Tuesday, February 27, 2007

NE Thin Veneer Stacked Ledgestone: Step by Step

We have finished our testing and designed our production for a new thin veneer product.

Because we are “your source for New England Fieldstone”, the product is a NE Stacked Ledgestone. The stone is thin enough to be held in place by a bonding agent.

This means no footings are required.

NE Stacked Ledgestone is visually appealing because of its lineal cut and the wide range of colors. A thin veneer that is easy to install and perfect for the do-it-yourself weekend warrior.

Here is a step by step re-facing of a brick fireplace with NE Stacked Ledgestone, which was completed over the last weekend by a homeowner and two of his friends. They have some stone experience, but after reading this blog and viewing these pictures you too will be up for the task.

Let’s begin.

The first step is to make sure that the area is clean and free of any loose cement or other debris. In this case we will be cementing directly over the existing bricks. Because the stone is less than 16 pounds per square foot, no footing is required. You can see from this first picture that the thin set is applied to the face of the bricks with a notched trowel, and then the stone is adhered to the thin set. Make sure that the pieces are dry fitted before applying the thin set. Make sure the stone can be adhered to the thin set within 10 minutes. If not the thin set will become hard and unworkable.

The next step is to start from the corners and work your way inside. In this picture you can see that the corners were created with a weaved pattern and with cut corners that give the stone the appearance of depth. The top pieces on the right side create the weaved pattern and the top piece on the left is the cut corner. Your decision for corners can be any combination that you find appealing. If you choose to have a mason help you with this project he/she will be able to assist you with the decision. If not feel free to stop by our showroom, visit our online design center, or talk to one of our knowledgeable sales representatives about what to do for your corners.

As the stone makes its way to the top of the fireplace you will notice that a few pieces of larger mosaic cut pieces have been worked into the pattern. These are accent pieces, which many people find aesthetically pleasing as they draw your attention from the otherwise busy pattern of the Ledgestone. This is not required. It is simply a matter of taste.

At this point the veneer has come across the top of the firebox opening. In this job a thin piece of limestone was installed to create the look of a stone lintel. A lintel is used with building veneer to provide the veneer a shelf to rest on. An alternative is to create an arch, which is a self-supporting curved system where each successive stone rests on the one below it. The Romans were experts in arch construction, but that is a topic for another day.

Remember that the thin veneer does not require a lintel as the pieces are held in place with the thin set. This piece of limestone is used only for its looks.

Now that the face of the fireplace is completed the installation of the hearth can begin. There are many stone options for the hearth. In this fireplace the homeowner chose bluestone pieces to make up the hearth. These are fitted in place and then cemented to the existing bricks. A joint of 3/8” is left between each piece. This allows for cement to be applied between the pieces to provide a strong bond and to prevent debris from dropping into the space between the stones.

Once the hearth pieces are installed the fireplace is complete. All our homeowner needs now is some subtle lighting, soft music, a nice glass of Beaujolais and another log for the fire.

Not bad for a weekend of work.

If you like the look of this fireplace, but are not up to the task of constructing it yourself, check out our Buyer’s Guide to assist you in finding a qualified installer in your area. Give it a try you’ll be glad you did.

Our Design Center has these pictures and many more that will help you create your natural stone haven.


Monday, February 26, 2007

Mexican Beach Pebbles are Hit at RI Flower Show

My wife and I had a very enjoyable visit with Mary Beth Miller from Gardening for Good and Deb Aldo from Pietre Dure at the RI Flower Show in Providence, RI. They created the garden exhibit that featured the “Caregiver’s Garden”. Take a look at my blog entry from December 2006 for all the details of the garden.

The garden was a huge success. This was validated by the facts that there was a long line to view the garden and the buff Mexican Beach Pebbles were gone when we made it into the garden on Sunday afternoon. Mary Beth was very pleased with the response she received from the visitors. She has had a chance to look at some of the dedications made. Many were heartfelt and touching remarks, which is the cornerstone to her idea of the Caregiver’s Garden. If you look closely at the picture you can see many of the dedications that are written on the pebbles. This is only one of the two sections in the garden for the pebble dedications. Both sections were full of beautiful remarks.

Mary Beth knows that their idea of the Caregiver’s Garden will find its way into many backyards, even if only in an abbreviated form. Congratulations to the Gardening for Good folks, it was a job well done.

Deb Aldo worked very hard on designing and creating the sleek centerpiece highlighting the labyrinth pathway running through the garden. The centerpiece is highlighted with her signature mosaic work and surrounded with polished black pebbles. The entire piece is surrounded with gray cobblestones keeping the pebbles in place. If you look closely you can see the water bubbling out of the top of the fountain. Deb selected several small glass spheres, which catch the light reflecting on them creating a prism of bold colors. My picture doesn’t do justice to this detail, but the 30,000 visitors were not disappointed.

