This is a story about my wanting to build something that I liked but that others said couldn’t be done. The stone supplier and the stone mason said it couldn’t be done, and I couldn’t find any published construction details for doing it. But if nothing else, I’m persistent and have come to learn that there’s always a way to reach your goals.

The project, located in the Hudson Valley in New York, called for a low-maintenance, energy-efficient house. We were aiming for a durable, maintenance-free exterior using Nichiha fiber-cement lap siding on the second-story and real stone on the first floor and walk-out side of the basement. Everyone involved wanted real stone, not “cultured” or...

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