10 Things About Thin Veneer Stone Your Contractor Wants You To Know

Adding stone veneer siding to your house as part of a landscaping project can absolutely reinvigorate its appearance, increase its value, and even make you feel proud to be a homeowner all over again. There are a few different types of stone veneer siding for you to choose from, and many homeowners select thin stone veneer for a variety of different projects.

Choosing a specific type of siding is a big decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly, especially since you’re likely to be living with the decision for quite a long time. If you’re still on the fence over which siding you’ll want to employ in your landscaping project, then perhaps we can help clear things up for you a bit. To that end, let’s take a look at 10 things about thin veneer stone that your contractor wants you to know.

Alternative to Full Stone Veneer

As we’ve mentioned in a few past discussions, thin stone veneer is a great alternative for landscaping projects when your home simply doesn’t have enough room available for full stone veneer siding. To put the sizes in perspective, full stone veneer typically ranges from 3”-6″ inches thick, depending on the project, while thin stone veneer is cut to only 1″ thick. As you might expect, this lowers the cost while not sacrificing quality.

Perfect for Fireplaces and Chimneys

Thin stone veneer can be used in a variety of indoor and outdoor landscape projects, and two such indoor projects that you will often find it being used for is with fireplaces and chimneys. The stone’s versatility makes it perfect for these two types of projects, and will definitely help the areas stand out. This will also help to increase the value of your home in case you ever decide to sell it someday down the road.

Attractive and Durable

Many homeowners choose the use of thin stone veneer because it has such an attractive quality. No matter what type of landscape project you’re using it for, it can really beautify a home, both inside and outside. Not only that, but it is quite durable and will last for many years with very little maintenance. This makes it a very attractive material on a number of levels.

Cost Includes More Than Just the Material

When calculating the overall costs involved with the installation of thin stone veneer, it’s important to remember that the cost of the stone itself is obviously only one of the line items that you need to put in the budget. You also need to take the cost of other materials such as mortar and sills into consideration. Also, if the area where you’re installing the stone has tighter joints, that means you’ll need additional materials. And, finally, there’s the overall cost of labor that’s involved.

Variety of Cuts Available

Another great thing about thin stone veneer is that it’s available in a variety of cuts, which means that you can add your own bit of personality to your new landscaping project depending on your specific tastes. There are six primary cuts that are available: square / rectangular, any others that all list later. Each one presents its own unique look, but they all have the same high level of quality.

Installation Doesn’t Take Long

Speaking of the labor involved in your landscaping project, the good news is that thin stone veneer isn’t typically a huge undertaking. Of course, there will be a few factors involved depending on the specifications, which both a landscape designer and contractor will be able to go over with you. But, most thin stone veneer installations only take one or two days to complete.

Costs Less Than Full Stone Veneer

If you’re like most homeowners, it’s always a good thing when you can keep a landscaping project under control in terms of the cost involved. This is especially true if you’re on a limited budget and still want to have a good result. Since thin stone veneer costs less than full stone, this is typically a great alternative even if you do have the room for the full stone treatment.

Residential and Commercial Options

Although we talk a lot about homeowners when it comes to landscaping projects, plenty of business owners can utilize our information and tips, as well. Thin stone veneer is great for home use, but it is often used in offices, hotels, and other such commercial properties on a regular basis. In fact, many business owners will use thin stone in a few different areas of one location due to its appearance and versatility.

Doesn’t Require Additional Support

One of the reasons why thin stone veneer is a popular material is that it weighs less than 15 pounds per square foot, which means you won’t need to attach it to any kind of structural support for its installation. Since there is no block or concrete base needed, or any similar support, you’ll end up saving money due to an overall lower cost of installation.

Broken Pieces Must Be Replaced

As we mentioned earlier, thin stone veneer is quite durable and will last a long time with a low level of maintenance. It’s important to realize that if a piece of the stone gets broken due to an unforeseen accident, you will definitely be noticeable. Luckily, replacing a broken piece of thin stone veneer is not a big job and can be done quite quickly.

Purchasing Stone Veneer in New Jersey

No matter what type of stone veneer siding you choose to install in your home, Braen Supply can provide both the materials themselves and landscape design to make sure that everything goes smoothly. Visit our facility in New Jersey and our landscape designer will assist you with developing the layout, provide you with ideas to improve the project, analyze your material needs, and set you up with a local contractor. We offer competitive pricing and you can either purchase materials at our facility or have them delivered in bulk throughout most of NJ and parts of NY, CT, and PA.
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5 Ways To Use Belair Retaining Walls In Your NJ Landscape

One of the fastest, simplest and most effective means of giving your property a makeover is to incorporate Belgard Belair retaining wall blocks into your landscape. Like all Belgard products, the Belair wall collection is designed with style, functionality and longevity in mind. This means that there are a number of ways that you can make use of the blocks to enhance your home, depending on your individual needs and preferences. To emphasize this point, we’ve put together a quick guide to what you can expect from Belgard Belair retaining walls, as well as five fabulous ideas for introducing these wall blocks to your property.

Belair Belgard Retaining Wall Blocks At-A-Glance

Belair retaining walls are a part of Belgard’s Natural Collection, featuring a rugged and naturalistic chiseled facing on all sides. The blocks are designed to look just like real stone, and it’s nearly impossible to differentiate between a Belair wall and a 100% natural stone wall. In addition to featuring a chiseled surface, each stone features rich and detailed texturing. The blocks are available in several different color families, making it easy for you to match your new wall with your landscape’s current style of decor and existing features. Because Belgard Belair retaining walls are crafted from concrete, they are extremely affordable and highly durable. The blocks are also treated to prevent fading and discoloration, meaning that your retaining wall will continue to look spectacular throughout the years.

