The use of appropriate finite elements in different regions of a stressed solid can be expected to be economical in computing its stress response. This concept is exploited here in studying stresses near free edges in laminated coupons. The well known free edge problem of [0/90], symmetric laminate is considered to illustrate the application of the concept. The laminate is modelled as a combination of three distinct regions. Quasi-three-dimensional eight-noded quadrilateral isoparametric elements (Q3D8) are used at and near the free edge of the laminate and two-noded line elements (Q3D2) are used in the region away from the free edge. A transition element (Q3DT) provides a smooth inter-phase zone between the two regions. Significant reduction in the problem size and hence in the computational time and cost have been achieved at almost no loss of accuracy.