Imagine sitting in your backyard, enjoying the warm weather and a cold beverage. You look at your concrete patio and notice that some of the concrete is starting to crumble and looks like it is losing its structure. You cannot help but envision a new patio, and while you’re at it, maybe add an outdoor firepit or kitchen to create the ultimate outdoor experience.
And while you can just repour some concrete, you’re ready for a more sophisticated backyard experience—something that exudes elegance, like natural stone. However, you know that building a stone outdoor living space is physically demanding, and you don’t have the experience or knowledge to do it yourself. So, you decide to hire a stonemasonry contractor to do it for you.
Get the Elegant Backyard You Want with the Beauty of Natural Stone
Stonemasonry is one of the oldest and most refined professions throughout history. Buildings and structures built using chisels and hammers to shape the stone are now centuries old and still standing today due to the exceptional work done by the stonemasons of the past. Because natural stone patios and walkways offer such timeless beauty, it makes sense that homeowners want to add them to their list of home projects.
Whether you’re adding a stone patio, an outdoor fireplace, or even an outdoor kitchen to your home, you can be confident that stone will withstand the test of time if properly installed. However, choosing a stonemason isn’t always easy. Even with proper care and maintenance, the best quality natural stone can degrade when not installed correctly.
That’s why you need to follow the three steps we listed in this blog before you start your big (and possibly pricey) project. Then, contact a professional masonry contractor like Dutchies Stoneworks to get the job done right.
Step 1: Understand the Project You Want
While Dutchies Stoneworks will gladly be here to help you with your next stone project, we also understand that we may not be the perfect fit for every type of task. There are several types of stonemasons, each specializing in various aspects of masonry work.
Here at Dutchies, we create patios, retaining walls, outdoor living spaces, and much more. We want to help you better understand your project and determine if choosing us as your stonemason is right for you.
With more than 70 years of combined experience, our team of stonemasons has expertly crafted unique outdoor living spaces made from the beauty of brick and stone. Our workers, led by third-generation stonemason Dave “Dutchie” Fisher, undergo extensive job training and use only the best power tools to become experts in outdoor masonry construction. We can even create an indoor pizza oven or fireplace for you! Just get in touch with us to learn more.
Scope of Project
When you have a good idea about your stone project’s details, take the time to research contractors who can get it done for you. Are there any stonemasons that are local to your area? If so, they may only specialize in certain types of work and jobs. There are both artists and workers, so make sure you have a masonry contractor like Dutchies who can combine both aspects of design and labor.
Materials You Prefer to Use
If you have a specific type of material or stone you’re looking for, double-check that your masonry contractor can get it for you without any hidden costs. You’ll want to ensure they’ll take the time to get the details right and give you high-quality results.
Budget for Your Project
It may go without saying, but you should have a price point or budget before diving into your masonry project. Having a realistic idea of how much money you’re willing to spend will help you when it comes to choosing materials and calculating in cost of labor.
Step 2: Find the Masonry Contractors You Want to Look Into
During the next stage of the process, you’ll be taking the time to figure out which masonry contractor you want to hire. You’ll be narrowing down the field of choices to a few that you are considering getting bids and estimates from. As you do this, we recommend the following:
Check Reviews from the Last Three or Four Projects
Before going to a restaurant, do you ever take the time to look at the last few reviews on Google or social media? Well, you’ll want to do the same with your masonry contractor. When choosing a stonemason, take the time to see if their customers are happy.
Positive reviews can go a long way in showing the quality of their artisanship when they build or repair stone structures. You can also see how easy they are to work with by the tone of the reviews. A good stonemason will have mostly positive, but likely a few negative reviews. If all the reviews were positive, you may start to question the integrity of the reviewers. However, if a few negative reviews give you a cause for concern, talk to your potential stonemason about them and ask how they remedied the situation.
Look at Examples of Previous Work
Nothing demonstrates the quality of a stonemason’s work more than seeing a gallery of their previous projects. You get to see examples of what has been done, and you’ll also get a sense of how diverse their work is.
At Dutchies, we have several galleries that highlight each type of stonework project we have done in the past: patios, fireplaces, outdoor kitchens, retaining walls, fire features, and stone walkways. You’ll see that the building’s structure and design are carefully considered in each project and executed to the highest quality standards.
Step 3: Questions to Ask Your Prospective Masons
One of the most important tips we have for you when it comes to choosing a stonemason—or any other type of contractor—is not to be afraid to ask questions. Your masonry contractor should be able to answer all your questions without making you feel like you’re asking too many. You need to feel confident in your choice!
Here are a few questions we recommend asking:
- How much experience do you have? – You want to ensure your stonemason knows what they’re doing. At Dutchies, we have over 70 years of combined industry experience that guarantees you quality every time.
- Are you properly licensed and insured? – Not only does this cover the contractor, but this also ensures your home and assets are safe in case of accidents.
- Have you worked with these materials before? – If your project uses a unique material, ask your masonry contractor if they have worked with it previously. Prior experience with natural stone or other materials is necessary to ensure quality work.
- What can I expect from your team while in my home? – Construction in your home can be a massive headache that most people don’t think about. At Dutchies, we pride ourselves on being clean and respectful throughout your project.
- What is your expected timeline for this job? – We all want home renovation projects to finish as quickly as possible. Ensure you have a realistic expectation from your stonemason on how long the masonry work could take.
Choosing a Stonemason for Your Project? Trust Dutchies Stoneworks!
If you’re ready to create or upgrade your outdoor living space, it’s time to trust in Dutchies Stoneworks. You can feel safe knowing that you’re investing in superior artisanship when you choose Dutchies as your stonemasonry contractor. We’re prepared to listen to your ideas and work with you to create a space that suits all your needs.
Other contractors won’t put the time and detail into your project as we do. Don’t try to take on this task yourself, either. Stonemasonry work requires lifting and carrying heavy materials and must be installed properly by professionals. Instead, choose a stonemason like Dutchies to do this work for you.
Our team works on every square foot of their projects as if they were working on their own home. We are highly recommended and work with homeowners throughout southeastern Pennsylvania, including Chester, Montgomery, Berks, and Bucks counties, as well as in northern Delaware. Get in touch with us to get started on your project!