Hardscaping includes the sections of an outdoor landscape made of heavy stone, masonry, or concrete materials. The hardscaping services provided by IDS include concrete or stone walkways, brick walkways and patios, curbs, driveways, ramps, stairways and many other elements of the outdoor landscape. There are many creative ways in which modern concrete and historic stone and brick masonry elements are implemented and coordinated together or individual elements to create beautiful outdoor spaces. We can provide design assistance or we can work with a designer of your choice to configure outdoor space for optimal usage. Click here for a direct link to more information about our design services.
We provide the following Hardscaping, Masonry Stairs, and Retaining Walls services, and many more
Concrete Walkways, Driveways and Patios
IDS can provide services to cut, core, demolish and dispose of existing concrete or hardscaping walkways, driveways and patios. Once the ground is clear, we can import proper sub-surfaces and grade the subsurface as needed, and then compact and prep the subbase with stone dust or sand and apply weed barriers and or geotextile soil stabilization. We can install almost any type of finish concrete including color additives and soft-cut patterns to resemble rectilinear stone patterns.
The image below shows a double layer of concrete paving that was demolished and removed to allow for the installation of new masonry paving.
The picture below shows an example from a recent Capitol Hill project where concrete was removed and amended to repair improper and failed subgrade conditions. In this case the subgrade, before the work of our team, was not properly compacted and was not built with a proper crushed stone. Our team compacted the subgrade area and added the stone shown in the photo below. Geosynthetics and geotextiles can be used in cases of poor subsoils to strengthen structural compressive bearing, especially at areas of soft substrate soils to bridge isolated areas and reduce spread of the substrate.
Stone and Brick Walkways & Patios
Similar to work in concrete paving, IDS can also provide services to import proper below surface materials and grade the subsurface as needed, and then compact and prep the subgrade with stone dust or sand and apply weed barriers and or geotextile soil stabilization. We can install almost any type of finish stone or brick paving including historic or modern clay or concrete bricks or natural stone. The photograph below shows the process of demolition during removal.
Within the city of DC, DDOT often uses a red modern red clay brick for public sidewalks in historic districts where the walkways are bordered by growing tree root systems. Options for walkways include a DDOT spec brick or actual historic bricks in certain cases. However, salvaged historic bricks have a much lower PSI and will need significantly higher repair and upkeep over time. IDS can help you select the most suitable for your space.
The image below shows a project completed by our team using a modern brick that is similar in design to the DDOT spec brick.
Other types of high temperature fired clay brick paving and even CMU concrete pavers are options.
Masonry Stairs and Retaining Walls
IDS services include new build of Brick and masonry stairways or refurbishing of existing stairs.
Similarly, we can also provide new build or refurbishment of Masonry and concrete retaining walls. The two pictures directly below show a Stone retaining wall in Southeast DC. That retaining wall was built with weeps to relieve hydrostatic pressure on the loaded side of the wall. Believe it or not, many of the retaining walls in Washington DC were actually built without any form of relieving hydrostatic pressure in other words they were built without integral weeps. In modern construction we would always install a hydrostatic pressure relief system with piped weeps through the wall. In the case of the example below The weeps that were built into the wall did not have a filtered aggregate stone on the loaded side of the wall and therefore became clogged with soils over time. In the image below, you can see a plant growing in and through the weep itself. Over time the constant hydrostatic pressure has worn down the lateral strength of the wall until the wall collapsed. This particular case serves as one of many examples of why it is important to build using good practices, such as hydrostatic pressure relief systems and sleeved piped weeps.
The adjacent photo shows an external foundation drain in Capitol Hill. At the time that we excavated on the exterior of the wall we found the old pipe there. The drainage system had long been abandoned and was no longer in use. However, this antiquated remnant serves as a reminder that even 100+ years ago builders understood the principles of diverting water away from the foundation of a building.
Almost every property in Washington DC has some elements of sidewalks or patios and/or paving. Whether you need repairs or routine upkeep and maintenance or new construction of these elements, Feel free to reach out to us today and at least start a conversation and develop a relationship. We are happy to help and we will be glad to be your contractor of choice for all of the needs of your building’s site hardscaping.