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How to Use Decorative Stone, Landscape Boulder, & Other Rock on a New York Home

Updated: Oct 19, 2023

Currently, things are looking great for the New York housing market. If you’re looking to sell your property, now is your chance. With competition ramping up, you want your home to stand out. One surefire way to boost the appeal of your home is to invest into its landscaping. If the outside of your home looks good, you can catch the eye of potential buyers. Landscaping rocks and decorative gravels are soaring in popularity in New York. Property owners recognize how beneficial these stones are for their homes for practical and aesthetic purposes. In this guide, we’ll discuss how decorative stones, landscape boulders, and other rocks can be used outside of your home.

New York Home with Stone Driveway

Real Estate Landscape in New York

Current Market Overview

As of June 2023, New York home prices were down 1.8% compared to last year, selling for a median price of $800k. New York homes are also selling at a slower pace, spending 69 days on the market compared to 49 days in 2022. There were 2,976 homes sold in June this year, down from 4,176 last year. This year, 29% of New York homebuyers searched to move out of New York while 71% looked to stay within the metropolitan area. Buffalo homebuyers, in particular, searched to move into New York more than any other metro.

Past Trends

In the past three decades or so, New York housing prices have experienced two periods of rapid increase—1980–1989 and 1996–2006—and two periods of decline—1974–1980 and 1989–1996. Fortunately, the booms were quite substantial whereas both busts were relatively small. Overall, prices increased by 250% from 1974 to 2006. Really, if you look at the past century, real estate prices in New York have continued to rise and have appreciated almost 1,000 times every decade. The prices doubled from the ’50s to the ’60s and nearly doubled again from the ’60s to the ’70s. Once New York came out of bankruptcy in the late ’70s, international buyers noticed New York real estate. Prices rose almost six times in the ’80s and more than doubled in the ’90s.

Future Predictions

Competition for homes in New York is expected to continue. Demand will be maintained given the city’s strong labor market. Overall, New York’s record-setting housing prices reflect a combination of seller confidence and buyer demand, despite rising mortgage rates. Based on New York’s past and current housing trends, the market has proven resilient and subject to growth.

Local Natural Stone and Landscape Materials

Types of Stone Available in New York

DeFeo Materials has a wide variety of stones that we offer here in New York. The following types of stones are available for purchase:

New England River Rock:

New England River Rock is a multi-colored round stone. This rock serves as an excellent replacement for Delaware River Jack. New England Rock is a lot more unique than Delaware River Jack. Our stone has more colors and is more vibrant. Additionally, New England River Rock’s roundness makes it better than traditional stone when it comes to drainage.

New England River Rock

Berkshire Blend:

Berkshire Blend is a stone formed deep in the Berkshire mountains. It’s a decorative stone that comes in an array of colors. Between its striking colors and rounded shape, Berkshire Blend surpasses many other stones in visual appeal. It is one of our most sought after decorative stones. This affordable stone can also be used for a variety of applications.

Berkshire Blend

Niantic River Rock:

Niantic River Rock is a blend of multi-colored gravel. It has a round shape that many customers find appealing. Its unique red hues sets it apart from other rocks. Its distinctive coloring and roundness makes the Niantic River Rock a real beauty. This rock can be used for a variety of landscaping purposes and will look good on any property.

Niantic River Rock

Hudson Valley River Rounds:

Hudson Valley River Rounds are our newest blend of stone. These stones can be most compared to and are a great replacement for Mexican Beach Pebbles. As suggested by the name, these stones are found in the Hudson River Valley. Given their range of colorful hues, these stones can accent many properties.

Hudson Valley River Rounds

Westerly River Rounds:

Westerly River Rounds are a type of river rock. Westerly River Rounds can be found in the coastal region of Westerly Rhode Island. This rock is a perfect choice for customers who are looking for a native option that is a little more rounded. Unlike most other native gravels that are more angular in shape, this river round has a smooth texture.

Westerly River Rounds


Slate is a stone produced by crushing and screening large deposits of slate. It’s considered the best alternative to mulch because it doesn’t deteriorate and is less likely to blow away. Because its color is fade resistant, you won’t need to replace it annually. This decorative stone can be used for flower beds and around walkways.


Benefits of Using Local Materials

Fortunately, New York has plenty of local materials to build with. Because these materials require little processing and transporting, the environmental and economic costs are low. Some resources are renewable where others are so abundant that their supply seems inexhaustible. One of the biggest benefits to building with local materials is that they fit well with the feeling or aesthetic of any place in the area.

Why Choose DeFeo Materials

DeFeo Materials can offer you more varieties, sizes, and colors of decorative rock compared to any of our competitors, and we can deliver stones to you or your wholesale yard by the truckload. We provide the highest quality river rock on the east coast and all our premium river rocks have a smooth, polished texture. Our customers here in New York are never disappointed. We have been serving New York since 2016 and we have supply yards all throughout several towns and cities here. You are guaranteed to find a stone that will fit your tastes and needs.

Decorative Stone in New York Homes

Understanding Decorative Stone

Decorative gravel can totally transform the outward appearance of your home for the better. Decorative stones come in many different colors and styles. Not only can you create certain aesthetics with decorative gravels, but you can also use them for a variety of other applications. Before selecting a stone, you should consider what your ultimate goals are. What function do you want the stones to serve?

