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A Guide to the Most Sustainable Building Stone

So, let’s talk about building for a minute. Now, when you’re creating something, you’ve got to look at what makes good material. People often debate what the optimal construction supplies are, and it can cause a lot of problems.

You don’t want to use inferior quality materials in your builds because they often lead to problems later on. Instead, you’re going to want to work with some of the most environmentally sustainable and suitable materials that you possibly can. We’re going to be taking a look at what these materials might be, as well as why they’re a good choice for you to consider.

So, What is Sustainable Building Stone?

First of all, we should take the time to clarify what a sustainable building stone is. If a building material is considered to be sustainable, it means that you can keep acquiring it over time and there’s not a risk of damaging the environment or the economy to get it. Knowing what makes a sustainable building stone is vital for understanding why it’s such a good choice for you to consider.

reclaimed-Building-Stone

The Benefits to a Natural Reclaimed Stone

So now we can begin to look at some of the different benefits which can come from using a reclaimed stone for your building project. Naturally, there are many advantages to this particular course of action, and you would be wise to consider all of them.

First and foremost, the stone is a pretty natural material. We talk about using things like metals or concrete, but that all takes time, resources and money to make. It’s not particularly sustainable in a lot of instances, and that’s the problem. You don’t want to deal with extra costs, so why pay more for them? Stone is one of those things that is everywhere; it’s in the earth, in quarries, in the woodlands. It’s pretty much everywhere you look, and it’s not difficult to find either.

In a way, a reclaimed stone is even better. It’s something which has already been used, but that doesn’t make an inadequate substance to build with. Instead, you’re just improving on something which has already seen use, and there are no new processes involved.

A Highly Durable Material

One of the essential characteristics of stone is that it is a durable material for people to work with. Now, in case you hadn’t quite clocked this, durability is an essential factor in the building of any structure. You need something that’ll stand up to any kind of problem or pressure – something that lasts. Metal or concrete would do this, but they’re not sustainable. Stone is a very durable material, and when mixed with cement, would form a basis for your home which really wouldn’t give up all that easily. It’s a desired characteristic and one that you should think about when searching for a sustainable counterpart to new stone.

Cost Efficiency

Okay, so, let’s talk finances. Building anything can be really expensive. At first glance, you’re not looking at all the costs. Strange and seemingly random expenses crop up during the building process, and it really does put a dent in the budget to try and get brand new materials for creating essential parts of the building – the walls, the roof, etc.

Part of the appeal of a reclaimed stone project is the amount of money that you’re going to save. Even without trying, it’s a significant reduction in cost, because in some cases you can get materials for free. Using reclaimed stone isn’t just a more cost-effective solution in the short-term either. Every building material is subject to wear and tear as time goes on, and it can lead to some pretty hefty bills in the future to maintain and repair things. However, the durability of reclaimed stone means that this isn’t going to be as much of a problem, being able to keep on going, long after other materials have given up.

Easy Care and Maintenance

Following up from what we talked about in regard to cost, people who take the time to maintain stone properly will find that does have a long lifespan. This may surprise people, but when you think about it, it makes sense. There’s a lot of accessories and supplies which help to maintain the lifespan of a reclaimed stone wall and make it last much longer than it would normally. It’s awe-inspiring when you think about it because in nature rocks and cliff faces, which are all composed of stone, are some of the longest standing monuments and landscapes around. We all hear stories about a stone structure which has been standing for hundreds of years, and that’s because this really is an easy to maintain material.

Recyclable Material

As a material, there’s no doubt that reclaimed stone is considered to be highly adaptable and versatile. There’s a particular emphasis on recycling and changing something old into something new. One of the main reasons why you should have a sustainable building material like a natural stone is because you can recycle it and change it so that it becomes new.

That’s a pretty big part of what makes this kind of stone such an environmentally friendly material. Most of them don’t really for using again. Once something has been melded into a particular shape or configuration, it’s hard to use it for something else. You struggle to implement into another part of a building properly. At least, you do with many other materials. With stone, this isn’t the quite the same. You’ll find it’s easy to recycle and use again, which makes it a superior option rather than going to the trouble of getting a new stone. You can just as easily used a recycled counterpart, and get the same effect.

