If youve never bought natural stone before it can be daunting and there are lots of things to consider, which is why finding a good stone merchant like Hardy Stone Company is a great idea because we can help you to avoid some of the pitfalls that can lead to unnecessary costs building up when buying materials.
SPLITTING DOWN CHARGE -V- BUYING FULL PACKS
The first thing that may stand out to you is that most merchants including general builders merchants and independent merchants including landscaping supply companies will only sell full packs of crates of stone; which could be annoying if for example you have a garden patio area which is 20 meters sq and the pack of stone may just cover 18 meters sq.
If youre really lucky, you will be able to find a merchant like Hardy Stone that will offer a split down pack.
Its useful to bear in mind that this does come at a cost. The current charge that is built in to split pack costs at hardystonecompany.co.uk is £66. This is because out of a full pack, individual pieces need to be physically handled to make up the exact quantity that you require.
As always, it is sound advice to always purchase 10% more paving than the area required to avoid shortages due to breakages on site, accidents during transportation or for any extra cuts for irregular shaped areas that you are trying to cover.
You may then weigh up the cost of the split down charge and come to the conclusion that it makes more sense just to purchase full packs, better to have some spare than paying for labour that could be unable to carry on work should you be a couple of slabs short to finish the job.
TRANSPORTATION / DELIVERY CHARGE
It may seem like an obvious thing to write, but stone cannot be transported in her majesty's post! Did you know our transportation cost for stone can often be the same for one slab as it is for one full crate? And with transport costs rising, we currently have a cost of £84.00 built into the price of our split down and full packs. However you might be pleased to know that economies of scale can be achieved for larger orders helping you get more for your money.
With increased costs of importing natural stone, due to the shipping container transport costs and the rising gas prices and red diesel regulations in the UK and other countries, the trend of regular price increases has been massive this last year in some cases more than 25%. Hopefully the prices can stabilize soon.
GENERAL MANUFACTURING COSTS
On the positive side the quality of natural stone means it can endure for years and although we pay a premium for our stone, we usually look at it most days and so it's important you are happy with your choice. Stone is not easy to move around, the machinery is heavy and takes a lot of looking after, stone cutting costs and quarrying is heavy work. Transportation like wise can prove difficult and a lot of people work extremely hard to get your stone to you safely. Even you or your landscaper will work hard to move it around once on site and so it's best to keep the number of times it is moved to a minimum where possible.
Stone from us at the moment typically costs around £35+ per meter. Of course you can probably buy cheaper stone, however we prefer quality products with great back up customer service and we pride ourselves on partnering with manufacturers who are ethical companies, which to us means good welfare standards and abiding by the standards for morally right conduct in business.
So there you have it, it's not like buying a tin of beans from the shop shelf! I hope this blog about Natural Stone has highlighted some of the reasons why.
Post by Lisa Leach
30th January 2021