is an ancient form of masonry. Stone's indefinite durability
and low maintenance requirements make it as financially appealing
as it is visually attractive. There are two principal designs:
ashlar and rubblestone. Ashlar, or cut
stone, is commonly used in the construction of commercial buildings
because it creates a formal effect. Rubblestone has a more
rustic appearance since the stone is either not cut at all or receives
only a rough cut. Ashlar is more expensive than rubblestone
because it is cut to make the stone shapes more even. However,
ashlar can be more beneficial since the even stone shapes are easier
to work with. Example stone structures include walls,
piers, tree wells, barbeque
pits, and fireplaces.
There are two main methods for building stone structures: dry structure
method and mortared (wet) structure method. Either of the
stone types, ashlar or rubblestone, can be laid in courses or at
random using either the dry structure method or the mortared structure
method. The dry structure method does not involve mortar
in its construction and therefore can be somewhat challenging.
More importantly, it can be an extremely attractive form of wall
or pier. This method relies heavily upon the weight and friction
of one stone on another stone for its stability.
The other method, mortared structure, is applied for more permanent
purposes, such as fireplaces, mortared retaining walls,
and home facades. In this approach, cement mortar
is used between stones to secure them together and achieve a monolithic
wall. A mortared wall or pier is like that of a dry wall
or pier respectively except for the fact that the stability of the
wall is dependant upon the mortar that bonds the wall together and
not dependant upon the friction of stone upon stone.
Water is stone masonry's worst enemy because freeze-thaw cycles
can cause cracks. Properly sealed stone masonry prevents problems.