“THE pressures of modern life mean that most of us have probably dreamt at one time or another of fleeing to the hills. But real-life caveman Angelo Mastropietro has made his hermit dream a reality – by spending over £160,000 turning a 700-year-old cave, carved into 250 million year old sandstone cliffs in the the Wyre Forest, into his dream home.
“Round Timberframing. Harvesting trees from the site where we are building and using the trees as round structural members is ideal. Certainly this is time and labor intensive, although structurally, round timbers outperform milled timbers of the same dimension. This is because of the natural spiral form of the tree grain which is lost when the tree is milled. This spiral form is what allows tree branches of large girth to hang horizontally to limits that seem unbelievable.
“Cobblestone architecture refers to the use of cobblestones embedded in mortar as method for erecting walls on houses and commercial buildings. Cobblestone architecture was developed in the northeastern United States, especially antebellum western New York state. Masons that built the Erie Canal during 1817-1825 started building cobblestone structures about the time the canal was finished.
One could argue with the “fast and easy” description of slipform stone masonry at the beginning of the video. He’s probably saying it’s faster than traditional masonry, which is true. Actually, most natural building methods, including stone construction, are quite labor intensive. The payoff though is a house that’s fire and rot resistant, super durable and super beautiful. Note the centuries-old stone houses in recent blog posts. One option is to use stone on the foundation and other faster and easier to use materials for the rest of the wall.
I love old stone houses. Old stone houses like in these photos can be found in older, quiet neighborhoods from a bygone era. Many of them were owner-built or built by small companies. Most are fairly small, well made and built to last. Many stone houses last for hundreds of years. Every stone is unique, as the stones naturally vary in color, size and texture. The end result is often very beautiful.
In a previous post we looked at cordwood/log end detailing. Along similar lines, stone detailing also adds excellent value and beauty. With stone, a little goes a long way. Just a little stone around the front entrance, for example, makes a big difference. And, of course, you can gather local stone and build it yourself … Read more