11 Questions to Ask a Mason Contractor
1. Can I see photos of your projects?
Stonemasons are like artists. Each has a style and some have the ability to replicate different styles of stone installations. Ask to see photos of finished projects to make sure that the stone installation style you desire can be achieved by the stonemason you are considering.
2. How many times have you done this type of job?
Experience working with brick is very different than working with stone. Thin stone veneer requires detailed attention to each stone, customizing the shape for a tight fit and selecting stones for color and grain so that the final project is balanced and consistent throughout.
3. How many years of experience do you have working with stone?
5? 10? More?
4. What kind of guarantee do you offer?
Laticrete MVIS offers a warranty of up to 25 years, which includes installation and materials. What mortar are you using?
5. Will you build a mockup for approval?
It is very important to see a full-scale mockup of the stone installed to see the actual stone, joint width and overall look.
6. Why do quotes from different masons vary in price?
Clarify the differences in the process and final product when comparing quotes. Ask about exactly what materials will be used. Masonry is not an easy job to fix if shortcuts are taken to reduce project time or substandard materials are used. Installation details will be the difference between an adequate job vs a talked-about showpiece and one that will last more than five years.
7. What will the worksite look like?
Masonry requires chipping and cutting stone, using water, loud power saws with diamond blades, and generating significant dust. How will this affect the job site and surrounding areas?
8. How will you keep the temperature above 40 degrees?
Thin stone veneer mortar requires a 40+ degree curing temperature during the 24 hours after application of the thin veneer stone. This is most important for outside winter projects and indoor new construction projects during winter.
9. Are you using a water barrier?
If the project contains thin stone veneer, a water barrier prevents water from penetrating and eventually loosening the stone. All thin stone veneer projects require a water barrier.
10. Do you have reviews, references or referrals?
I would like to see information from your previous customers.
11. What credentials do you have?
Are you trained or certified to install thin stone veneer?
Also ask about insurance for General Liability, Workman’s Comp, Masonry License number and HIC number if inside a home.