Craftsmanship in stone
— How does the cost of flagstone compare to other paving materials?
In general , an entrance or patio constructed of natural flagstone on concrete costs more than the same design built using interlocking brick, or stamped concrete, usually about 30%-40% more. In some instances the price gap closes, such as when there are many steps required. Interlocking-type pavers require walls to be built to create steps and in that situation, the price can be quite close.
Flagstone laid dry on crushed stone is close in price to interlocking pavers.
2— Why would I choose flagstone over these other materials if it is more expensive? What are it’s advantages?
The only reason that natural stone is ever chosen is because of the appearance of the stone itself. It is a natural material. It has more character and more individuality than other materials. It creates a more traditional look. There will always be a less expensive, more pragmatic alternative.
3— What colours are available?
Most (about 95%) of the flagstone work done by SUMMERSTONE uses limestone from the Owen Sound/Wireton area of Ontario. This stone starts as gray, brown or buff in colour but fades quite quickly to buff. The fading cannot be prevented. This stone is used because it is relatively flat, reasonably priced, and stands up well to our winters. In other words, we can do an attractive, reasonably priced, long lasting job with this stone. There are other stones available, with more brilliant colour. Sometimes, we mix a few of these in to add colour highlights. Some stone that is sold in our area deteriorates quickly in our climate and should not be used.
The stone that we use to face the steps in an entrance or to build walls is available in a wider range of colour and texture and so can be used to affect the overall impression of a job. Pale to dark gray, light to dark salmon, and sandy to yellowish tones are possible. It should be remembered that natural stone usually changes in colour and texture over time.It isn’t like picking a paint colour or even like choosing brick pavers. It changes. What counts is not the exact shade, but the overall impression.
This page contains the answers to the questions that we hear the most about stonework. If you have others please call or email. If you think something else should be answered here ,please let me know.
4— I have seen flagstone where the joints are all cracked. Will that happen to mine?
A lot of very poor flagstone work gets done. Many people lay stone on sand or crushed stone and then fill the joints with mortar. That mortar will crack the first winter. In other cases, a concrete base is installed, but not properly, and it cracks. It may be that the homeowner has applied salt or chemical deicers to the walk causing the joints to deteriorate. Flagstone built by Summerstone has a 5 year warranty, but will last much longer with proper maintenance. We still get referrals from jobs we did 25 years ago.
5— What sort of warranty do you have? Are there any exclusions to the warranty?
All stonework done by SUMMERSTONE is covered by our 5 year limited warranty. The main exclusion is that it does not cover damage done by salt or other chemicals. A copy of the warranty is available to anyone and is included with all quotations. You should read it carefully before deciding whether to build using flagstone.
6— I have gotten several competitive quotes. Why should I choose SUMMERSTONE over any other company?
SUMMERSTONE has been in business since 1981. We have done approximately 1500 flagstone jobs. We can refer you to work that we have done in every part of the Ottawa area. In that time we have encountered virtually every possible design or structural difficulty.
Our warranty is second to none. We initiated the 5 year warranty on this type of work in Ottawa. When SUMMERSTONE started, 1 year was the standard warranty. We found that we rarely had any problems with our work, but if they did occur, we corrected the situation even beyond that 1 year warranty. After a while, we realized we might as well get credit for the quality of our work and went to the 5 year warranty. Remember, a 5 year warranty only counts if the company has been around for at least 5 years. Anyone can give a lifetime warranty if they are going to be gone next year.
Natural stonework , particularly flagstone, requires an artistic approach if it is to be the highest quality work. This is what actually separates SUMMERSTONE’S work from the rest. The craftsman can’t just throw the stone down, drop on some mortar and run to the next job. Look closely at our work compared to other’s. You will likely be able to see and feel the difference. 10 years later, it may be even more obvious.
While our prices are competitive , another company may give a lower price. To be able to do the highest quality work, which is all we are interested in doing, the price must be high enough to give us the time to create something worth building that will still be looking good for many years into the future.