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02-22-21 | Department

Stunning Hardscapes Enhance a Year-Round Minnesota Lake Home

Plaza Landscaping of Albert Lea, Minnesota
by Brenda Bredahl, VERSA-LOK

The tiered retaining walls on this Albert Lea, Minnesota, lake home allow for plantings at each level, and match the columns and stair treads leading down to the water. The wall's curves add unique detail while providing protection on the slope transition.
The colors and textures of the driveway, walkway and patio stone pavers were selected to complement the VERSA-LOK retaining wall system and to bring the design of the home together in a cohesive pattern. With a unique pinning system and solid construction, the retaining wall protects the shoreline and prevents erosion.
The colors and textures of the driveway, walkway and patio stone pavers were selected to complement the VERSA-LOK retaining wall system and to bring the design of the home together in a cohesive pattern. With a unique pinning system and solid construction, the retaining wall protects the shoreline and prevents erosion.
The colors and textures of the driveway, walkway and patio stone pavers were selected to complement the VERSA-LOK retaining wall system and to bring the design of the home together in a cohesive pattern. With a unique pinning system and solid construction, the retaining wall protects the shoreline and prevents erosion.

This southern Minnesota project by Plaza Landscaping of Albert Lea, Minnesota, features retaining walls for shoreline protection and erosion control as well as matching components and complementing pavers in and around the residence.

Design
The design challenge for this large home on Fountain Lake was to create maximum use of the front and back outdoor living spaces. A paving stone driveway, walkways and patios were linked together with hardscape design elements, including retaining walls for slope transition, and a tiered retaining wall that assists with shoreline protection on the lake side of the home. A walkway on one side with a small patio and stairs leading to the paving stone patio under the structural porch, and retaining walls and stair lead down to the lake and a patio with gazebo. The design creates unity with shape and color for this year-round lake home.

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Quality of Construction and Craftsmanship
The project incorporates Minnesota-made products, manufactured in Fairbault, for the driveway, walkways, patios and under the structural porch, creating for a seamless transition to the other outdoor living spaces. The pavers incorporate an advanced manufacturing process which provides vibrant color, enhanced color longevity, heightened durability and additional stain-resistant properties. The top-pinning, solid retaining wall system by VERSA-LOK has no voids to fill and allows the construction of retaining walls, tiered walls, freestanding walls, columns and stair bases without the need for special pieces.

Compatibility with related materials
For the driveway and porch patio, the pavers were selected in a color that would match well with the retaining walls units in Lakeshore Blend. For contrast in texture, shape and color, the designer employed a complementary color on the side patio as well as created borders around the paver fields. Natural stone accents among the landscaping and rip rap along the shoreline were also used.

Construction Innovation
The flooring for the structural porch on the back side of the house was finished with the color of the front patios, walkways and driveway to unify the space and match the retaining wall units used through the project. The pavers incorporate the same technology, which provides enhanced appearance as well as performance.

Overall Excellence
The project demonstrates careful planning to maximize enjoyment from the outdoor living spaces while providing a beautiful solution for the driveway, patios, porch, slope transitions and shoreline protection. The homeowners are very pleased with the project which was featured in their hometown newspaper.

As seen in LASN magazine, January 2021.

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