How to Choose a Stone Mason
Stonemasonry is one of the oldest and most refined professions throughout history. Buildings and structures that are now centuries old are still standing today due to exceptional work done by stone masons 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. However, even with proper care and maintenance, the best quality natural stone can degrade when not installed correctly. Before you start your big (and possibly pricey) project, you’ll want to 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 different types of stone masons, each specializing in different aspects of masonry work.
Here at Dutchies, we create patios, retaining walls, outdoor living spaces, and even restore old homes and barns. We want to help you better understand your project and figure out what stone mason will work best for you.
Scope of Project
When you have a good idea about your stone project’s details, take the time to do a little bit of research into contractors who can get it done for you. Are there any stone masons 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 someone 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 make sure 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 in mind before you dive 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 you go 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 you’re looking through a list of stone masons, taking the time to see if their customers are happy can go a long way in showing the quality of their craftsmanship. You can also see how easy they are to work with by the tone of the reviews.
Look at Examples of Previous Work
Nothing demonstrates the quality of a stone mason’s work more than seeing a gallery of their previous projects. Not only do you get to see examples of what has been done, but 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 that we have done in the past: patios, fireplaces, outdoor kitchens, retaining walls, fire features, stone walkways, and stone restoration.
Step 3: Questions to Ask Your Prospective Masons
One of the most important tips we have for you when it comes to hiring stone masons—or any other type of contractor—is not to be afraid to ask questions. Your masonry contractor should be able to answer all of 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 make sure your stone mason knows what they’re doing. At Dutchies, we have over 15 years of 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 any accidents occur.
- Have you worked with these materials before? – If your project is using 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 make sure you get 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 during the entirety of your project.
- What is your expected timeline for this job? – We all want home renovation projects to finish up as quickly as possible. Make sure you have a realistic expectation from your stone mason on how long the masonry project could take.
Need a Stone Mason?
If you’re ready to create or upgrade your outdoor living space, it’s time to trust in Dutchies Stoneworks. We’re prepared to listen to your ideas and work with you to create a space that suits all of your needs. You can feel safe knowing that when you choose Dutchies as your stone masonry contractor, you’re investing in superior craftsmanship.
We work with homeowners all 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!