View Full Version : first pillar please pick at

04-12-2009, 01:29 PM
We decided to build a pillar at our driveway entrance. This is my first pillar. Not something I regularly offer to my clients, we are more into maintenance and grading type work. I am NCMA and ICPI certified, but I dont seek large jobs and the small job market has gone the way of Joe the handyman so we have stayed were the money is.

Anyways I'll take all constructive comments as I always like to know where I went wrong. The earlier build picks are on my other computer which has a corrupted hard drive so this is all for now.

Pillar is on a footer 48" deep, 3' x 3' x 8". 1/2" Rebar horizontal in the footer and tied into 4 pieces vertical running through the block. Standard 16" chimney block was used. Ties every 8" or wherever allowed. Built from the bottom up off the footer. Portland mix was used on the veneer, and lime portland for the grout, Type S. The veneer was 2-3" thick fieldstone we pulled off a job a few years ago and have been looking to use for something. The mulch came from some oaks we shredded this winter. All material used was recycled except for the plants, the block, and the pillar cap, and the sand, portland, and lime. I didnt keep record of the time, but I figure I have about 30 hours into it. I think it came out good and the wife loves it. I think I could have been a little better on the corners, and a little tighter on some joints, not sure if the combination of mixes will be an issue later on. The solar lighting is temporary and someday we will incorporate a lighting setup when the rest of the property is ready.

So lets have it. Good, Bad, or just OK?

Mid-Ohio Scaper
04-12-2009, 02:28 PM
The limestone cap has a bit to much overhang, but other than that I like it.

04-12-2009, 04:22 PM
looks fine except for the cap, it just seems too big.
The corners and grout lines will improve as you get more experience, if you decide to build more.

04-12-2009, 09:12 PM
Thanks, yes I agree there is a little much overhang. It really shows at an angle. There is about 2" to the break line so a little more with the rough edge. Obviously more on a corner. That is why I went with a 3" cap. I wasnt about to try to chop an inch off. If I did it again I might build out a little more or use a thicker stone. I would consider doing it again, but feel I need more practice if I'm charging. I will eventually build a landing and pillars at the front door entrance to match. After seeing the work that went into this one I can imagine what that will take. Anyways keep them coming.

STL Ponds and Waterfalls
04-12-2009, 09:30 PM
I think you better build the house first than the entrance.:laugh:

Seriously it looks good for your first job, except the overhang as stated.

04-12-2009, 09:48 PM
The house is there. Its on the 3 acres not in the picture. Hardly picture worthy though. The kind of house that should have been knocked down and rebuilt. But we were glutten for punishment so we bought it for a good price. 50 years of neglect can really take its toll. The inside, structural, and electrical have all been coded and above, outfitted for maximum efficiency and future technology, but the outside is still pretty rough. That is the next project. It's a concrete block house so I'm thinking stone veneer bottom apron and hardy panel or stucco upper. Got to start somewhere huh?

DVS Hardscaper
04-12-2009, 11:36 PM
pillar looks good, the cap phas to go, way too big.

Also, glad to see your house numbers on the pillar, I recommend reflective numbers.

04-12-2009, 11:48 PM
I was really digging the metal plates available, but most were either too big or too small. Anything custom sized would have cost a few bucks. They are nickel and match all the other metal fixtures on the house. They arent reflective, but they definitely shine. We have one of those fire station approved reflective number plaques on the mailbox so finding the house isnt a problem.

So I'm glad you all think it is cosmetically pleasing minus the cap. Any comments on the construction part. I know it is hard without pics. Is the rebar too small or is it overkill. I was told it wasnt necessary by one guy and also told to use 3/4" by another. How about the combination of portland for the veneer, mortar, and footer and the use of a type S for the grout? It is the construction part I am most interested in learning where I goofed. Working on the new hard drive so might be able to retrieve the old picks later in the week.

04-13-2009, 01:09 AM
I know nothing about pillars, I think it looks great... agree with the cap being too big but didn't pick up on that till everyone said it.

It seems to be placed in the middle of nowhere though???

PerfiCut L&L
04-13-2009, 08:58 AM
cap looks fine.

Pillar looks lonely though. :confused:

04-13-2009, 09:28 AM
looks great to me

04-13-2009, 10:54 AM
must look great at night with the solar lights

04-13-2009, 06:51 PM
Retail solar lighting do not have enough illumination. Low voltage and line voltage is desirable. Hopefully, accommodations were made prior to build.

04-13-2009, 08:30 PM
We live in the middle of nowhere so the ambient light is limited to moonlight at night. Believe it or not the solars work good for the site. Except for the annoying blue color. I fully intend to do a full low voltage setup in a year or two when the rest of the yard is ready. I have no desire to put a light on top so there was no need for that prep. As you can see the yard and driveway are ripped up so at some point a utility pipe will be run. The area behind it will house a pergola and that will have electric so when that happens the electric will be trenched.

As far as the location you cant tell by the pics, but it is in a good spot. It is about 12 feet from the road and 2 feet in from where the driveway will be.

The pillar is surrounded by shasta daisys so that should fill in nice. lots of other stuff in the bed like, salvia, sage, anthony spirea, columbine, dianthis, blue fescue, phlox, an eastern redbud, and a few others.

Anyways thanks for the kind words Ill see if I can get a night pic for you guys.

04-13-2009, 10:15 PM
Heres a night pick. You can see my goof on the right side especially in a night picture. Not so noticeable in person. Oh well, it was an adventure. Ive veneered before but never something so small. Much harder IMO.