Stonemasons, Stone Masonry and Stonework Restoration Services
Companies & Individual Contractors in Saint Kilda

Stone Masonry Services Saint Kilda / Victoria / Australia

About Stone Masonry Services in Saint Kilda

Stonemasons are one of the oldest professions in the world. Stonemasonry is old as hunting and gathering - the primary trades of very early man. Ancient hunter/gatherer stonemasons had no tools to speak of: just sticks, stones and bones. Remember – this was the stone age, there were no masonry contractors, but there were stonemasons because stones were almost all they had! These early stonemasons didn't build houses, because they had neither the tools nor the skills, and through caves provided a place to live. But caves are not often naturally pleasant, and if you want to raise a nest of man-cubs, you want them to be safe and reasonably comfortable. They couldn’t go out and find the nearest stone masonry services company or masonry contractor to make their cave more beautiful, so they did it themselves. So, they were like first stonemasons.

Of course, for those first stonemasons, the cave could be ‘improved,’ using the only material to hand, rocks. Then early stonemasons discovered that, if you hit certain kinds of rock with specific other stones, you could create more useful shapes: cutting flints, stone-flake arrowheads, and hand-sized clubbing stones; until eventually stones could be knocked into shape and size to fit a specific hole or meet a particular requirement. All of that was the profession of what, today, we call stonemasons. And the stone masonry services industry was born.

 

WHEN WE HIRE STONEMASONRY SERVICES?

Today we rarely use stone as a core building material. But we still regularly call in masonry contractors, primarily for aesthetic purposes. Nowadays, regular-shaped bricks and blocks are much easier to use than raw stone. But we still love stone, and almost every house will have a job for the stonemasons, simply because stone looks and feels natural. And so, we now hire stone masonry services or masonry contractors to make our place special, by delivering naturalistic features for our home and garden.

 

These stonemasons’ fripperies might include:

STONE-BUILT FIREPLACE

A proper stonemasons fireplace takes us back to the caveman’s hearth. The caveman discovered that fire had to be controlled and shaped, and they used the stone to do that. Stonemasonry services companies and masonry contractors still do the same today, and whether it is an ornate masterpiece in marble and jasper stone, or built from local stone, whether placed in a country kitchen or a stately salon, the stone-built fireplace makes a very particular statement and creates a fabulous hearth to sit around and talk about. That’s when you need to call in the stonemasons, whether an individual stone masonry services expert or a local stone masonry services company/masonry contractor.

FEATURE STONE WALLS – INTERNAL

It’s all about texture and color and depth. Getting a stone masonry services company or masonry contractors to add a feature stone wall to any home creates a fantastic space and a unique ambiance. But it is not just for homes. In bars, restaurants, office reception areas and conference rooms, public buildings, and shopping malls, stone masonry services company/masonry contractors can add a new texture and a unique feel to any space, especially when used in counterpoint to wood and glass. That is where the services of stonemasons can make an essential difference in how a place feels.

FEATURE STONE WALLS – EXTERNAL

Stonemasonry services companies, masonry contractors are in increasing demand all over the world. If you consider the US, for example, you will find that many sizeable free-standing properties have been graced by the attention of a stone masonry services company/ masonry contractor. If they have a large parcel of land, and a substantial boundary then there might be many opportunities for the stonemasons to come in and ply their art. If you look on some of the more up-market realtor websites, you will find thousands of homes adorned with beautiful stone features from the master craftsmen stonemasons from the local stone masonry services company or other masonry contractors in the area. A stonemasons decorative natural-stone wall sets the tone for any garden or open space and gives you something amazing to lean-on when telling your friends, the story of how you watched the stone masonry services company or masonry contractors build it.

(One word of advice on stonemasons. If someone turns up at your place and tells you he’s one of the stonemasons who is going to build your new wall, check his hands. If they don’t look like they have been in a printing-press, he probably lying. A true stonemasons work is with stone, and stone is very unforgiving. The local stone masonry services company or masonry contractors will ensure you get an experienced team of stonemasons, but none of them will have pianists’ fingers.)

