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In the late 1700’s a house was built in Nelson County.  Over the years various renovations were done to improve the homes livability.  Fast forward a few hundred years and the house still stands, although not quite looking exactly as it did centuries before.  Rooms were added, slight adjustments were made, but the overall look and feel of the home remained.


The Project – Patio Transformed

Tectonics 2 had the opportunity to completely renovate the home’s backyard into a spectacular living area.

The plan was simple, take the existing backyard and transform it into wonderful patio equipped with a fireplace or chimney fire pit.  Something that people could gather around and tell stories and share memories on cold chilly days or late into the night.

Local Sourcing

One of the requirements for the Patio project was to incorporate as much of the surrounding materials as possible to match existing materials used in building the home.  With that in mind Tectonic 2 sourced bricks from an old home’s fireplace located in the area and many of the stones came directly from the farms creek and acreage nearby.

Riverbed Rocks And The Stone Slayers

For those that don’t know brick laying and stone masonry is an art that goes back thousands of years.  Master craftsman passed down their trade to family members and apprentices.  It’s hard work because the materials are often very heavy and have to be chipped away at and positioned, usually by hand.

Tectonics 2 uses what they refer to as “The Stone Slayers“, masters of brick laying and stone artisanship.

Main Features

The main features for the patio project were a set of stairs leading down from the main level and a great big fireplace.  Both require special skills and a lot of patience.  Working on a slope is not always simple and making sure everything is level is always key.

The Stairs

Patio’s come in all sizes and dimensions.  There is no one size fits all solution.  The goal is always to incorporate the surrounding landscape and make the patio feel more inviting and look more natural.

The main materials used in this project were bricks, cinder blocks, cement, and stone.  As with most projects, a good level and string can go a long way to making sure everything is even and lining up correctly.

For the stairs The Stone Slayers used both bricks and cinder blocks for the base.  Stones are then added on top for hand rails and walls.

Building A Better Backyard 1

cement is mixed and ready to be applied.

Building A Better Backyard 2

It’s a messy job, but someone has to do it.

Building A Better Backyard 3

Master stone craftsman hand positioning a stone into place.

Building A Better Backyard 4

The Chimney

Like the stairs, the chimney material included bricks, cinder blocks, cement, and stone.  To make the fireplace really pop, larger stones were incorporated at the top and bottom of the opening.

Building A Better Backyard 8

Stones being cut by hand, just like craftsman have done for thousands of years.

Building A Better Backyard 7

There is a saying in building, “Measure Twice and Cut Once“.  Throughout the project measuring and making sure everything was level was extremely important.

Building A Better Backyard 9

Here is a quick video of the chimney going up.

With all the work finished it’s time to really test it out and what better way to do that than to have a wedding.

Building A Better Backyard Wedding