External walls do not only provide the necessary protective shell to the structure that you are building. They also play a major role in determining the character and outlook of the structure and its eventual beauty.
Many finishing treatment options are available, mostly dependent with the type of building stones or blocks used for the walling.
Some stones have a poor outlook and their key role is to hold the structure. Most of the times, these are finished with plaster and painted or given a different external cladding like bricks, natural stones or various tiling options available. This is usually quite expensive.
Many more would use the stone, have the joints keyed in, and maybe, given a darker shade. This is commonly known as ‘Keyed Stone Finish’ This is definitely cheaper to build and maintain as no plaster or paint is required.
One finish that we usually recommend, budgets allowing, is the traditionally laid stones with a joint free appearance. These are commonly known as ‘Zero Joint walling’ in the construction industry circles.
It is a slow, and painstaking exercise that requires outstanding skills and unmatched patience. Dressing the stone to achieve the angles that would give it the ‘Zero Joint walling’ finish is no walk in the park. Laying the stones is also another task that requires great skill and time.
On completion, the stone is brushed and polished as required achieving an impeccable zero joint walling finish that always leaves people wondering how the stones that seem to have been placed on top of each other without any mortar hold.
The images posted are for one of our projects where we have used the zero joint walling technique. Of course, we also used coloured stones to give the house more character.
The author is the principal architect at AKML and publisher and editor of the BUILDesign magazine.