25,000 cubic feet of stone

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Greetings,
I am looking at building a stone house and guest house which will require some 25,000 cubic feet of stone. I would be interested in getting the stone off the land the house is built upon if I could do it and SAVE money. What are my options here? What equipment do I need? What are the pitfalls? How long will this take me (after all, I could just have the stone delivered). I am willing to go the extra mile on this. If I need to purchase and later sell a $40,000 piece of equipment that is no problem so long as the total cost is markedly less than just purchasing the stone. Any advice you can give me would be helpful (other than use stone veneer).
Thank you very much for your time and energy, William
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snipped-for-privacy@wdeans.com wrote:

Start by digging out the 20 cu ft or so of rocks from that overzied cranial cavity of yours that you try to impress us with.
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G Henslee wrote:

Thank you Henslee, I never could figure out why you dedicate so much time to following me around posting little nastygrams wherever I go. I know you post them for lots of other people as well but you seem to have an affinity for me. I always figured it was because I sometimes stuck up for others who you flame instead of just ignoring you 100% of the time. Carry on. I can just imagine you with a book of 10,000 one line insults diligently crossing them off as you make your way through the day.
You see the strangest things when you look hard at people, William
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snipped-for-privacy@wdeans.com wrote:

You think way too highly of yourself there super hero. As it is you're a pompous, jabbering fool. Shut up when you really can't help someone. Your "just my $.02" and aswering posts when it's obvious you offer mere speculation is useless when someone requires decent advice.
Get a clue and shut your trap when you really can't help someone. Or buy yourself a flame retardant suit.
-- Your Daddy, G.
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Maybe you ought to start by reviewing your plans and calculations. That's an awful lot of stone. I think you might have misplaced a decimal point.
Take, for example, a two-story house, say 60x40' - that's a pretty decent sized house, 4800 sq ft. Since it's two stories, the walls might be 20' high. Suppose they're one foot thick. So you have a 200' perimeter x 20' high x 1' thick... that's 4000 cu ft.
You could build *six* houses that size out of 25K cu ft, and still have enough left over to build the guest house.
Are you really sure you need that much?
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
  Click to see the full signature.
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Doug Miller wrote:

Greetings,
I am sure. The first floor walls of the main house need to be 2.5 ft thick except for the garage which are 1.5 ft thick. They will drop off 6 inches each story (three story house - attic wall is 1 ft thick). The house will also have a single interior stone load bearing partition allowing it to act as a duplex and high ceilings (12 ft total story height).
It adds up quickly, William
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OK, suppose it's a three-car garage (you didn't specify). 10' wall x 90' perimeter x 1.5' thick = 1350 cu ft, leaving 23,650 cu ft for the house.
Three stories x 12' per story x 2' average thickness = 72 sq ft vertical cross section. 72 sq ft divided into 23,650 cu ft gives a perimeter of 328'. That's enough to make a square 82 feet on a side, or 6724 sq ft _per_story_. Times three stories, that's somewhat over twenty thousand square feet.
Yes, it adds up quickly -- but not as quickly as you think. I repeat, you need to recheck your calculations.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Greetings,
I was very happy to hear about this misplaced decimal meaning I would need significantly less stone. I just did a quick "back of the napkin" recheck with the "square" of the main house and came up with 18K ft^3 (about right). Unless I am still doing something wrong it looks like the decimal stays. Please let me know if you and Ed concur after looking at the calculations below.
I am also sure someone is just waiting in the wings to blast me for wanting a stone foundation. Don't. I own plenty of homes with stone foundations which have functioned properly for over 100 years. I am really trying hard here to get my original questions about stone answered, not to get into a fight over stone foundations, the plans for the house, etc. If I had wanted that I would have posted the plans for everyone to throw eggs at. (and I might someday -- but only after they are so firm that I wouldn't run the risk of having to ask for comment on them twice)
Please see calculations below, William
"Square" of Main House
floor    ft thick    height    ft^3 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- basement    3.5    9    31.5 1    2.5    12    30 2    2    12    24 3    1.5    12    18 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cubic Feet of Stone Per Linear Wall Foot            103.5
40    width of house 32    length of house 1280    area per story 3840    total gross area (not including attic or basement) 176    linear feet of wall (remember, there is a partition) 103.5    ft^3 per linear wall ft             18216    cubic feet of stone used
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Good luck with your house! I have lived in a few stone houses over the years (not stone facades but stone from basement to roof). If you are building the foundation out of stone, why not the entire house? I really enjoy a stone house. In the current heat wave the house remains comfortable even without AC on. In the winter, it is not too bad to heat although radiant heat (especially with a woodstove) seems to be the best bet.
Good Luck,
Rob Pennsylvania
Below are some pics of stone houses in my region of the country.
http://memory.loc.gov/pnp/habshaer/pa/pa3300/pa3374/photos/049565pv.jpg
http://memory.loc.gov/pnp/habshaer/pa/pa2100/pa2199/photos/045131pv.jpg
http://memory.loc.gov/pnp/habshaer/pa/pa2200/pa2204/photos/045189pv.jpg
snipped-for-privacy@wdeans.com wrote:

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Good exercise... 25,000x150 = 3.75 million pounds. Remember those two New England brothers who built a house with 3 million pounds of rocks, including a rock roof? :-) Described in Mother Earth News 20 years ago. With 3" of foam on the outside, it would have a 1 year time constant. No need for heating and cooling. Just open and close the windows. More open in summer for heat, and more open in winter for cooling :-)

