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Beautiful Bluestone Patio Melrose, MA

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We recently completed a beautiful bluestone patio that transformed the back of a house in Melrose, MA. We worked closely with the clients and established a plan to remove the old and unsightly asphalt and concrete from the back area of the house and replace it with a beautiful bluestone patio.

You can see that one of the challenges this yard presented was the sloped landscape.

before 2 resized 600We put a lot of thought into figuring out exactly how the grading was going to work, in order to guarantee rain water would sheet-flow away from the house, and to make sure that the house, patio, driveway, and yard were all tied together properly.

A creative solution to the grading problem was to extend a stone retaining wall out of the foundation of the house and top it with a thermal bluestone cap.

This not only solved a grading issue, but the wall is a perfect seat, running along the side of the new patio.

after 2 resized 600Emerging out of the end of the seating wall is an uncapped retaining wall that returns back into the grade and allows a perfectly scaled walkway with granite steps to guide the clients or their guests from the driveway to the patio. Unlike the smooth, newly cut granite steps within the walkway at the entrance to the patio area.

The rough, recycled granite steps anchor the far corner of the space and lead one down to the sunken grass glade below.

The finishing touches will come in the form of a custom deck being constructed adjacent to the patio and colorful perennials within all the planting pockets we created throughout the landscape. We can't wait to share the final results!

 

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The Perfect Touch: A Danvers Paver Driveway

Improve Your Landscape With A New Paver!

drivewayYou might think of your driveway as an after-thought to your landscape or yard work, but pictures from this project will change your mind! A beautiful driveway is the perfect touch for curb appeal, welcoming visitors, and creating a clean and polished look to your property.
 
We just completed a beautiful 3,000 square foot driveway in Danvers, MA using a premium combination of pavers. The different shades and shapes create an interesting and beautiful look.
 
 
 
photo 2A horseshoe section of driveway delivers you to the top parking court area and garage, which sits about 15-feet above the grade of the road.
 
Some of the details include a double interior banding of weathered brick type pavers throughout the horseshoe
section of the drive, with a single banding at the top section to delineate the parking court area.
 
 
 
Our Carpenter Costin masons custom built an inlaid, 6'-diameter compass rose as a center piece for the parking court area. Look at the detail!
 
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Installation of select landscape boulders, plants, and high-quality Kentucky bluegrass sod softens the hardscape edges and finishes off the overall aesthetic.
 
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We love sharing projects like this to start sparking ideas! If you're interested in speaking with a landscape architect who can give you ideas about giving your outdoor space the perfect touch, call us at 877-308-873 or request a free consultation.

Featured Project: Natural Stone Patio and Water Feature in Reading, MA

Transforming a barren slope into a tranquil sitting area with water feature.

It is amazing how many homeowners have areas of their property that they render useless for one reason or another. These areas are often hopelessly abandoned because they are deemed unusable, unsafe, or undesirable. Fortunately, with a little creativity and expertise from a Landscape Architect, not only can the abandoned be salvaged, but it can actually be transformed into desirable, useful landscaped areas.

The property in this featured project sits with a wooded slope directly to the rear of the house, rendering the “back yard” fairly useless – that is until a Carpenter Costin Landscape Architect took a look. With some fill, minor regarding, a natural stone patio, a water feature, and some plantings, the slope in the back yard was transformed into a tranquil, and very desirable patio area. Next spring when the plants fill in, and the pachysandra ground cover matures, this area will be the complete package of hardscape, softscape, and water feature.

See the images below for the transformation. To have a Landscape Architect out to your property for a free consultation, click here:

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feature before 1

The slope made utilizing this space a real challenge.

feature after 1

Thinning out the trees, adding fill, and regrading helped make room for the walkway and patio.

feature before 3

The area had scattered ground cover, but was undesirable to say the least.

feat after 2

The new patio and two-tier water feature from the deck above.

feature before 2

Before bringing in the fill, the slope was so extreme it made this area useless.

feat after 3

Leveling off the slope made plenty of sitting room. As the plants fill in next spring it will make for a peaceful little landscape.

natural stone patio w water feature

A desirable, serene patio with a calming two-tier water feature.

Natural Stone Retaining Wall Project in West Newbury, MA

We have a unique project to kick off the newest aspect of Carpenter Costin’s online community, our “Featured Project.” We’re hoping to highlight a project every few weeks, especially if it has a cool story or shows a great transformation.

Our first “Featured Project” utilizes a recycled material found in a rather unusual location – the homeowner’s basement. While in the process of excavating his basement from a crawl space to a full sized room, the homeowner encountered a large amount of natural stone schist. Now that there was a heaping pile of schist on the lawn, the homeowner needed to decide what to do with it all.

Enter Carpenter Costin. A quick look at the property and our Landscape Architect determined that the newly excavated schist would make a great natural stone retaining wall to replace the existing railroad tie wall.

Using the recycled schist from the basement to build the wall ended up saving the homeowner thousands of dollars in material costs, and makes a for a very cool story. Not to mention – this wall looks great and will serve as a functional retaining wall for many years to come. We’ll also be adding some plants in the future to round off the project.

View the pictures to see how the wall turned out.

before retaining wall

Before: A pile of stone, plants, weeds, and dirt. Not exactly "curb appeal."

after retaining wall

After: The new retaining wall, seen here meshing well with the driveway's slope.

railroad tie wall to be removed

Before: Timber railroad ties won't last forever. This one was only beginning to fail.

schist retaining wall

After: This stone will last forever, and when properly built, will serve as a sturdy retaining wall for many decades.

old wall

Before: A grade change made this part of the property hard to use and maintain.

stairs and level grade

After: Leveling the grade and adding stairs made this part of the property functional. Once the plants are added, it will be functional and beautiful!

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