American Stone By Luciano was recently hired to rebuild and restore an house entrance walkway. The project was located in Bucks County PA just outside of the Doylestown borrow.
The clients had called us because the previous walkway was showing signs of aging. The walkway was done in Flagstone (Slate) and the joints in-between each stone were starting to decay. Evidence of this decay was seen by the cracks that developed and weeds that were growing through the walkway within the joints. When you stepped on the stones, you could hear their hollowness, which is never a good sign. The first stone lifted effortlessly from the patio (also, never a good sign) and it was determined that the walkway had to be redone from scratch.
The first step in redoing the walkway, was to continue lifting the stones to see which ones could be used again in the walkway’s reconstruction, and which ones would need to be discarded. Most of the stones broke apart upon lifting, but some were still in salvageable condition. Ones that could be reused were set aside, and the ones that weren’t were discarded.
Once the stones were removed, the walkway’s concrete foundation was exposed. The concrete was decaying and needed to be removed, which we did. Upon removal, crushed stone had to be layered to support the new concrete poured. Once the new foundation was complete evened out properly, the foundation was ready for the flagstones to be laid.
We at American Stone By Luciano spend several days leading up to the project planning how to build our structures. During the planning for this walkway (as wells as others) Luciano lead the masons in drawing up blueprints for the flagstone work. This blueprint allows us to determine what stone pattern would look best and what dimensions of stone will fit best. In having this pattern planned, we were able to determine what stones could be reused, and what stones will needed to be bought new from local quarries. We then visited those quarries and hand picked the stones for the specific project (as we do for any project).
Once we had the new stones, we began constructing the walkway. Walkway construction can take anywhere from a couple days to a couple weeks, depending on the size, complexity of the design and needs/wants of the client. As Bucks County masonry contractors, we do our best to inform our clients with our recommendations as best as we can our, but always leave the ultimate decision to you. These particular clients respected our 30-year expertise and trusted our judgment when it came time for that decision making.
Laying out the stones is a very time consuming process. Each stone must be properly place and pitched one by one. During this process, it is important that the cement holding these stones is properly placed for pitch. By pitching the stones, you can prevent future water damage and decay. Upon completion of laying the stones, the joints were packed very tightly. Tight joints are an extremely important step in building any type of stonework, especially walking surfaces. By packing tight joints, we are insuring that much more protection from water damage. After a couple days of drying, the walkway was then stained to preserve color and surface area. Staining walkways brings out the depth and beauty of each stone while additionally protecting the surface from water damage. These tactics used by American Stone show our strategic work ethic and commitment to giving you stonework of the highest quality. Many of our competitors in the area are unaware of these protection methods and build stonework projects which do not last the time and money their clients invest.
The client was very pleased with the final project, which is always our ultimate goal.