StoneMakers Blog

Reinventing the Stone – A Veteran Dealer Moving Full-Steam Ahead

Flagstone patios, winding paths, retaining walls, decorative bridges and musical waterfalls - these are the elements that can make a backyard garden look and feel special.

Wouldn't it be nice if there was a one-stop shop to do it all without the headache of dealing with several different stone treatments?

As it turns out, southern New Mexico now has that alternative, via Southwest Stone Creations. Based in Deming, the company is an affiliate of nationally recognized hardscape specialists StoneMakers Inc., which has spent the past 25 years replicating, in hue, complexity and texture, the look and feel of actual stonework using a proprietary concrete process that allows for molding, sculpting and fast-set design.

"As far as I know, there isn't anybody else even close to this area doing what we do," said Southwest Stone Creations owner Jeremy Wainwright. "I think the closest is Colorado Springs."

A veteran of the armed services, Wainwright acquired the skills and his resulting business through a Veterans Administration-approved program that allowed him to be trained in the specialized area that would put his construction background to good use. Now out of the Army, he is moving full-steam ahead with a new career and a product he can feel proud of.

"We make retaining walls, waterfalls, walkways, patios, you name it, using solid concrete," Wainwright said. "But it's carved and textured. We can do bridges over ponds. We can do stone firepits, or make it look like a tree stump. They don't always have to look like stone. We can do benches that look like logs and posts holding a pergola up that look like trees. We can do pretty much anything you can think of."

Though the secret to StoneMakers success in the hardscape market is proprietary, Wainwright gives some insight into how the process works.

"We add a super plasticizer, then let the concrete sit for 10 or 15 minutes after we pour," he said. "That lets it crystallize, so we can stack it. Really, what it does is speed up the crystallizing process that already occurs in concrete, but multiplies the speed by days. It hardens up a lot quicker, but it stays soft enough that it can be carved. After a couple weeks it hardens to about 6,500 to 10,000 pounds per square inch, instead of traditional concrete which is between 3,000 to 4,000 psi."

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Topics: Stonemakers dealer training, retaining walls, winding paths, decorative bridges and musical waterfalls, Veteran, Flagstone patios

5 Things To Make A StoneMakers Retaining Wall Pour Easier

Pouring a concrete retaining wall with no forms can be a daunting task. It takes a short period of time to build but it is also can be a stressful period. We want to show you some key elements in making your pour go a little smoother. Whether you're pumping, pouring, wheel barrowing or buggying these pointers can make a drastic difference in your day.

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Topics: retaining walls, concrete retaining wall, Stonemakers wall builder

Concrete Retaining Walls: How Do They Work?

A retaining wall is known as a section of wall that's put into place to landscape the side of a sloping lawn. Sometimes they are added to simply maintain the area from eroding or washing away due to weather. These retaining walls may well be made from concrete, large rocks, decorative slabs or even railroad ties.

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Topics: outdoor living area, retaining walls, concrete retaining wall

Erosion Control And Concrete Retaining Walls

Soil erosion and surface runoff occurs as water moves along the ground. The more exposed the soil and the faster the rate of flow, the greater the damage and the bigger the concern. It is imperative to make certain a slope is covered or planted so that erosion is minimized.

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Topics: retaining walls, walls

5 Benefits Of Concrete Retaining walls

Concrete retaining walls must be used in just one finite emplacement within a yard and may serve as an emphasis wall or center of attention, or if needed, a complete system of tiered walls could possibly be designed to turn a sloped exterior space into eye catching landscape design that is as functional as it is beautiful. The size and the setup of the will mostly be contingent upon the slope and level of the ground and will be built where the soil needs to be stopped from runoff, although design will come into play to establish the finished layout of the wall or walls. Here are 5 benefits to installing a concrete retaining wall:

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Topics: retaining walls

Stonemakers Hardscape System VS Concrete Wall Block And Pavers

As the demand for outdoor living areas and innovative hardscape design continues to grow, homeowners have a number of choices for building retaining walls, patios, walkways and water features.  Here's a comparison of the Stonemakers System and concrete block and pavers.
 
Concrete wall block and pavers:
1.    Can be purchased at any local supplier or retail outlet.

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Topics: retaining walls, concrete retaining wall, hardscape

Five Reasons For The Increased Demand For Outdoor Kitchens

The growth in demand for outdoor kitchens has continuously climbed over the past five years.  In the coming years, as dwelling sizes decrease, nearly 20% of all new homes built will have an outdoor kitchen.  Why?  Here are 5 advantages to having an outdoor kitchen:

1.    Cooking outdoors isn't a chore.
2.    Grilled food taste better.
3.    The fish you cook on the grill doesn't linger in the backyard for days.
4.    You can hose spilled beer off the patio.
5.    Holiday celebrations can be held at home.

Today's outdoor kitchens can be perfectly customized with a refrigerator, grill, storage compartment, sink, stereo system, television, bar, kegorator, stovetop-style burners, prep area, griddles, storage space, low counters, bar-height counters for guests, just about any amenity to increase the outdoor living experience.

The most amazing thing about building outdoor kitchens is the ability to customize everything, from countertop height to cabinet depth and accessories.  Outdoor kitchen designs can be incorporated into any existing space. U-shaped, L-shaped, round, bar-style and island style are just a few design ideas that can be built.

An investment in an outdoor kitchen can range from approximately $3,000 to more than $30,000.  This offers an opportunity for talented contractors to capitalize on this demand and carve a niche in this growing segment of home improvement.

The growth in demand for outdoor kitchens has continuously climbed over the past five years.  In the coming years, as dwelling sizes decrease, nearly 20% of all new homes built will have an outdoor kitchen.  Why?  Here are 5 advantages to having an outdoor kitchen:

 

1.      Cooking outdoors isn't a chore.

2.      Grilled food taste better.

3.      The fish you cook on the grill doesn't linger in the backyard for days.

4.      You can hose spilled beer off the patio.

5.      Holiday celebrations can be held at home.

 

Today's outdoor kitchens can be perfectly customized with a refrigerator, grill, storage compartment, sink, stereo system, television, bar, kegorator, stovetop-style burners, prep area, griddles, storage space, low counters, bar-height counters for guests, just about any amenity to increase the outdoor living experience.

 

The most amazing thing about building outdoor kitchens is the ability to customize everything, from countertop height to cabinet depth and accessories.  Outdoor kitchen designs can be incorporated into any existing space. U-shaped, L-shaped, round, bar-style and island style are just a few design ideas that can be built.

 

An investment in an outdoor kitchen can range from approximately $3,000 to more than $30,000.  This offers an opportunity for talented contractors to capitalize on this demand and carve a niche in this growing segment of home improvement.

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Topics: outdoor living area, retaining walls, water features, patios, hardscape, outdoor kitchens

Seven Beautifying Features In Hardscape Design

Hardscape design, the landscaping term that typically refers to outdoor landscaping other than plants and greenery, has become increasingly more popular with homeowners.  In the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) top remodeling trends, outdoor living areas ranked number four.  What are consumers looking for?  Here's a list of seven features homeowners are building in their backyards.

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Topics: outdoor living area, retaining walls, water features, patios, hardscape, outdoor kitchens

Seeing Is Believing: A New Dealer's Impressions Of Stonemakers

We get a lot of questions about the Stonemakers system for creating retaining walls and hardscapes.  It goes against most beliefs about what can be done with concrete.  December 18, 2010 we completed our last dealer training of the year.  One of the new dealers, James Snyder of Alberto Group Landscaping,  shared these thoughts after completeing training.

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Topics: hardscapes, Stonemakers dealer training, retaining walls, concrete retaining wall