STONE GARDEN FEATURES

A good stone masonry services company or local masonry contractors can build anything of stone in your garden: a simple stone wall, a folly, a dovecote, a bridge over a pond, a fountain, or even a waterfall. Stonemasons and masonry contractors are there to advise you on what is possible and how much it will cost, but the only real limit to what these stone masonry services companies or masonry contractors can build out of stone for you is your imagination.

STONE SWIMMING POOLS AND PONDS

Stonemasons and masonry contractors will not usually build you a swimming pool, though a stone masonry services company might. But with pools and ponds, you have two choices. You can leave them as modern looking holes in the ground, or you can use a stone masonry services company or masonry contractors to turn them into something that looks and feel more natural, or more spectacular, or if you find the right stonemasons, both. The choice is yours, but there are properties which from the first look rather unprepossessing, but where, as you walk through to the residential area a fabulous mix of stone-work and nature conjured up by an excellent stone masonry services company/ masonry contractor can be quite literally breath-taking. Stone makes a real difference, and true stonemasons can make a real difference to how your property looks, and how it sells!

STONE TERRACES AND BALUSTRADES

Masonry contractors will also not usually build you a simple terrace. Terraces are work for pavers, and stone masonry services companies/ masonry contractors generally regard them as being, quite literally, beneath them. However, they will take these jobs on as a prime contractor, where they can do what stonemasons like to do best, create bespoke stonework to surround and support a terrace. Balconies, balustrades, parapets, raised flower beds, and any other features which might make an ordinary stone-slab patio extraordinary, that is the kind of project that stone masonry services companies or masonry contractors adore.

STONEWORK REPAIR

In Europe, most stone masonry services companies/ masonry contractors spend most of their time fixing old stone on old buildings. We usually think of stone as being hard, but it is quite fragile, and after a mere 600 years or so, often shows the effect of weather and use, so stonemasons are called in to sort things out. This kind of work isn’t so prevalent in the new world but, if you don’t like the look of some of the older stonework on your property, or you have a problem with a boundary wall, then your local stone masonry services operator or masonry contractors will be happy to help you.

 

Stonework Installation

For thousands of years, humans have used stone to create structures. From the oldest known stone structure to today’s ranch style homes with facades of bricks and stones, stonework has been a literal cornerstone of construction and landscaping since man began constructing buildings. These trades have become today’s custom stonework installations services. Over the centuries, techniques have evolved with amazing results. Stone carving featured on everything from the walls of cathedrals to breath-taking jewelry. Its most famous use, however, is the custom stonework installation services that result in stunning additions to home and garden.

CUSTOM STONEWORK INSTALLATION SERVICES

A stonemason is the name of the professional who performs custom stonework installation services by shaping rough stones into shapes and then using those stones in geometrical patterns to create a structure. Several types of stonemasons can provide custom stonework installation services, including a sawyer mason, who uses saws to cut stones to the proper shape. A banker mason, who further forms the stone to the shape and size required by the structure; a carver mason, who creates artistic designs such as animals or faces in the stone; and a fixer mason, who repairs damage in existing stonework and can provide custom stonework repair services.

It is easy to miss the skill and craftsmanship that comes with custom stonework installation services. A professional who provides custom stonework installation services must be able to integrate many different materials when creating hardscapes. They must also be competent using the tools of the trade, like levels to set vertical and horizontal alignment. An expert in custom stonework installation services – or custom stonework repair services, for that matter -  must also have a delicate touch at times to smooth out rough spots using a hammer or a power grinder.

TYPES OF CUSTOM STONEWORK INSTALLATION SERVICES AND PROJECTS

By using custom stonework installation services, you can add beauty and functionality to your property. Common projects provided by professional custom stonework installation services include:

  • Retaining walls
  • Driveways
  • Sidewalks
  • Patios
  • Outdoor kitchens and fireplaces
  • Fences, and
  • Benches.