Uses for Belgard Belair Retaining Wall Blocks

It’s easy to fall in love with Belgard Belair retaining walls at first sight, but you may be wondering exactly how you should make use of them throughout your landscape. Fortunately, Belair wall blocks are extremely versatile and can serve a number of decorative and functional purposes. Of course, a retaining wall’s primary purpose is generally to prevent erosion and to protect the integrity of the landscape, but these walls can be used for so much more. Here’s a look at five of our favorite ways to use Belair retaining walls:

1. Maximize Your Living Space

Building with Belgard Belair retaining wall blocks makes it possible for you to level of areas of land throughout an otherwise sloped and unusable landscape and start enjoying more time outdoors. Once these areas have been leveled off and are secured with the attractive wall blocks, it’s easy to create a stunning patio for entertaining and dining, or even an outdoor kitchen. Not only will this maximize your ability to spend time outside with your loved ones, but it will also increase the overall value of your property.

2. Let Your Garden Grow

If you’ve got a green thumb, Belgard Belair retaining walls can help you to be able to spend more time tending to your flowers, vegetables and other plants, while also giving you the ability to show them off to the world. Again, retaining wall blocks make it possible to level off hilly or sloped patches of land. This makes the landscape much more suitable for growing. At the same time, the wall blocks create a beautiful planter bed setting for your vegetation that will not only protect your plants, but will also accentuate their beauty.

3. Facilitate Movement

Belgard Belair retaining wall blocks are the perfect solution for any homeowner who needs to construct a spectacular staircase that will help guests move from one area of the property to another. The blocks are stately and elegant and are a fabulous choice for establishing a front staircase leading up to the front doors of homes with hilly front yards. Stairs can also be used to facilitate movement between various levels of your patio or landscape. The blocks complement many Belgard stair caps and treads, making it easy to create a charming and cohesive design.

4. Create Boundaries

You don’t necessarily have to use Belgard Belair retaining wall blocks for building retaining walls. Instead, the blocks are a great choice for freestanding walls. These types of walls can be used to create boundaries between various areas or “rooms” of your outdoor living space, such as a division between your hot tub and your outdoor living room. Freestanding Belair walls are also great for creating boundaries and privacy between you and neighboring properties.

5. Establish Extra Seating

Throughout the years, we’ve seen many homeowners choose to build additional seating into their Belair retaining walls, steps and freestanding walls. By giving the wall a dual purpose, you are able to create seamless seating that looks absolutely stunning while making it much easier for you to entertain large groups of friends, family and loved ones at a moment’s notice.

Planning Your Landscape with Belgard Belair Retaining Wall Systems

Do you love these ideas as much as we do? Or do you perhaps have other ideas and plans for working Belgard Belair retaining wall blocks into your landscape? Whatever the case may be, we urge you to visit a local Belgard showroom for more ideas on how to build with the blocks and incorporate them into your property. You might even request samples of the colors that you’re most interested in so that you can compare the shades against other tones and hues that may exist within your landscape and hardscape. It’s also a great idea to work with a contractor or landscaping design software in order to draw up plans that are customized for your property. In addition to this, Belgard offers access to an online design studio that will make it easier for you to visualize how the blocks will look within the scope of your unique landscape. Whatever you do, have fun with your design!

Working With Belgard Belair Retaining Walls in NJ

Braen Supply is available for all of your Belgard Belair retaining wall system needs. As a top supplier and authorized dealer of Belgard products, we are able to provide exclusive access to a full range of Belair retaining wall blocks in a various colors and hues. Homeowners can visit our local showroom in order to see how the walls look in-person, and to draw further landscaping inspiration. Our team of Belgard experts is more than happy to answer any questions you may have and to provide you with landscaping and hardscaping tips. Our Belgard Belair wall blocks can be picked up at your convenience or can be bulk delivered to areas throughout parts of NJ and NY and limited parts of PA and CT.


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8 Wow-Worthy Hardscape Designs Built By Belgard

Are you in love with Belgard but not sure where to begin with your hardscaping project? Although you’re free to come up with your own unique design, the Belgard experts have put together a ton of outstanding and utterly wow-worthy outdoor living design concepts to inspire your creativity. Here’s a closer look at eight of our favorite ideas:

1. The Entertainer (Concept #42)

It’s clear that Belgard came up with this spectacular concept by carefully considering the needs of its customers who absolutely live to entertain their friends, family and neighbors. This ideal space really has it all. We love the look of an outdoor kitchen featuring a full bar where guests can sit and talk to the chef as they whip up a meal on the grill, or chat with the “bartender” as they pour a round of freshly blended margaritas. A cozy living and sitting area is located just off the bar and grill island. Here, guests can warm themselves around the fire while still staying close to those in the kitchen space. A formal dining area is also included for large family meals and big events. There’s nothing you can’t do in this wonderful space.

2. Geometric Modern (Concept #5)

If you are interested in creating a dramatic and modern yet simplistic and practical outdoor living space, we suggest turning your eyes to Belgard’s Concept #5. This outdoor living room plays off of sleek and simple geometric shapes with sharp edges that are marked by clear boundaries. This pattern extends not only to the patio floor itself, but also in the arrangement of the furnishing selected. Interesting angles are created with the dining set, and richly contrasting shades of black and white add to the bold appeal. The sharpness of the patio design is contrasted nicely against the rounded curves of a beautifully landscaped area for seasonal plants and vegetation along the perimeter of the seating area.

3. A Space for All Seasons (Concept #38)

Who says you can’t enjoy your Belgard outdoor living space even when the temperatures drop or when it’s raining outside? Concept #38 makes it possible for you to stay connected to the great outdoors no matter what. A posh swimming pool and relaxing hot tub are enclosed by glass, greenhouse walls and roofing to keep the elements out while still allowing you to see all of the beauty surrounding you. An adjacent seating and dining area allows you to wine and dine within the seasonally-friendly space. When you’re craving more fresh air, simply step outside onto the patio to sing songs and trade stories around the fire pit.

