When Adam Hansberger of St. Charles decided to tackle a large landscaping project in his backyard, he knew he was going to need a lot of material.
The 32-year-old’s house backs up to the Fox River, and it had a very steep, 35-foot drop in elevation in a short distance. Hansberger wanted to build a nice, big stone stairway to reach water level.
He chose to use Lannon patio steppers and Door County Wisconsin outcropping — large slabs of stone with weathered edges.
“It’s kind of lighter whites and grays [with some rust to it] — it’s a beautiful, beautiful stone,” Hansberger says.
His giant stairway took 32 steps — 50 tons of stone — to reach the river, and then he decided to build a beach, as well, which took 30 tons of sand to create.
Hansberger, who owns a landscaping company in St. Charles called Alpine Landscape, is still working on the project.
But where did he get all of his materials?
“I went to Fox River Stone because we do a lot of business with them, and these stones are just huge — they’re 5,000 pounds each, some of them,” Hansberger says. “Fox River Stone, they’ve got a great selection, great location, and if they don’t have it in their yard, you can just order it and they’ll get it to you.
“I guess the question would be, ‘Why not Fox River Stone?’”
Lafarge is the largest construction aggregate materials company in the world — meaning its supply of limestone, sand, gravel and more is second to none, says Scott Plourde, retail manager for Lafarge Fox River Stone.
The Lafarge Fox River Stone location in South Elgin is unique because it operates as a decorative stone and landscape yard that is open to the public.
“We’re your one-stop shop for landscape projects,” Plourde says.
Fox River Stone has two major markets: masonry and landscape, Plourde says. For the masonry portion of the business, the company carries decorative stones or veneers used on the outside of a house or to build a fireplace or chimney.
The company also has what Plourde calls a garden center — except without any plants. Fox River Stone sells landscape accessories, landscape stone, Belgard pavers, garden benches, topsoil, mulch and even fire pits.
What makes Fox River Stone a nice choice for locals is that they can come and hand-select the stones they’d like to use in a project. That could mean individual stones for a custom-built fireplace, or large pavers that create walkways.
“They can tag stones they want instead of pick from a catalog,” Plourde says.
Natural stone can be used to create countertops, benches, fireplaces, patios, steps and elaborate lawn decorations, and the best part is, it’s completely unique, Plourde says. That’s why it’s such a popular construction material.
“Even if it might look similar to someone else’s, it’s very difficult to find two natural stones exactly the same,” he says.
And, unlike concrete, when stone ages, it doesn’t expose the components of which it is made, he says, noting that Fox River Stone does still carry concrete pavers because they are solid and easy to install.
No matter the project at hand, Fox River Stone can provide the materials and the helping hands to see a project through to the finish.
“We want to help people with their projects,” Plourde says. “Bring your imagination and ideas, and we’ll help you make things possible with what we have.”
Helping the community
Fox River Stone and Lawn Boyz in Batavia recently worked together on a project to improve the front of Geneva High School.
Chad Markuson, 27, owner of Lawn Boyz, has started to implement more landscape design into his traditional lawn service, and on this particular project, he found Fox River Stone to be essential to its completion.
“They were more generous than anyone else,” Markuson says. “We had a small budget. I donated my time and my guys and mulch and materials; Scott donated nearly $2,000 [in] Wisconsin granite boulders and outcropping stones. The project ended up turning out awesome.”
Markuson has worked with Fox River Stone on many occasions and says he has learned a lot of lessons from the company’s helpful employees.
“I know all of the guys there, and they’ve always done a phenomenal job helping me out,” he says.
“They remember your name, and they’re a great company to work with. We build steps with the stones, and at other places, the stone is chipped. Their product is by far the nicest, and they’re definitely comparably priced.”