Think pyramid. V = L^3/3 = 25K makes L = 42 feet.
Or a 40' main pyramid and a 25' guest pyramid.
I'd start with the guest pyramid.
Nick
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I doubt that 40k is going to touch what you need for equipment. Excavate, sift, grade size, haul. What is the ratio of stone to earth in the land? Sizes?
If the wall is 1 foot thick and 25 feet high, you can make 1000 feet of wall. One hell of a large house. How deep is the moat going to be?
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Greetings,
I have someone trying to sell me the side of a mountain. There are all sorts of problems with it but that is why the price is right. The one thing there isn't a problem with is stone. At that site there is a lot of stone but not much earth. Ideally I would remove the stone during grading and use it to build the home. If I cannot make it work or it is just going to be too much trouble I will have to start looking again. I haven't purchased it yet so I am free to change my mind and get whatever is most suited.
William
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snipped-for-privacy@wdeans.com wrote:

I'm not an expert or mason, but I know that the old fieldstone houses like those in this region had to have every singe stone (both in the foundation and in the walls) faced with hand tools. Unless the stone you are using is already squared off, you will need it faced so that it can be properly built into a wall. A weight bearing wall is not generally (ever?) made with rounded stones.
Rob
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I would try locating a Norman lord with an engineering background. Those guys built lots of stone houses, without the expensive equipment.
Of course you will have to spend that money on hiring a few hundred local serfs.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

That is very funny but if you run some numbers a few hundred local serfs won't be necessary. (Although I freely admit it is a big job).
According to adds for the Bricky, 250 bricks can be laid in one hour at 0.074074074 cubic feet each. This means 37037 cubic feet of bricks per 2000 hour bricklaying man-year. You can scale this up or down for stone, materials handling, etc. but it won't take 100's of surfs. For instance, the basement walls will probably be created by building forms, puring a layer of mortar over the footer, plopping down stones, pouring another thin layer over these stones, plopping down more stones, repeat. For the square of the main house the basement walls are over 5500 cubic feet (more than 20 percent of the total stone for the project). I imagine they will go quite quickly with some unskilled laborers. Exposed stone is handled by keeping the mortar layer back from the edge of the form. Once the form is removed the exposed stone is grouted. The square of the first floor will use over 5000 cubic feet of stone but since it is 2.5 ft thick most of it can simply be plopped into place as well. You get the idea.
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snipped-for-privacy@wdeans.com wrote:

<snipped the bullshit>
Please develop a web site to track this pipe dream of yours, incl. weekly updates. My entire retirement pension against your next welfare check it'll never happen.
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Most people dedicate a significant amount of their income to purchasing their home or even paying for their apartment. It also accounts for a significant portion of their debt. I don't see why I cannot take couple years out of my life and build a house while simultaneously accumulating sweat equity. I have roofed (starting with the plywood), plumbed (staring with the water main), wired (starting with the service entrance cable), and sheet rocked many houses. I purchase condemned shells and renovate them for a living. Why can't I build a stone shell using as much unskilled laborer as possible and then "renovate" it? Furthermore if I want to put on a slate roof, put on real shutters instead of fake ones, etc, etc who is going to stop me? I'm not building the house to maximize resale value and minimize effort. I am building the house I want to live in.
PS: and I certainly don't need to take the time to construct a website so that every week you can review it to make sure I am not doing something which doesn't meet with your approval Henslee
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Wether you could get enough stone to do the job off of your land would depend on a lot of things. How much stone is there? How big is the lot? We cant tell from here. A lot of land in areas of PA is almost 100% large granite rocks on surface. Other areas will be just sandstone below the topsoil. Given you are spending a pretty penny to build this house you may want to consider hiring a geologist to survey the land to determine how much usable rock you may have. They may need to excavate sections count rocks then extrapolate from there.
If it were me, I would buy the rocks. You can then pick what you want. Cheapest will be what is available locally. My local stone distributor has a huge selection and mocked up walls shocasing stone from all around the country. Pretty impresinve actually. Some can get pricy.
See http://www.rollrock.com/ and pay them a visit if you are close enough.

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No wrote:

Greetings,
Thank you very much. That is a great site if only for the photos. I will certainly stop by if I am ever in the area. I will also consider hiring a geologist to survey the land. The land in consideration has a lot of stone but it is in larger pieces than is immediately usable and would need to be somehow broken up as it is mountainside (about 20 acres). I have not purchased the land yet so I am free to purchase more suitable land if there is a geological problem.
I have seen a certain amount of "roughly square" stone which I feel is attractive. Do you know how they quarry the "roughly square" stone? Do they start with rubble and square it off or do they somehow generate the squares from larger stones? It is my guess that "roughly square" stone would be much more expensive than random rubble but I really have no clue. I think I am going to start calling stone yards to ask these questions even though I know their only intent is to convenience me to purchase their stone. It can't hurt. I am sure they will be glad to tell me what the problems are.
Thanks again, William
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I've seen where they blast off slices of rock in large flat sheets a foot or two thick. It may vary depending on the type of stone though. I guess a lot depends on whre you live. In parts of New England it is common to have randm sized rounded stoves, but in some areas, there are boulders the size of a big pickup truck. My neighbor had an excavating business and decided to remove a rock in the back yard, He dug down 8' and did not reach the bottom of it and gave up. I'm sure it could have been blasted.
With all the stone in the area, people still buy stone from hundreds of miles away because they like a particular color or type. As you can imagine, shipping is very expensive fro crates of stones.
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