Sustainably Manufactured

Perhaps one of the more subtle benefits of using reclaimed stone for your building projects is that it’s made in a way which is sustainable. Because technology had advanced and progressed in such a way that stone can be removed from the earth and converted into a building material easily, you can get access to stone without having to dig up an entire mountainside or damage the local environment.

This can really make all the difference when you are trying to find a sustainable way to provide stone to build with. We’re all struggling to try and materials that are not difficult to work with but at the same time are eco-friendly. This challenge is one of the biggest faced by any company, but it really does make all the difference. Because people have been able to find a way of using stone which isn’t going to impact on the environment, they’ve come up with a natural reclaimed stone that can be used over and over.

Sustainably Manufactured-building-stone

So, is Reclaimed Building Stone Right For Me?

Absolutely! Well, technically it’s good for most people, but we’d definitely recommend it as an option. You’re more often than not going to be looking for something that which is durable, easy to work with and sustainable. These are the characteristics which reclaimed stone really has going for it, and it’s easy to see why you should consider investing it for your next project.

Being eco-friendly can be a big drive for a lot of people. It’s only natural to want to make a contribution to the environment while all at the same time building something that’ll last. You aren’t always sure how best to try and do this, which is why it’s always a good idea to consider this kind of stone instead of a new variation.

All in all, these are just a few of the different benefits which can be gained from taking the time to invest in reclaimed stone for your next building project. What you have to appreciate about reclaimed stone is that it has some of the most environmentally friendly options available. You’re always going to feel like you’re making a difference to the environment, and that you’re doing your best to protect it. Being an exceptionally durable material, the reclaimed stone has a lot of admirable qualities which makes it a desirable building choice.

You want to make sure that you’re making a building from the best possible materials, because you want to make sure the structure lasts and is suitable to live inside. Plus, there’s a particular kind of appeal that comes from having a reclaimed stone wall or room. You can’t replicate the random mixture of stones and how they all look. That’s a decoration device which isn’t all that common, and really helps to create a more compelling space.

There’s no doubt that reclaimed stone is one of the better building materials which are available. It provides you with the stability needed to build, but also the environmentally friendly factor which many crave. You have so many different building options available to you, and it’s easy to see why it’s such a popular choice for people to consider.

Colour Matching New & Reclaimed Stone

Here at Abacus we always get asked about colour matching our stone to fit with existing building projects and old building renovations. Reclaimed stone is the perfect choice if you are looking to match to an existing building project or refurbishment as the stone has been weathered over time and will have darkened at certain parts of the stone. As York Stone is very unique to the Yorkshire area it is made up of sandstone with quartz and mica elements that make this stone unique to Yorkshire areas.

Many of our customers come to us with requirements and it’s in our interest to match the stone that best suits their building needs so this can be done by bringing some samples of the stone or even some high definition close up images so we can find the best reclaimed stone that suits your needs.

Below we can show you some types of new and reclaimed stone colour matching with dying and tumbling stone to give you an idea on how you can get the best out of colour matching new and reclaimed.

New Stone Colour Matching

New stone can be colour matched into existing building projects, new stone is strong with it being newly quarried so you will have the assurance that the build will be well held but also we can weather the stone to make it fit in with an existing project.

Dyed and Tumble Stone

This stone is 140 mm new sawn bed stone dyed and tumbled to different shades as per customers preferences. We can do this stone from light aged to really dark to match some old buildings that are nearly black form the dirt and grim of the industrial revolution, check out the gallery below to see how we age the new stone ready for build.

New Sawn Stone

Newly sawn stone can be slightly weathered to create a lightly weathered effect, this new stone still looks new, but not so new that there is no character, the stone is cut still to give the desired feel of the York Stone build.

 

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The Yorkshire Garden – 1st In Royal Chelsea Garden Show!

Well Yorkshire reigns supreme at the Royal Chelsea Flower Show in London. On a beautiful warm spring day The Yorkshire Garden looked stunning and was so well designed that you could be forgiven for thinking you were in stunning Yorkshire Dales.

