top of page

Problem Solving For Your Masonry Designs.

Steve Homola, the retired Founder of Stonwerk Inc. has discovered that full retirement is a challenge he wasn’t prepared for, and is opening his schedule to return part-time to what he did best, solving problems. As many of you know from working with him over the years, he is a creative thinker who has the unique ability to think way outside the box without overcomplicating problems.  Steve started his masonry business back in 1985, and slowly and steadily built a reputation for elite quality masonry, by consistently finishing some of the finest homes in the west suburbs of Minneapolis. During his career he has dealt firsthand with every type of masonry fireplace, worked with Structural block masonry, brick and stone veneers of every kind, Cut stone and cast stone in all of the various applications, and seen many of the hurdles that can arise when dealing with WRB applications.  While his experience is steeped in tradition, Stonwerk is also at the forefront of cutting-edge masonry techniques and technologies with our Stone Selector Tool. This blend of innovation and timeless craftsmanship sets our consultancy apart in today's ever-evolving masonry landscape. We’re excited to welcome his experience back into the world of masonry and to share his expertise with your team!

Steve is here to consult with your team and solve the issues related to these critical masonry topics:

Thin Veneer vs. Full Thickness Stone Applications

Thin veneer stone is typically used for decorative purposes and may not be structurally suitable for load-bearing applications. This restricts its use in certain projects where full-size stone might be a more appropriate choice. Surprisingly, thin veneer stone might not always result in significant cost savings compared to full-size stone. The initial material cost could be lower, but additional expenses related to installation and maintenance might offset these savings.

The importance of understanding ASTM Specs relating
to Stone applications (Freeze/Thaw)-

The specific WRB used in a masonry application will depend on factors such as the climate, building codes, and the type of masonry material used. Proper installation and integration of WRBs are essential to ensure the longevity and performance of masonry structures.

Best practices for WRB systems and Foundation insulation-

Living in a four season climate is critical when it comes to natural stone materials. ASTM specs outline performance requirements for different stone types, considering factors like compressive strength, flexural strength, water absorption, and abrasion resistance. By selecting stone materials that meet these criteria, you can ensure that your stone applications will perform well and withstand environmental conditions and wear over time.

Fireplace Specifications & Chimney Designs-

Fireplace venting and chimney design are critical elements that impact the safety, efficiency, and performance of a fireplace system. Engaging a qualified professional to design and maintain your chimney ensures that it functions optimally, providing you with a cozy and safe fireplace experience. A well-constructed chimney contributes to the overall structural integrity of the building. It provides stability to the roof and prevents moisture infiltration, protecting the building from water damage.

Other masonry design details covered:

Cut Stone


Mortar Joints




Rumford Fireplaces


Stonwerk Design Center at International Market Square, Minneapolis, MN.

or at your preferred location. (*extra fees may apply)

  • stone color

  • stone pattern

  • stone size

  • stone origination

  • mortar joint size

  • mortar joint fullness and finish 

  • mortar joint color

  • stone stills 

  • dynamic cost slider for each selection

Selection Options: 

bottom of page