Stairs, Walls and Driveways
Stone walls can serve several functions in your landscape. They may surround and accentuate patios and walkways. They may break up sloping land into usable flat surfaces or guard against erosion and deterioration. They may serve as a backdrop or enclosure for a normal or raised bed garden. Whether containing gardens or defining living spaces on your property, garden walls and retaining walls are a key part of hardscapes.
Shortz Landscape is experienced in design and installation of both segmented and natural stone walls. Segmented walls use man-made blocks from manufacturers such as VERSA-LOK® and Unilock®. The wide range of size, color and texture available in manufactured wall stones allows our designer to create a look that works well with your buildings, patios and walkways. You no longer need to settle for drab grey concrete building blocks of the past. Segmented walls bordering patios can also incorporate planters, columns, seatcaps, fireplaces and grills.
Natural stone walls use quarried stones such as limestone & granite held in place with mortar or dry stacked. Moisture can penetrate the structure through the spaces between stacked stones. Walls using 'field' stone benefit from a rustic appearance as informal and being one with nature. Your modern landscapes can incorporate the traditional look of the masons' art seen throughout the northeast.
Retaining walls can be applied to lessen problems with soil slope erosion, runoff and related deterioration. Areas can be made stable and usable with better safety and appearance. Planning and construction of a retaining wall is best done by a contractor with years of experience working with wall stone in the soil types and terrain of our area. Poorly built walls will exhibit signs of stress or settling and fail over time.
Shortz Landscape is skilled in the design and installation of garden and retaining walls. Successful projects made us familar with the capabilities and limitations of each of the quality stone types we use. We are aware of design rules and building codes which will apply to walls above a certain height or in special conditions.
Stairs provide a transition between entrances and patios, walkways or slopes. As with other elements of hardscape, the stair material, size, shape and placement should complement materials in the plantings and other stonework. Shortz Landscape has used pavers, bluestone, concrete and brick as appropriate to each stairway project. Similar or different material may be used in risers versus treads. Attention is given to safety, beauty and durability as well as proportion relative to the nearby walkway or entrance. Slope and grade differences are also considered and addressed as part of our stair designs. We know stairs leading to your building make a statement. Our stairs are welcoming, attractive and practical.
The boredom of a drab asphalt driveway and periodic need to seal its surface can each be solved with a beautiful paver stone driveway. Interlocking driveway pavers installed without mortar outperform brick or mortar-set stones in our climate. Unlike a rigid surface using mortared stones or concrete slabs, pavers interlock without mortar and form a durable yet flexible driveway. Any problem with a paver breaking or becoming stained is solved by replacing that paver. Snow and ice removal is no more difficult than with an asphalt surface.
Proper construction of a paver driveway involves demolition of existing material, creation of a proper base, installation of retainers and pavers, then compaction of stones. That is an effort best left to an experienced crew from Shortz Landscape. Several of our driveway projects have incoporated buried radiant heat for snow removal, under attractive paver designs.