11 votes
Accepted

Stone Degree Cut for Fire Pit

Decide what SIZE circle you want. Do the math. 360 degrees in a circle divided by the angle of cut = number of stones If you leave the wide side full-size, 9.75 x number of stones = circumference in ...
  • 19.3k
6 votes

New House, Dirt Yard, Ideas in Mind, where to begin?

I had to do the same thing when I moved into my new house a few years back. However, I used outside help but can tell you the sequence and steps. Get a detailed design together as to what you want ...
  • 8,217
6 votes

New House, Dirt Yard, Ideas in Mind, where to begin?

The ground looks very compacted, so first step would be to aerate and loosen the surface. Some easy tips here: http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/soil-fertilizers/improving-compacted-soil....
  • 921
6 votes

How to separate rocks and dirt?

I'm in the process of sifting gravel out of my backyard where I want a garden and by far, the absolutely best way to sift gravel out, is with a hardware mesh slide. This method was an upgrade from ...
  • 2,791
5 votes

Would a Crinkle Crankle (Serpentine) Wall be strong enough to sit on?

A linear brick wall is strong in compression but resists lateral forces poorly. The serpentine wall attempts to overcome that with its curvature so that it provides as much strength as a linear two ...
5 votes
Accepted

How should I re-stack a dry stone wall?

This is a dry stone wall that has been built without mortar or a poured concrete foundation. The site has several challenges: the area above the wall slopes so any rain or runoff water will go down ...
  • 56.5k
5 votes
Accepted

Tumbled Bluestone retaining wall

You don't need a concrete foundation for a small wall. You can make a dry stone wall. There are ones like this that last hundreds of years with the odd bit of maintenance. Even in areas where it ...
  • 56.5k
4 votes

Tumbled Bluestone retaining wall

When you say 'retaining' wall, that means there will be soil or something behind the wall, being supported/held up by this wall you want to build. If that's correct, then I'm afraid its not as simple ...
  • 130k
4 votes

Tumbled Bluestone retaining wall

Another option is simply to build a wall out of foundation block and concrete, and then veneer the face and cap off the top of the wall. You can point up the veneer cleanly so you can hide all the ...
  • 896
4 votes

How should I re-stack a dry stone wall?

Honestly, due to the slope and the fact that building rock walls is a learned skill, I would recommend you hire someone to do it right. I have seen some amazing craftsmanship in a rock wall that was ...
  • 6,336
3 votes
Accepted

Deck Planning / Building

If the concrete is all broken and moving around, you can't secure your deck to it. You haven't said whether your deck is going to be raised off the ground quite high (in which case, securing the ...
  • 130k
3 votes

Stone Degree Cut for Fire Pit

Something to mention that has possibly not been considered... not all manufactured stones are intended for fire pits. Many of the concrete-based pavers used in driveways applications will "pop" and/or ...
  • 896
3 votes

Permeable paving in cold climate

There are concrete grid and grass systems, if it's the plastic you don't like. This page claims that porous asphalt systems stand up to freezing better than normal asphalt, and stand up to salt ...
  • 19.3k
3 votes
Accepted

Potential drainage issue?

The easiest way I see would be to dig a DRY WELL. Right where that water is pooling dig a sizeable hole; 6X4', and line the hole with landscape fabric, then fill with drain rock, cover with landscape ...
  • 39.9k
3 votes

Potential drainage issue?

Examine as best you can how the city sidewalk was laid, and what depth of foundation layer was created. You will be looking for several inches of coarse aggregate which will allow the water to pass ...
3 votes

Would a Crinkle Crankle (Serpentine) Wall be strong enough to sit on?

Yes, a Crinkle Crankle Serpentine wall that has no other job to do such as hold back soil and is only 15-18" high, has a decent foundation of compacted gravel and a foot deep concrete foundation and ...
  • 39.9k
3 votes

Would a Crinkle Crankle (Serpentine) Wall be strong enough to sit on?

I'm not a mason, but my general inclination is that a single row of bricks without some reinforcement (rebar through brick at regular intervals) wouldn't be strong enough. I realize they are curved ...
  • 2,492
2 votes

Permeable paving in cold climate

Throughout Northern Europe, Scandinavia and Great Britain the go-to paving solution for drastic weather variations is a combination of porphyry and a mortar called GftK. Porphyry (ancient greco-roman ...
  • 21
2 votes

Retaining wall and water management in a tight space

Super question, T.! And I am so impressed you've got an inspector and have not purchased this home yet. This is a great way to get a better deal AND get the owner who is very interested to sell to ...
  • 39.9k
2 votes

Are any plants tough enough to live on the surface of a driveway?

Two critical factors are sun/shade and soil type. I have a long driveway to my place with some areas in sun, some in shade and mostly sand and sandy loam soil. In shady places traffic wears the ...
2 votes

Are any plants tough enough to live on the surface of a driveway?

Because you don't have particularly cold winters, you actually have lots of options for growing grass within/through pavers: Grass block pavers That article actually references a Bay Area site; it ...
  • 14.4k
2 votes

What's the right way to protect this brick if I want to pile soil up in front of it?

Fairly simple is to use EPDM pool liner. It is non toxic, stable, very tough and can be cut to size. You can usually buy it off the roll at hardware supply or pond shops. The height of the strip ...
  • 56.5k
2 votes

How can I divide a long planter into two gardens?

I think this is good advice, and your friend has given you good reasons as to why sharing the soil without some sort of barrier could be a problem. One thing to consider, though is drainage: would a ...
  • 14.4k
2 votes

How to clean long neglected, partially sunken landscape rocks

Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet. Everything is on the table. A fence is just a fence and can be removed and replaced, or not. Heavy concrete pavers can be removed and replaced, or not. With ...
2 votes

What problems can arise with placing stepping stones/pavers directly on to soil?

I have found that the deciding factor is the size of the stones. Small stones can shift off level or be pushed up with the spring thaw in colder climates. Big stones don't move around so much. The ...
  • 56.5k
2 votes
Accepted

I just had landscape curbing installed. On which side do I put a robotic mower boundary wire?

Per your linked manual, neither, unless the curbing is 12" wide. Either 12" from the flowerbed edge or 4" (both measured grasswards - into the lawn) from the grasswards edge of the ...
  • 19.3k
1 vote

Are any plants tough enough to live on the surface of a driveway?

Plantago genus, common name plantain (not the banana) grows as a weed on roads and can be driven over.
1 vote

Trim/Flashing for Flowerbed Next to House

I'm assuming that the flower bed faces south. To use the bed with in-ground plants, you would have to build a wall inside it, so that that house-side of the wall is 6" from the siding (for airflow &...
  • 14.4k
1 vote

Durability of stone over concrete?

About durability: it is difficult to tell. Concrete is a artificial rock/stone, not so far from flagstone. There are a lot different type of stones, some cracks more often then other (also between ...

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