All in all this was a day well spent thanks to the hard work of all those involved with the Gardening for Good Caregiver’s Garden.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Patrissi Landscaping, Inc- Our Latest Professional

It isn’t everyday that you get a chance to enjoy some beautiful landscaping without leaving the comfort of your favorite chair. Today is your lucky day. So sit back and let your senses relish the scenery of these breathtaking pictures.
Patrissi Landscaping, Inc of Harwichport, MA met us at the New England Grows show two weeks ago. I knew it was going to be a worthwhile show. Anyway, they liked our products and especially liked our Buyer’s Guide. They not only signed up to be part of our Buyer’s Guide, but they sent us a CD with quite a few interesting pictures. It took us a few days to get the pictures on our Design Center, because every time we started we were captured with the beauty of the pictures. I posted a few of my favorites here, but believe me there are many more on our Design Center. If that isn’t enough for you then go to their website at www.patrissilandscape.com. What struck me was the “Pillar to Post” video that they have. It really pulls together all of their work and expertise. Check it out at www.patrissilandscape.com/pillartopost. I’ve watched it twice already and will watch it again this weekend.

How can you not be impressed with the careful attention to detail of this stone walled brick garden. Notice how everything works together to create a splendid garden. Every time I look at this picture I notice something new. Fantastic.

I love how this picture combines the lineal look of the stonewall and fences with the green natural look of the lawn, shrubs, plants and trees. This is a great example of a green landscape and living area.

Can you imagine coming home from a hard day at work, poring your favorite cold drink and relaxing in this backyard. If this is your idea of serenity, then Kyle Milbier is who you need to contact. His bold ideas and boundless imagination will help you create your own backyard sanctuary.

This is definitely my favorite. There is something about the peacefulness of water combined with the strength of stone that makes this a one of a kind project. I don’t know if Kyle would build you the same retreat, but if he could design and build this, then I’m sure he would satisfy your requests.

Patrissi Landscaping is a full service landscaping company providing landscape development, landscape lighting, property management and water features.

If you are in the Southeastern Massachusetts area and looking for quality work, Patrissi Landscaping needs to be at the top of your list.

If you are lucky enough to have some snow on the ground take a long walk this weekend and if you are daring enough take a run through the snow. It will make you feel like a kid again.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Front Porch Creations

It takes awhile for good things to come to fruition. April just received a CD in the mail today with some absolutely beautiful pictures on them. They came from a customer she worked with during 2005 and 2006.

When the request for quote first came in I told April not to spend a lot of time on it, because they were looking for some custom cut granite and bluestone. This wasn’t the problem, because we do that everyday. The problem was that they wanted it delivered to Newport Beach, CA. April persisted, and we are all glad she did.

Eric Fenmore from Front Porch Creations is especially happy. Eric’s business is out of Corona Del Mar, CA. As you can see from the pictures he did a marvelous job installing the bluestone pavers, custom cut bluestone cap, pool coping and granite step. Anyone in the Southern Los Angeles area looking for a stone contractor needs to include Eric on his or her list. You can find him on our Buyer’s Guide. He will be more than happy to discuss your stone project with you.

I hope you enjoyed viewing these pictures as much as we did. We have created a complete gallery in our Design Center dedicated to this job and Eric’s excellent work. Go ahead and spend some time today checking it out. It will be time well spent.

As an aside, we just got our test results back for our New England Fieldstone. Spec sheets should be ready soon. This is great news, because now you will have standardized testing to compare our stone with and see that it is a very dense and durable stone that is ideal for any building or landscaping application. Stay tuned, more to follow soon.

Enjoy the special pleasures that life brings you.

New England Fieldstone Passes the Test (ASTM)

Testing for our New England Fieldstone just came back from the Tile Council of North America, Inc. They perform the standardized testing that has been established by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).

All materials have standards, which can be used to compare like products against each other. Architects need these test results or specifications to determine which material to use for different construction applications. Without these specifications a product has no integrity, as it cannot be compared to another similar product.

And now for the $50,000 question. How does our New England Fieldstone compare to other products? I think it stacks up well (pun intended).

New England Fieldstone is cultivated from weathered stonewalls gathered and stacked over the last 150 years. It creates lasting beauty for any stone project.

This conglomerate stone consists mainly of dense quartzitic stone, which has been subjected to heat and pressure creating an incredibly hard and dense material.

Consisting of a broad range of colors, to include gray, brown, tan, black, buff and pink. This stone compliments all building and landscaping projects to include stonewalls, fireplaces, patios, pool coping and steps.

It is also an excellent choice for thin veneers, because it is dense and very strong, but weighs 10-15% less than granite. This makes for easier installation and long lasting beauty.

I think it passed the tests with flying colors. Take a look at many of its applications in our design center.

This is a one of a kind product. It brings character, strength and integrity to any construction project.

Here is a brief summary of the tests and our results:
Water absorption: .54%
Density: 153 lbs/cf
Specific Gravity: 2.46
Compressive Strength: 18,583 psi (average)
Modulus of Rupture: 2,273 psi (average)

Send me an e-mail if you have any questions.

