About Ferrell

We provide a full line of residential, architectural and institutional brick & stone veneer. From new home construction projects and landscaping design to commercial construction, architectural projects, and institutional/industrial building, we have all the products and services to fulfill all your needs.

More Information

Archive for the ‘Building Trends’ Category

  • Build a retaining wall

    Posted on : 29-05-2019 | By : Rohinton Gatta | In : Building Trends

    Are you looking to level a steep slope or build and enclose a raised garden bed? A simple interlocking block retaining wall may be your answer. Retaining walls can be a simple weekend project when properly planned and can greatly enhance your landscaping.

    Interlocking retaining wall blocks have a lip on the bottom of the rear side to lock the blocks together. When the gap behind is filled in with earth forces the blocks forward strengthening the joints. These systems are meant for relatively low walls between 15 to 28 inches.

    Stone retaining wall for flower bed

    Follow these 8 steps to build your wall:


    Step 1   

    Measure and mark out you retaining wall using line and stakes.


    Step 2

    Dig a trench for the foundation layer of blocks. You need your first row to be slightly below grade and the width of the trench should be twice the width of the block so you can easily center and level each one. The depth will vary depending on which block you choose but generally around 6 to 8 inches deep.


    Step 3

    Compact the soil in the trench using a tamper and then add a 2-3 inch layer of paver base. Rake it in to create a level surface and compact this once again using a hand tamper.


    Step 4

    Use a chisel and hammer to remove the lip from the first row of blocks. Then set and level your first block. Add more paver base if required or use a rubber mallet to compact the block down into the trench. Continue laying your first row of blocks checking the level as of them as you go.  Continuously leveling is a key factor to a long lasting retaining wall. An uneven wall will have weaker joints and deteriorate quicker. Taking extra care on the first row will make other rows more uniform.


    Step 5

    For your second row cut your first block in half to stagger the joints. Lay the remaining blocks in the row and then finish with the other half of the cut block.  Continue this pattern with staggered joints until you reach your desired height.


    Step 6

    To prevent earth from seeping through your joints drape landscape fabric along the back of the blocks and backfill with gravel for proper drainage.


    Step 7

    When you’re ready to lay the top cap or final row sweep any debris away first. Use construction adhesive to secure the caps to the row below.


    Step 8

    Fold over any excess landscape fabric and cover with topsoil or mulch.


    At this point you should have a finished retaining wall to be proud of. If you need help planning your retaining wall stop in at any of our locations and one of our expert staff will be more than happy to assist you.

    Read Full Article

  • Landscape Trends for 2019

    Posted on : 15-05-2019 | By : Rohinton Gatta | In : Building Trends, News & Updates

    Now is the time to get your backyard ready for the summer season. You might have a blank canvas to work with or you’re simply tired of your old deck and need something new. The key to creating a backyard you’ll love and love inviting your friends and family to visit is making livable spaces. Creating outdoor spaces that flows from indoors to outdoors for entertaining, cooking, and relaxing that you’ll use over and over again.

    Outdoor Fire Pits       

    An outdoor fire pit is wonderful to relax next too and can extend your time outside by keeping you warm on chilly nights and even well into the fall.

    Water Features

    Who doesn’t love the sound of water in the garden? Water trickling over stones adds an atmosphere of peaceful relaxation to your space. You don’t need to build a large pond. There are many options that will add the sound of trickling water to your space so you can have a more zen space.

    Quality over style

    Invest in quality and natural materials. Consider how it will withstand the elements. Are there special considerations for your areas climate you should be aware of? Heavy rain, common drought, strong winds etc. Build your landscape and patio features to last. What material should you be using? Stone, brick or wood? You don’t want to rebuild them every year. If you don’t know ask an expert.

    Create separate living spaces

    Whatever you decide to do in your backyard build your spaces to fit your needs. Create a separate cooking space, an entertaining space, a lounging space  or a space to relax by the fire.  You don’t want to lounge next to the barbeque. Create another space where you can relax away from that.


    Light your space

    Lots of lighting will not only increase the attractiveness of the space but allow you to get more use out of outdoor areas. Incorporating outdoor lighting throughout your landscaping will help you maximize the use of your whole backyard.

    Low Maintenance

    Before you build, plant or landscape consider how much ongoing work your new outdoor feature is going to cause you.  More time enjoying your outdoor space is preferable to more time maintaining it. Don’t create an ongoing headache for yourself.

