Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are the advantages of a cobblestone apron?
A well crafted apron is a must for the discerning homeowner. They're an integral part of the Cape and Islands landscape. For centuries, practical local folks have known that it keeps gravel or shells in place and off the road for a well kempt appearance. When you prudently invest in a cobblestone hardscape, you'll be amazed at the stunning transformation your home takes on. The cobblestones sparkle in sun, clouds, and rain. They set your home well apart from the herd. Dollar for dollar, Realtors agree that virtually no other landscape enhancement for such little cost commands such a return on investment.
2. Why use cobblestone edging over landscape timbers?
Cobblestones do not rot and look a million times better than pressure treated timbers. I'm replacing 160' of pressure treated moldy green wood edging with cobbles that has haunted my client for 14 years. As soon as they return from Florida, she can't wait to be rid of the stuff!
Most of my clients opt for cobblestone edging to compliment their apron. Edging creates a clean buffer zone between lawn, mulched plant beds or any medium between your yard and driveway. Trust me, I've removed tons of well intended borders gone south with time. It sure saves you a lotta backbreaking work raking or plucking materials back into place.
b. Keeps mulch, gravel and shells in place
c. Makes stunning borders for your home
d. My costs are virtually identical to installed pressure treated timbers! That's a real 'no brainer.'
No problem! Last January, I had just finished the apron and mortared the edging along a Sandwich driveway the day before we had a 10" snowstorm. Unbeknownst to my client, a well intended neighbor hired someone to plow their driveway. The driver hauled butt up the drive (the nature of the beast) not knowing about the apron or edgings. As he gunned it, the plow blade landed right on top of the dozens of fresh laid cobblestones. Yikes! However, only one stone placed on end for effect was dislodged! Whew, I'm darn proud!
b. Notify your snow plow contractor about your cobblestones and have him (or her) raise the blade 1" before entering the driveway. Any private, municipal, or state operator worth their salt knows this trick and realizes that reflectors indicate a cobblestone apron. I've had the largest Commonwealth snow equipment plow over my apron edges at speeds in excess of 40 MPH without incident.
4. How do I maintain my apron and edging?
5. What size cobblestones are there?
Several. However, I primarily use 'Jumbo Belgian Block' (10" x 7" x 4") for my aprons and regulation size cobbles to edge for many reasons. First, the 'jumbos' are the heaviest and largest stones which wear the best under adverse conditions for driveway and barn aprons. They look great and appear proportionate.
I use 'regulation' (9" x 7" x 4") size cobblestones for my edging. These are tough rectangular stones I set in deep mortar trenches that are much more uniform in width and length than jumbos. I create fantastic serpentine edging to create a natural flowing landscape with existing or future garden beds and borders. They also are perfect straight edging for a linear effect.
6. What color cobblestones options are there?
Here on Cape Cod, most people choose grey because it's traditional and the cheapest. Gray goes great with aged silver cedar shake shingles. Say that ten times!
I crafted a rose apron for my tomato plant fanatic pal Judy in East Orleans. She owns a fantastic organic produce stand, gardens, and greenhouses at Lake View Farm on Monument Road. She grows a couple of dozen varieties of tomatoes each year as well as a veritable potpourri of perennials and produce. Judy is THE person to talk story about vegetable growing here on the Outer Cape. A sweetheart and a true natural resource!
Tan is my personal favorite for secluded homes in Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro, Provincetown and those adjacent to marshes, and sandy areas. The good Dr. Ed Caldwell, Great Marsh resident Renaissance man of West Barnstable paid me perhaps my best compliment ever. "David, I usually see my patients once. That's it. Now, take your work. It lasts forever!" Whatta guy.
They're the heaviest and most expensive cobblestones. Perhaps, you'll be the first project for the portfolio.
I'm able to offer unique well worn and weathered antique cobblestones from around the world at a palatable price for most any project. I can't wait to craft more breathtaking cobblestone projects with a history. These calicos are stunning and chilling, knowing that our ancestors may have tread upon these very cobblestones. Call for details.
I offer an unconditional guarantee on all materials and workmanship for two full years. Period. I know of no other person in my craft who is willing to put their reputation on the line like this. I'm here for the long haul and I work primarily from referral business. Of the tens of thousands plus of cobblestones, bricks and stones I've laid over the past few years, I've only had to reset two cobblestones. However, I do know of a particular yancy black Range Rover bounder from away that may be the culprit. Not bad, but I'll do better.
8. What follow up services do you offer?
First, any agreement includes a constant monitoring of all my stone work and landscaping. I visit my clients homes several times a year...walk on all edgings to ensure they're secure and to check on the apron. I add a little stone dust if necessary, sweep, and clear the entrance area. My reputation is on the line and I expect to see my craft in tip top shape. I love my work, value my clients, and will continue to build a viable long term enterprise.
Second, this spring, I am offering existing clients an opportunity to enhance their cobblestone borders with first rate hydrangeas that I am purchasing in bulk from a major SE New England nursery. We'll plant hand picked hydrangeas, spread 'off Cape loam', fertilize, plant, and incorporate premium mulch to truly create the quintessential Cape Cod breathtaking border for your home! Keep posted for this exciting opportunity and more.
9. Okay, how much does it cost?
Gee, I thought you'd never ask! It's gonna be a lot less than you ever thought. It amazes me how all over the map masons charge for basic aprons and edging. Traditionally, others and I have charged what the market will bear. However, I'm changing my philosophy and the pricing methodology to become the primary player in this unique nitch.
My favorite clients are those whom have performed their due diligence and have entrusted me with their hardscapes. I'm building my business based on lasting quality, choice, fairness, and well qualified referrals. I'm enthusiastic about my craft and trust that you'll come aboard to join my elated bevy of valued clients! Please call or e-mail me for an insightful free consult and estimate.
10. Dave, what other services do you offer?
We craft all types of stone patios, stone walls, steps, chimneys, and walkways for beauty and durability!
Feel free to call or contact me anytime for an insightful free consult and estimate.
I look forward to meeting you soon!