Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Stone Details.... We're a Small Fish in a Big Pond!

Apologies (and thanks) to friends and family who've been asking why I'm not posting much this month. I've been feeling overwhelmed about house decisions and dreading putting Mr. Biggs to sleep any day now, so it's been easy to put off the blogging.  It's nice to know that people notice and so I'll get back to the grind a more regular routine!

A few weeks ago when Asher was in Italy and Owen was in China, we decided not to let them have all the fun so Joe and I went to Vienna.  Biggs and Atta came along and in three hours we were there.

Vienna, Virginia ..... just west of Washington DC!!!

We drove up to select caps for the tapered column and chimney detail:   the cultured/veneer stone didn't offer anything in the right size and shape, so we needed to use the real deal.

We had thought that the back porch was the only thing stopping progress on the roof, but no sooner was the back porch finished than we realized that until we found the stone for the top of the chimney, the roof still couldn't be completed!  Gracious why didn't any of us foresee this?  Live and learn!

We could have continued the ledgestone all the way to the top,  but if at all possible we wanted to keep the detail that Kevin Harris, our architect had drawn into the plans.

We googled and scoured the internet but found only few sources scattered across the country and these all required a 6 week wait minimum.  Then our internet searches finally led us just up the road to Easy Stone Center in Vienna VA who not only could cut the pieces we needed but were willing to do a quick turn around and have them ready for us in a week.

Afraid to trust the color of our laptop monitors on something so critical, we decided to drive on up and look at the various possibilities in person.
Part of the stone yard.... plus a monster forklift

It was a pretty unassuming place.

But they had some big toys.... this saw blade was over 15' in diameter.

I walked in pleased that we were able to do business in state and thinking that Easy Stone would probably be pretty darn glad to get our custom job.  

With the slow economy and weak building numbers, I assumed that we'd be a fairly decent sized job for them.

Was I ever wrong!   I'm surprised that they even gave us the time of day!

Remember the Virginia earthquake of last summer?  Did you hear about the 22 million dollars of damage to the stonework of the National Cathedral?

Yes, that's one of the many pieces of the Cathedral that Easy Stone is currently working on recreating.

Their robotic carving arm can make a copy within 1/16" tolerance of the original and then the Cathedral stone masons will be able to do the fine finish work.

Despite the fact that our job was small potatoes, we were treated with care and concern.  And true to their word, the stone was ready for us to pick up the next week.

Eighteen pieces of stone weighing 200 pounds EACH needed to be manhandled into place, so the metal roof panels hadn't been installed around the chimney "just in case."

Here's the first course going up.....

And the final reveal.....

And then......  
The final pieces of the roof!!!  
After 10 months, the house is finally watertight!!

It's a mere 12 inches (and "only" 2 tons!) and we may be the only ones who notice, 
but to us it's a crowning touch that says this is a special house!


  1. how very cool to find what you need within close distance with great work and customer service, too! love that! and hurray for a sealed house!

    (on a side note, sure hope mr. biggs can go comfortably. i am very sorry... struggling with my ailing barn cat right now, myself.)

  2. Worry not; life does not begin and end with blogging -- although I do love reading your posts. And you have had important things to think about. Poor Mr. Biggs...I'm sorry...

    Your home is gorgeous and I love the look of the stacked stone. I also enjoy going to these stone stores and walking around. So much beauty.

  3. Glad about your water-tight house, and beautiful stones. So sad about Mr. Biggs. good luck.


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