Creating a new outdoor space is one of the most exciting home improvement projects, and it’s also one that invites a lot of potentially costly mistakes such as choosing the wrong stone for the job or miscalculating the amount of materials needed. Here’s why working with a product expert at a stone supply in Lancaster, PA, is important.
Not Every Stone Is the Same
If you ever want to horrify a stonemason, just say that stone is stone. Nothing could be further from the truth. Natural stone has so many variables that make a particular stone more or less suitable for the project. Compressive strength and water absorption are two factors that heavily influence the choice of materials. A product expert can help you choose the right natural stone for the application. Working with someone who understands a stone’s characteristics and limitations will help ensure the choice of the right stone for a patio, retaining wall, fire pit, pool deck, walkway, or driveway.
When it comes to concrete pavers, product information is more readily available. However, a product expert can help you choose the best value for the money since concrete pavers are not created equal. The technology used in making concrete pavers is more than surface deep. Factors that influence choices include colorfastness, stain resistance, need for sealing, ease of maintenance, textures (especially for pavers used around pools or hot tubs), durability, and compressive strength. Most paver manufacturers carry several lines and pricing tiers. A product expert can help consumers and contractors choose the right product.
Quantity Is Everything
When calculating product quantities, take into consideration waste from creating curved spaces. Allow for breakage that can happen during installation. And you also want to allow for minor changes in design such as deciding to add a border or accents. A product expert can help you estimate how much material you need to successfully complete a project.
There’s nothing more frustrating than not ordering the right quantities. This is most often a mistake that beginner DIY homeowners make, but you won’t fall for that trap if you know who to turn to for questions and advice.
When using natural stone for outdoor living spaces, a product expert may counsel you to proactively purchase additional material.
For example, if you are constructing a large-scale outdoor project that includes a patio, walkway, and pool deck, you will be purchasing quite a lot of stone from different batches. The colors may not match precisely when you’re using natural stone—no two stones are ever exactly alike—but colors from several batches can be mixed on site with stunning results. In this case, the purchase of additional materials may not be necessary since in the event a stone should need replacing or you want to add on to the space, the colors are varied anyway and as long as you purchased enough to allow for waste and breakage, you may have enough for future repairs.
However, if you’re doing just a small outdoor living space, you may wish to purchase additional material so that if a stone should break, you can replace it with a matching stone from the same batch. Leftover materials can be used in creative ways throughout the landscape, such as stepping stones or under a fountain or birdbath.
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