When created by skilled custom stonework installation services, each of these projects can add immeasurable value and curb appeal to your property. Natural stones used with custom stonework installation services add a unique asymmetrical beauty and character to the stonework installation. Additionally, the natural stone installations have several advantages over the use of its more ubiquitous counterpart of concrete, including more extended durability, easier to clean, and stain-resistant. 

Many attributes define an appealing stonework project, and your custom stonework installation services can guide you in such things as choosing the right color and texture of the stone as well as which stone will last the longest given its placement and exposure to the elements. In general, landscaping experts will recommend using stone naturally found in your local area.  It will ensure an organic beauty and that there will be plenty of your chosen stone available for the project.

The custom stonework installation services that you select can also assist you in combining different types of stones, so that form and function work together. For instance, in an outdoor kitchen, you might want to connect a stone fireplace with the brickwork of the structure. Custom stonework installation services can help you select the right combination of the two materials. Custom stonework installation services can also consider your existing landscaping so that the color of the stone highlights the existing flora.

QUALIFICATIONS FOR CUSTOM STONEWORK INSTALLATION SERVICES

When looking for someone to provide custom stonework installation services, there are a few things to look for; The first is training. Custom stonework installation services usually have at least three years of on the job training, with some having additional experience in drafting and blueprint reading.

The Masonry Contractors Associations provides a certification program to stoneworkers. If you’re looking for custom stonework installation services, certification is a place to start to determine the quality of masonry firm you are considering. Additionally, you might want to consider custom stonework installation services that have experience with the newer engineered stone products. They look exactly like natural stones and are usually much less expensive. 

Another thing to consider when choosing custom stonework installation services is the quality of the materials they use.  Questions to pose to potential custom stonework installation services might be how thick the stones are that they use. Stones that are too thin can result in premature cracking and a call to your friendly custom stonework repair services. 

Before choosing someone to provide custom stonework installation services, find out what their specialty is; Examples of specializations include brickwork, tiles, and reconstituted stone products. Choose custom stonework installation services that have the most experience providing the type of custom stonework installation services that you plan on creating, i.e., retaining wall or a sidewalk. Finally, ask each candidate for your custom stonework installation services to provide references and examples of their previous work. You might even want to visit the worksite of some of their past projects as seeing first hand will give you a better idea of their attention to detail and sense of color.

Though professional licensing required in a few states, it is a good idea to ask custom stonework installation services if they have any of a sawyer mason, who uses saws to cut stones to the proper shape certification as well as insurance should something go wrong on site. And, as with any contractor, ask for the final bid in writing. It should include all labor and materials, as well as any project-specific considerations you have discussed. Be cautious if the landscaping company wants more than 50% of the total before the project starts or if they are evasive about providing a written contract. Both are red flags when it comes to hiring a contractor for work around your home.

CUSTOM STONEWORK REPAIR SERVICES

Though stone is one of the most durable landscaping materials, damage can occur with harsh weather or just general wear and tear. Custom stonework repair services will be able to set you right again. There are several signs that you need to call custom stonework repair services.

The first reason to call someone with custom stonework repair services is if you see a crack in the masonry or brickwork. Water can seep into cracks and expand with freezes, leading to further cracks and damage. If not addressed immediately, the custom stonework repair services needed can quickly escalate from a relatively minor problem to a major refurbishment.

Custom stonework repair services also list missing mortar as a top reason to seek repairs. Holes in the mortar of your stonework should be repaired by custom stonework repairs services at least every 20 years, but if you see deterioration before then, call a custom stonework repair service immediately. 

Other signs that you will need custom stonework repair services are moisture build up inside your home walls, new drafts, or cracks in the plaster might indicate a problem with the foundation is settling and will require custom stonework repair services to fix. It is especially important to address if the problem is in a load-bearing area. Individuals experienced with custom stonework repair services should be called immediately if this is the case.

The most common site of custom stonework repair services in homes is the chimney.  Flaking bricks, cracks, or bits of mortar in the fireplace are all signs that the modern masonry is failing, and you need custom stonework repair services to come out and set it right. 

