A spacious wood-frame addition to a home in Williamstown, Mass., needed equally impressive stone fireplaces. On the first floor, a 12-ft wide fireplace is the focal point of the ballroom, framed by an 11-ft ceiling and four massive octagonal Douglass Fir posts. Upstairs, a vertical, asymmetrical fireplace warms the bedroom.

Deer Hill Masonry selected American granite for its natural weathered look, but the stone's softness posed a challenge. Masons used a hydraulic stone splitter, wet saw, mini-grinder, hammers, and chisels to split and shape the stone for a perfect fit. Joint width was kept between 1/8 in. and ¼ in.

Masons trimmed and placed the 1300-lb lintel stone for the ballroom fireplace with the help of a skid-steer, heavy-duty dolly, cable, and a one-ton chain fall. They wedge-split stones for the bedroom fireplace to replicate the same post and lintel detail at ? the scale. The two freestanding fireplaces used 26 tons of stone.

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Project Participants

Builder: Geary Builders, Cheshire, Mass.

Masonry Contractor: Deer Hill Masonry, Cummington, Mass.

Architect: Vincent P. Guntlow Associates, Williamstown, Mass.

Masonry Supplier: Champlain Stone Co., Warrensburg, N.Y.