550 square foot Cottage by Jess Alway Inc.
550 square foot Stone Cottage by Jess Alway Inc.

There’s no question that I like to build unique and creative homes and stone cottages — and part of that equation includes a strong swath of stonework throughout my structures.

Stonework adds a timelessness to any and everything it touches. I’m not talking about synthetic stone. I’m talking about real, authentic ROCK. Real stonework does not fade or streak (unless we’re talking about lime deposits), doesn’t crack, and looks good for centuries.

Design-wise, I find it very important to contract with professional stone masons who have a history of quality work and a strong artistic/creative bent. I tell them what I (generally) want and let them do their magic. Credit to master mason Kelly Ceniga for the stone cottage pictured above.

When building this stone cottage in Bend, Oregon, I decided that it should be buttressed — flared out at the base/foundation to give the entire little house a “been-there-forever” feel. The larger stones at the bottom ground the structure, gradually smaller stones make up the rest of the exterior. The stonework in this cottage is “dry stacked” — it shows no grout lines.

Stone Cottage in Bend, Oregon by Jess Alway Inc.
Stone Cottage in Bend, Oregon by Jess Alway Inc.

Above is another stone cottage built in Mountain River Estates, Bend, Oregon, using the same dry stacked technique and buttressed foundation. But…you can see so many differences!

Houses, even using the same blueprints, can look and feel drastically different. There is no need for a production house these days — the level of customization is as big as your imagination. And this small example of two similar stone cottages shows just how unique a structure can be.

I am currently building in both Bend, Oregon and Salem, Oregon and would be happy to talk to you about your own home needs — or walk you through a few of my specs.

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