The look of the stone makes it highly requested, the test results make it infallible.

Give it a try on your next project.

It is the answer!

Take a walk through the woods and see if you find any nice stonewalls. If you do snap a few pictures and send them to me. If I like them they may end up in our design center.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Stoneyard.com's "Circle of Service"

My brother David and I were talking at lunch today about ideas for our catalog. We were looking for ideas that you have given us that set us apart from other stone companies. Sure our prices are low and our service is good. We do have great quality products and large inventory levels. We've shown you pictures of much of our inventory. But what can we show you that briefly and clearly defines us as your stoneyard. After much ado and a lot of writing on a yellow notepad we came up with the "Circle of Service".

Here is how it works. What are you looking for when you meet with your customers to go over their project? The first thing they need are ideas. Where do those ideas come from? Where else but our Design Center. This is the guts of our website. Thousands of pictures at your disposal. Look at them as many times as you'd like. If you need you can buy a hard copy of the picture and pin it up on a wall for inspiration. We've seen pictures taped to plans when they come into our office looking for the perfect stone for their custom wine cellar or special outdoor kitchen. These pictures are invaluable in the planning process for your project.

Next comes the Buyer's Guide. Visitors to our website are using the Buyer's Guide to find the professional installer that is the right match for them and their project. Many of you have signed up and are generating leads. The rest of you need to send in your information sheets so our visitors can start calling you.

Don't wait!

Call Cathy at ext 20. She will be more than happy to help get you signed up. We have had over 4000 searches on the Buyer's Guide in the last 30 days.

Now that the contractor has been matched up with the customer the stone needs to be selected and examined. We help you here by offering you samples of all of our stone products. Buy them online at stoneyard.com , or stop by and pick them up for free. April, Nancy and Tahlia will be more than happy to help you pick out the stone that you want for your project.

Now the stone has been selected. All you need is to determine what quantity you need and get the product to your jobsite. We are capably equipped with a flat bed truck and a forklift that rides on the back to bring the stone to your site and deliver it where you need it. If you are outside of our delivery area, don't worry. We have trucking brokers that source all types of trucks to make deliveries directly to you. We deliver stone across the country on a regular basis. We have even had our stone delivered all the way to New Zealand to adorn the entrance of a beautiful vineyard.

Now the circle has been completed.

Ideas, selecting a contractor, finding samples, selecting the stone and finally getting that stone on site. All done at one location. Stoneyard.com your "source for natural stone products".

You've selected Stoneyard.com for a reason. Give us a call and see how the circle works for you. You will be pleasantly surprised. I guarantee it.

Get outside and enjoy the beauty of nature today. You won't be disappointed, and it may give you inspiration for your next great idea.

Friday, February 09, 2007

New England Grows Tradeshow

Interview with David Croteau from Stoneyard.com at
New England Grows Tradeshow
in Boston, MA

Friday, February 02, 2007

Stoneyard.com Exhibits at New England Grows

All of us at Stoneyard.com are busy preparing for next weeks participation in the annual New England Grows show in Boston
Dates: Tuesday, February 6 – Thursday, February 8, 2007
Location: Boston Convention & Exhibition Center
415 Summer StreetBoston, MA
HoursTuesday 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

This is one of our favorite shows. The attendees are always looking for new and exciting ideas, and we hope that we will live up to our expectations. There will be at least 18,000 attendees, and here is a brief summary of some of the new ideas and products that Stoneyard.com will be presenting.

We are proudest of the line of thin veneer that we have developed this past season. Our New England Fieldstone and PA Fieldstone now have

We are busy manufacturing these products everyday in our Littleton, MA facility. From the initial interest you have shown in these products, we will be busy working to keep up with the demand. Don't worry, Jim my production manager has promised that he won't let us run out.

We also have a new line of thermal bluestone pavers. You can watch David's video to see the product, or you can see it in living color at the show. This is one of our favorite pavers. Once you see them you will agree.

Our black polished pebbles have always been a favorite, and we expect that they will continue to impress. We are a direct importer of these pebbles, so low prices and excellent quality are what you will get. Our sales reps are ready to help you figure out how much you will need for your project. Give them a call at 800-231-2200.

Our final feature is our website which has been upgraded and revved up to provide you more information.

Our Design Center is growing on a daily basis. Our customers are sending in their pictures and they are getting posted for everyone to enjoy. If you have pictures send them to us at photos@stoneyard.com

Our Buyers' Guide is the most dynamic tool that you will find on our website. It is here that we match up quality professionals with customers looking for high quality stonework. Since we started the guide it has been growing daily. There have been almost 4000 searches performed within the last 30 days. If you are looking for work or work to be done the Buyers' Guide is right for you. Check it out and let me know how it works. If you are not listed on our Buyers' Guide, give me a call at 800-231-2200 x 14 and I'll make sure you get signed up.

Finally, if you want to meet us at the show, give us a call. We'll have a ticket waiting for you at the Convention Center.

Enjoy the weekend.