GRANITE STONE FIREPLACE

This tightly laid granite fieldstone veneer is a tasteful and simple natural finish for a fireplace. The small, squared off stone units lend a low key, but satisfying, focus to this dining area.  The word "focus", in fact, is Latin for fireplace. Note the finished granite lintel spanning the opening, in contrast to the rough split granite fieldstones.

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GRANITE STONE FIREPLACE

HEATED BLUESTONE DRIVEWAY

Anybody north of a certain latitude knows to dread the chore of shoveling snow, so the idea of a radiant heated driveway has universal appeal. This bluestone paving makes a beautiful surface, but it is just the business end of a complex snowmelt system that melts the snow as it falls - - or the ice as it forms. This is a great concept, but frankly, expensive to run, as the driveway is a significant mass of masonry, located outdoors, in freezing conditions. Well, you get the idea.

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HEATED BLUESTONE DRIVEWAY

FOLLOW THE CURVE - - IN WOOD

Fabricating curved wood millwork is one of the most demanding tasks the carpenter faces, especially when the bent woodwork is to be exposed to the outside elements. Built in the late 1990s, the trim on this curved wooden fence did not stand the test of time. Furnishing privacy in a quiet Brattle Street neighborhood, it was rotted, infested with carpenter ants, and coming down on its own, with or without help.

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FOLLOW THE CURVE - - IN WOOD

WHY NOT STUCCO FOR EXTERIOR FINISH?

Use of stucco as an exterior finish is traditional in Florida and California, and is growing slowly in New England, as lumber of a suitable grade and species for exterior finish becomes harder to find. Historically, even in New England, some designers specified stucco as appropriate for the building style they had chosen. Though it is associated with dry or tropical climates, we can see it performing well here, over time, in historic buildings, especially early 20th century residences in towns like Belmont and Newton. This historic work is generally 3 coat stucco over wire mesh.

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WHY NOT STUCCO FOR EXTERIOR FINISH?

Historic Roxbury Puddingstone - True Native Stone

One of the most beautiful and interesting local historic materials found in the greater Boston built environment is what is called Roxbury Puddingstone. This is a native sandstone inlaid with granite pebbles and fragments of quartz and then metamorphisized into something hard enough to build with. Historically, it was used to build masonry walls and foundations throughout the Boston area and quarried in Roxbury, Brookline, Brighton and Newton. In many cases, quarried is too formal a word, as the stone used was often blasted out of the building site itself, in the process of excavation. 

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Historic Roxbury Puddingstone - True Native Stone