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Outdoor Stonework Review


Outdoor Stonework is one of the more fun backyard home-improvement books I've taken a look at. It's put together by the same people that did Outdoor Woodwork and includes 16 "easy-to-build" projects for do-it-yourselfers looking to add some snazzy stone features to their backyard.

Outdoor Stonework is about 125 pages with a cover price of $17.95, a tad steep for a paperback, but it does have a number of handsome photographs, diagrams, cross sections, and illustrations. The book is divided into two parts: techniques (which includes information on tools, mixing mortar and concrete, cutting stone, etc.) and projects. The stoneworking projects range from useful to decorative. Projects included are:

Stepping-stone Path
Cobble Spiral (a stone design that can be integrated into a concrete or similar patio)
Natural Outcrop Rock Garden
Tessellated Paving
Raised Bed (a raised bed on your patio or similar used for holding flowers or small shrubs)
Flagstone Steps
Alpine Hypertufa Trough (a small stone planter)
Paved Circle
Multicolored Crazy Paving Path
Tranquil Japanese Garden
Dry-Stone Retaining Wall
Cantilevered Seat-Shelf
Sundial
Flagstone Potting Table
Camomile Bench
Pedestal Table

Although Outdoor Stonework has an introductory section that easy to understand, you may find some of the projects a bit daunting if you have not worked with stone before. the projects are not overly difficult, but working with stone and mortar is always time-consuming. However, even the small projects make sharp additions to a yard, so if it's something of interest to you, this is a good starter book. If you're on the fence, or maybe just looking for ideas on how to spruce up your backyard, I suggest checking Outdoor Stonework out from the library.

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