A Cut Above: Continental Cut Stone Brings Old World Craftsmanship to D-FW

The Highland Park town hall features cut stone from Continental Cut Stone (photos: Continental Cut Stone)

Thirty years ago, a young 27-year-old alumnus of Highland Park High School and Vanderbilt University with an engineering management degree found himself in the cut stone business. With the help of family members, Rob Teel, was able to purchase a foreclosed stone mill in Florence, Texas, and turn it into Continental Cut Stone, one of the best and most sought-after stone facilitators in Texas.

So what is cut stone and why should CandysDirt.com readers care?  Because we not only tell you about homes, but we want you to learn something new about them.

Cut Stone vs. Cast Stone

When trying to attain the look and feel of classic and historic architectural features such as trim, ornaments, or facings of buildings, there are two main types of products builders use today: cut stone and cast stone.

watch your fingers!

Large blocks of Leuders limestone or Cordova Cream are cut from quarries

Cast stone is made from white or grey cements, manufactured or natural sands, crushed stone or natural gravels, and colored with mineral coloring pigments.  The material is poured into a mold to create the desired look.

Cut stone starts as a block of stone that is then refined (by hand tools or machines) into the desired shape.

Both products give homes and buildings depth and elegance.  Cut stone, being a natural material, is considered easier to work with, and has the ability to be sawn, sanded, honed, polished, tapestry (sand blasted), rock faced, and split faced.

Each piece of limestone used here was taken from the quarry of Continental Cut Stone

Growing Business

Continental Cut Stone is a nationally recognized Architectural Cut Stone Specialist company that serves the needs of commercial and home builders.  The company has received a number of local and national awards for their designs and products, but what owner Rob Teel is most proud of is the family-like atmosphere and culture of the company.

What began in a 5,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Florence, Texas, has grown into a campus more than 16 acres with a 15,000-square-foot plant to handle all their orders.  Currently they have over 65 employees in the mill, the Leuders limestone quarry, and the Cordova Cream quarry.

This is called a groin valued ceiling

Marrying old world craftsmanship with automated equipment allows Continental to deliver almost any design

“I love the entire process,” exclaims Teel.  “I’ve been doing this for a long time but it’s still fun taking a huge block of stone and making it a beautiful finished product.”

Recent projects include the George W. Bush Library in Dallas, and the Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin.

They have also been a part of countless home projects in the D/FW Metroplex and throughout the state of Texas. One Fort Worth-based home project began as a simple window sill job and turned into an opportunity that spanned 10 years at a cost of $3 million dollars.

Future of Stone Work

As with other artisans in the construction industry, the biggest issue that Teel sees is the shallow pool of qualified and motivated workers. Many of their 65 employees have been with the company for decades and have become very talented at their craft.

“It’s not the easiest job for sure,” explains Teel.  “If you are in the quarries, it’s hot and dusty pretty much all the time. The jobs in the mill take many years to perfect, but our goal is to help make visions turn into reality and it’s a rewarding venture for sure.”

With talent and desire like that who knows, maybe Continental Cut Stone will continue for at least another 30 years!

Well that’s all from Tarrant County this week, Dirty Readers. Remember, if you have comments, questions, or ideas for future stories – I’m always here to listen!  Bring it.

Seth Fowler is a licensed real estate sales professional with Williams Trew Real Estate in Fort Worth.  Statements and opinions are his own.  Seth has been involved in the home sales and real estate business in DFW since 2004.  He and his family have lived in the Fort Worth area for over 14 years.  Also, Seth loves bow ties.  You can reach Seth at 817.980.6636 or seth.fowler@williamstrew.com.