4. A Whole World Outdoors (Concept #34)

When the weather is beautiful, there should be nothing stopping you from living your whole life outdoors. Many NJ homeowners are making it a priority to establish outdoor living spaces that allow for all of the comforts and luxuries of indoor living – all while surrounded by nature. In this concept, Belgard demonstrates how cooking, dining and lounging are all a part of outdoor living here in the northeast. A simple yet versatile grill island makes it easy to prep a meal while staying connected with guests, and a covered dining area means that you and your loved ones can enjoy something delicious while being protected from the sun. A corner is carved out for relaxing and unwinding on a sleek outdoor couch surrounding an inviting fire pit – perfect for making memories.

5. Sheer Simplicity (Concept #33)

Sometimes the best ideas are the simplest ideas. If you’re the type of NJ homeowner that likes to get back to the basics and keep the focus of your outdoor living space on the nature surrounding you, take a look at Belgard Design Concept #33. The naturalistic flagstone-style Belgard pavers allow you to create interesting shapes and layouts within your space without being overly flashy or distracting. The curving edges and various shapes create natural boundaries for situating a grill island, a seating area and a fire pit. Surrounding the entire patio with a simplistic edging material will put the finishing touches on this “back to basics” idea.

6. Backyard Paradise (Concept #29)

Step into your own personal paradise with Concept #29. This breathtaking Belgard design creates the perfect environment for a daily “staycation” throughout the summer months. The centerpiece of this particular landscape design is a brilliant swimming pool, surrounded by two contrasting (yet complimentary) edging materials to create a magnificent border. The patio features large, bold pavers that add to the upscale, lush feel of the environment. Here, poolside hungers and soak up some rays before sipping on a cocktail at the patio table, or gathering around the fireplace.

7. Well-Rounded Lifestyle (Concept #23)

If you’re tired of the same old rectangular front driveways, you might be quick to fall in love with the curvaceous and circular patterns found in Design Concept #23. Belgard shows off the versatility of various types of its exciting pavers as they are arranged into bold circles and semi-circles, perfect for welcoming guests to your home, allowing for parking and creating natural places for turning around.

8. Hello/Goodbye (Concept #57)

We love the unique look of the front walkway and front patio area featured in Belgard’s Concept #57. As visitors approach your home from the sidewalk, they will be naturally inclined to enter into this fabulous, semi-circular pathway from the right. The cobbled appearance of the pavers gives a traditional New England feel to the walkways as it rounds a beautifully landscaped space and connects to the main path to the front door. A small patio before the threshold of your front porch will create a welcoming appeal. As guests leave your property, they can round the arced front center on the opposite side to which they entered, thus completing the path.

Choosing a Design Concept

Here at Braen Supply, we love the wow factor offered by these unique and vibrant Belgard design concepts, but these 8 ideas are only the tip of the iceberg. We strongly encourage you to visit the Belgard website to review all of the brilliant design concepts available for outdoor living rooms, pool decks, driveways, walkways and more. Be sure to also speak with a Belgard Authorized Contractor to make use of even more online design tools and to get a better idea about which concept is right for your NJ home.

Working With Belgard Products in NJ

Reading to create a wow-worthy Belgard outdoor living space of your own? Braen Supply is a Belgard Authorized Dealer and can provide you with all of the information and materials you need to complete the project of your dreams on a budget you can afford. Visit our local showroom to speak with our team of experts and to get started on the process today. We offer bulk delivery to areas throughout most of NJ, and parts of NY, NYC, CT and PA.

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How A Belgard Belair Retaining Wall Can Modernize Your Home In NJ

As a homeowner, you want to do everything in your power to ensure that your property continues to look fresh and modern throughout the years. Not only is maintaining excellent curb appeal important for your own happiness and well being, but doing so also ensures that you can get the maximum value out of your home. If you’ve been feeling like your home’s landscape is a bit lackluster and dated, it’s time for an upgrade. The Belair Wall collection by Belgard offers a simple, affordable and highly effective means of modernizing your home’s exterior.

Characteristics of a Modern Landscape

When we talk about modern landscaping, what do we actually mean? Lush green lawns and sprawling vegetation have been the hallmarks of traditional landscaping, and while green is still chic, modern homeowners are favoring less of it. According to HGTV, today’s most stylish landscapes feature a good balance of plant life and stone or concrete walls, stairs, patios and walkways – often with metal or wood accents. In addition to this, a modern landscape should be simple, sophisticated and free of clutter. A modern landscape is obviously a great fit for modern style homes, but they are also fabulous when juxtaposed against more traditional architecture. Ultimately, this can make even the most classic homes appear more modern and exciting.

Belgard Belair Wall Collection At-A-Glance

The Belgard Belair Wall collection is a perfect fit for any homeowner who is interested in updating their landscape. Belgard is a top designer and manufacturer of excellent hardscaping materials, including wall blocks. These faux “stones” are carefully engineered to look and feel just like natural stone while being manufactured from modern, durable and affordable concrete. Because the blocks are produced from concrete as opposed to natural stone, there is a much higher degree of control over the quality, consistency and uniformity of each block that is sold to homeowners like yourself. Consequently, it’s simple to achieve a clean, sophisticated and clutter-free wall design for your property. The Belair Wall collection, specifically, features soft, neutral colors blended together for beauty, clean lines and rugged texturing. The combination of the geometrically shaped blocks and the ridged and rippling textures make for a truly modern and upscale contrast that will intrigue and delight you and your guests. The Belair collection can be used in designs featuring straight lines, sharp edges, or even curves. This versatility makes it a great option for all landscapes.

Benefits of the Belgard Belair Wall Collection

The Belair collection from Belgard has grown very popular throughout NJ and the northeast, and it’s easy to see why. There are numerous benefits associated with working with these attractive and agile blocks. For starters, the blocks are designed with aesthetics in mind. These are not your grandma’s cinder block retaining wall materials; they’re crafted and engineered with intention, and their look is very “now.” It’s easy to create a modern look for your landscape with these Belgard blocks, pairing green space with “stone.” Whether the blocks are used to construct a retaining wall or a planter, you’ll enjoy the look of contemporary balance. Beyond this, Belgard Belair materials are weather-resistant, durable and long-lasting. This means that your wall or other landscaping features won’t become weathered and worn down over time, thus detracting from the modern vibe you worked so hard to achieve. Instead, your Belair Wall blocks will continue to look fresh and vibrant at all times.

