He put $15,000 into his budget for drilling and blasting. But as the excavator kept working, the stone started to peel back easily in nice flat slabs.
He put $15,000 into his budget for drilling and blasting. But as the excavator kept working, the stone started to peel back easily in nice flat slabs.

When life gives you lemons, the saying goes, make lemonade. If life were to give Robert Mogensen a sack of lemons, he’d probably make lemon meringue pie. Mogensen works in the family masonry business started by his dad, Mickey. Some years ago, he bought a nice lot in Waukesha, Wis. — a two-acre plot surrounded by town parks and conservation land, the last undeveloped free spot in the area. He planned to build himself a home there. But when he started to excavate, he hit rock 2 feet down. Lots of rock.

At first, he figured he’d have to bite the bullet: He put $15,000 into his budget for drilling and blasting. But as the excavator kept working, the stone started to peel back easily in nice flat slabs. Mickey, a 40-year veteran of the mason’s trade, knew a good thing when he saw it. He suggested using the material for stone veneer on the house....

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