JobSight: Growing All Natural

Elbert also had the responsibility of scheduling the stonework around the schedule Mark Leto set for the other subcontractors. Leto acted as his own general contractor on the job, and Bella Dura’s Day says he did an excellent job of keeping the project on schedule and
paying attention to details.

“I’ve been on many jobs where the owner acted as his own contractor, and they’ve generally been disasters,” Day says. “The job is a real compliment to Mark.”

200_Bella_Dura_Sisal_paving_Macedonia_CabanaClick photo to enlarge“He’d basically lay out the schedule and ask if I’d have the material or when it would be delivered, and we’d go from there,” Elbert explains. “I’d basically go wherever they wanted me to be, and then we’d coordinate getting the material in that way.”

And, given his experience working with Bella Dura, Elbert says there really wasn’t much difficulty in getting the necessary stone delivered at the right time.

“Certainly, there are some things out of your control sometimes,” he says. “Weather can play a part, and also the port you’re shipping to; but, if you know what you’re doing, you can work all that in.”

And, obviously, with the scale of the project, it wasn’t done quickly. Bella Dura’s Day says he took the first deposit for stone in September 2008, with the work substantially finished in the fall of 2010.

However, the Letos added another 400 linear feet of baseboard to the project just before Christmas.

“The owner decided he wanted to do a baseboard practically around the entire perimeter of the exterior stone,” Day explains. “And, that isn’t the end of it. The driveway crosses a bridge for which we designed a pretty elaborate decorative balustrade system, and then at the end of the driveway there’s supposed to be a pretty elaborate gatehouse. Roy Dufreche designed that, and the Letos intend to do both of those, probably in the next year.”

Mark Leto agrees that using the imported stone probably slowed down the construction process somewhat, just in general. However, he also doesn’t seem to care.

“Things of this nature and this quality take time,” the owner observes. “It’s certainly not a quick fix, but you can’t buy this at the big box stores, either, and we’re okay with that.

“It took longer than we expected, but the end result is incredible. We’re so pleased, and we’d certainly do it all over again.”

Owners: Mark and Monta Leto, Amite, La.
Designer: Donald M. Gore Building Design, Hammond, La.
Stone Supplier/Fabricator/Installer: Bella Dura Architectural Stone and Architectural Creations, Baton Rouge, La.
Landscape Architect: Roy T. Dufreche & Associates, Inc., Hammond, La.

©2011 Western Business Media Inc.

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