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When remodeling a lakefront home in Newport, CT, natural stone became an important material selection for many aspects of the home in order to give an overall “fortress” effect to the space. And, to achieve the desired look that homeowners Steve and Cindy LaPorta were looking for, approximately 1,400 square feet of Old Spruce ThinStone™ in a “mosaic” cut - supplied by Connecticut Stone Supplies of Milford, CT - was selected for both interior and exterior features of the space.
The homeowners designed the home, while their son did all the drawings for it. “We wanted to expand the house by adding on a master bedroom suite,” Steve LaPorta said. “Because the approach of the house is downhill, you end up with a ranch-style look from the front angle and a two-story house from the back. Also, we wanted to incorporate a tower that looks like a real tower found in a castle, as well as to use natural stone to bring more depth to the house.”
To meet this desired aesthetic, Old Spruce ThinStone was implemented for several exterior features of the home such as the tower and several retaining walls found throughout the property. “The whole theme behind designing the stone-clad tower was in keeping with the fortress idea,” explained Buddy Britton, Sales Representative with Connecticut Stone Supplies.
The same material was also carried indoors, where it was used on the walls of a downstairs hot tub room. “The thin stone was used for interior walls in the downstairs hot tub room and also for a fireplace. The masons covered up the original brick with lath and plaster and then adhered the thin stone on top of that,” LaPorta explained.
“We selected the thin stone for its lightweight characteristics and because of its corners, which are cut out of real stone, but they are only between 1 and 1 ¼ inch thick,” he explained. “With the thin stone and the corners, we achieved the look of making the tower appear as solid masonry, like a real castle would be. We didn’t have to use any big ledges or other structural details because of the materials’ light weight.”
Brothers-In-Law Masonry of Danbury, CT, served as the stone installer for the project, and according to the homeowner, there were typically around four masons on site at a given time. LaPorta said that one challenge was “to match up the veneer material with the sills and headers to make sure that when we were framing them together they looked like thick, solid masonry like you would see on a castle.”
Construction of the home began in January 2007 and the stonework was completed around two or three months later, according to the homeowner. “We love it,” he said. “Every time I see it, I say ‘wow,’ and so does everyone else who sees it. Connecticut Stone was fantastic to work with, especially Buddy. We purchased our countertops and bathroom tile from them as well.”