What material with brick house?

Fori is not pleasedSeptember 14, 2005

I'm in the process of planning a front yard overhaul which will involve low retaining walls, mowing strips, and partially raised beds. The house is a 1920s Tudor style (dark to orange brick for first story, light stucco/dark half-timbers for second/third stories, concrete walk and steps, sills limestone that looks like concrete to me). It's a small yard so we don't want something too busy, but we aren't sure what would look best.

Most local landscapers have a thing for Unilock-type blocks, which are OK in some settings, but not mine. I think they look too, well, new. Too modern. Would a dark grey stone be OK? Should we try brick? If we do brick, do we try to match it? Match one of the many brick shades used on the house? Nobody stuccoes walls out here--is there a good reason for that?

Unfortunately, my neighborhood's yards are lacking good examples--most don't need retaining walls and those that do either have bigbox stacking blocks, Unilock type blocks, or were done 50 years ago with recycled concrete (Looks quite nice, but not for a front yard). There are a few PT timber walls, which actually get green and mossy and disappear but I'm not sure that would be the right look either. It would certainly keep us from using curves...

Are there general rules about what hardscaping materials can be used with brick? I'd appeciate any ideas on the topic. Thanks!

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karinl(BC Z8)

The Landscape design forum might enjoy this question.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2005 at 12:34PM
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gottagarden(z5 western NY)

I wouldn't do more brick, it would probably not match, and even if you were close, it would just be too too much brick.

How about natural stone? Since there will only be low walls, you could do drystone retaining walls, which would have an instant "aged" appearance to match your older home, and look very classy. Downside of course is the expense, but boy are they beautiful.

I like your idea of a dark gray stone. We have a brick house with a dark stone walkway, and the two complement each other very well.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2005 at 10:38AM
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Fori is not pleased

Thanks, gottagarden. I think we'll go that route.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 1:49PM
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I have to respectfully disagree with gottagarden. I think more brick would look great as low retaining walls, especially if you use a natural capstone (perhaps brownstone or natural flag). You can even color the mortar to match. Combine it with a natural stone pathway, and you're good to go. Check out some of Keith Davitt's designs on his website.

    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 4:47PM
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Fori is not pleased

I do like brick, but should it match the house? I'd never be able to match the entire range of colors and make it look like it was built from the same batch. I'm off to look up that website. Can never have too much inspiration! Thanks!!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2005 at 10:48AM
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