Top Uses for Belgard Belair Wall Blocks

So, how can Belgard Belair Wall blocks be incorporated into your landscape in a way that allows for truly modern design? Here are a few of our favorite ways to improve the look of your home with this stunning wall collection:

  • Retaining Walls – One of the most common ways that Belgard wall blocks (especially those from the Belair collection) are used is in the construction of functional and aesthetically pleasing retaining walls. In addition to preventing erosion and preserving the integrity of your landscape, these gorgeous blocks will create a more modern and appealing look for your entire property, giving your home a much-needed facelift.
  • Raised Planters – Just because your modern landscape features hardscaping elements like Belair Wall blocks doesn’t mean that it can’t also boast a beautiful garden. These wall “stones” are perfect for building raised planters and flower beds.
  • Tiered Landscaping – Get more out of your outdoor living space by leveling off areas of your property and creating tiered landscaping with the Belair collection. The sleek, clean look of each tier will add a modern a appeal to your landscape as a whole, and you and your loved ones will be able to get a whole lot more use out of ALL of your land instead of just small sections.
  • Stairs – Belgard wall blocks can also be used to construct beautiful and upscale staircases. Whether the steps are leading from one tier of your landscape to another or are welcoming your guests to your front door, the Belair collection will provide the modern flavor that you crave.

Achieving Your Perfect Look With Belgard Belair Wall Blocks

Because Belgard wants homeowners to be fully confident in their landscaping decisions, the company has developed two unique project design tools. As you begin considering your options for upgrading your landscape, we recommend that you check out Belgard’s Project Visualizer. Here, you’ll be able to upload a picture of your space and start playing around with different Belgard materials, like Belair Wall blocks in order to see how they’d look within the scope of your property. This will immediately give you a sense for how modern and sophisticated your home can begin to look with these unique blocks, and you’ll be able to easily figure out which colors and shapes will look best within your space.

Beyond the Project Visualizer, Belgard also offers Authorized Contractors and their clients access to Belgard Design Studio. This interactive 3D design tool allows you and your contractor to enjoy full renderings of your landscape upgrade before you ever start breaking ground on your project. This will give you the freedom to play around with the design and layout to make sure that things are “just right” before you begin work. After working with these spectacular tools, you’ll feel confident in your design choices and ready to turn your dreams into a reality.

Working with Belgard Belair Wall Blocks in NJ

Could the Belair Wall collection from Belgard be your ticket to creating a more modern and beautiful landscape of your own? As a Belgard Authorized Dealer, Braen Supply is more than qualified to help you make the right decision for your landscaping upgrade. Our team of experts is happy to answer any questions you may have about Belgard products, and you’ll have the freedom to take a look at how the blocks look and function in our large showroom. You’ll find that our Belgard materials are always available at the lowest and most competitive market rates. Our materials can be picked up at your convenience, or we can bulk deliver your order to locations throughout most of NJ and parts of NY, NYC, CT and PA.

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The 5 Tools You Will Need Before Installing Garden Stones

There are many different ways in which a homeowner can enhance the appearance of his or her property, but there are few that are more attractive than the use of garden stones. In fact, garden stones are so versatile that they can be used in a wide variety of landscaping projects, both large and small, and they’re easy on the budget.

That being said, it’s not like the garden stones are going to spread themselves throughout your yard for you. So, you need to know what type of tools will be required for the installation. Let’s first discuss the primary tools that you’ll need prior to laying down the stones and then we’ll provide you with a quick list of steps to follow for the process.

5 Tools That You Will Need Before Installing Garden Stones

To get you started on your new landscaping project, let’s take a look at five tools that you’ll need to pick up to complete the project:

Steel Rake 

You’ll need a steel rake for a couple of reasons. First, you can use it to rake leaves and other debris out of your yard to start prepping the area for garden stones. The second use for the rake is to even out areas of dirt and the garden stones throughout the preparation process.


Another handy tool that you should pick up for the job is some type of weed eater that will help you get rid of both grass and weeds from your yard. There are a variety of types of weeders, including ones that allow you to stand up while you’re pulling them out, just in case you have any physical ailments that prevent you from being on your hands and knees or knelling to yank them out of the ground.

Hand Tamper

The next tool you’ll need is a hand tamper, which allows you to firmly press down the soil to pack it down. This will be used a few times throughout the preparation process, so make sure that you don’t neglect to pick one up from a gardening department if you don’t already have one.

Landscape Fabric

This is an item that some homeowners seem to forget about when they’re prepping their yard for garden stones, and that could be a big mistake. Even though you’ve pulled the weeds from your yard and spread down weed killer, you should put down a layer of landscape fabric, which will stop any straggling weeds from coming up.


If you do any kind of landscaping work at your home, it’s probably a good idea to have a wheelbarrow in the event that you need to haul a large amount of materials or other items from one place to another. In this case, if you’re receiving garden stones in bulk, this makes moving them to the correct spot a lot easier.

5 Quick Steps to Install Garden Stones

You can see a more detailed list of steps by clicking here, but we thought it’d be a good idea to provide a truncated version to start you off:

Kill Grass and Weeds

The first thing you need to do to prepare your lawn for the installation of garden stones is to kill all of the grass and weeds in the designated areas where you’ll be spreading them. You can start by pulling out as many of the weeds as you can with your trusty weeder, and then spread down some herbicide to get what you missed.

Dig into the Soil

The next step is to dig into the soil by approximately four inches through the area where the garden stones will be spread so that the rocks aren’t placed on uneven ground. If the ground is uneven, you’ll want to grab your steel rake, smooth it out, and then use the hand tamper to compact the soil.

Apply Crushed Stone Pack and Landscape Fabric

In addition to the tools listed above, you’ll also want to pick up some crushed stone pack. Spread approximately 2 1/2 inches of the pack over the compacted soil, use your steel rake to make it even, spray it with a bit of water, and compact it to two inches thick with the hand tamper. Once the crushed stone pack is in place, it’s time to lay down the landscape fabric to stop any weeds from coming up that you might have missed.

