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When we purchased our house in 2009, all stonework outside the house needed repairs or had to be replaced. After working with stones year after year, I believe we are getting the hang of fixing walls :). This year, one of our big projects was to fix the wall along our driveway, extend it to the entry, and build a new entry wall.

Before: Here is the view of the wall before we started the renovations from the top of our driveway. 

House sideview - 2009The wall was never finished all the way to the beginning of the driveway. As you can also see, the walkway was not placed correctly. We fixed that and now the walkway curves from our home entrance to the driveway. But you can read about this “little” project in another post.

Driveway wall - beforeThe stones toward the lower part of the wall were mainly lose and rocks were missing.

IMG_20120524_115801Driveway - before garage

Here is the view of the wall next to our garage entry. Same story as above, the rocks were loose at some places, the grout was missing in most places.

 

 

Let the renovations begin: We started our project by removing the existing rocks at the lower wall. In some parts we had to remove whole sections as the wall was “bulging” outward.

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My husband used concrete in between the rocks and built the new wall from bottoms up.

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DSC_2600Once we reached the end of the existing wall, we had to agree on the design of the entryway and the “pillars”. And then came the back-breaking task of digging the hole for the new wall section.

DSC_0017We decided to add post lamps (same style/brand as the street lamp – Bellagio) next to the arch, so my husband installed the pipes and cable for the electricity and power outlet before we layed out the rocks.

Here are some impressions while we were building the upper section of the wall:

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You cannot see it in this picture but we incorporated a small stone owl in the left pillar – so cute!

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The last step was to grout the whole wall. This was my big project – and I felt it was the most painful step. Grouting can take a long time and can be frustrating – especially for a novice like me. I did check out the web for tips from professionals but somehow could not replicate the process. However, I figured out a technique that worked for us. I first filled in all the holes roughly with a mortar mix (3 parts mortar sand and 1 part portland cement), and then followed up with my tools (some home made 🙂 to clean up the grout. It only took about one week to grout everything and the final product – well – judge for yourself!

The final product: And here it is – our new and improved wall. We absolutely love it and received many positive comments during and after the work.

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I hope you enjoyed the journey with us. Let us know what you think! :).

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