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  • Writer's pictureSteve Barckley

A Property Transformed in Millburn NJ

A homeowner in Millburn NJ saw the beautiful stonework we were doing across the street and asked us to take a look at her home. Exceptional Stone Products transformed the front and side of her property by changing the direction of the stairs, redesigning the retaining wall, widening the driveway and providing an overall stunning design.

Before, the steps came out too far into the driveway causing a safety issue. Both the steps and wall were old and crumbling. The driveway was too narrow, the owners even had to sell a car that didn't fit! Much of the damage was caused by poor drainage and erosion.

After, it is hard to tell it is the same property! We redirected the stairs to make them easier to access, moved the entire structure back to widen the driveway, created a beautiful new design with the flat stone walkway and field stone wall, and repaved the driveway. We also ensured that water would be redirected away from the house.

We added lighting for safety at night, and to spotlight the gorgeous stonework and home.

We work with nature and kept as much of the plant life intact as possible.

The new walkway includes a beautiful and functional bench.

The homeowner was thrilled with the transformation of her property. She got a stunning new look that is designed to last by using the right materials and routing water properly. The front and side entrances to her home are safer and far easier to access.

Our Methods

First, we evaluated the entire property to assess damage done by poor drainage as well as 100 years of erosion after improper workmanship. Many contractors will minimize costs by providing lower quality or insufficient materials. However, over time mother nature has her way. We devised a solution that included a new driveway, new retaining wall, new steps and a new side entrance.

We dug out a path for the stairs in a new direction to make them much safer, easier to access and less steep. We moved the steps into the earth to the left of the driveway which required major excavation and building of new retaining wall on the inside. In addition to moving the wall back, we widened the driveway on the right side, and relocated 100 feet of curbing. We created a slightly higher elevation to prevent erosion. The dark space next to the driveway is all additional space that was added.

Exceptional Stone Products recycles, reuses and repurposes whenever we can! We were able to tie into an excellent drainage system that the original architect put in place 100 years ago. We reused all of the stones from the existing wall and added 8 pallettes of new stones to create the new design. You can see the wall being formed below with the big rocks that became part of the new layout.

We took the homeowner to Boychuk stone yard to pick out stones that matched the style and architectural design of her home. She loved purple, so we selected purple and blue stone for the flats and purple goose egg stones and field stone for the wall. The completed design tied these elements together in the steps, walkway and walls. The steps and retaining wall were built simultaneously as they are tightly integrated. Throughout the process the homeowner was able to review our progress to give her input to the new design and layout.

When all the other work was done the driveway was paved. This needs to be done last to ensure you are not damaging the asphalt by bringing in dumpsters, palettes and other materials.

Exceptional Stone Products specializes in stone steps, patios, retaining walls, fire pits and more. When we create your beautiful stonework, we incorporate drainage to redirect the water around your home, eliminating future damage which will save you thousands. Learn more at

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