-2005, 11:41 AM
Clean
You don't anchor the wall to the soil, and a dry laid wall is exactly that...dry laid. You use no mortar. It's very important to interlock ,if you will, your stones. Use through stones that go from the front of the wall through all the way to the back. In the face of your wall I try to avoid vertical and long horizantal seams. That is what I mean by interlock. People have different practices with natural dry laid stone walls and your practices also differ somewhat with the type of stone you're using. Some just build a face and backfill with drainage stone but I prefer to build the wall as an independent structure itself by making the base in most cases as wide as the wall is tall. By this I mean the wall rock does not rely on the drainage stone for support. Rather gravity and the rock being interlocked together provide the structural integrity. Some people fill the small crevices in their wall with peastone or 3/8" stone as they build thinking it adds more weight and less movement side to side, this is how I was taught. Through my experiences of building dry laid walls thorughout the northeast for over 10 years I have found this to be more harm than good. With the frost we get and the natural movement of the ground year in and year out that small stone actually gets between the stones and does not allow them to sit back properly and overtime you can see that in the wall itself. Nowadays if I feel the desire to fill all the small gaps with stone I either use larger broken chunks from hammering and working the wall stone itself or will fill with a 3/4" stone that is much bigger and won't move as much. Let's see if I can give you a couple pics with this info. The first set shows 2 of the backside of the wall and one finished pic and the last two kind of show a side view and an almost done pic.
I know I'm rambling and writing too much but the fam is gone away to see the extended fam for thanksgiving and I'm stuck home waiting for the snow to stop falling so I can go plow it. Snow always comes at the worst times! That's what I get for living in New England though!
Happy thanksgiving all.:D

Qualey
11-24-2005, 11:58 AM
Marcus

Is that electrical conduit in the 4th pic?

MarcusLndscp
11-24-2005, 12:03 PM
Yes, Qualey. I think they had a light at the end of their driveway or something and we found the wire if I remember correctly. That job was a while back when I worked in Bangor. I can't remember what town that was in but I believe the guy was a dentist and also raised Beefalo (cow buffalo cross). Hampden maybe??? I can't recall.

JimLewis
11-25-2005, 01:04 PM
How are you able to anchor the wall to the soil? Do you put mortar along the back?

Yah, like Marcus said, these are not anchored to the soil. They are dry-stacked and gravity just hold them in place.

We do install the first course halfway underground on a bed of compacted gravel. That helps set the foundation for the wall. But otherwise, it's dry-stacked and we install drainage behind the larger walls too.

PurpHaze
11-25-2005, 10:09 PM
Any favorites?

I like #14 the best. The winding wall gives definition to the landscaping.

Lawnworks
11-27-2005, 03:46 PM
Would yall use a gravel compacted base for a 2 foot tall dry stacked wall? Would it still be necessary to fill behind w/ drainage aggregate?

bobbygedd
11-27-2005, 04:03 PM
excellent walls. i love that look. my only problem is, i can't stack stone more than 12" high, without it falling over. excellent mr lewis

MarcusLndscp
11-27-2005, 04:14 PM
Lawnworks
Yes and Yes
Good luck

sheshovel
11-27-2005, 04:49 PM
Jim,I took the time to view your entire site landscape pics as well as the rock picks.A really great site and
terrific work on all those pic's!
I would remove a few of the 1st wall and as Marcus said put the smaller ones before the double retaining wall ones.
I also read your ref letters and looks to me like you have happy satisfied clients and a great future in this biz.Great site,great work,happy customers..
What more could you possibly ask for.?Just keep doin what your doin and have fun with it too!
OH just one thing..it would be "Examples of our work" not "Samples of our work" to state that properly...

Marcus,Why don't you start your own thread if you wanna show your pics ?

JimLewis
11-28-2005, 12:04 AM
Would yall use a gravel compacted base for a 2 foot tall dry stacked wall? Would it still be necessary to fill behind w/ drainage aggregate?

As for the base; you always want any wall you build to be on a stable foundation. Otherwise, after a while (could be a few weeks, could be a few years) your wall will start to sway up and down along the top and it will look like crap. With any kind of retaining walls, foundation is EVERYTHING!

As for drainage on a 2' wall, it's optional, I suppose. I've done it both ways. We've done a lot of those 2' walls with no drainage or rock behind them at all. They are so small and they have weep holes naturally to allow water through that you don't necessarily need them. I've done several with drainage and several without. Over 2', I'd say it's a necessity. Under 2' I'd say it's your choice.

cgland
11-28-2005, 08:40 AM
Jim - The walls look nice. Do you do anything other than Basalt? Like fieldstone or something a little flatter? It would be better to show examples of different types of walls rather than a bunch of the same type. It would give your customer a few more choices. Again, great job on the craftsmanship.

