If you are like a lot of suburban homeowners, the location and the house itself are two driving factors that help you decide whether or not to buy a home. Rarely is the decision based heavily around topography or existing landscaping or masonry features. This was the case for John and Tina Livia, of Summit, New Jersey. They figured that their heavily sloped property could be “fixed”… and fixed it was!

The home, perched on a steep hill, had a backyard complete with diseased trees and shrubbery that sloped up and contained very little usable “living space.” This made it nearly impossible for the family to entertain or for their children to play. This hill also accounted for countless drainage issues that led to flooding in the yard and even the basement. This property was complicated further by the driveway which came from the back of the property and was where most people would “enter” the home. This “perfect storm,” if you will, created challenges only seasoned landscaping and masonry professionals could overcome.

Working closely with the homeowners and Deb Cerbone of Deborah Cerbone Associates, we were able to accomplish a multitude of improvements including:

  • Corrective Masonry Solutions:
    • Retaining walls in the front of the yard that both helped drainage and erosion issues while adding a curbside appeal to the home.
    • An integrated design and build plan that addressed the homeowner’s ongoing basement flooding/water issues with a waterproofing treatment and a custom drainage system.
  • Corrective Landscaping Solutions:
    • A brand new irrigation system to make water maintenance easier.
    • A level lawn to alleviate drainage issues and serve as a play area for children.
    • New indigenous and appropriately-sized trees, shrubs, plants and flowers that not only replace the large, diseased trees and shrubs but also aid in absorbing water.
  • Aesthetic Masonry and Landscaping Features:
    • An enlarged bluestone patio broken up into living and dining areas.
    • A custom designed outdoor fireplace.
    • A custom stone wall complete with lighting.
    • A custom-built bicycle shed that replicated the style and structure of the home and serves as the driveway focal point.
    • A new front bluestone walkway that enhanced the design and architecture of the home.

Homeowner John Livia weighed in with praise for the landscaping and masonry work executed by Statile & Todd and designed by Deborah Cerbone Associates: “The semicircular 4+ foot bluestone wall located in the backyard that Statile and Todd built is a thing of beauty. Each stone was cut and chiseled and individually placed to create a gorgeous background which could be viewed from the new patio area and admired from inside our home as well. The wall is a conversation piece in itself and the craftsmanship when constructing was superior. Deb Cerbone added tremendous taste, grace and attention to detail with everything from design to accessories… I could not be more thrilled with the results. It is a great space to entertain and play in now. I would highly recommend them.