If you find your Stafford, NJ, hardscape to be one-dimensional, or lacking in sophistication, consider including natural stone in your renovations. Real stone has an undeniably luxurious appearance, a stunning variety of colors and textures, and the kind of unique flair that can only improve your existing design. Here are just a few benefits of investing in natural stone this year.
Incredible variety and individuality
There are many different types of natural stone, from slate to fieldstone. Some varieties are stronger, or more vibrant, than others. However, the properties of each individual fieldstone, or flagstone, also differ. They are determined by the minerals within the stone, and how they bond to one another. Synthetic materials are made according to specific procedures, allowing pavers or wall units with limited variations to be produced. On the other hand, each natural stone mined from the earth is completely unique. This allows natural stone structures to bear exquisite details in color and texture. Each stone tells a story.
Due to the uniqueness of natural stone, no other material can offer as many different colors or textures. Regardless of your desired aesthetic and ambience, you will find a type of stone that meets your criteria and complements the other materials in your hardscape.
An environmentally conscious choice
The amount of energy required for the quarrying and processing of natural stone is minimal when compared to the amount of energy consumed by the production of synthetic building materials. The process of quarrying natural stone produces very little waste, as unused stone can be used to fill-in parts of the quarry. The carbon footprint of natural stone instead comes from its transportation requirements. Therefore, selecting a locally quarried natural stone is the more environmentally feasible option.
Natural stone doesn’t contain any pollutants that may damage the health of your family or pets. It also doesn’t release any hazardous substances when burnt. It is safe to use in areas where food is prepared and, depending on the variety and quality of stone, won’t require any protective coatings that may contain harmful chemicals.
While some building materials become unsightly as the decades pass, natural stone is renowned for aging well. A thin surface layer, called a patina, forms over time but doesn’t interfere with the beauty of the stone. Natural stone bears the same color throughout its structure. Therefore, any chips or scratches will reveal an identical surface underneath, and will gradually become unnoticeable.
Natural stone is easy and inexpensive to clean, as it is a natural product and fairs perfectly well without human interference. It can also be restored, regardless of prior neglect. For example, by grinding and polishing century-old stone, it can return to its original condition. Stone has been known to last for thousands of years, and the stone components in your backyard will most likely outlast all the other materials in your home and hardscape.
A worthy investment
While investing in natural stone can be relatively expensive, the cost is offset by its longevity and low maintenance requirements. Natural stone will most likely never require repair or replacement, and this can actually make it more cost-effective than materials with shorter lifespans.
Image courtesy of Unilock.