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Sitting at an altitude of almost 10,000 feet on the mountainside of Angel Fire village in the Moreno Valley of New Mexico, is a 2,600-square-foot, rustic-looking stone house designed to blend in with its environment. For homeowner Scott Lardner, who is also the president of Rocky Mountain Stone Co. - a stone supplier and installer located in Albuquerque, NM - natural stone was an obvious material choice for the design of his family’s second home.
When considering the location of the residence, Lardner said two design goals came to mind. “The two primary design considerations were to bring the outdoors into the house, as well as to capture the incredible views of the lake and valley below,” he said.
With this in mind, Lardner selected Navajo Gold travertine - quarried and fabricated by New Mexico Travertine, the sister company of Rocky Mountain Stone Co. - as the main building material. The material was used for several walls of the home, as well as for a floor-to-ceiling fireplace surround in the living room area. To complement the material, patterned Turkish Ivory travertine from Marme, Inc. of Houston, TX, was applied as flooring throughout the main level of the home as well as the lower level bunkroom.
“From a design standpoint, we thought the cut ashlar [Navajo Gold] worked with both the cutting edge design and within the mountain/rustic setting,” Lardner explained. “And, since we were going to use the native New Mexico travertine for the walls, we wanted a [flooring] material that would go with the travertine, but be neutral in color and also be somewhat rustic to help blend in with the home’s setting.”
In addition to travertine, Juparana Persa granite from AG&M of Austin, TX, was fabricated for an island top as well as the kitchen countertop. According to Lardner, the slab for the island measured 9 x 5 feet with a laminated “rocked” edge, and weighed over 800 pounds.
Overall, approximately 80 tons of stone were installed both inside and outside the home, with nearly 15 tons implemented for the fireplace alone.
Facing challengesWith a crew of four masons on the jobsite for an approximate eight-week period, several challenges arose, according to Lardner.
“Building a home in the mountains always brings a unique set of challenges,” he said. “Dealing with the weather, finding subcontractors in a small community and getting the roof set at over 40 feet above grade were all challenging. The frost line is 60 inches below grade, so all footings had to be dug out to 72 inches, which was very challenging since there was a substantial amount of rock that had to be removed.”
Another challenge, according to Lardner, involved the installation of the island countertop. “It took everyone on the site to get it into place,” he said. “The other challenge was getting the 3-inch-thick Desert Gold chimney caps onto the roof and set above the fireplace. The pieces weighed over 300 pounds each.”