Living Stone Masonry is on the Road again! We are searching far and wide form our usual turf of Boone NC to find the best stone jobs available. Our travels have taken us last weekend to Raleigh NC, and tomorrow we leave for Chattanooga TN, where I was born and raised before moving to the mountains of North Carolina. Last weekend in Raleigh we made amazing progress on a drystone retaining wall we are building with a local weathered granite. By using a combination of large stones set with and excavator and smaller stones set in a rough, semi polygonal pattern, we have been able to build this wall much faster than I thought was possible. The longer my involvement with stonework, the more I appreciate this type of stonework. The natural weathered faces of these stone make an extremely attractive and interesting wall.
Over the weekend I was able to work in Raleigh, NC on the large drystone retaining wall I started last weekend. I was able to complete a section and have a photo to share. I like the character of the wall and the large rough stones. This is a cost effective and incredibly durable type of construction, not to mention how the natural look of the stones will enhance the client's backyard.
I was also able to get photos of the repair work in Banner Elk, but unfortunately I do not have good "before" pictures.
This section of wall was crumbling and showed loose stones and mortar, as well as being quite a bit taller. We reduce the height and rebuilt and tuckpointed most of the section in the picture, creating a wall that functions and looks like new, but uses the same stone and has the same character as the original.
Much of my work this winter has been restoring walls at a nearby residence here in Banner Elk. I enjoy the process of dismantling a crumbling wall and bringing it back to new or better condition. Unfortunately, I usually neglect to take photos of these types of projects, but I will try to post some soon. The best thing about restoration work is the client gets a new-looking wall for much less than what a new wall would cost.
The other project I was recently involved with was in Raleigh NC. The owner had purchased 120 tons of a granite fieldstone and became overwhelmed with trying to start this project on his own. He called me in to help teach him the skills he would need to finish the project on his own, and to help him get some progress made to keep morale high.
I think the arrangement worked well for everyone; I had the opportunity to work on a project where the logistics had been taken care of, and the owner was able to draw from my years of experience, my tools, and my techniques to help make his project become a reality. I will post more on this project as it develops in the future.
Franklin Smith, owner Living Stone Masonry and general stone enthusiast