One challenging aspect of custom stonework repair services is matching the replacement stone with your existing stone.  Companies that specialize in custom stonework repair services will have an extensive network of suppliers who can ensure that when the custom stonework repair services finish, it will look as though nothing ever happened.

CONCLUSION ABOUT CUSTOM STONEWORK INSTALLATION SERVICES

Some of the world’s most notable wonders made of stone: The Taj Mahal, the Pyramids of ancient Egypt, and Stonehenge to name a few.  You can bring some small piece of this art into your landscape by contracting with custom stonework installation services to create a unique project just for you.  By maintaining your stonework and using custom stonework repair services when needed, your stone landscaping elements will last for years to come.

 

Hardscape Construction

Most people are familiar with landscapers or landscape contractors. They can be seen everywhere, tending to lawns and gardens, public and commercial beds and planters, trees, hedges, and decorative elements. But, most people have not necessarily heard the term “hardscaping.” Nevertheless, hardscape contractors and hardscape construction services are essential in planning, installing, and maintaining many of the same spaces as landscapers. Hardscape contractors and hardscape construction services specialize in the non-vegetative portions of landscaping and yard maintenance work. That can include the design, planning, and building of walkways, pathways, beds, planters, curbs, pots, and even physical elements like slopes and terrain work.

Sometimes, these services are all rolled together into an overall ground’s maintenance service or fall under the rubric of landscaping services in some areas. However, for larger projects, and areas with many companies working in this space, hardscape contractors and hardscape construction services are often separate experts in this field. They may also sometimes be affiliated with larger construction outfits that focus on things like sidewalk installation and construction, or the production and sale of pavers, interlocking outdoor tiles, and similar, outside of the context of decorative hardscaping.

 

Our guide about hardscape contractors and hardscape construction services will take you through some comprehensive information about these diverse companies. First, we’ll look at what the differences are between hardscape contractors and hardscape construction services, and how they differ formally from landscaping services in general. Then, we’ll talk about what specific tasks or jobs hardscape contractors and hardscape construction services typically perform for residential and commercial customers. Next, we’ll highlight how best to employ hardscape contractors and hardscape construction services, both regarding planning and implementing an overall grounds plan, or for specific hardscape projects. Finally, we’ll offer some tips for consumers in choosing the best hardscape contractors and hardscape construction services to meet their needs.

 

HARDSCAPE CONTRACTORS AND HARDSCAPE CONSTRUCTION SERVICES – DIFFERENCES BETWEEN EACH OTHER AND LANDSCAPING COMPANIES

When it comes to hardscape contractors and hardscape construction services, the differences between each one often comes down to size. While not universally the case, hardscape contractors are often small outfits with one or a few employees only. By contrast, hardscape construction services companies tend to be more extensive operations, that may have tens or dozens of employees, and potentially even more than one office location. However, in some cases, these distinctions aren’t realized, and the difference between hardscape contractors and hardscape construction services may only come down to personal preference on the part of the person who named the company, or regional or dialectical differences.

 

At the same time, both hardscape contractors and hardscape construction services are distinctly different from landscapers, landscape contractors, or landscaping services. These companies usually are focused on the installation and maintenance of vegetation elements, such as lawns, plants, flowers, and trees. They may do tasks that overlap with hardscape contractors or hardscape construction services, especially around forming, building, and maintaining beds and planter areas. And some may outright do everything – landscaping and hardscaping – but that tends to be the exception rather than the rule.

 

So, if you’re specifically looking for a company to help design and install pathways, curbing, beds, planters, fixtures, do terrain modification work, install drainage, water features, patios, sidewalks, slates, and similar, then you really should start your search by looking for hardscape contractors and hardscape construction services.

