Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Not Your Average Fireplace
The Log house....
If you want to build a log house
on the prairie of South Dakota
you can look to this one
for some good tips....
the homeowners did their research
and thought of everything!
from the location,
on a hilltop
overlooking a beautiful valley,
they did not skimp on windows to enjoy
the gorgeous view!
And they hired the right crew
to build a fireplace that is not only
stunning to look at, but also will warm the entire house
and keep them cozy when the snow and wind
are howling outside.
A few weeks ago
Jenniges Masonry from Custer, South Dakota
arrived on site with a crew
and a trailer full of rocks
I was there with my camera to
photo journal the whole process
I have to say, "it was an amazing process!"
from the first wheelbarrow full of rock
to the last bucket of muddy water
I've never seen such a mess
such a transformation!
The great room filled up with
rocks and suddenly looked like
Rocks everywhere and they
just kept coming....
The fireplace sits dead center in the house
and spans from the basement to the second level
the main level is double sided.
The main level and upper level are getting
finished here, this covers 20 feet. (the basement will wait till later)
Approximately 7 ton of rock is used to
cover the two levels!
the main entry view.
the crew of 6 picked rock, chiseled and hammered
and mudded them in one by one.
They had their own fireplace going out on the driveway
to keep the sand warm to mix into mortar...
cement mortar was hauled inside
They started from the bottom
working their way up,
2 levels of scaffolding,
guys working on all 4 sides...
the piles of rock on the
living room floor slowly dwindling.
When they got to the peak and the last rock was
mortared in I thought "great, now we can start
vacuuming and cleaning up this mess"
Now the real mess begins!
The water hose came in,
and buckets were filled with
One guy started hosing from the top
while the others started brushing each
rock down with acid....
"Now we have a water feature!"
Water streaming down...
they covered a finished wood floor
with plastic, but all I could see was
acid and water ruining it!
Water running down onto the hearth
like a rainstorm...
One guy on a shop vac sucking it up!
(one vacuum isn't gonna cut it, I thought to myself)
I kept my cool and told myself
"these guys are professionals and this is not
their first fireplace!! RELAX!"
They hauled out buckets of muddy water...
As if just being spit-shined and polished,
the rocks on the fireplace came to life!
It looked like a monsoon
had just been through...
The plastic was removed from the mantel
and the wood floor,
and everything survived unscathed!
A miracle in my mind, but not to the pros!
They vacuumed and swept
and the place looked normal once again!!
South Dakota rock from both sides of the river...
the Black Hills, and Native Prairie, a real hammerhead,
Quartz, Petrified Wood, even a rock blasted from
Crazy Horse Monument
all carefully chosen and set into
a stunning display of master-craftsmanship...
In five days a masterpiece was born!
A beautiful focal point of the whole house
and the owners' favorite thing about
their new home!
We all backed off and said "Wow"
It's a beauty
this crew should be proud!
And they clean as well
as they lay rock,
What a relief!!!