Apply Edging

The good news is that you’re almost finished! With the crushed stone pack and landscape fabric down, you need to lay edging around the yard. Follow the landscape fabric edges and lay down the edging there, which will provide additional protection by enforcing the area where you will be placing the garden stones.

Add the Garden Stones

This is the part you’ve all been waiting for, and it’s actually where you get to have some fun. Move your desired garden stones to the prepared area and simply spread them out evenly in the spot. Leave approximately 1/2 inch from the top so that the rocks don’t spill over during a rain. Then, as you might have guessed, spread the stones evenly with your steel rake.

Purchasing Garden Stones in New Jersey

Prior to picking up the required tools for your landscaping project involving garden stones, you should first hunt down a reputable supplier. Braen Supply has been providing all types of landscaping materials for nearly 20 years and can help you get the most out of your next project. Our knowledgeable staff can assist you with selecting the right type of garden stones for your project, give you advice on its specifications, and answer any questions you have. In fact, we’ve recently added landscape design to our expertise, so feel free to come in and speak with our designer, who will help analyze your project’s needs and send you to a reputable contractor. We can have materials bulk-delivered throughout most of NJ and parts of NY, CT, and PA or you can pick up the materials at our New Jersey location.

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6 Cuts Of Stone To Use For Stone Veneer Siding

In terms of redesigning your home in order to improve its appearance and overall value, there are tons of projects that homeowners can take on. One of the more popular types of design projects that homeowners often select is the installation of stone veneer siding, which looks absolutely beautiful and can truly transform your house into something really special.

For today’s topic, we’re going to start with a brief discussion on the types of materials that you can utilize for this particular type of project and then move on to the six cuts of stone that you can choose from. This will give you a good idea as to how to tackle this type of project and what type of cut may work and look best for a particular need, but definitely keep in mind that a professional landscape designer will help you get the most out of it.

Types of Material Used for Stone Veneer Siding

Which material you pick for your stone veneer siding can sometimes come down to the amount of room available, though cost can also be a factor. Here is a brief look of the five types that are available:

  • Full Stone Veneer — If you have room for a full stone appearance, there’s a good chance that this will be your veneer of choice.
  • Thin Stone Veneer — For those who like the idea of a full stone, but don’t quite have the room, this thinner version still looks awesome.
  • Cultured Stone Veneer — This mass-produced, cast concrete material comes in a wide variety of colors and often costs less.
  • Full Brick Veneer — Available in several sizes, textures, and densities, full brick looks awesome and is low-maintenance once installed.
  • Thin Brick Veneer — If you want a full brick appearance, but don’t have enough room for it, this thinner option may be perfect.

Types of Stone Cuts Used for Stone Veneer Siding

The next thing you’ll need to decide is which stone cut you’d prefer for your specific project, which will typically come down to personal preference. Here is a list of our six favorites to choose from:


As you might expect, this stone veneer siding is either square or rectangular in shape. These veneers are made of natural stones, so you’ll find some roughness and variance to their shapes and lines. Some will be irregular in shape and have small cuts that will add visual interest to the material. When installed, these stones are arranged end to end and will often alternate between squares and rectangles. If you’re looking for an indoor or outdoor kitchen, garden walls, or backsplashes, this is a great choice.


Choosing a mosaic pattern provides you with a look that is less symmetrical and geometrical than other choices due to irregular cuts of the stone. You will find shapes such as triangles, jagged diamonds, hexagons, and even octagons within this pattern. They are pieced together randomly, which creates a pattern that often mimics the appearance of broken ice. Because of this, the mosaic pattern can truly stand out in a stunning, positive way. This pattern is perfect for a fireplace, chimney, or wine cellar.

River Round

Homeowners who prefer a smooth appearance with their stone veneer siding are very likely to choose river rock. These veneers feature a wide variety of colors and visual texturing that is created by an irregular pattern of rounded shapes. This offers a very soft and inviting appearance, yet one that is also bold and will catch the eye. This selection also contrasts quite well with wood siding or wood decking. In addition to decking, this is a common choice for fireplaces and chimneys.


Although this type of veneer siding is also rectangular in shape, there is a more dramatic effect than what you get from the square and rectangular siding. Rather than creating large or wide rectangles, stones are arranged to consist of narrower and thinner rectangles that are longer and appear more angular. Depending on the project, ledge stone may be flush against your wall or another surface, or arranged in such a way that some of the stones project outwards while others recess inwards. This type of siding works great for bathrooms, kitchens, and fireplaces.

Ledge Mosaic

This variation of ledge stone changes the arrangement of stone pieces from being in line with those that are below and above each individual unit into a mosaic pattern. The stones are still installed end to end with this type of siding, but its seams do not line up vertically, creating an interesting appearance that adds to the stone’s already naturally occurring beauty. Ledge mosaic is perfect for fireplace hearths, outdoor pillars/columns, outdoor walls, backsplashes, and more.

Ledge Square

Another variation of ledge, this square type of cut takes the classic look and utilizes larger, square pieces reminiscent of those utilized in a square and rectangular layout. This creates a bold contrast between the narrow, angular ledge stones and the softer, larger squares. One notable effect that this has is creating an intriguing appearance, even from far away. This siding works very well for outdoor “living room” walls, interior accent walls, outdoor fireplaces, and exterior siding.

Where to Purchase Stone Veneer Siding in NJ

Regardless of which cut of stone veneer siding, you decide on for your impending project, you certainly can’t do it alone. Braen Supply has been a premier supplier of landscaping materials for just under two decades and our customers return to us, again and again, thanks to our expertise and knowledge of the industry. We’ve also just begun landscape design, which makes us a one-stop-shop for all of your landscaping needs. Our materials are competitively priced and we will bulk deliver to most locations throughout the states of New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut. Or, if you live in the area or will be visiting soon, feel free to drop by and chat with our associates about your next project or pick up some supplies directly from us.

