was late summer and we were with our builder at the job site.
Groundbreaking for the construction of our new home was about to begin
and we were interviewing subcontractors such as plumbers, heating
specialists etc. Suddenly, all conversations stopped as everyone
watched this big pickup hauling a stone wall ramble down the driveway.
It was Buddy Barnes.
Although this meeting was a simple meet and
greet with the subs, Buddy made it a memorable event. He didn’t
have a contract nor was he assured that he would get one. Yet he took
the initiative and spent considerable effort to construct a sample
stone wall that showcased his talent and understanding of the look that
the architect and we were attempting to achieve. We were sold.
compared to stone, building a wall of brick or concrete block is
relatively simple since all the materials are of uniform dimension.
Stone, however, comes in various sizes, colors and textures –
even within the same batch. Thus a good stonemason must have superior
technical skills matched equally by an aesthetic sense. Buddy Barnes is
blessed with both.
Our house was not composed of your standard
rubble wall. Aesthetics required large quoins at the corners with walls
of a mix of thin and wide rocks. The walls would then need to be
blended into more uniform pieces near windows and doors in order to
build an attractive side and header for these components. Buddy simply
did a spectacular job to achieve this effect. He used these same skills
to also build four stone fireplaces and two multi-flue brick chimneys
that twisted upwards from a stone base.
What made working with
Buddy so pleasurable was his attitude, integrity and proactivism.
Problems always occur during construction and Buddy was there with a
solution and not just a complaint that somebody else messed-up. When
things do go wrong, he fixes the mistake without complaint. And when
the architectural plans are unconstructable, Buddy came up with an
alternative. If the plans are complex, as in the building of the
chimneys, he takes it on as a challenge to figure out the puzzle. Other
contractors would have given up. Finally, where we had to constantly
browbeat other subs to show up, Buddy was always on-site and sticking
to the schedule.
To sum it up, we highly recommend Buddy Barnes and would be delighted
to discuss his work and our project.
John J. Dziedzina