Stone Construction: Frequently Asked Questions

stone construction

Thinking about building your own home, converting a barn, or extending your house? There’s a lot to consider, especially when it comes to picking the right materials. If you’re looking for something durable and beautiful but also kind to the planet, consider natural stone. Read on to find out whether stone construction is the right choice for your project.

What is stone construction?

Stone construction is a building method that uses natural stones as the primary material. The earliest forms of stone construction involved the use of irregularly shaped stones, painstakingly stacked together without any need for mortar. Nowadays, cut and shaped stones are used with mortar to create walls, buildings, monuments, and other structures.

What are the advantages of stone in construction?

There are many advantages of stone as a building material.

Versatile. Different types of stone have different appearances and benefits. It can be used to build the exterior of your home, as well as interior features.

Durable. Stone is resistant to most pests that usually infest houses. There is virtually no maintenance or upkeep required either, making it an ideal choice for self builds.

Insulation. Stone offers two types of insulation: thermal, which helps you to save energy, and noise, which helps you to sleep better or create a calm environment in your home.

Fireproof. Stone’s durability includes resistance to heat and fire. This is why it’s such a popular choice for kitchen splashbacks, walls, and floors. Stone can prevent fires from spreading to the rest of your home.

What are the disadvantages of building with stone?

While there are a myriad of advantages of stone as a building material, it’s not the right choice for every project.

Expensive. Stone construction is not a cheap process. If you take into account the long lifespan of stone and low maintenance cost, it is an economical choice – but it does require a significant upfront cost.

Time-consuming. Stone construction can take a long time as it is a heavy material that requires precision to install. Unfavourable weather conditions can also delay the construction of your stone building.

Expert skills needed. Building a house from natural stone involves highly specialised skills. Make sure you choose a good contractor with plenty of experience in stone construction.

Which lasts longer, brick or stone?

While brick is a great, long-lasting material for construction, stone outweighs it in terms of both lifespan and durability. Brick-built houses are intended to last over one century. However, some of the oldest surviving structures on Earth are made from stone – it is a much more durable material.

Why do stone buildings last so long?

Buildings constructed from natural stone have a reputation for lasting a long time. This is because stone is inherently a very strong material which is resistant to many forms of damage. Stone is formed through intense processes – extreme heat, for example, or immense pressure – so once it has been formed it is highly resistant to further damage. For example, stone is resistant to many weather conditions such as snow or rain. It is also non-combustible, so it is resistant to fire.

Is stone stronger than concrete?

It depends on how you look at it. Concrete has higher compressive and tensile strength than stone, however, natural stone has higher weather-resistance. Stone also lasts longer than concrete does.

Is building with stone sustainable?

Stone can be reused and recycled, which makes it a sustainable option. Unlike many other popular building materials, it doesn’t require complex manufacturing processes that emit CO2. However, it must be sourced correctly. One of the most sustainable ways to build with stone is to rescue it from a demolition site. You can also source locally to cut down on the emissions normally created from transportation. If you choose quarried stone, ensure the quarry uses sustainable and responsible mining practices.

Is it more expensive to build with stone?

Building with stone is usually more expensive than using more common construction materials – timber, concrete, and brick for example. We have already mentioned some of the reasons for this. Stone is a heavy, high-quality material that is costly to transport and requires specialised skills to install.

What are the 3 major types of stone used in construction?

Igneous rock

  • The hardest forms of rock, formed when lava cools over time.
  • There are over 700 types, but a popular choice for construction is granite.
  • The crystalline structure of igneous rocks makes them extremely hardwearing, and therefore a great choice for construction. They also look great when polished, making them a popular option for structures within the home.
  • You may have seen igneous rocks such as granite on kitchen countertops.

Metamorphic rock

  • The word metamorphosis means ‘change’.
  • These rocks are formed during changes in temperature or pressure, deep underground.
  • Metamorphic rocks are actually igneous or sedimentary rocks that have been through great changes.
  • Marble and slate are some examples of metamorphic rocks used in stone construction.
  • Marble is commonly used for carving beautiful decorations. For example, the Pantheon in Rome and the aptly named Marble Arch in London are both constructed in part from marble.
  • Within the home, marble is a popular choice for flooring.

Sedimentary rock

  • Formed at the bottom of rivers, lakes and oceans, sedimentary rocks are made when sediments collect along the bottom of bodies of water.
  • Limestone is an example of a common building material made from sedimentary rock.
  • Limestone is strong, versatile, and durable – it can be turned into blocks or bricks to make tiles and walls.
  • It can also be used for the creation of other materials used in construction, such as glass or cement.

So, there you have it. You might be starting from scratch with a self build, fixing up an old barn, or adding more space to your current home. Whatever you’re working on, stone brings a lot to the table. It’s a building material that says you care about making something beautiful, lasting, and eco-friendly.

And if you’re wondering how to make it all happen, Astrum Construction is here to help. With over 20 years of experience in working with stone, we know how to get the job done right and make your dream project come to life. Contact us today to see how stone can work for you.

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