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Where Can I Find Mulch Near Me?

Any homeowner or business owner who has ever tackled a landscaping or gardening project has most likely been introduced to mulch as an optional material to use. In fact, mulch has become an essential component for many residential and commercial applications. There are several types of mulch available, but cedar mulch is typically the most popular, which is why it will be our primary focus for this discussion. The one question is… where can I find mulch near me? Our primary goal today is to answer that question, but we’ll also be looking at the uses of mulch, its benefits, and the types of cedar mulch available. What can we say? We like to be thorough whenever we’re covering an essential subject.

Uses of Quality Mulch

Mulch is a popular material for many types of projects that help enhance the appearance and functionality of your residential or commercial property. Here are a few of the most common uses:

  • Landscape — Mulch has probably been a popular material for landscaping projects ever since landscaping was a thing. That’s how effective it is in improving the appearance of your landscape, in addition to other benefits. The affordable price doesn’t hurt, either, because that means all types of projects and budgets can take advantage.
  • Gardening — If you’re searching for a material that will improve the health of your plants, look no further than mulch. This fantastic material is able to regulate soil temperatures and moisture levels, and will also prevent weeds from stealing nutrients from garden plants. Thanks to mulch, your garden will look and function magnificently.
  • Walkways — Mulch is a popular material for walkways and paths in both residential and commercial applications because it’s soft and comfortable to walk on. Plus, the visual appeal of mulch means that the walkway or path will be pleasing to the eye for homeowners, business owners, and any visitors that come around.
  • Playgrounds — At first glance, the use of mulch in playground areas is a given because it looks inviting and pleasant. But, there is another, much more important reason – it improves safety for your children. This is because mulch provides shock absorption while kids are running, jumping, and playing, decreasing the possibility of injury.

Where to Find Mulch Near Me

Mulch may not be difficult to find most of the time, but where you purchase it can be an important factor to successfully making it a part of your landscape. In fact, you may be tempted to purchase mulch online to save a few bucks, but this is a mistake. When you purchase mulch online or through a non-specialty store such as Walmart or Target, you’ll be missing out on the professional element. A supplier that has years of experience, such as Braen Supply, can provide you with valuable insight into how to get the most out of mulch and other landscaping materials. Plus, their experts can answer questions you may have from the beginning of a project to its end, and even after everything has been finished. This makes ordering from a reputable dealer absolutely indispensable and will help ensure that your project goes off without a hitch and has the best results possible. You simply can’t get that type of assistance when you order online or through a non-specialty retailer.

Benefits of Mulch in Landscaping

If you’ve decided to use mulch in your landscaping project, then you’ve definitely made a great choice. Here is a quick run-down of the benefits that you can expect:

  • Appearance — Mulch comes in light hues, providing a neutral color palette that you can easily incorporate into any landscape design.
  • Pleasant Smell — The pleasant, soothing odor of mulch will delight visitors to your home or business, thereby helping them feel welcomed.
  • Improved Temp Control — The light hues of mulch also help control the temperature of soil around plants by absorbing just enough sunlight.
  • Better Moisture Control — Mulch does a great job at negating evaporation of moisture by the sun, which will help promote healthier growth.
  • Pest Control — Pests often don’t like the aroma of mulch, which means that many rodents and insects will give your landscape a wide berth.
  • Valuable Nutrients — When mulch decomposes naturally, the soil is enriched with nutrients that are released during the process.

Types of Mulch Available

As explained above, cedar mulch is the most popular type of mulch available for both residential and commercial projects. Here are the three types for you to choose from:

  • Brown (Natural) Cedar Mulch — This is a popular choice for many homeowners and business owners because it’s the closest to an earth tone. This will allow any landscaping, gardening, or other project to look as natural as possible.
  • Black Cedar Mulch — This choice provides a striking difference between the mulch itself and the green vegetation, bright flowers, and other surrounding features. Plus, a black background or accent makes everything look better.
  • Red Cedar Mulch — If you’re looking for a type of mulch that will stand out on your property, then this is definitely the one for you. This is, by far, the flashiest color of cedar mulch available, which means it will easily stand out.

Purchasing Mulch Near Me in NJ

Prior to beginning a landscaping project involving mulch or any other such material, you’ll need to locate a reputable supplier. For just under two decades, Braen Supply has been an industry leader in providing assistance with a multitude of landscaping tasks and materials, including mulch, stone, decorative gravel, and much more. Our staff has certainly been around the block more than once and can answer any questions you may have before, during, or after a project. All of our materials are competitively priced and can either be picked up locally at our NJ location or delivered in bulk to areas throughout parts of New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania.

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The Top 10 Creative Ways To Use Decorative Aggregates In Your Yard

If you’ve decided to embark on the adventure of creating a landscape project for your home, we salute your efforts. When searching for a way to make your landscaping project truly stand out, there’s a good chance that you’ll eventually consider the use of decorative aggregates. Given the wide variety of choices available and how they spruce up absolutely any project, it’s obvious why you’d want to use them.

There are almost an endless number of ways that you can utilize decorative aggregates to improve the overall appearance of both your front and backyard. It would be impossible to cover all of them, so what we’ve done is put together a list of some of the more creative uses that homeowners have come up with over the years. Choose one, two, or even a few of them to really help your landscaping project stand out.

Use as a Walkway

Although the first thing that your friends and family will see when they approach your home is the front of the house itself, having an attractive walkway as they make their way to your front door is a fantastic way to set the mood of their visit. Decorative aggregates can be placed closely together into the ground as a way to create a gorgeous, colorful walkway, either as a full path or as a series of stepping stones. You can also shape them into animals and whatnot, or whatever else you desire.

Enhance a Pool Deck

Since swimming pools are such a popular place for people to hang out when they come to visit, the deck area is definitely a place where you want to focus a good deal of your creative energy. You really can’t go wrong with any type of decorative aggregates surrounding your deck, but if you’re going for a tropical look, which many homeowners like to do, there are several different colorful types for you to choose from.

