Category Archives: Work in Progress

Current Project- Rox Pro Stone Veneer

We are working on a wood fence replacement for a project in Mill Valley. Instead of replacing the existing lattice wood fence with a traditional fence, we are installing a wood framed wall with stone veneer. The choice of veneer was important, because of the construction, full sized stone veneer could not be used. As a solution, we are using Rox Pro stone veneer, which is precut and glued into panels. This allows for easy installation, with a natural stone quality that manufactured concrete stone doesn’t have.


Current Project- Tiburon Bluestone

Here is a construction progress photo for a bluestone patio on a current project in Tiburon. Bluestone is typically imported from Pennsylvania and Connecticut, where it is used as the most frequent paving stone in the landscape. It has a great color, which ranges from blues and grays to highlights of purples and browns, and good durability.

This patio is of Select Blue grade, which has only blue and gray tones with no browns. This irregular installation is much like a huge jigsaw puzzle. Pieces are cut and fit together to create a patio with nice consistent grout joints and an organic overall character.



Select Blue Irregular Bluestone Patio

Current Project- Mill Valley: Hardwood Cladding

Here are some progress images from a project currently under construction in Mill Valley. We are in process of putting up hardwood cladding over an existing concrete retaining wall. The cladding will be integrated to replace an existing railing on top of the wall and help transform the patio area under construction to minimize the visual impact of the retaining wall.


Concrete Wall Before Wood Installation

brw2.JPGHardwood Cladding Being Installed on Framing Over Wall

Completed Project- Tiburon

We are
working on finishing up this hilltop project in Tiburon. This was a large
project that involved dramatically reshaping the existing landscape to improve
the great views of San Francisco
and Belvedere. We also created a cohesive style that flowed well with the
architecture of the residence. To accomplish this, large segmental block retaining walls were constructed capped with custom railings to expand the yard space. This then provided an envelope for a side terrace with outdoor fireplace, and connecting flagstone patios.


Flagstone Patio with View to Belvedere Lagoon and San Francisco

ptb2.JPGFlagstone Patio and Seat wall with connecting Flagstone Path

ptb3.JPGStained Redwood Side Gate

ptb4.JPGCustom Redwood and Metal Mesh Panel Railing

ptb5.JPGSide Terrace with Indian Sandstone and Stucco Walls capped with Flagstone

ptb6.JPGPlantings and Railing- Vines have been planted and over time will create green fence panels

ptb7.JPGLawn area with Dwarf Olive Hedge

Technology Dispatches from the Jobsite

At times advancing technology does not live up to its billing. Instead of saving time and making things easier, it often seems that the newest and latest gadget just wastes the time it saves getting through the bugs and make the device work correctly.

One good exception, mobile technology, has revolutionized the construction industry in terms of basic communications. The bells and whistles are pretty fun too. We are currently working on a larger construction project with a webcam mounted for the construction site. We can check in on project progress, never leaving our desk. This is especially handy for projects where clients travel frequently.

Another nice advance is good quality cameras on mobile phones. All of our foreman have phones with cameras, allowing for progress pictures to be sent back to the office instantly.

Below- Images from Current projects from Cell Phone Camera and Construction Webcam





Current Project- Stone Slab Steps

Here are construction images from a current project in Tiburon. We are installing large stone slabs to provide stair access down a hillside. These slabs can be a bit of a challenge because of their size and weight. We use equipment to get them near the installation area. Then it’s old fashion leverage and strength to move and set the slabs in place because of the steepness of the hillside. These slabs are also a challenge because of their natural variation. To get consistant stairs and riser heights we have to chip and hone the stone on-site to get them to fit together properly. The result however, is a distinct and natural looking staircase.




Current Project- Tiburon Clean up

From a current project in Tiburon, where we are clearing out an old concrete
patio and trees to prepare for a new stone patio and retaining walls. The
removal of the vegetation helped open up a great view.

View to Belvedere and San Francisco

Vegetation and Patio Removal

Mizubachi Water Feature

Here are some installed photos of the black granite Mizubachi Water Feature
from Stone Forest that was just installed for a current project. The 30″ rock
weighed about a ton and had to be set in place with a telescoping forklift and
then leveled for even flow across the stone.

The hookup for this water feature was fairly straight forward- the
recirculating pump has a timer that controls on and off times, a filler valve
connected to the irrigation system to automatically refill the reservoir, and a
bypass valve connected to a drain inlet to empty the reservoir.



Current Project- Larkspur Seeded Aggregate

This project in Larkspur is having seeded aggregate walkways and patios
installed with bluestone accents. The Mexican pebble stone combined with the
bluestone makes a good complementary paving match.

