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From: (Dani Eder)
Subject: Re: Is a stone house a good house to live in?
Date: Oct 16 1995
Newsgroups: misc.rural (Alan Stankevitz) writes:

>Recently I asked this newsgroup about a log home and got mixed reviews. How about 
>a house made of stone? Does anyone own one in this group that could give me their 

Being about to embark on a stone house construction project, I can offer
a few comments based on my preparatory studies:

Stone is a lousy thermal insulator.  I has about an R value of one per
foot, so a 2 foot thick wall has is about R-2, which is pretty useless
in a cold climate.  On the other hand, it has lots of thermal mass.
So think about insulation.

Stone is heavy.  Standard suburban 2x4 and plywood houses don't weigh
enough to require a foundation analysis unless the land is pretty
squishy.  It is prudent to have a competent person check the soil
under the proposed building site and recommend a suitable design
for the foundation based on the house design.

Stone is cheap, if you get it direct from a quarry.  Limestone
rubble costs me $5.50 per ton if I pick it up.  Once you get
any significant distance from a quarry, the delivery charges
can add up to more than the material cost.  As far as total material
cost, for a stone and mortar wall with steel reinforcing bars,
you can figure on a materials cost of $1.50 per cubic foot
(stone, sand, portland cement, & rebar, no labor).  So for 
a 32x50 house (1600 sqft), one story, with 8' high walls and
2' deep foundation, with 16" thick walls, you are looking at
a cost of $3280 for the shell (neglecting doors & windows).

Stone is durable.  Maintained, it can last hundreds to thousands
of years.  Tornadoes and trees falling on it wont do as much
damage as to a wood frame house (these are typical hazards
around here).  It's hard to burn.  On the minus side, they
are not so good if you are in an earthquake prone area.

Dani Eder

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