Message - Reinforced Stone Walls - Napa, CA

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Posted by  bill on December 28, 2001 at 19:28:00:


I live in the Bay Area and have recently bought some property in the hills above Napa. No strucutres, but a few new grapevines . . .

I have been camping out at the property on weeekends and have a very talented local stone mason who is building some small retaining/garden walls. The walls are 18 inches thick and built of local stone on concrete footings w/vertical rebar from teh footing (every 16 inches) and horizontal rebar every 2 feet in height.

I am very interested in having him build a small stone house (1200 sq ft or less) 1 or 2 stories on the property - more or less the same way he is building the stone retaining walls (sort of Tuscan/Provence farmhouse style). We have water on site and power nearby and I just had a septic system put in this past summer - not attached to anything yet. The building site is level on a shale outcrop.

I am not an architect or engineer and I was wondering if possible/permissible code-wise to build a house out of stone reinforced with rebar (assuming the proper footting, amount and size of rebar, mortar, tie-ins to footing/floors, etc.). Just to be clear, the walls are not veenered over CMU or poured walls, but instead would be all stone and mortor (the stones average the size of a volleyball or slightly smaller) and have rebar as described above. Given teh thickness of the walls, if necessary for seismic strength, it could be possible to put in an ocassional CMU block colum or bond beam (with rebar and poured cement).

Anyway, I would be grateful for any ideas/suggestions.


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