One of the most wonderful things about doing landscaping and hardscaping projects in New England is the beautiful, natural stones that abound within the region. From gorgeous natural flagstone materials made of slate, sandstone, limestone and granite, to the natural surroundings and historical value of this area that just seems to call out for classic projects, such as a broken flagstone pathway.
Even for more modern architecture, the use of stepping stones to create walkways, pathways and other hardscaping projects around the home, just seems to make sense. This article will focus on helping you to select the right type of natural flagstone materials to create your pathway and how to build one from scratch, even if you don’t have any experience working with natural stones or hardscaping projects.
Things to Consider When Purchasing Natural Stones
Regardless of the type of project you are about to build, it is important to consider a couple of things when purchasing natural stones and other natural flagstone materials. This is especially true for people who live in northern climates, such as New England, where cold winters, coastal storms and hot, humid summers are a fact of life. Homeowners in Scituate know this more than most due to their proximity to the water, so making sure that the materials you choose are appropriate for the intended use should be a natural part of the planning stage for any outdoor project.
- CLIMATE – Because natural flagstone materials are found locally within the region and throughout the northeastern states, natural flagstone materials, such as bluestone, quartzite and granite, that are more dense than other natural stones, should be chosen. They can withstand freezing temperatures, as well as the freeze/thaw cycle experienced in Southeastern Massachusetts. Other types of natural flagstone materials, such as sandstone and limestone, which are more porous and soft, are not as well suited for creating a broken flagstone pathway because they will absorb water, which can easily freeze and crack, should the temperature drop quickly.
- USAGE – The way that the materials will be used should also be taken into consideration. Natural flagstone materials are much more flexible in the way that they can be used because they can be used as patio tiles, stepping stones, as veneer or facing products, stacked for retaining walls and many other types of hardscaping projects. However, the way that the materials that you are interested in purchasing will be used should influence your choices. Again, harder and denser types of natural flagstone materials, such as bluestone, granite and quartzite, will be better for a broken flagstone pathway than softer, more porous types of natural stones.
- STYLE/DESIGN – Whenever you choose materials for your home’s landscaping, hardscaping or masonry projects that are either outdoors or indoors, you will also want to consider the style or design of the project that they will be used to create. The materials should complement the architecture of your home, the style or theme of the project you are building and the colors chosen should look great as well. When it comes to creating a broken flagstone pathway with stepping stones and other small natural stones, decorative stones or mulch as filler, it is important to choose a color and texture that will add and not detract from the decorative scheme of your home.
Building a Classic Broken Flagstone Pathway
You might be wondering what defines a “classic” broken flagstone pathway. Think about meandering, winding pathways made from stepping stones and a variety of other materials, such as sand, natural stones, decorative stones and edging products. This type of broken flagstone pathway can be rustic and traditional in its makeup or it can be more formal and classic looking.
Whether you choose to use natural stones for the border, plastic or metal edging, or if you want to add more landscaping materials, such as grass, shrubbery, flowers or other plants to the sides of the pathway will all depend on your own intentions for the project. Will it be a utility pathway made simply of stepping stones to get to a spigot and hose for watering or will it be a beautiful broken flagstone pathway that leads guests to your backyard retreat and sets the tone for the rest of your outdoor living space?
Will the path get a lot of traffic or will it just be used occasionally for maintenance of your other landscaping and hardscaping elements? Pathways can be a great way to get to flower beds, gardens, bird feeders, water features and other essential ingredients in your overall outdoor living space without requiring you to walk through mulch, decorative stones or other groundcover that might get easily disturbed. The intention, and therefore the natural flagstone materials and other natural stones that you choose, will all depend on you and your project goals.
Where to Get Natural Flagstone Materials
For homeowners in Scituate and property owners throughout the South Coast region, J&J Materials has been a provider of natural flagstone materials, natural stones, stepping stones and other quality landscaping, hardscaping and masonry materials for many years. With two locations in Southeastern Massachusetts and a delivery range that reaches as far east as Scituate and as far west as Pawtucket and Providence, J&J Materials can help you get the materials you need to build a beautiful broken flagstone pathway or any other project that you want to create.
Just calculate the square footage of the pathway area that you want to cover to estimate the quantities of the materials that you will need to build your project. If you aren’t sure, speak with one of our friendly and knowledgeable customer service agents to determine how much natural flagstone materials or other materials you will require in order to get the look and feel that you desire. We can help you figure out how much you will need and can help you schedule a delivery of natural stones and other products according to your schedule. Visit J&J Materials today or give us a call to find out more about our products and services.