Options for Adding Stonework to Your Building or Renovation

You can give any part of your home, inside or outside, a unique, warm, and stunning look with natural stone. Natural stone is extremely durable and a professional can work it into any construction or renovation with ease.

There are many options when it comes to stone and each one has its own points of conversation. So while you will end up with a beautiful finished product, the hard part is choosing the right stone for your masonry Calgary project.

Slate Offers a Rustic Appeal

Its durability, versatility, and simplicity make slate a great choice for just about any project. Most people think of gray or black when considering slate but it does offer a wide range of color options.

Most commonly used for flooring or fireplace surround, slate is workable for other surfaces, like countertops and roofing.

This material is scratch-resistant and does not crack easily under pressure, plus, it’s easy to work with. However, it can suffer from moisture damage so consult with a stone expert before making your selection.

Limestone Gets Better Over Time

When you use limestone, you can expect a different and more appealing look as time passes. Limestone offers a wonderful patina with a great texture as it ages.

It comes in a variety of colors that are not too bold and display a fine, even grain. So it works nicely on the fireplace or interior flooring. However, it can easily stain, so choose wisely where you use it both inside and outdoors.

The Ever-Popular Granite

The popularity of granite has exploded as it has become more affordable and used in a multitude of ways. From countertops to fireplaces to stairs, and even flooring, granite is extremely durable. Each slab of granite offers a truly unique look in a multitude of colors and natural patterns.

Granite does require some care, however, as it is difficult to work with, which is part of the reason for its higher price point over other stone options. And although it is bacteria resistant, it does require sealing from time to time.

The Warmth and Elegance of Travertine

Because this stone feels soft and warm, it is often used for flooring, although it does not offer the same shine that most people prefer. It can be used both inside and outside the home for an interesting matte finish that resembles marble.

This is a very sensitive stone as it is easily damaged by acidic fluids, and because it is extremely porous, it requires sealing to maintain its original beauty.

Flagstone Versatility

Flagstone is not actually a single stone. It is composed of sedimentary rock that has formed together over time. It has a very wide range of shapes, colors, patterns, and textures, making every piece of a flagstone floor unique.

While flagstone is susceptible to erosion, even indoor use may require maintenance. It is a challenge to work with, but once in place, flagstone is very durable.

Choose your stone and experience all the natural beauty and benefits for yourself.


Why Concrete Blocks Are Ideal for Commercial Buildings

You may not even notice they are there, as they as often used in the foundation of high-rise commercial buildings, but concrete blocks, have been a staple in the commercial construction industry for many decades. There are several reasons why concrete blocks have been used for commercial buildings for so long, and why they are still used today.

When it comes to carrying the weight of a sky-scraping building, concrete blocks are more than just durable. They also check off some boxes as they relate to safety. Unlike the exterior stone Calgary work that we do, concrete blocks are a structural material.

Fire Protection

Concrete blocks offer two excellent advantages when it comes to fire prevention and containment in a tall commercial building. First, concrete blocks are non-combustible, so they provide an excellent fire-stop should the need arise. Plus, this building material offers a high degree of fire resistance to help keep fires from starting in the first place.

Fire Spread Protection

To better understand how concrete blocks can help stop the spread of fire, we must take a deeper look at how it is used in a commercial building.

Limiting the spread of fire starts in the construction planning phase of development where decisions on which materials will be useful for lining the walls and ceilings of the building to allow for stronger construction. But linings tend to be lacking in terms of fire stopgap measures, leaving building occupants looking for an escape route during a fire.

To alleviate this problem, concrete blocks can serve as both a point of strength and allow for circulation, as well as a safe escape route.

At the same time, concrete blocks work perfectly to limit the spread of fire through the use of external walls, protected shafts, and fire enclosures.

While under fire, a 100mm thick concrete block wall can offer at least 120 minutes of fire resistance. With stability standards requiring walls greater than 100mm, that fire resistance time increases for greater protection.

Where external walls and roofing of the commercial building are concerned, concrete blacks provide the same level of fire resistance to contain the fire within and keep it from spreading.

Air-Tight Construction

Air permeability levels serve to dampen fires through a lack of oxygen. But in a large commercial building, it is important for the efficiency of the overall building performance to limit air leaks. Concrete blocks can create an airtight construction that conserves energy throughout the building. Plus, when a protective coating is applied to the surface of the wall, like a basic emulsion paint, it can enhance performance to maintain a greater air-tight construction.

There is no denying that concrete blocks have served more than one purpose when used in commercial building construction, which is why they have had such great longevity as a commercial building material. So although they are usually not noticed when passing by a tall commercial structure, you can be certain they are doing their job of maintaining strength and offering safety features that most other building materials cannot.


What to Consider About Buying a Brick Home

When purchasing a home, you may prefer one constructed of brick, or you may like a stone siding, or possibly a vinyl siding for the exterior. Each has its benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to think about which would serve you better in the long-run.

Here we are going to take a look at what a brick home has to offer beyond the simple beauty you may love so much. Some points may convince you that a brick home is perfect for you, while others may make you wonder. But note that in the end, a brick home is tough, durable, and every style of home has a downside. Here are a few important points from our stone masonry Calgary experience.

Brick Homes Are Environmentally Friendly

Bricks are made of clay and shale, which are both in great supply all over the planet. They can absorb humidity like no other building material while remaining extremely mold resistant, making them ideal for a home.

Plus, bricks are easy to work with and can be repurposed to build many other things or even crushed into a sub material for a new construction.

Fire and Weather Resistant

One of the best safety features of bricks is that they are non-combustible so a fire can be contained with greater ease. And they are extremely durable, capable of withstanding high-speed impacts when strong winds throw debris around. The same cannot be said about weaker siding materials.

Very Low Maintenance

With exteriors like siding, you may need to thoroughly clean, paint, or even replace it often. But bricks offer excellent durability and color retention. They are designed to last for decades without requiring painting and they will not rot or be the focus of destructive pests like termites.

Sound Barrier

Bricks are made in different shapes and sizes, but the thicker the brick, the more outside noise is kept from disturbing you inside. So you don’t have to worry about those early morning bird calls if you’re a light sleeper. Their songs will bounce right off your bricks.

Energy Efficiency

Combine the right insulation with your brick construction and you have a home that will remain consistently comfortable through every season. During the winter, there is no heat loss and the summer will keep the heat outside.

Higher Home Value

While a brick home may cost more, there is a reason for that and it can be seen in all the benefits outlined already, allowing you to save on energy and maintenance costs. At the same time, bricks hold up the value of your home, so when you sell, you can get more money than a siding-covered home would.

Design Choices

With bricks, there are many ways to dress up a home as they come in a variety of styles to suit your preferences. From a classic style brick to something more modern, you can definitely find the look you want for your home.

Bricks can give your home a great first impression but they also serve your home well through the years. And they hardly need any attention.