Chris

JimLewis
11-28-2005, 02:09 PM
We do other kinds of walls, yes. But not too often. In this area, the gray basalt is by far the most saught after and popular kind of retaining wall. Part of the reason they became so prevelant and popular is because there are quaries all over this area with this product. So basalt rock is prevelant and inexpensive here, as compared to fieldstone or other materials that have to be shipped in from CO, WY, etc. Products like fieldstone and the rest will cost more 2-4 times more in materials than the basalt rock does. And most people don't want to buck the trend anyway. So this is why we use do so many basalt rock walls.

We also do modular (keystone) walls too. But I only do those when needed for structural reasons. For instance, if we are retaining a large slope with lots of hydostatic pressure. Then, we'll install a modular wall. But most people around here don't like the modular walls nearly as much. People see the basalt walls as more of a craftsman thing and they see it as more natural looking too. So we've come to specialize in that particular type of wall.

It works out good too, because even though basalt dry-stack walls are the most saught after walls, there still aren't very many landscapers around here who are really good at installing them. You would have to call 5-10 landscapers around here before you'd find one who actually knew how to install these kinds of walls well. So we are highlighting these walls, in particular, because we are one of the few who do them pretty well.

sheshovel
11-28-2005, 03:15 PM
OH.,sorry Marcus..you were just showing that guy your base and stuff..

MarcusLndscp
11-28-2005, 06:55 PM
Yes Sheshovel he asked about tying the wall into the soils and I was just showing him how we build walls over here. I was bored on thanksgiving waiting for snow to stop so thought I would take the time to explain to him our methods and the best way I could do that is via a few pics. Thank you for your insight as always on what we all should and shouldn't be doing, your thoughts are always appreciated. And thanks for picking up on your error and appologizing. :D

Lawnworks
11-28-2005, 07:21 PM
Thank you for your insight as always on what we all should and shouldn't be doing, your thoughts are always appreciated.

LOL...........

PurpHaze
11-28-2005, 10:37 PM
OH.,sorry Marcus..you were just showing that guy your base and stuff..

It's a guy thing... always showing our toys off. LOL :p

PurpHaze
11-28-2005, 10:39 PM
Yes Sheshovel he asked about tying the wall into the soils and I was just showing him how we build walls over here. I was bored on thanksgiving waiting for snow to stop so thought I would take the time to explain to him our methods and the best way I could do that is via a few pics. Thank you for your insight as always on what we all should and shouldn't be doing, your thoughts are always appreciated. And thanks for picking up on your error and appologizing. :D

She just went into "thread hijacking mode" and just wanted to prevent it. :D

captaingreen
11-29-2005, 03:40 PM
Excellent work. I always prefer natural stone walls myself, concrete block is just kinda blahhh. I really like that type of stone your using also. I use alot of Arkansas field stone in my area, more readily available, it's more of a flat rock-usually 2-3" thick.

sheshovel
11-29-2005, 04:03 PM
Hey purple..do they have Blue stone down there?Marcus uses it and I like it but cannot find it up here at all.

PurpHaze
11-29-2005, 10:36 PM
Hey purple..do they have Blue stone down there?Marcus uses it and I like it but cannot find it up here at all.

I'm not sure since hardscaping is not my line of work. I can call The Stone Yard and check for you tomorrow. They'll know if anyone in our area carries it.

GreenMonster
11-30-2005, 04:38 PM
Yes Sheshovel he asked about tying the wall into the soils and I was just showing him how we build walls over here. I was bored on thanksgiving waiting for snow to stop so thought I would take the time to explain to him our methods and the best way I could do that is via a few pics. Thank you for your insight as always on what we all should and shouldn't be doing, your thoughts are always appreciated. And thanks for picking up on your error and appologizing. :D

I just love watching Marcus and Sheshovel's playful on-line teasing:angel:

It all looks good, Jim. I think it's easy to over analyze how a web page and pics should be set up. I think basically any order would be fine. Nice work.

PurpHaze
12-01-2005, 06:13 PM
Hey purple..do they have Blue stone down there?Marcus uses it and I like it but cannot find it up here at all.

Sheshovel... Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner but had the wedding anniversary things to do. :D

I called a local place and they carry a flagstone called "Blue Stone." I'm not sure if this is what you're asking about or not. If so, the place is called "The Stone Yard" and they can be reached at 559-635-7833.

sheshovel
12-03-2005, 09:11 PM
Thank's Purple..will give um a call