In helping the Yorkshire Garden win the top spot, we were asked to supply some of our natural Yorkstone Flags and reclaimed natural weathered stone from our local quarry in Honley West Yorkshire.

For the event we supplied different types of natural and reclaimed stone from the event.

Chelsea flower show stone by Abacus

The Yorkshire Garden in full force in the beautiful sunshine

We supplied the following stone:

  • Most of the stone not the field wall
  • The flag stones on the path
  • Reclaimed stone for the bridge
  • The window lintels
  • The roof slates
  • The stone ridges on the roof
  • The quoins up the corners
  • And some of the drystone walling

Our Yorkshire stone has long been regarded as the best Yorkshire stone with natural quarries in the stunning countryside of West Yorkshire that is synonymous with this county. Adding our Yorkstone to this project really brought an authentic feel to garden which helped the florists in creating the ultimate Yorkshire Garden and as proud Yorkshire folk we are over the moon that we came 1st!

Well done to all involved!

If you want to read more about the event, please click the button below to visit the page.

 

 

 

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Californian Home Completed Using Yorkshire Stone From Abacus

You might remember from our earlier post where a customer of ours Scott Wilson sourced the finest Yorkshire stone and Yorkstone Flags for paving their Californian home to bring a touch of Yorkshire to the West Coast of the USA.

Well Scott has been kind enough to send over the completed pictures of his Californian paving and we think the Mexican masons have done a fantastic job.

Scott wrote:

Hello Allan,

Following up on my earlier email I thought you would appreciate seeing how we used the remainder of the Yorkstone pavers at our home project.

Happy as we were with the front walkway and the smaller pavers, we had no idea of the impact of using the larger pavers for the patio on the north side of the house. The courses ranged from 18″- 26″ and at the recommendation of a more experienced mason, we decreased the joint size slightly due to the near-perfect squareness of the pavers.  The net result was a more monolithic sweep of stone that seems like it has been in place for years.  We so loved the look and feel of the large pavers that we used the leftovers to extend the stone stairs at the north with in-ground courses that transition to a gravel terrace beyond.

We finished the work just in time for our son’s wedding and the guests at the reception were all praising the wonderful feel and look of the Yorkstone.  I am grateful to have found your company and its fine products and wish you continued success.

With best regards,

Scott Wilson AIACalifornian Homeowner

Please feel free to scroll through the images to grab some inspiration for your next paving project, here at Abacus we deliver our stone worldwide and have the best selection of reclaimed and new stone from Yorkshire available and can cut and press to your requirements.

As you can see this Californian home is the talk of the town and is definitely unique, but we are seeing more and more homes around the world using Yorkstone for their paving projects with it being so unique and weathers beautifully. You can really tell the difference when you see real natural Yorkshire stone no matter whether it’s reclaimed or new building stone.

For more information on our huge array of Yorkshire stone from our own quarries here in Honley Yorkshire speak to a member of our team today!

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Choosing the Right Stone for Your Building Project

Choosing the right stone is crucial when starting any building project – and while cost is a factor, there are a number of other things you will need to consider as well.

Age of the property

If you’re extending an existing building, you might want to consider the age of the property when choosing a building stone. For older homes, reclaimed Yorkstone could be a great choice that sits naturally alongside the existing stonework. While on the other hand, newer properties may look better with newly quarried stone.

If working on a new build, think about how you’d like it to look – do you want it to look brand new, or would you prefer a more aged appearance?

Desired appearance

The type of stone you choose will determine how the property looks, so you will need to take the style of home you want to build into consideration.

If you want your home to have a more traditional or rustic appearance, delph walling stone and reclaimed random walling are both popular choices. The different shapes and sizes mean that the final appearance will be completely unique and the weathered texture adds a great aged look.

Alternatively, light coloured, uniform stone such as cropped building stone or dyed stone will create a contemporary appearance that’s well suited to new build houses. However, very dark coloured stone can create a more dramatic, but still modern, look.