Forming and Rebar for Front Walkways

Forming and Rebar for Rear Patio

Seeded Aggregate Mexican Pebble with Formed Strips for
Bluestone Inserts

Seeded Aggregate Mexican Pebble Patio

Current Project- Arbor

Here is an image of a completed arbor for a current project. This secondary
area was designed as a separate destination away from the house. The painted
heavy timber arbor is tied into stone pillars, surfaced with Sonoma Fieldstone
veneer and capped with bluestone. The back edged of the arbor are enclosed with
seat walls with similar treatment.



Revisited Project- San Rafael

Here are a couple of photographs from a project in San Rafael that was
installed 4 years ago. The project included a front entrance bluestone walkway,
plantings, urn fountain and entrance gate in the front yard. The interior yard
featured a bluestone entryway, lawn, wood retaining wall and railing, and

Entrance Gate, planted with Bougainvillea

Entry Bluestone Walkway and Fountain

Current Project- Novato Intimate Garden

This is a project for a new home in Novato. As is frequently the case, the
residence is on a hillside and the space in the back yard is limited. The design
for this project sought to create a usable back patio space, leaving room for an
Asian themed border planting.

Custom Stone Fountain

Curvilinear colored concrete patio

Creeping Fig vines to help soften the existing retaining wall
and Asian themed plantings with Japanese Forest Grass, Japanese Maple, and
variegated Liriope as featured plantings

Current Project- Novato

We are wrapping up this project in Novato, a renovation of an existing back
yard landscape to create more usable area and better transition spaces. We
pushed the spa and retaining wall back into the hillside to create more space,
planting the back hillside and expanded the lawn and flagstone walkways.

Before- The previous spa configuration, while not
unattractive, created unusable lawn space and cramped the back yard

Before- The flagstone walkway that was existing was cramped by
the lawn and spa configuration

old spa pad was moved from the center of the yard to the edge of the yard,
creating more open usable space. The hillside was planted with groundcovers and
colorful perennials to open up views from the interior and improve on the bare

existing flagstone was matched to tie in a seamless appearance with the old

spa was pushed back into the hillside, creating more usable space within the

Novato Project & Seeded Concrete Finishes

We just finished pouring a concrete walkway and pad for a project in Novato.
The concrete finish we used we a seeded aggregate. There are several different
options for seeded aggregate, both in terms of the stone that is seeded, and the
size of the stone seeded.

Example of stone on pathway we just completed- 3/4″
Red River aggregate

Seeding in progress- stones are broadcast and then
embedded into the surface of the concrete. The concrete is washed away to reveal
the packed stones at the surface.

Seeding completed- 3/8″ smaller Pami Pebble

Example of another aggregate stone- Salmon

Completed Project- Tiburon

Here are some final images from a project we have just completed in Tiburon.
It is interesting to see the pieces fit together, as the landscape was installed
at the same time the custom home construction was being completed.

Flagstone Steps descending from Main Patio Level to

Rear view of the house and landscape

Side Patio, Flagstone Path, Cedar Perimeter Fence,

Rear Lawn and Cable Fence

Front Entry Path, Lawn, and Large Box Mayten Trees

Reverse view of Front Yard

New Project- Greenbrae

Here is a new project in Greenbrae, where we are going to be installing
retaining walls, and a patio on a terraced hillside. Check back for updates as
the project progresses.

Before Clean-up

Before Clean-up

Wall Excavation

Hillside Clean-up, Starting Wall Foundations

Progress Images- Moving Box Trees

We are taking advantage of the dry weather to bring in some box trees on a
current project in Tiburon. These 36″ & 48″ box trees can be a bit of a
challenge to move; we are using a 4 wheel drive construction forklift with a
6000 pound lifting capacity. 48″ box trees can weigh between 3000-4000 pounds a
piece making this type of equipment a must.





Recent Plantings- Downtown San Rafael

Here are some images from a project with some small border plantings in San
Rafael. This was the first phase of a larger garden project.

Screening from closely situated neighbors was important for this
property. Here Italian Buckthorn (Rhamnus alaturus), is used to screen
with an understory of Australian Rosemary (Westringea ‘Morning

In the
deep shade between two buildings, a redwood trellis was built for a Star
Jasmine, (Trachelospermum jasminoides), combined with Camellia
Espalliers (Camellia sasanqua) for up against the adjacent building.
The understory was planted with Liriope, Hakone Grass, Coral Bells and other
shade lovers.

the street frontage tough Day Lilies were used with other ornamental grasses
including Jack Spratt New Zealand Flax and species of Carex. The rock borders
were recycled from an existing rock wall onsite.