A picture is worth a thousand words, and Jon Palaima deserves to be praised with both. So we include here some "before" and "after" pictures of our home patio, so you can see the magical transformation Jon performed.
Jon and his helpers laid down the patio in the late fall, carrying everything up an old flight of stone steps from our driveway to the back yard (our house stands on a steep hillside). At one point they used a conveyor belt, but they had to build it first. Then as the weather got colder, Jon completely rebuilt that same flight of stone steps. One week it was so cold, he and his helpers built a tent with a heater—we called it their igloo—in order to work with mortar and other materials that would otherwise have frozen.
Through all this, Jon never complained. Nor did he ever fail to show up or make us wait while he juggled our job with those of other customers. He stayed focused, always thinking of better ways to integrate the design with our difficult terrain, to make sure the drainage was just right (we now have a dry basement!), and finally to revive our old stone wall by running a bluestone cap along it. That long graceful curve pulls the whole thing together with a flourish—and it was all Jon's idea.
Jon also does excellent interior work. He gutted and restored our vintage fireplace, which previous owners had rebuilt in an unfortunate way.
In sum, Jon is an expert craftsman, an unbelievably hard worker, an artist, and a thoroughly honest and decent person. We recommend him enthusiastically and with no reservations whatsoever.
Martha Bayles & Peter Skerry (Newton, MA)