7 Questions When Hiring a Stone Mason
How Much Experience with Brick and Stonework?
Landscaping companies and laborers rarely specialize in one thing. Most local landscapers mow lawns, install plants, prune bushes and install mulch or loose rock. A few may have experience with stonework and concrete, so it’s important that you know how much experience with brick and stone work they have before hiring them for your project. Ask your landscaping contact if masonry work is something they do on the side and if they have an experienced stone mason on staff.
Is There a Warranty?
Hardscaping upgrades to your DFW home are not only expensive to install, but it becomes even more expensive when it needs to be removed and replaced. Ask your mason if they have a warranty and what that entails. Reputable masons should have a warranty that covers their workmanship if something was installed improperly. Most will use high quality materials from the start if they warranty the work.
Will You Install a Concrete Footing?
When installing mortared stonework, the base needs to be level and stable. This should be done by installing a concrete footing just as you would when pouring a concrete patio. This level base will help prevent the mortar from cracking when the ground shifts or when tree roots grow underground. Ask your mason what they use and how they install a footing. It should be concrete and be installed to a depth of at least 3-4 inches.
Do You Have a Website with Stone Project Images?
A wonderful way to be confident in the quality of a masons work is to view their work, both recent and past. Look for any images on their website, Facebook page or on the landscapers Google Business Profile page. Ask your mason if they have finished stone work projects on a website or posted online or if they can share images with you.
Can You Provide Proof of Insurance?
Anytime a contractor works on your property, there is always a risk of damage. Masons will be digging and can break pipes. They are installing concrete and could accidentally concrete over sprinkler heads or valve boxes. Masons also can use high-powered saws which can cut lines. Ask your mason to provide proof of their liability insurance. Having liability insurance means that you will be covered by their insurance should they cause any damage to your property while on site or if anyone is injured on your property.
Do You Use Subcontractors?
Not all landscaping companies have in-house stonemasons and will frequently subcontract the work out to others, especially when constructing outdoor living space. The process of working with a subcontractor can be tricky. You will almost always get a better quality products and more consistent communication when working with a company who has masons on staff. This will ensure that you know who is on your property and you’ll have a much better chance at redeeming your warranty, if needed. Ask your landscaping contact if they subcontract work or use in-house masons.
How Long Will my Project Take?
When planning for your project, it’s important to know how long it’s going to take. Ask your mason how soon they can start, but more importantly, ask how long it will take to finish the work. If they won’t commit to an exact time frame, another question to ask would be whether or not they work on one project at a time or multiple projects at once. If you prefer to have the work done faster, find a mason who only works one or two projects at a time.
Don’t be shy when speaking to your landscaping contact or mason. You should ask these 7 questions when hiring a stone mason in order to establish that they are reputable, efficient and can stand behind their work.