    Whatever you decide to do with your space we’re here to help. Stop by our Hamilton location and experience our new Landscape Design and Install Program, including professional design, 3D renderings and video walkthrough. If you love it, we’ll install it! Stop by today!



    Read Full Article

  • Fire pits and autumn go hand in hand.

    Posted on : 18-10-2013 | By : Ferrell Contributor | In : Building Trends, News & Updates, Products


    I don’t know about you, but I just love autumn-the colourful leaves, the crispness in the air, sitting outside around the fire pit roasting marshmallows….yum!

    Speaking of fire pits…..come in to one of our stores in Hamilton, London, Waterloo or Fonthill and talk to our knowledgeable staff about building your own fire pit (check your local by-laws first). Can’t you just taste those smores now!



    Fire pit by Unilock®


    Read Full Article

  • Building Trends for 2013

    Posted on : 18-04-2013 | By : admin | In : Building Trends

    The design choices of 2013 will be shaped by uncertainty over how long current home owners will stay and what future buyers tastes may be. So, home owners needs and style preferences are more influential in today’s designs than what buyers want.

    Here is a baker’s dozen of changes that design pros and manufacturers say are emerging and will make greater inroads:

    1. Smarter, Less Costly Automated Controls: With lives continuing to be busy and automation costs coming down, it’s become more affordable to control a home’s systems temperature, security, electronics, lighting, and more through a single device, even from an iPhone, iPad, or iPod. Doing so can eliminate multiple controls and make it easy for home owners to manage things around their home, even when they aren’t there, says Jim Carroll, a founder of Savant Systems in Cape Cod, Mass., which designs and develops integrated automation solutions. The average family has more than 80 different devices that can be controlled with one system, he says. Anna Lowder and husband Harvi Sahota are incorporating more of these systems in homes they build for their Mercer Home residential building company in Montgomery, Ala. One example is the Nest Intelligent Thermostat, which can be controlled remotely, react intuitively to home owners habits, and adjust to conserve energy costs.

    2. Outdoor Living Rooms and Screened Porches: A trend that began a few years ago continues to inspire home owners to think beyond terraces and decks. These spaces have more of the feeling and function of an indoor room better furnishings, fire pits, curtains, and even televisions and audio systems. Some spaces are designed as courtyards for greater privacy, yet with high-efficiency glass windows and doors to make them energy-smart and seamless with indoor rooms, says Lowder of Mercer Home. Further helping to blur lines between outdoor and indoor spaces is the rise of screened porches, which have gained more indoor accoutrements such as fireplaces, making them livable nearly year-round.

    3. Outdoor Kitchens, Vegetable Gardens, and More: Interest continues in outdoor food preparation of all kinds as simple as a grill and as elaborate as a built-in cook’s station with sink, storage, beer tap, pizza oven, refrigerator, and counter tops. Newer amenities include a hybrid grill that permits cooking with both gas and wood or charcoal and prefabricated kitchens that save funds, says landscape designer Michael Glassman in Sacramento, Calif. With a kitchen in place, many home owners move on to plant a vegetable garden, preferably including raised beds to avoid bending too much, Glassman says. He suggests starting with what home owners want to eat and cook tomatoes, peppers, garlic, and herbs for gazpacho or spaghetti sauce and learning through practice what thrives in an area’s soil and climate. Essentials are healthy soil, drainage, and readily available water. The next new food trend is a backyard pond with organically-raised fish that home owners can consume without trekking to a market, says Erik Coffin, CEO and owner of Gotham Capital Management in West Hollywood, Calif.

    4. Themed Designs: After years of stark contemporary design, themed decorating is making a comeback, according to Montclair, N.J.-based designer Blanche Garcia. There are more home owners asking for a European flair, perhaps antique sconces and velvet pillows, she says. And partly due to excitement from the recent royal wedding, British-style motifs continue to proliferate, including Union Jack flags, red phone booths, and hounds tooth, floral, and crown patterns, says Paul Berberian, creative director of Brewster Home Fashions, a wallpaper company in Randolph, Mass.

    5. Media Frenzy: With more families remaining home rather than traveling, rooms are being devoted to TV and other multimedia entertainment with comfortable seating, tables, and good lighting. They’re designed to have a more “home” feel than media rooms of the past, Garcia says.

