Vehicular hardscapes need to be durable, but can still be beautiful. Lancaster, PA distributor Penn Stone helped a home builder achieve such a paver driveway with a unique approach, pattern, and color scheme. (All photos: John McGrann.)
It’s a lot more than a paver driveway. It’s much wider. On European estates, it’s called a forecourt – an expansive hardscape for vehicles and parking, either doorside or in an adjacent garage. In Lancaster, Pennsylvania, it was the bold landscaping choice of a custom home builder who was building his personal home.
Most impressive is the style of masonry, installing the pavers on their narrow edge to achieve the narrow linear look. It’s newly popular, but harkens back to Frank Lloyd Wright designs, as well as “Norman” size brick of the 1960s that was 3-5/8 x 2-1/4 x 11-5/8.
“Our client came to us saying he was going to do a brick driveway and asked to meet at our showroom,” said John McGrann, owner of 100-year-old hardscape distributor Penn Stone. “So we got in here on Saturday morning and he had a picture from doing his own online research. He had found a photo of old, time worn rustic brick pavement and said, ‘I would love for it to look like this!’”
Penn Stone boasts a spacious showroom for just such occasions, and the team went to work.
“We pulled a couple samples out right away and gave him some ideas and enough of a sense that we understood what he was looking for and that we were on the right track,” said McGrann. “Then we took a week and pulled together a few more samples.
“Along the way I shared the picture that he had brought with Doug Rose from Pine Hall Brick and he helped us by bringing in a bunch of different options. Some of our samples were in our yard and we had Pine Hall Brick send us loose samples in a few other varieties.”
When the builder came back to the showroom McGrann started taking brick out of the boxes and spreading them out on the table organizing the percentages until they collaboratively came up with something that everybody thought was good.
The builder was able to choose the perfect “imperfect” pavers – each in the Rumbled line that gives you the look of imperfect and aged pavers you might see in a French village.
Turns out there were five favorite choices. McGrann’s team brought out enough selection to mix and match a selection of Red, Rose Full Range, Ironspot, Cocoa and Bluffs.
The hardscape design called for the pavers to be set on their narrow edge, instead of the usual four-inch-wide surface. This required more pavers, but it would create a more intricate looking chevron pattern. Also, it gave the pavement four inches deep of solid brick instead of two, which is good for lots of car traffic.
“This was going to be a challenging job for anyone,” said McGrann. “So we got out there with the landscape contractor to advise on how to manage the somewhat unusual position on the narrow edge, so they sit in the right spot as you work.
“Because we were blending five products together, there was a pretty good chance there would be some size variations. So the contractor had to be really meticulous about giving himself some space – not laying things too tight together, leaving some built-in spaces to accommodate the variations in size. He was stretching a lot of string lines to make sure he was staying straight as he worked on the project with all the extra challenges that got thrown his way.”
The landscaper’s diligence paid off.
The finished result of 32,000 pavers in five different styles is an eye catching hardscape, befitting a custom builder’s brick and stone dream home.
Pine Hall Brick has a wide selection of styles. And within this selection, you’re free to mix and match them any way you choose for your creative vision.