Question: How do you create the right impression with your building masonry project?
Answer: By remembering that there are occasions when blending in can be just as important as standing out.
Whether you have complete authority to choose the building masonry or you’re obliged to submit a proposal to the client, the most important thing to consider is the local surroundings.
The planning authorities have to approve the material, and their focus is always on local heritage. So, for example, if your project is in the Cotswolds, you’ll be hard pushed to get anything approved that isn’t in the local Jurassic limestone.
Wherever your project is located, the first thing to consider is which materials have been historically used. Planning authorities can be tricky and if your proposals are at odds with the local materials, you’re not likely to have them approved.
There’s nothing temporary about a building masonry project. And the material you choose needs to be able to stand the test of time, as well as fitting in well with the local surroundings.
We’re based in Aberdeenshire and – as a result – naturally specialise in granite, which was locally quarried here for many years. These days, as most of the local quarries are shut, we import the granite, as it’s a prerequisite for building masonry in what’s known locally as The Granite City.
But it isn’t just strength you need to consider. It’s likely that the material you choose will need to be carved to the shapes and sizes you require.
While granite, as a hard material, is excellent for construction projects it’s also notoriously hard to carve. As a result, it’s not popular in areas where fitting in with the local heritage isn’t a key consideration.
Sandstone is the native stone in many areas of the UK, and it’s also a fantastic building material. Not as hard as granite, it’s easier to work and is still produced in this country.
From vibrant yellows to deep reds, you’ll find the perfect tone to make your masonry project blend in yet stand out.
The surface finish of the material also contributes to the overall look of your building masonry project.
For example, a bush-hammered finish gives granite a smooth lightly textured surface and more of a contemporary feel. Conversely, a natural split finish in the same material will actually look darker and provide a traditional look.
Not sure what will work best? We’re always on hand to help and advise.
Finally, you shouldn’t be tempted to make a decision until you’ve looked at other recently completed projects and pictures.
That way, you’ll find it easier to get a feel for the end result you’re attempting to create. What’s more, looking at the bigger picture will help you decide which material and finish will work best for you.