limestone rock home building know-how

shawnee_sitter(z5/6KS)April 26, 2003

I live in Kansas and there are old rock limestone houses, some abandoned or falling apart and some still lived in. I was wondering, if those folks could do it why can't we? I know they are cool in summer heat (got plenty of that) and there are quite a few sitting around neglected. Anybody know where you could find the skills to do so? My husband is leaning toward a mod home (repo in good condition) and I think this MIGHT be an alternative.

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wild_garden(virginia z6b)

you can lay stone, i have done it! :) i made a fireplace out of it, a few stone walls, a small building foundation. laying limestone walls is not a hard thing to do. what i mean is you don't get out of breath and the rocks aren't so heavy usually that you can't move them, i didn't usually get sore doing the working. the problem is that it takes a long time! maybe if you are an expert mason and full of super energy you could build a huge structure from limestone in a small amount of time. but for me i am slow moving and not so full of energy and it takes me a long time! i would do a bunch of stones in a day, maybe a course of stones if i was lucky and it was a good day. slowly after days and days it would add up and be a bigger construction. but it would take me a long long time to build anything that was really big. also you cannot lay more than a certain number of stones in a day in any case, i think about 2 or 3 courses of stone at most, because it has to set up and cure before you can lay more on top of it. if you have a lot of help, a group of people, i think you could build something quite large. :) you can divide up the workers so someone is running the mixer to make mortar, someone is running the tractor to move stones, etc, and people are all laying stones and moving them around and things, i think you could move lots of stones that way. don't forget also that laying the stone is not all the working, there is also you have to clean the mortar joints up and that takes a lot of time also. the schedule i got on was to lay stones in the afternoon and clean joints the following morning. it would put me into an odd schedule because you always had to plan on being out the following morning after laying stone to clean up the joints, and then while you were already out there you say ok i will just lay some more stone, but then you have to go out the next morning and clean up joints ... but since you are already out there you might as well lay some stone ... lol. you can't ignore cleaning up the joints, that is the most important thing, that is what makes the stone work beautiful. without cleaning the joints it would like terrible. so there you go. there is a lot of things to know about a project such as you are saying. time to pour a footer and get started! :) good luck!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2003 at 9:39AM
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LOVEZUKES(z7 piedmnt NC)

there is another method of stone building called slipform.i have seen houses made this way.mother earth had a good article.it doen't require that much expertize i think just a lot of lifting.it really looked doable.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2003 at 1:54PM
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inspectorjoe(z5PA)

1930's homesteadindg pioneers Helen and Scott Nearing built their buildings using the slipform method. They detail it in 'Living the Good Life'. While they used homemade forms, you could probably buy used steel forms that are commonly used for poured concrete foundations.

Joe

Here is a link that might be useful: Living the Good Life

    Bookmark   May 29, 2003 at 10:07PM
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