Serving North Arlington, McLean, Vienna, Great Falls & Falls Church, VA

North Arlington Landscape & Flagstone Walkway

  • July 3, 2013

A carefully designed and precisely executed hardscape project transformed this North Arlington home’s front walkway from a simple curved path to a striking flagstone walkway with loads of curb appeal. This landscape design is a great example of how the right walkway can dramatically improve the exterior presentation of your home.

O’Grady’s Landscape completed a simple backyard paver patio for these longtime customers more than a decade ago. When they decided to renovate their home, they called on us again to design and build a functional and complementary front walkway.

 

Upgrading the Landscape Design

Before our work began, this North Arlington landscape design featured a very narrow driveway bordered by a hilly lawn that sloped up to the front porch. The basic sidewalk and steps did little to mesh with the home’s beautiful new contemporary exterior.

The homeowners were ready to upgrade their landscape design to something that would enhance the architecture of the house and they trusted us to understand the direction taken during the extensive renovation. We worked closely with talented architect Amanpreet Birgisson, who oversaw the North Arlington home’s renovation, to ensure the finished landscape design would be in concert with the overall aesthetic of the house.

The Flagstone Walkway & Steps

Our work on this North Arlington landscape included smoothing the grade of the hill between the driveway and the house. We also added room around the driveway by installing a wide flagstone border. A three-tiered series of stone steps and walks leads from the sidewalk to the home’s entrance. Well-placed handrails along the stone steps coordinate with the railings of the front porch.

The new walkway and stone steps are constructed of Pennsylvania flagstone—an optimal choice of stone for walkways due to its durability, non-slip surface, and natural appearance. It also lends itself to the clean simplicity of a contemporary landscape such as this one in North Arlington.

For the step treads, we used a special type of flagstone called thermal flagstone. It is uniformly 1.5 inches thick to ensure that the cross section of each stone step looks tightly constructed.  We prefer this variety to the standard flagstone used by many other companies because the standard flagstone has irregular widths and lacks the clean, tight lines of the thermal variety. Those companies that do utilize thermal flagstone often choose a thickness of 2 inches. O’Grady’s Landscape uses the 1.5-inch thickness, however, because it is more proportional to the height of a step. The 2-inch flagstone is more suited to a capping on a column or a wall, since it matches the larger dimensions of those features.

The step risers are built from both Dove Gray and Carderock building stone. This combination is an O’Grady’s Landscape special—we like to call it our “proprietary mix.” We feel this mix has the best range of color, including tints of gray, brown, and blue. An added benefit is that the Dove Gray stone, generally speaking, has straight edges and makes for tight corners. The whole project sits on a 4-inch base of steel reinforced concrete.

The Finished Result: A Sustainable Landscape

A clean, sustainable landscape rounds out the project and the completed flagstone walkway. The plants we selected are limited to a few different varieties because we believe that simplicity is best here, as jobs like this are primarily statements of texture, line, and use of space. Dozens of plant cultivars would distract from the architecture of the flagstone walkway and house. The finished result is an eye-catching and harmonious transition from driveway or sidewalk to the home’s front entrance.

Browse the photos to the right for a glimpse into this North Arlington landscape and the completed flagstone walkway or contact us today for a custom design of your own!