Existing stonework

When building an extension or outbuilding, you might want to take the existing stonework into consideration. If you know what type of stone or brick was used previously, you can then search for either the same material, or something visually similar.

If you send us a photo of your existing stonework, we can look through our stock of new and reclaimed Yorkshire stone to find the best match. Or you can visit the Abacus Stone Sales yard and we’ll help you find the right stone for your project.

Location of the property

You also might want to think about location when choosing stone for your construction project. How do the homes around it look – are they all fairly similar or do they vary in appearance? If the surrounding properties are quite similar, would you want your home to match?

The nature around your home may also influence your stone choice. If you live in the countryside, do you want to build a traditional, cottage style home? Or would you rather stand out with a more modern design?

If the property you’re working on is built on designated land (national parks and the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, conservation areas and World Heritage Sites), you might not be permitted to use certain stones / cladding, so you will need to factor in any restrictions when buying building materials.

Environmental factors

reclaimed delph walling

Do you need to factor in the environmental impact of the materials you choose? If so, reclaimed stone could be the way to go.

Quarrying and manufacturing building stone and bricks is very energy intensive, and creating new materials can result in high volumes of waste and carbon emissions, which are harmful to the environment. When you choose to buy reclaimed stone instead, you’re not just cutting out the manufacturing process, you are also reusing older Yorkstone, which is even more environmentally friendly than recycling.

Abacus Stone Sales have the largest stock of reclaimed Yorkstone in Yorkshire. For help selecting the right stone for your building project, call us on 07711 99 70 26 or send an email with a photo of your existing stonework to info@abacus-stone-sales.co.uk.

Shortage of building materials to ‘hit house building plans’

The continuing shortage of building materials is likely to hamper government efforts to increase the number of new homes built in the UK, an industry expert has warned.

George Osborne used his 2014 Budget to unveil a package of measures to support house builders, including an extension of the Help to Buy scheme, a £500 million Builders’ Finance Fund to provide access to finance for small building companies and £150 million for regeneration projects.

The Chancellor hopes the package will result in 200,000 new homes being built by 2020 and it was broadly welcomed by the industry, with the Home Builders Federation and National Federation of Builders both describing it as “positive”.

However, David Mann, of property and construction consultancy TFT, warned that “severe” constraints on the supply of building materials and skilled labour are continuing to limit the industry’s capacity to build houses.

He told Building that there were shortages of and long delivery lead times for building materials such as bricks and tiles, because many manufacturers closed or mothballed production facilities during the economic downturn.

“Increased demand and lack of supply of these basic building materials is pushing the cost of construction upwards,” said Mr Mann.

Anecdotal evidence suggests rising wages for skilled tradesmen have also pushed up the cost of building, with rates for bricklayers believed to have increased by 20% in many parts of the country in the past year.

For information about the price and availability of newly-quarried and reclaimed Yorkstone flags and building stone from Abacus Stones Sales, call us on 07711 997026 or get in touch via info@abacusstonesales.co.uk.

Housebuilders hit by shortage of building materials

Housebuilders and property developers are experiencing problems sourcing building materials following a sharp upturn in activity.

The Help to Buy scheme and growing economic confidence has resulted in an increase in the number of new houses being started, but progress on some projects has been slowed by a shortage of raw materials.

Major housebuilders have reported difficulties in getting hold of sufficient quantities of roof slates, bricks and insulation blocks, with the spike in demand also helping to push up prices.

Greg Fitzgerald, chief executive of Galliford Try, admitted “there’s a bit of panic in the industry around the supply of bricks and insulation blocks”, while Redrow chairman Steve Morgan said the upturn in house building activity had “caught the supply chain on the hop a bit”.

While market conditions have caused some issues for large companies, the increased level of activity has been good news for small contractors and skilled tradesmen.

Demand for their skills has risen sharply in recent months, as have hourly rates, and bricklayers can now expect to be paid 20% more than they were at the start of the year.

For more information about the availability and price of Abacus Stone Sales’s range of building stone, call us on 07711 997026 or get in touch via info@abacusstonesales.co.uk.