    6. New Neutrals and Color Pops: With the country still in the financial doldrums, neutrals remain more popular than vibrant hues, says Erika Woelfel, director of color marketing at Behr Paint in Santa Anna, Calif. Nevertheless, neutrals aren’t the same whites, creams, and beige’s, she says. A blue-gray that works well with the range of popular blues and the purples they’ve replaced are making inroads; they offer a fresh background, she says. In contrast, bright new accents such as such as raspberry-pink may attract greater attention than a straightforward red. There’s also a range of yellows, which complement blue-grays. And designer Ron Marvin of Ron Marvin Design in New York also sees a trend toward orange and purple accents. How long will these colors last? “Paint colors tend to move in cycles of five to 10 years and follow other home-decor categories, which in turn follow fashion” Woelfel says.

    7. More Double-Duty Furnishings: With homes continuing to be scaled back and many baby boomers moving into condos, more furniture and furnishings need to do double duty in smaller spaces. Expect to see ottomans used for seating and storage, couches that convert to beds, and coffee tables that can rise for dining. This trend means that the one in a house that’s not shrinking is the garage, which is often still big enough for two cars and storage.

    8. Lighter Looks: Smaller homes and spaces call for scaled-back pieces and better illumination that makes rooms look larger. “I don’t like overwhelming rooms” says Courtney Fohrman of Fohrman Interiors in Chicago. To achieve this, she suggests swapping out large bookshelves for wall-mounted shelves, opting for tailored furniture over clunky items, and welcoming natural light.

    9. Green Merchandise: Interest in sustainable products and materials keeps attracting attention particularly when it comes to choosing paints, adhesives, counter tops, and flooring. “Most furniture companies and paint manufacturers have at least one item or line that fits the green movement” Garcia says. Large paint companies such as Benjamin Moore, Glidden, Kelly Moore, and Sherwin Williams offer zero-VOC or odor-free paints, according to Healthy Homes Plans, founded by Linda Mason Hunter, author of The Healthy Home: An Attic to Basement Guide to Toxin-Free Living.

    10. Energy and Water Efficiency: Efforts to conserve energy and water throughout the home continue to be popular, including low-water toilets and sinks, better functioning furnaces, and improved insulation. Solar panels are more integrated into roofs so they’re less of an eyesore. Gray recycled water can be used in toilets and to water gardens, while more drought-tolerant plants and replacements for impermeable hard-scape allow greater water retention, Coffin says.

    11. Panelized Homes: More factory-built homes help to cut building costs at the site by reducing the amount of labor time needed in the field. Besides cost savings, there’s the ability to improve quality control, says Eric VanDerHeyden, executive vice president of RSI Development in Newport, Calif., which uses a variety of plans ranging from 1,232 square feet to 2,500 square feet. “It can cut the cost in half and construction time from a year to eight weeks” he says.

    12. Handcrafted Elements: Many home owners desire hand-crafted artisanal pieces for a greater personalized look. Some are made from reclaimed rustic wood, which adds a homey, inviting feeling, says Brad Ford of Brad Ford ID in New York.

    13. Stylish Kitchens and Bathrooms: These remain at the top of many home owners wish lists, as they reflect the trend of remodeling rather than adding on, says Bill Millrolland, executive vice president of Case Design Remodeling in Bethesda, Md. The transitional look, a middle ground between traditional and contemporary has become more popular. This is evidenced by choices such as cove rather than crown molding, dark-stained or painted finishes rather than natural maple or cherry, and larger format tiles rather than smaller 12 by 12 and 6 by 6 ones, he says. Designer Wendy Johnson in Manchester Village, Vt., also sees continued interest in kitchens, particularly when they become even more open “live-in” spaces for cooking, eating, socializing, doing homework, or paying bills. Likewise, master suites serve multiple functions, including unwinding, sleeping, and bathing. Millrolland reports more requests for Universal Design features that permit home owners to age in place but don’t convey an institutional look: Grab bars masquerading as towel bars, kitchen counters of different heights for wheelchair access, and wider hallways and doors to permit walkers and wheelchairs through.

    No matter what the market’s doing though, the best advice you can give to home owners is to make design decisions based on their hearts and wallets rather than media predictions and hype.


    Read Full Article

  • Welcome to the New Ferrell!

    Posted on : 25-03-2013 | By : admin | In : Building Trends

    Welcome to Ferrell Builders’ Supplies new website!

    Read Full Article

  • © 2006-2019 Ferrell Builder's Supply LTD.