Saturday, December 27, 2008

9: Manufactured Stone

I had originally wanted the foundation of the house to be covered in stone, but it was one of the line items I compromised on when the builder and I went through the budget looking for places to trim. Mark at Oak Tree Homes suggested simple stucco, which actually ended up looking great. I had spent more than a year documenting details on old houses in the region. Occasionally, I'd find foundations covered in what appeared to be concrete, so the stucco doesn't seem particularly out of place with the locale. I hated to lose the stone look entirely, so I decided to keep it for the foundation of the steps on the front of the house. I actually liked the variety it added to the base of the house: stucco, lattice (under the porch) and stone. Mark had advised me the manufactured stone was a much more practical choice the trying to utilize stone from my property, which would never be able to stack and grout very permanently. He really opened my eyes when he showed me the variety shapes and colors that I'd have to chose from with the not so real alternative. What we used are basically brick faces molded to look like a flat field stone and colored to blend in with the native stones. The treads are slabs of real slate. I've thought about trying the old trick of spritzing stone with diluted yogurt or buttermilk to encourage the growth of green moss, but I now think I'm going to leave it alone letting nature decide what to do. One of my reference photos:

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