Boiling down to the details
It took some creative design and engineering to accommodate all of the kitchen’s elements. There was, for example, the planning and trenching for all of the electrical requirements and four gas features (the large gas fire pit alone requires 40,000 BTUs). Then the matter of the pergola had to be figured out. It would not be ready for the kitchen’s first party, so its foundation and post footings had to be poured, covered, and reopened when the actual structure could be installed. The fact that the pergola had to have weight-bearing I-beams, yet have no posts in the middle of the kitchen, added another layer of complexity. Also challenging was the configuration of the chimney and pizza ovens. Myette recalls, “It was like threading a needle to kitty corner them and then combine them and make them all work.”
The homeowner was all about the details, and in Myette, he met his match. Given that each mason has a signature style, Myette would have his workers switch their area every four hours as a way to ensure uniformity.
The homeowner himself tried his hand at stonecutting. Having decided that the iconic shape of Cape Cod should be inlaid into the fireplace chimney, he took two pieces of the Phoenician Buff stone used for the patio, thinking he would cut one for practice and perfect the image on the second. He downloaded an image of the peninsula from the Internet, blew it up, and transferred it to cardboard to act as a cutout and went to work.
“If I screwed it up,” he says, “it was okay. No one expected me to be able to do it.” It turns out he did not need the second piece of stone. He got it right the first time, but the price he paid was a gouged finger, which served, he decided, as a rite of passage: “I took a picture of it and sent it to Greg and said, ‘Can I now have a company T-shirt?’” Having helped out by mapping and counting out stone configurations and now actually cutting stone, he was beginning to think of himself as an honorary employee of sorts.
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