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Stone Homes

There are many low-cost options for home construction. A builder-owner could use logs or cordwood, could construct using poles or wood-frame construction, or might build an earth-sheltered dwelling or an adobe home. Some enterprising do-it-yourself builders have even constructed perfectly serviceable homes from salvaged materials. For durability and attractiveness, however, stone is a solid choice.


Stone Home in Portugal

Natural stone is plentiful, and often free. Many potential builders already own property that has more stone than they would prefer, so it makes sense to put it to good use. Or perhaps a local farmer is clearing a new field and would be pleased to have someone remove the stones that could damage his machinery.

Sometimes it is more desirable to simply begin building, bypassing the time-consuming process of gathering stone. In this case, rock quarries will typically deliver as much stone as one wants in whatever size one desires. This is still very cost-effective - the purchaser will need to pay the cost of trucking, but the stone itself is usually very inexpensive. In some areas, stone can even be collected from public lands.


Stone and Earth Sheltered House

In addition to the stone, sand, gravel and cement are required. The cement is used to pour the footers and also to act as mortar. Some steel rebar will be needed for reinforcing lintels and corners. People have been building with stone practically since time began, and modern methods have made it much easier.

Building with stone is also far less labor-intensive than one might think. In fact, two adults working together should be able to erect a modest stone dwelling in just a few months.

As a building material, the advantages of stone are unparalleled. Obviously, stone will not rot. A stone structure, barring natural disaster, will almost always outlast its builder, its builder's children, and several generations yet to come. Even fire is not the disaster it typically can be - if the interior of a stone house is gutted by fire, the outer shell generally remains intact. Rodents, termites and borers are no threat to stone, and rot is a non-issue. Maintenance costs for stone are virtually non-existent. It needs no painting, staining, varnishing or expensive siding.


Spanish Stone Home

Stone is available in a huge variety of colors, textures and sizes. Walls can be of average thickness, or much thicker than usual if larger stone is used. In areas where the climate is moderate, stone walls can provide a high level of comfort, heating slowly during the warmth of the day and then continuing to radiate the warmth as the evening becomes cooler. The heat will dissipate during the night, and then the structure will be somewhat cool in the heat of the day.

In climates where the weather can be extremely hot or very cold, of course the builder may wish to use some sort of supplemental insulation. Of course, that would be necessary in a house built out of practically any other material, too. As one would with any other type of structure, it is wise to seal the cracks around the windows and doors.


Modern "Flintstone" House

Conclusion

A stone house, to summarize, is easy to build, highly versatile, and very economical to construct. It can also be a thing of beauty for many centuries.


 
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