The comforts of building with stone.
Now, with two (or more) layers of forms up and concrete set, you can remove the bottom forms and leapfrog them up the wall, thus greatly conserving form lumber, as you work your way up and along the wall.
Most stones are not very large and heavy, and flat-faced stones do not have to be very thick to cover a fair amount of wall. The heaviest piece of wood in my house is easily heavier than the heaviest stone. In my search for stone, I found several old homesites where the only evidence of a home having ever been there was a stone chimney or pile of stones. This is a tribute to the enduring quality of stone: it won't rot, burn, or get eaten by insects. After you have it mortared in place, it will remain right there, looking exactly like it does, virtually forever.
An added benefit, in my circumstance, is that stone is an excellent heat sink, or thermal mass. It soaks up excess solar heat on cold sunny days, and returns it at night. Conversely, it keeps indoor temps cooler during hot days, acting as a thermal flywheel, evening out temperature fluctuations in either direction. And all of these benefits from a free resource!
We mixed our own concrete, which helped to keep costs below the cost of a block wall, not counting labor. I feel I should mention that the stonework is, in the opinion of many, the most attractive walls they have seen. Another benefit is that unlike the typical stick framed wall, once you pull the forms and mortar, you're done, vs. the many steps of sheetrocking, painting, etc. Oh, and no maintenance, ever. Thick stone walls do not transmit sound very well either, making for a quiet, attractive, evenly heated interior space. They can be insulated on the outside by applying sheet insulation and stucco. If anyone would like to see the finished stone walls, they are invited to call Doug Kalmer at 931-722-5031.
Further reading: Build Your Own Stone House by Karl and Sue Swenke, and Our Home Made of Stone by Helen Nearing. -- Doug Kalmer, Collinwood, TN
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|Publication:||Countryside & Small Stock Journal|
|Date:||Jul 1, 2000|
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