Base of a Mailbox

Many homeowners seem to ignore their mailbox when it comes to attempting to spruce up the appearance of their front yard, but this is a mistake. After all, your mailbox is typically situated at the very front of your yard, which is exactly why so many people decorate the mailbox itself. Adding decorative aggregates to the base of the mailbox will improve its appearance with very little effort.

Line a Walkway

Rather than using decorative aggregates to actually create the walkway leading up to your front door or through your yard, you can also use them to line your existing or future walkway. Doing so will improve the path’s appearance with minimal effort or cost involved. This is a quick and easy use of decorative aggregates that can make a big impact for both household members and visitors to your home.

Flower Bed Edging

Flower beds have become a very popular feature in a variety of landscaping layouts due to the colorful beauty that they can add to both your front yard and backyard. You can increase the attractiveness of flower beds by either filling the entire area with decorative aggregates or use them around the edges to accentuate the plants and flowers.  No matter which way you decide to go, the end result will be absolutely fantastic.

Base of Trees

While the presence of trees will definitely improve the look of your home, not to mention the environmental impact, the truth is that most aren’t exactly exciting or especially colorful in appearance unless they’re bearing fruit or flowers. This makes them the perfect area for adding a collection of decorative aggregates. Simply create a circular pattern, or any shape you would like, around the base of the tree and place your selected aggregates there.

Spotlight a Fire Pit

Many modern homeowners have been redoing their backyard by putting in a fire pit for themselves and others to enjoy. This is an especially popular area during the winter months, but it’s a great place to hang out all year round. Laying down some decorative aggregates is a great way to spruce up its appearance and make the time spent with family and friends around it even better.

Decorate a Slope

When your front yard has a slope due to an uneven ground,  it can actually look pretty cool even if there’s nothing more than grass growing there. However, if you’re looking for a way to make it stand out, then adding decorative aggregates is a perfect choice. In fact, because of the angle, the aggregates will be quite visible, which will help beautify the entire yard and add curb appeal.

Meditation Garden

In today’s often stressful society, it’s important that you relax and regroup from time to time. A meditation garden with decorative aggregate can provide a calming effect for household members and visitors. You’ll be able to choose soothing, pleasant colors that will help bring harmony to your household. And even if you’re not really into meditation or other holistic methods, this type of design is a wonderful idea just for the beautification aspect.

Highlight a Water Structure

Water structures are a very popular landscaping option because they truly add something special and unique to any type of layout. You can highlight these structures by placing decorative aggregates around their base or in the area nearby. Another option is to you choose some aggregates that match the color of the water structure itself to enhance its overall size and appearance.

Buying Decorative Aggregates in New Jersey

Whether you use decorative aggregates in a traditional landscaping design or something a bit more creative, you’re going to need a reliable supplier like Braen Supply. Our team of experts have been providing materials for almost 20 years, and we also perform landscape design where we will analyze your project’s needs and hook you up with a reputable contractor. Our materials are competitively priced, and you can either drop by our facility to pick them up or have them bulk delivered to most areas throughout NJ and parts of NY, CT, and PA.

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The 5 Easy Steps To Making Over Your Yard With Garden Stones

There are a ton of different strategies that a homeowner can use in order to enhance the appearance of their home. Although you can always invest in the installation of stone siding, a complete revamp of your swimming pool deck, or a wide variety of other complicated projects, adding garden stones to either an existing or newly designed landscaping project is a simple way to change the overall appearance of your home’s exterior.

In fact, the installation of garden stones, which can be implemented in a variety of locations and projects, is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to give new life to your home’s yard. Let’s take a look at a few advantages of making over your yard with garden stones and then follow that up with five easy steps that will be involved.

Advantages of Garden Stones

Before we dive into the steps required to make over your yard with garden stones, we’re first going to briefly cover some of the advantages of using garden stones and your landscaping project:

Gorgeous Appearance

First and foremost, garden stones provide an attractive appearance for your landscape, whether you choose muted colors such as black and white or prefer brightly colored stones. And, of course, there are plenty of different types to choose from such as river rock, Mexican Beach Pebbles and pea gravel.


One of the greatest things about the use of garden stones in your yard is that they are extremely low maintenance. Sure, you may occasionally find a rock that has been kicked out of its designated area or picked up and tossed out by a child, but that doesn’t compare to the constant maintenance needed for grass and other vegetation.

Saves Money

Watering your lawn may be a tradition for millions of homeowners, but it definitely takes time and effort to do it properly. Plus, to keep it green all year round, it will often take a great deal of water. With garden stones, you’ll cut down or completely eliminate your need to water the lawn, which means that you’ll save money each month on your utility bills.

Won’t Decompose

Another great thing about garden stones is that, unlike materials such as mulch and wood chips, the stones won’t break down and decompose over time. This means that you won’t have to replace the materials as they become unusable, which will save you both time and money.

Won’t Attract Pests

Pests such as insects and rodents can become a real nuisance in your yard. Materials such as mulch and wood chips attract these critters when they decompose, which obviously won’t be a problem with garden stones.

Five Steps to Using Garden Stones

Now that you understand the advantages of using garden stones in your yard, let’s take a look at the seven steps you’ll need to follow for this landscaping project:

Kill Grass and Weeds

The first thing you’re going to want to do is get rid of all of the grass and weeds in the area where the garden stones will be used for your new landscape. You’ll want to pull or dig up as much as you possibly can and then apply herbicide to the ground in order to stunt further growth.

Dig into the Soil and Smooth It Out

Now that you’ve taken care of the grass and weeds, you’ll need to dig four inches down into the soil. This is done because you don’t want your rocks to sit on any type of high ground and then wash away in a storm. If the ground is uneven, simply dig deeper in certain areas to level it out. Once this is done, smooth out the soil with a steel rake and then use a hand tamper to compact it.