Decorative stones are commonly used to cover garden beds, borders, and planting beds. These rocks are often between ¾ inch to 3 inches in diameter, and they cover the ground in layers no less than 3 inches thick. Using decorative stones in a garden can be hugely beneficial in that they offer weed protection and moisture control. Rocks can help retain moisture around shrubs, trees, and other plants, while adding drainage to control natural erosion around your home.

Other decorative gravels can be used for pathways, walkways, or even driveways. Stones are incredibly durable and will resist any degradation from being walked on. Some decorative stones are used around ponds and other water features. Some stones are naturally suited to water and can offset your garden.

Keep in mind that the application of a stone will depend on the type of stone it is and what features it has. For example, hard stones work better for driveways. Pebbles make for great walkways because their smooth, rounded texture is easy to walk on. River rocks are fitting around water features such as ponds or fountains, and can offer a natural, serene look.

Selecting the Right Decorative Stone

When selecting the right decorative stone, you’ll want to stay attuned to your home’s aesthetic as much as possible. Styling choices with decorative stones should enhance your home’s appearance rather than detract from it. You’ll want to think about which stones are most cost-effective depending on what area you live. Matching the stones to your local environment will accent your landscape too. However, New York is a multicultural city and the same can be said for the architecture as well. New York homes represent the diversity of the state with their varying styles, and they present a range of aesthetics from diverse periods and cultures. So, DeFeo Materials offer a wide variety of stones for New York customers to choose from in return. If you’re still feeling a little overwhelmed and unsure as to what stone will look best, here’s a little cheat sheet to help:

  • Modern and contemporary homes tend to stick with flagstone or chipped rock, which offers a clean appearance.

  • Spanish homes often have a cobblestone driveway.

  • Colonial homes add boulders to the yard for an edge to an old frame.

  • Boho-style homes look great with multicolored stones that show off their fun style.

Installation Tips and Techniques

Landscaping can have a major impact on the impression a home makes. In fact, curb appeal can even improve the value of your home. The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) claims professional landscaping can increase a home’s price tag 15% to 20% more at the time of resale. So, it is worth it to prioritize the outdoor maintenance of your home and you can do so by utilizing decorative stone. Not only does stone add more value to a home but its longevity is unmatched. Stone does not break down and can stand the test of time. The same cannot be said for other materials. When it comes to decorative stones, you can complement your patio, create a pathway, build steps, construct stone veneers, replace your mulch, and more! There are so many ways to spruce up the appearance of your home.

Landscape Boulders in New York Homes

Understanding Landscape Boulders

Boulders are typically used in landscapes to make walkways, garden borders, and retain walls. Because landscape boulders are the heaviest option, you’ll need to plan out the landscape ahead of time to make sure you place them in the right location the first time. When thinking about what type of landscape boulder will suit your needs, consider the rock’s features. For example, a Chilton limestone boulder is a common porous option. However, a porous rock will show more weathering than harder options, like river rocks. For this reason, river rocks tend to be the most popular boulder choice.

Choosing the Perfect Landscape Boulder

Choosing the perfect landscape boulder depends on a few significant factors:

  • How your boulders will be used

  • What aesthetic you’re going for

  • What you’re willing to spend on them

The type of rock itself is less important than the look you’re seeking. Landscape boulders come in all sorts of unique colors. But what we will say is that choosing local rocks will typically ensure that you can keep costs down while staying true to the colors of your region.

Installation Tips and Techniques

You should most definitely come up with a plan before installing landscape boulders. Boulders can be very difficult to move so you’ll want to know where you’re placing them beforehand. If the boulders are being placed in your front yard, they will be much easier to place than if they need to be hauled to the backyard. Figure out where you want to set your boulders and what position you will put them in ahead of time to avoid any heavy mistakes. Additionally, it’s best to place boulders in clusters and have them slightly buried. Landscape fabric should also be placed underneath them for stability and weed prevention.

Palletized Stone in New York Homes

Understanding Palletized Stone

Palletized stone in New York can be used for either residential or commercial projects. Previously, only used for pavements and walkways, these stones are now incorporated into decorative landscape and architecture. Palletized stone can increase the beauty and value to any landscaping project. Not only is this stone a great accent but it's stain-resistant and durable as well.

Choosing the Right Palletized Stone

When it comes to choosing palletized stone, the best advice that we can give you is to see it in person. To an extent, stone does change over time, so it’s strongly recommended to see it in person before you buy it. Like decorative stones and landscape boulders, you want to ensure that the palletized stone matches your property’s aesthetic. The aesthetic and the function are the biggest factors in the selection process.

Installation Tips and Techniques

Similar to landscape boulders, you should work out your plans with placement first. Before moving forward with installation, you should know where you want to place your palletized stone. You can always make smaller adjustments later on but the installation process will be smoother if you’ve already made your major decisions about placement and design. Once you know your intended placement, you’ll need to take careful measurements. Accurately measuring width, length, and depth of the intended location can help you order the right number of palletized stones. Finally, make sure the soil beneath the stones is firm. Before you place your palletized stones, tamp down the soil to create a firm base. Landscape fabric can also be used to prevent the stones from sinking and weeds from growing underneath them.

Recap: Why New York Homes Are So Unique

Given the housing market in New York, now is a great time to be a prospective buyer or seller. If you’re a seller, you want your home to do well on the market. You can achieve this by investing in the landscape of your home. Decorative stones, landscape boulders, and palletized stones can elevate the overall appeal of your New York home. By using local materials and embellishing the architectural style of your home, you can create a frontrunner on the market. If you have any questions or concerns about personalized solutions, we encourage you to reach out to us!

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