2625 Butterfield Rd. Ste 104S
Oak Brook, Illinois 60523
Phone 630-472-2851
Fax 630-472-3150


Hardscape Illinois
Version 2.0

The term "hardscape" has gone mainstream. A decade ago, the word conjured up a confused look on behalf of the client. Now, clients ask for hardscaping by name.

There is no other program like Hardscape Illinois. This second offering of the seminar will bridge the knowledge gap for natural stone. The course is designed for any landscape professional interested in deepening his or her knowledge of natural stone and how it fits into a finished landscape.

The course is not merely about product awareness. It will delve deeper into how to achieve the best results when using the material in both base preparation and flatwork construction. As with landscaping, the money spent on what you don't see is more important than the money spent on what you do see.

The program was developed by hardscape contractors and suppliers to equip attendees with the knowledge necessary for dealing with this beautiful but challenging material.

Prepare to enter the stone age.

Version 2.0 of the program will include:

  • Timed in March to incorporate these principles prior to the landscape season.
  • installation horror stories to prevent you from making the same mistakes
  • longer Q&A with experience contractors and suppliers
  • Preview of brand new products and materials
  • heavier emphasis on flatwork and prep
  • hardscape glossary of terms
  • Updated inspiration gallery of amazing hardscape jobs

Quick Links

Premier Sponsor:

Additional Sponsors:

Lafarge Fox River Stone

Rochester Concrete Products

Whitacre Greer, Co.

Capital Stoneworks

Semco Stone

Premium Travertine

Buechel Stone Corp.

Date and Location
March 26, 2015
Lindner Conference Center
610 E. Butterfield Rd., Lombard, IL 60148
Registration opens at 8:00am. Seminar is from 8:30am-3:00pm

The Lindner Conference Center, Lombard

Who Should Attend

The course is designed for foremen, designers, sales professionals, owners and senior managers. The sessions will cover construction techniques as well as material and product awareness. Landscape designers and sales professionals will also gain tremendous value by gaining a better understanding of how to design with and sell natural stone.

CE Credits Available

  • LACES approved for 5.5 CEs for landscape architects
  • 6 CEUs available for PLANET's Certified Landscape Technicians/Landscape Industry Certified


Cost and Registration

The fee is $125 per student. The cost covers the program, lunch, refreshments, and materials.

Online Registration Form

Paper-based registratin Form (PDF)


Offer hardscaping or natural stone products or services? Sponsor Hardscape Illinois. The audience will be filled with landscape and hardscape companies looking for products that augment the lessons-learned. Materials will be provided in a sponsor bag to all attendees and may be included on the sponsor tables. There will also be plenty of time to interact with the attendees before and after sessions. Also, one company representative is included in the price of the sponsorship.

Online Sponsorship Form
Paper-based Sponsorship form (PDF)

About the Program


Welcome, introductions and opening

Enter the Stone Age
Take a tour of some of the most amazing, jaw-dropping landscape projects feraturing natural stone. The introductory session will provide photos of projects where landscape professionals and masons are taking natural stone to new heights. Once the principles of natural stone are understood, a landscape professional is only limited by his or her own creativity.

Meet the Sponsors + New Products Showcase
Event sponsors will briefly introduce themsleves and their companies. They will discuss new products and materials in the natural stone marketplace and how these are making for easier installation and healthier margins.

Natural Stone Materials 101
Daniel Wood, Lurvey Landscape Supply
Let's dive in! This session offers a crash course in natural stone materials and types. This session will scratch the surface of a variety of natural stone types including: Travertine, Marble, Limestone, Sandstone, Quartzite, Argillite, Slate, Porphyry, Basalt, and Granite.

Don't worry, there won't be a test. All of these materials and construction techniques will be explained in detail during the rest of the program.


Site Preparation for Flatwork
Jon Hirsch, Krugel Cobbles
Understand the fundamentals of bidding, planning and executing a base preparation for a hardscape project.

Excellent hardscape projects begin with what the client will never see. This session will explain various pre-dig hazards and how they can lead to costly delays. Understand how selecting the proper access to a site will help your crews and your bid. Removals are half of the battle. Learn how to match material to equipment. Learn to develop a plan for spoils and debris. Basing and gravel are essential to a proper installation. Understand when to use aggregate, fines, and all points in between. Lastly, understand how weather conditions can severely impact a hardscape job.


Dimensional Materials for Horizontal Applications and Flatwork
Daniel Wood, Lurvey Landscape Supply

The session will detail

  • Bluestone:
    • Natural cleft vs. thermal, nominal dimension vs full dimension
    • Available colors
    • Surface textures and edge treatments
  • Limestone:
    • Production of natural bed layer vs sawn and with a surface texture, Nominal dimension vs full dimension
    • Commonly available colors/types
    • Surface textures and edge treatments.

The session will also cover the other available types: Travertine, Marble, Sandstone, Quartzite, Slate, Basalt, and Granite

Methodology for Flatwork Construction using Dimensional Stone
Jon Hirsch, Krugel Cobbles
After an overview of common materials used for dimensional construction, the session will provide construction methodologies. It will cover base prep, construction technique, and other factors to consider when performing flatwork.


Irregular Flagstone Material for Horizontal applications/flatwork
Greg Hirsch and Heath Frey, Hirsch Brick and Stone
Jim Larson and Brandon Hornung, Capital Stoneworks
The session will cover use of irregular bluestone and limestone. It will also examine other available types: sandstone, quartzite, slate, argillite, and granite. It will examine construction, cutting techniques and patterns.

Clay Pavers, Stone Cobbles and Curbing
Marc Caifano, Lurvey Landscape Supply
Greg Hirsch and Heath Frey, Hirsch Brick and Stone

The session will cover clay pavers whether wire cut, pressed, molded, straight edge, beveled, lugs, no lugs, tumbled, reclaimed, and in various sizes. The second half of the session will examine cobbles, pavers & curbing, limestone (sawn, split, tumbled,), bluestone (tumbled, thermal), and granite (cobbles, sawn, split, thermal)

Big Rocks, Outcropping, and Wallstones
Paul Laiblin, Scott Byron & Co.
Jim Larson and Brandon Hornung, Capital Stoneworks
The session will cover a variety of construction materials for natural stone construction projects. Materials will be examined for dry wallstone, slab steps, outcropping, and boulders.

The session will examine proper uses of fieldstone/reclaimed, random vs. spec peices, limestone, granite and other materials. It will discuss how to properly sling boulders, creative use of skid-steers and slides, and examples of how NOT to build to avoid repeating these common mistakes.


Wrap the day up with a nice bow. View a handful of projects that take hardscaping and masonry to the next level. With a sound understanding of the materials in place, the conclusion will show projects outside the realm of normal. When a client dreams, you can now deliver.



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