Lay Down Crushed Stone Pack

Next, you’ll want to pick up some crushed stone pack, which is a mixture of stone dust and small crushed stones. Lay approximately 2 1/2 inches of the stone pack over the compacted soil, and then use the steel rake to make it even. After that is done, spray the pack with water to dampen it, compact it to two inches thick, and use your hand tamper to make a hard, even surface.

Lay Down Landscape Fabric

In order to keep any straggler weeds from growing, you need to lay down landscape fabric. If your yard has a curve, simply cut the fabric along the inside and outside edges, overlap it at the cuts of the inside curve and then let it fan out to the outside curve. Lastly, tightly secure the fabric with landscaping spikes.

Lay Edging Around the Yard

The next step is to lay edging around your yard, which is done by following the landscape fabric edges. This will provide additional protection by enforcing the area where you’ll be laying the garden stones.

Pour In the Desired Rocks 

At long last, you’ve reached the point where you will actually lay down your garden stones. For this step, you’ll want to completely cover the landscape fabric, but leave approximately one-half inch of edging at the top so that the rocks don’t spill over. And, once again, grab your trusty rake and even out the surface of the stones.

Outline with Larger Stones

In order to further protect the integrity of your brand new garden stone landscape, lay down some large decorative stones and push them slightly into the smaller stone. Then, rake over the area once more and you’re all finished. Congratulations on your beautiful new landscape!

Purchasing Garden Stones in New Jersey

At some point while making your plans to reinvigorate your yard with garden stones, you’re going to need a supplier that you can count on. Braen Supply has become a premier provider of landscaping materials and landscape design, and can help you make your next project a success. Our materials are competitively priced and can either be picked up at our local New Jersey facility or delivered in bulk to most areas throughout NJ and parts of NY, CT, and PA.

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6 Common Misconceptions About Stone Facades

For decades, creating a stone facade has been an effective way for modern homes to truly stand out. A stone facade can improve the attractiveness of your home, increase its value, and actually make you feel like you’re living in a brand new home without the obvious expenditures of purchasing one.

Unfortunately, there have been quite a few misconceptions about stone facades that have made the rounds amongst certain homeowners over the years. These have often deterred homeowners from installing one, or have at least delayed their plans.  Misconceptions should never hold you back from any type of redesign, so we thought it was important to cover a few of these to put your mind at ease.

Types That Are Available 

Before we get down to the nitty-gritty of stone facade misconceptions, let’s take a quick look at the five different types of stone facades for you to choose from:

  • Full Stone — Utilizing large stones that can be cut and shaped into the design you want, this option displays the entire stone.
  • Thin Stone — In situations where full stone won’t fit, thin stone can be installed instead, and at a lower price point.
  • Cultured Stone —  This mass-produced stone is available in several colors and offers a cost-effective option.
  • Full Brick — This low-maintenance choice is available in a wide range of styles and will add value to your home.
  • Thin Brick — With this stone face choice, you get the appearance of full brick when you don’t have enough room for full brick.

Common Misconceptions

Now that you know which basic types of stone facade are available to you for installation, let’s take a look at a few of the misconceptions that you may have come across over the years, shall we?

Stone All Looks the Same

This is an odd misconception that a lot of homeowners seem to have and we’re not really sure exactly where it comes from. Like most things when redesigning a home, there are plenty of different choices that you can make. In fact, if you read through the different types of stone that we listed above, you’ll see that you have a variety of appearances in style, textures, and colors with some of the selections.

Stone Is Too Expensive

Whenever you decide to take on any kind of landscaping or home improvement project, the cost of such a project is obviously going to be an important factor. Therefore, we don’t blame you at all for thinking that the installation of a stone facade will set you back a great deal of money, especially given how spectacular they look. But, while there are expensive types of stone facades there are also types to fit basically any budget. This means you can still get a beautiful result without breaking the bank.

Stone Is Difficult to Maintain

This is another misconception that people sometimes seem to have, but it’s also one that doesn’t really seem to have much of an origin. It probably stems from the fear that you’re going to spend money on something that can be marred due to either wear and tear, neglect, or carelessness. The truth is that stone is pretty darn easy to take care of and even if there are cosmetic issues caused by interior or exterior forces, you can easily have them redone for a small fee or typically do it yourself.

Stone Is Yesterday’s Design

This specific misconception actually cracks us up a little bit. It seems that many homeowners are concerned with spending money on a project and then having that change suddenly become old news. But, this isn’t like purchasing a new computer, where there’s going to be a brand-new model out the following year. Even stone facades that have been installed for decades keep their value and appearance, and are just as popular now as when they were put in. Each type of stone facade provides a look that definitely won’t go out of style in your lifetime.

Stone Won’t Add Value

This is yet another misconception that doesn’t really make any sense, but the fear itself actually does. After all, not only is your home the place where you live and want to be proud of, but it is also one of the biggest investments that you’ll ever make in your lifetime. Whenever you make such a big change to your home, such as the installation of stone as part of a reinvigoration project, you want to know that it will increase your home’s overall value. It will certainly depend on a few different factors, such as how elaborate the design and installation is, but you’ll definitely see some added value.

Stone Doesn’t Last Very Long

No matter how much a homeowner invests in a stone facade or other type of home improvement project, they definitely want it to last as long as possible. There is a misconception floating around out there that stone facades don’t last very long, but this isn’t true. In fact, once you’ve had a stone facade installed, it will last decades with very little maintenance, if any. Even lower priced stone facades are built with sturdy, reliable materials, so you don’t have anything to worry about. Like all things, the facade will deteriorate over time, but regular upkeep will keep it going strong for many years.

Purchasing Stone in New Jersey

Now that you’ve learned a little about some of the misconceptions involved with stone facades, there’s a good chance that you’re ready to proceed with your project. Once you’re ready to begin, reach out to Braen Supply for all of your material needs, plus our new landscape design services where we will analyze your project and act as a liaison with a reputable contractor. Our team of experts will assist you with every part of the landscaping process and will answer any questions you may have. Our materials are competitively priced and can be either picked up at our New Jersey location or delivered in bulk to most areas of NJ, NY, CT, and PA.

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