When we received the bids for stucco, we were surprised at the cost. Stucco is labor intensive and requires an application of wire lath and three coats of stucco over the entire surface making it more expensive than we thought. Limestone rock is quarried just a few miles from the house making the cost of stone a little more than stucco but the difference wasn't significant enough, so it was an easy decision to have stone all around. We made this decision just in time because stone requires a ledge around the outside of the slab.
Trying to match the new stone to the house turned into a bit of a challenge. Stone varies as it quarried from the ground so the available stone changes slightly over time. After rejecting several samples, we finally had a close match.
After the ice and snow from our big storm melted we were ready to go.
Every morning for about a week we had breakfast to the sounds of mixing mortar
Each stone was fit and set by hand
There is a required air gap between the stone veneer and the garage wall, with clips attaching the stone structure to the garage
Plumb lines kept the corners straight
Watching the stone masons was fascinating. They were completely tuned in to the modern world with their cell phones while practicing an ancient art. This guy is chipping the stone on his leg with a mason's hammer in a way that hasn't changed in centuries. Notice that none of them are wearing gloves.
Rock tossing (and catching) skills are essential -- Going up!
They enjoyed our project because fitting the random stones is more of an art and the current popular trend for block stone takes the art out of it for them.
We watched as they placed the last stones on the side facing the house
Our neighbors are happy with their new view of a beautiful stone wall
The stone work made a huge mess, but created a new courtyard garden area (yippee)
They sent over a crew to clean up and we could not be more pleased with the result.
There were even a few rocks left over which we had the crew move to the front yard for future projects
Now it certainly does look as if it has always been here.
Now I have a newly defined space in which to create a garden and after a year of working on other projects, I'm ready to get going. I'll share our progress along the way.