Restoration Artisans LLC. practices traditional stonemasonry in several forms. The craft of stonemasonry is one of the oldest traditional crafts still practiced in the world today. The shaping of natural stone by the stone mason is not only a practical building technique, but can also be practiced as an art form in the physical design of walls. In modern times, several different forms of stonemasonry exist.

Dry-Stone Walling

This is the oldest form of stonemasonry. Some examples of dry stone or dry stack walls are thousands of years old. It consists of building stone walls with no mortar or mud mortar in between the joints and time proven techniques of setting the stones to interlock in the coursing of the wall. Traditional drystone walls can be retaining walls that hold back the pressure of the ground behind it or free-standing drystone walls, such as the historic boundary walls seen in fields around England, Scotland, and Ireland. Properly built drystone walls will flex with the earth and have stood the test of time in areas with freeze-thaw cycles and earthquake activity.

Modern Stonework Design - Calvary Chapel Church, Quakertown, PA
Custom Stonework & Woodworking - Equestrian Barn Redesign

Rubble Stonewall Construction

Colonial era stone houses are constructed using the rubble stonewall construction. Rubble stone walls were built using a clay and lump lime bedding mix in thick walls from 18” to several feet thick. A veneer of cut stones faces off the wall, with a random rubble stonewall hidden behind the exterior course of stone. In between, small chips of stone and dirt fill in the voids of the wall. A lime mortar pointing joint or a lime stucco keeps water from entering the wall. If the proper lime-based mortar is not maintained on the exterior joints, water entry can lead to interior erosion of the rubble stone, causing structural deficiencies.

Stone Veneer

Most modern stonemasonry is constructed with this form of building. The stone veneer is clad on the exterior of a building over block masonry or wood construction with the use of mechanical fasteners. Veneer stonemasonry can be as thick as 6” to 12”, requiring a concrete footing below grade. Thin veneer stone masonry is a 1” thick application over wooden stud work without a footing but relying on the adhesion of a special latex-modified mortar.

Aged Granite Drystone Steps & Walls
Freestanding Double Face Drystone Wall / Lime Kiln Demonstration - Kutztown Folk Fest Exhibit

Fabrication of Individual Replacements Stones for Historic Restoration Projects

When a specific stone detail requires replacement on a historic preservation project, a replacement stone can be hand cut out of stone of the same type. Reclaimed stone from a building that was torn down can be an option for sourcing replacement stones for restoration work.

Restoration Artisans, LLC. is familiar with these techniques and can assist you in the design and installation of your next stone masonry project.

Custom Brownstone Fabrication

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