Paving and Steps

  1. “Paving” is the generic term used in stonework to describe a surface for human , animal or vehicular travel.  There are myriad  colors, shapes and sizes of stone used for paving.  Some elaborate paving designs may include a geometric pattern or simply be centered around a fire feature. Material choice ranges from thin stone only 1/2″ in thickness and less than 1 foot in length , all the way up to to massive sheets of “flagging” a.k.a. “flagstone” 4″ -6″ ++ thick and up to 15 feet or more in length.
  2. Greater thickness equals greater stability . Greater stability coupled with narrow joints translates to greater SAFETY in one’s footing ! The chosen paving material is set on a bed of compacted aggregate that provides water drainage. Allowing water percolation away and through the construction will prevent frost from heaving the works. To simply set paving material on the earth -whatever material lies underneath sand , grass , organic matter is highly inadvisable . The joints between stones are typically filled with a porous jointing compound or with a large crushed aggregate which locks the stone together. 

Beaver Island, Michigan . Western Shores Drive Project~ A Dreamy Setting In Northern Lake Michigan With Remote and Limited Access

This majestic 6″ thick Limestone platform was finessed in from the driveway area below – seen in the background. It is held up~ floating in space~ with 3 main areas of support on the underside . The idea of 3 points of contact was inspired by the religious group known as the Shakers . Some of the Shaker tables use only 3 legs, as continuous contact with 3 point is always more assuredly stable than would be the case with 4 points of contact. The limestone platform is held right up close to the wooden deck by 2 “dressed” basalt boulders and a built -up pad of limestone. A portion of the basalt boulders was flattened both on the top and on the bottom to receive the weighty limestone slab. Each of these 2 basalt boulders rest squarely on top of their respective flat chunks of limestone. The 2 limestone chunks are well keyed into the earth to securely distribute this enormous weight. The limestone platform appears “to float” – when viewed from the driveway footpath below.

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