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What To Know About Hawaiian Rock Walls

By | Hawaii, Real Estate | No Comments

Some of the most enduring and ancient structures on the Big Island were built with lava rocks in the dry-stack method, utilizing no mortar. Today, examples of beautiful lava-rock walls can be seen throughout the islands on residential properties, commercial areas, and alongside roads and highways.


In the state of Hawaii, the most talented rock-wall masons are located right here on the Big Island. Because of the abundance of lava rock on our volcanic island, the opportunities for building walls and terraces out of lava are seemingly endless. Multi-generational Hawaiian, Tongan and Samoan masons specialize in this quintessentially island-style of building. But before you hire a mason, be sure to ask around to find the most reputable and skilled contractor. Like any other profession, there are bad apples in every crowd.

Although the dry-stack method is still in use today, most rock walls are fashioned together with cement for a firm hold. The type of rock most favored for rock-wall building is the Hawaiian blue rock, which is easily mined and has a relatively smooth finish.


Masons purchase rock from landowners, obtain rock from quarries or harvest rock themselves from friends’ properties. Blue rock is used to build everything from walls, stairs, archways and pillars, to columns, outdoor showers, spas, entryways, pavers, stands for mailboxes, water features, ranching pens, retaining walls, terraces and more. For structures, each layer is locked into place like a puzzle. The fit should be tight with relatively few gaps.

Although blue rock is the most common kind of rock used for masonry, the rugged a‘a lava makes for beautiful rock walls as well. Pahoehoe lava is the most stunning of all the options, showcasing a smooth, ropey and often colorful surface that makes a great veneer for fireplaces and interior accents, as well as walls. Pahoehoe is pretty much only available on the Big Island, therefore an outdoor shower made of authentic pahoehoe is not something you’d likely see on any of the other islands, unless the owner used faux pahoehoe cast in cement that looks like the real thing.

A highly desirable rock for historical applications, moss rock conjures the passing of time and nature’s influence through the centuries.


If you think most walls are solid rock on the inside, this is not usually the case. Generally, walls are built slightly tilting inward, with the interior of the wall filled with rubbish rock. Some rock walls have drainage pipes installed to divert water.

The top of the wall is also of prime importance. Some walls are capped with cement, while other walls are topped with rocks that are flat for an even surface. Masons can get creative with the caps, building them in a cantilever style or even adding insets to mount bamboo fencing on top, or to install solar lights that run the length of the wall.



Examples of amazing rock-wall work are on full display in the resort communities of Kukio, Mauna Lanai, and Hualalai Resort. There are countless beautiful rock walls along Ali‘i Drive and throughout most all residential neighborhoods in Kona. The best of the best rock-wall masons in the state are right here on the Big Island.

Real Estate, Hawaii Style!

By | Real Estate | No Comments

Aloha in the Details…

Part of the fun in Real Estate is getting to know my clients and forming lifelong friendships along the way. When a client allows me to enter their home, they are sharing with me a very intimate part of who they are, what their life is about, what’s important to them, their stories and what they hope to do in the future. Their homes reflect their life and I couldn’t be more grateful that they chose to include me in a small part of it. One of the things I like to do, especially here in Hawaii, is being able to see the visual storytelling unfold through the art, decor choice and details throughout their homes. I wanted to share just a few of my favorites with you.

Hawaii has beautiful landscaping. My client brought this art piece in to reflect the red candle wax bamboo found around the grounds at Kanaloa.

I like how this client incorporated a black and white color scheme throughout their home. The beddings, artwork and utensils all carry the same theme. How fun!

Black and White

Contact Info:

For any of your Real Estate questions, feel free to give me a call or email me at I would love to come “talk story” and learn more about who you are and the services and advice I can share with you.

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By | Hawaii, Home For Sale, Real Estate | 3 Comments

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By | Hawaii, Home For Sale, Real Estate | No Comments

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By | Hawaii, Home For Sale, Real Estate | No Comments

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Big Island Real Estate: Searching Made Easy

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Whether you’ve been a Hawaii native your entire life or you’re brand new to the beautiful islands, there truly is no better place to call home. The Hawaiian real estate market is booming, and there has never been a better time to purchase big island real estate. With an incredible selection of homes ranging from quaint bungalows to sprawling estates right on the ocean – there truly is something for everyone. Read More