 

TYPICAL JOBS OF HARDSCAPE CONTRACTORS AND HARDSCAPE CONSTRUCTION SERVICES

As briefly discussed above, hardscape contractors and hardscape construction services are mostly concerned with the design, planning, and implementation of home, garden, and commercial solutions for physical elements of gardening, planting, and other beautification and landscaping elements. The typical jobs or projects for which one would hire a hardscape contractor or hardscape construction services company include:

 

  • Modification of terrain and terrain features, earth-moving, and the buildup of ridges, elevated beds, and similar,
  • Installation of sidewalks, walkways, tiles, slates, bricks, and other structural/physical elements for pathways and walkways in and around homes, gardens, and businesses,
  • Design and implementation of physical plans for planters, beds, pots, tree and hedge areas, water features, and other layout-related elements,
  • Physical installation of curbing, structural stones, concrete/cement, and other building elements for the beds, planters, pots, and similar,
  • Transport and spreading of base layers of gravel, stone, and provide irrigation and foundational basis for planting areas,
  • Maintenance and replacement of old tiles, pavers, or other related work, including removing broken or damaged pieces, matching and replacing with similar materials, or entirely replacing prior installations and fixtures with new materials,
  • Renovation or reclamation of landscaping areas due to wash-out, sinking, or other terrain changes over time, or as part of recovery from natural disasters or related events.

INTEGRATING HARDSCAPE CONTRACTORS AND HARDSCAPE CONSTRUCTION SERVICES INTO GROUNDS PLANNING AND SPECIFIC PROJECTS

So, for home or business owners, how do best integrate hardscape contractors and hardscape construction services into the overall ground plans for a project? It depends on what other services may be involved in your hardscape construction project. If you are hiring a design architect or management firm to handle the overall design and planning, then they may very well control the hiring and management oversight of hardscapes, landscapers, and any other related companies that need to be involved in the project. 

 

But for many homeowners, they often don’t have a management firm involved – just their ideas, and a budget. In these cases, it recommended that consumers approach hardscape contractors or hardscape construction services at the same time as they seek a landscaper or landscaping service. Together, you can talk through design considerations and choices, plants and style, go over examples of work you’ve seen online or that either or both companies have done before, and similar. Then, you can liaise with both companies to establish the build plan and associated timetables. 

 

Usually, the hardscape contractors and hardscape construction services companies have their work to do first, before the landscapers can do the final installation of the vegetation elements of the project. At the same time, other groups, like irrigation/sprinkler installation specialists may need to be brought in as part of your preliminary meetings, as their work may have to be done before pathway and bed installation by hardscape contractors and hardscape construction services. It’s best to involve everyone in the project early on, to make sure that no one steps on anyone’s toes, and that all steps occur in the proper sequence for the optimal outcome.

 

CHOOSING THE RIGHT HARDSCAPE CONTRACTORS AND HARDSCAPE CONSTRUCTION SERVICES FOR YOUR PROJECT

When you might need to hire hardscape contractors or hardscape construction services for a project, it can be like a challenge to know where to look or who to choose. That is especially true if you are new to an area and looking for a company to help you with a new, first-time design plan for your home and yard. Regardless, one of the best ways to find any service companies these days starts online. You can do a good deal of research with a search engine, and look at a few key criteria, to find the best company to meet your needs. These key criteria include:

 

  • Services – what exactly hardscape construction services do they offer? Are they specialists in certain materials for hardscaping, or do they provide a full range of materials and services?
  • Reputation – does the hardscape construction services company have a good overall reputation? How are the reviews from hardscape construction services customers? Do you know any customer who has used a hardscape contractor or hardscape construction services company before, and if so, who do they recommend? 
  • Experience – how long have they been in the hardscape construction service business? How many hardscape construction jobs have they completed?
  • Licenses/Certifications – are they bonded/licensed by the state or city where they work? Do they have any certification?
  • Safety – do they place a priority on safety? Do they ensure the hardscape construction worksite is secure and safe for their personal and you and your family?
  • Professionalism – do they promptly return customer calls? Are they polite and courteous?  Do they answer questions about hardscape construction services clearly and completely?
  • Time and Cost – how long do they estimate the hardscape construction job will take them to complete? What is the hardscape construction cost estimate?  How does this compare to other hardscape construction service companies?