Stone Borders Dallas: Chop Stone
by Maria Bargellini President of Dallas Curb Appeal
Stone borders can make a great addition to any landscape. It can make a blah landscape look much more substantial and defined. There are many ways to add a stone border to your landscape, your only limits are your budget and imagination. Stone borders can be any shape, with the average installation being a curving pattern typically used for planting beds. Modern designs tend to use more straight lines creating a more formal or stark look. If basic isn’t want you’re look for than you’ll love the more intricate designs featuring details such as multilevel walls, additional secondary walls for elevation changes, a mixture of stone material, accent stones, etc.
Chop stone: This material can be found in a large variety of natural colors from white to even purple. From the common Oklahoma to the harder to get Pennsylvania blue stone. Most clients opt to use a stone that most closely matches their home’s color or stone type while others opt to use a contrasting stone color. Such as a white house with a Silvermist border (grey-grey-blue color). You can even paint your shutters or doors to match the accent color of the stone as well.
The Chop stone border: This stone is typically 4-6″ thick. Thicker stone materials or slabs can be used and is typically cut to size for the installation. (Note: anything under 4″ is considered to be a tripping hazard by most municipal codes) It is primary sold by ton in varying lengths but can be cut to equal shapes if you desire. Keep in mind that an installation of equally cut stones wills require additional labor as well as more material. In my opinion only people who are in the business will notice right away while the typical house guest will not notice whether they are of equal size or not.
The Base: The base is everything. A strong base enforces the integrity of the stone border. The chop stone is typically mortared to a 4″ thick re-bar reinforced cement base for a 1 layer chop stone border. A taller wall will require a thicker or deeper base. The average wall is 1-2 layers. Anything taller is considered a small retaining wall. The average retaining wall height ranges from about 18 inches to 4 feet tall. In most municipalities walls over 3-4 feet requires an engineers approval before the stone wall can be installed. This is for the benefit of homeowners to ensure that the wall is strong enough to stand the tough Texas weather. If you take a look around town you’ll notice that the older walls, built before all the regulations, are crumbling, cracking, sliding, or just plain falling apart.
Drainage: All walls no matter how big, small, short or long will have to have any drainage conditions addressed. Each property it’s own drainage conditions and a plan to combat any drainage issues that may exist. Not doing so can result in flooding of the flower beds and rotting out of the grass in front of the wall.
Stone Borders are an attractive way of spicing up your landscape and making that tired old landscape look new again. If you would like more information on this subject or any other on this blog feel free to leave your questions or comments on this blog or contact us directly at 214-257-8155.