Current Stone Project: North Asheville Stone Steps

We are working in a North Asheville neighborhood collaborating with Emily Gregory of BB Barns. This is a significant transformation. We removed a set of chunky and awkward timber/river rock steps and are replacing them with our style of steps and a walking path. The big retaining wall in the images supports a stone path and eventually a swing. We set a pair of concrete form tubes behind that wall to hold up the swing.

Stone steps that lead onto a platform that will have a path and swing

Tennessee fieldstone wall to support a pathway

North Asheville Stone Project

We are collaborating with Emily Gregory of B.B. Barns on this major landscape transformation. We are building a set of steps and trail that will lead from the house up to the road. Towards the top of the trail, we will be creating a landing with room for a swing, so the homeowners can enjoy their amazing views. We’re using Tennessee fieldstone for the walls and step risers. Pennsylvania stone, blue and full-color, will be used for the step treads. We don’t build many trails, so this will be fun.

These steps are turning towards the left, to meet up with a trail.

A drystone retaining wall that will someday support a set of steps and a landing

West Asheville Stonework

We did this small project in a West Asheville development called Craggy Park. There was a rather ramshackle looking set of steps and stepping stones in the front that we completely revamped.

An entry way in the Craggy Park neighborhood by Hammerhead Stoneworks

This was relatively new construction, so there really wasn’t anything going on around back. There was a deck but it didn’t really have any relationship to the area or to how someone might want to use the space. We worked with Mardi Letson of Gardens by Mardi to redesign the space. We added a small patio and this step that leads into the house. The patio is natural edges, mostly fitted with hammer and chisel. The step contains crisper edges, shaped with a grinder.

A cut stone design at the back entry of a West Asheville home

Beast Wall

I visited the Beat Wall project recently, showing it to a potential client. I like to take people to see old projects because I think it gives them a better sense of what their stone work will actually look and feel like. It’s a more complete presentation than just pictures in the portfolio or a visit to the stone yard, where all the materials are stacked up on pallets or bundled together in shrink wrap.

This is all laid dry and supports a parking area

If you really look at it, you can see the staircase in the face of Beast Wall, though it almost disappears into the same plane in this photo

Salvaged granite oak leaf set in landing at the top of the steps

Made of stone found on the site, which was clearly salvaged from old Asheville walls

Tennessee Fieldstone Wall

A small fieldstone wall in North Asheville

We just finished a small retaining wall in a North Asheville development. We used Tennessee fieldstone, to give it a more rustic and colorful aesthetic. This wall is laid dry, without any mortar or concrete employed.

Recent Stone North Asheville Stone Project

A drystone wall creates a planting terrace.

We knocked this little project out in two days. It’s a small retaining wall to create a planting bed. Stone steps- narrow at 24″ wide- lead up from a secondary driveway, to the front of the house. The wall is Hooper’s Creek. The steps are slabs of Tennessee sandstone, the gray variant, also known as Crab Orchard.

An Old Wall

A drystone wall in an Asheville Garden

We built this wall seven or eight years ago in North Asheville, for our friend and colleague, Mardi Letson of Gardens By Mardi. She is designing a new phase of gardens and construction in this yard, so I was there this past week to look at some new stone walls and pathways. I took a couple of pictures of the original work. Stonework is one of the few that get more beautiful as they age.

A weathered drystone wall

A drystone walkway with a heart-shaped stone inlaid.

Here’s a link to the walkway back when we built it.

Culvert Finished!

Last week we finished the stonework surrounding the culvert. It’s a bit more organized now than it was when we arrived. We used sandstone from Tennessee and stacked it all dry. The stonework is self-supporting. The stone does touch the culvert as it frames the sides, but the central cap is not actually resting on the plastic culvert (though I’m sure it could handle the weight!)

A drainage culvert surrounded by a drystone wall.

The homeowners asked us to improve the look of their culvert

Seating Wall

A formal cap for a seating wall

We used buff sandstone from Tennessee to create this formal cap. The wall is eighteen inches tall, ideal height for a bench. This wall is level with the deck and extends around to frame the back corner of the patio, where the yard is steepest. Above it all looms Beast Wall, a drystone retaining wall we completed last autumn. These clients have some of the most interesting things we’ve built in any residential setting: Beast Wall, the bridge, the culvert, a semi-circular staircase. It’s fun when the people and the project let us roam.

A small retaining wall with a seating cap frames this small patio below Beast Wall.

Stone Culvert

A process shot as we work to tidy up the stone work around this culvert

Our current project has no end to interesting details. Right now we are workin on this culvert. The homeowners property is split in half by a small stream. In order to access the back half, they had this culvert installed a few months ago. The crew that did the installation adorned the culvert with shot rock and left it. The homeowners asked us to tidy it up a bit. There are already several walls of Tennessee sandstone in place- including Beast Wall, built last fall- so this choice of stone seemed appropriate. It’s a really tricky place to work; we’ve laid a pallet across the stream as a platform to keep our feet dry.

The homeowners asked us to improve the look of their culvert

I’ll post finished pictures next week.