William Hicks Masonry
P. O. Box 1062, Siler City, North Carolina 27344
(919)742-3418 or email Bill through the website
 
WHAT YOU'RE SEEING
(Masonry types: thin veneer | thick veneer | solid stonework)

I do stonework in three different structural genres.  Some of the projects pictured here are thin veneer jobs.  That means the stone is usually about 2" thick and is applied to a substrate of either masonry, or backerboard, or mudded lathe on studs and plywood, as tile would be applied. The Brown job illustrates the steps in this process.  In this setting the stonework does not need to be footed because it is attached to the substrate--which is properly footed to carry the extra weight.  Some examples of this sort of work are the Rubbah Room job, the Wilson job, and the arch I'm standing under with my fiddle.  The stone can be applied in various styles--drylaid style (which I much prefer), or with showing mortared joints, or even coursed with joints (the latter would be the most expensive by far, as it would require much fashioning of each stone and the time to do the joints). 

I also do thick veneer jobs.  These would be akin to the standard brick on block masonry that is used in most foundation construction.  A block or brick wall is built.  Then a stone wall is laid in front of this, connected with ladder wire and wall ties to the block, and footed (normally on the same footing as the block).  This construction is heavier and is great for retaining walls (where the back or block side is covered up with dirt).  I like to do drystack work, showing mostly edges, with occasional boulders that the thin courses have to climb over and under.  There will be a good deal of concrete in this sort of construction, but hidden and used as sort of a "liquid shim."  Such work can also be coursed as in the Ashlar style.  Examples here are the Hackney wall (Ashlar style) and the Hoffman/Valentine wall (my preferred style of dry stacking with boulders).  This sort of construction can also be tied to a stud wall just as bricks are laid on a brick house.  What is required structurally is that the work be properly footed.  The Thorne stove surround is drylaid stone construction (not thin veneer) against stud wall.  The Thorne retaining wall is the same sort of stonework but against a block backing wall that is back filled. The Morgan Glen project shows the process of facing the block back wall with stone.

Finally there is simply solid stonework.  An example of that is the Joyner wall.  Here the wall has both sides showing, so it is just laid up in stone, on a footing, and controlled by temporary string lines.  The center of such a wall is made up of concrete and involves crossing back and forth with the stones from each outer face.  Sometimes a center wall of block is laid and faced on both sides, but often that actually makes the process slower--the width of the wall and the width of the typical stones would be the controlling factors.  Anyway, those are the three kinds of work I do.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
--Bill Hicks

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