Archive for 'How To'

Hardscaping – How to Expand Your Living Space

Hardscaping – How to Expand Your Living Space

Landscaping isn’t just about planting things.  It is the art of transforming the outdoors to suit your needs. And sometimes what you need is to create new spaces that provide comfort, usefulness, mobility and a mystique that draws people out of doors and into the outdoors. The use of construction methods to create structure in [...]

Hardscape Ideas – What Is The Best Time Of Year To Install A Patio?

Hardscape Ideas – What Is The Best Time Of Year To Install A Patio?

I find that most prospective clients I talk to don’t start planning for new landscape/hardscape work until near the end of Spring – the weather starts to heat up, the flowers start to bloom and suddenly the yard becomes a priority. If part of your plan involves installing stone paving or walls, water features or [...]

Fireplace Surround Building Techniques

Fireplace Surround Building Techniques

If you are thinking of remodeling your fireplace surround with a stone façade, it helps to know all of the work that goes into building one that is really worth the investment.  The process tends to be a bit more involved than people expect, if only because of all the structural work that takes place [...]

Berg Patio Pattern

Flagstone Patio Protocol – What Makes One Better Than Another?

Not all flagstone patios are created equal. Unlike roof installation, flooring, or even poured cement (all easily quantifiable and pretty much uniform and predictably priced), a stone patio will vary greatly from one builder to the next.  One installer may be in the business of cranking them out at high volume, piecing it together in [...]

Keeter Afters 012

Adding a Stone Veneer to an Existing Home

Installing a stone facade on your house can not only make it more attractive, if executed well it will actually increase the value. Perhaps you thought a stone veneer could only be included on a new home?  Not true.  In fact, there is always a way to retrofit a building with a stone exterior, whether [...]

Seattle Fire Code – Outdoor Fireplaces and Fire Pits

Seattle Fire Code – Outdoor Fireplaces and Fire Pits

Fire pits and outdoor fireplaces are gaining in popularity these days as people are choosing to expand their living space and make better use of their yards.  I have noticed that many are confused about the regulations surrounding these structures.  How do state and municipal laws deal with this issue? Being that an outdoor masonry [...]

Veggie Garden front

Green Stonemasonry – A Low-Impact Approach to Stone Wall Construction

How does one incorporate green building techniques when it comes to building stone walls? That is an interesting question – the answer to which is riddled with many twists and turns based on what you are building, what materials are being used and how it is put together. It is a question I have delved [...]

work in progress

Finding the Right Stone Masonry Contractor in Seattle

Finding a good stone mason can be a challenge wherever you live.  There is always someone in the phone book or listed in Craigslist, but how in the world do you know if you’re talking to the just right person for your project? Of course if you ask me which stone mason you should hire, [...]

Merrick Fireplace

What Does It Cost? – Pricing a Stone Fireplace Surround

Many homes in Seattle have fireplaces, and there has been an increasing desire by homeowners to renew or update their fireplace surrounds.  I get a lot of requests for pricing information on this work, but it is a difficult question to answer in 25 words or less.  There are several factors that can greatly alter [...]


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