Stonework


The restoration of old buildings demands a sympathetic regard for the work of past centuries and is not a task which should be undertaken lightly. Our expertise was borne out of a love of period buildings and through a wealth of experience gained working with them.

Stone Restoration

There are many different natural stones and each has a different mode of weathering depending upon its structure and chemical composition. There are two principal agents of decay:

Frost
Deterioration of stone by frost action is caused by the expansion of freezing water contained in bedding planes or pores. Frost damage is mostly to horizontal surfaces, such as the upper sides of coping stones and cornices where unprotected stone may be thoroughly soaked.

Soluble salts
Deposits of soluble salts, in the form of a layer on the stone, is the principal cause of decay. The formation of the layer is due to atmospheric impurities, constituents of the stone itself or salts introduced in other materials, such as mortar.


The constituents of the salts form a layer which differs in structure from the bulk of the stone and, in the course of time, tends to flake off and exposes a face for the elements to attack again.

Expertise is required to identify the state of defects in a building. Ill-advised attempts to arrest the decay of stone often inflict further damage and may accelerate the process of decay.


Restoration work takes many forms. This may involve stone sections being rebuilt or indeed being removed and replaced. When new stone is introduced it should be compatible with the old.

This task has always been difficult, especially where sandstone has had to be replaced, due to problems in matching colour and texture of the stonework to be repaired. Alternatives to natural stone require experienced operatives under skilled supervision who have the patience and determination to produce the effect specified.

Stone Cleaning

Stone cleaning is often a part of the refurbishment specification and in itself requires the skills and knowledge of experts.

There are a number of methods available and, as each project is individual, our masonry surveyors will advise on the best process to use.

Most projects involve water cleaning using nebulous sprays or jetting, although new technology, in the form of dry media stripping, is available and used. The latter allows controlled cleaning/stripping so that vulnerable surfaces are protected and not damaged.

In some circumstances, plain ashlar can be redressed to remove the weathered face, exposing a new surface of reasonably sound stone which can often postpone the need for a replacement.

Such experience demonstrates that there is no need to be deterred by the common belief that stone deteriorates repidly if the weathered face is removed.

The expertise of our masonry experts is recognised by many, including the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission and the Cheltenham Borough Council whose policy to maintain the Regency features of Cheltenham does much to enhance the intrinsic value of such a town.

The majority of contracts undertaken by us are on period properties, however we also have a sound technical knowledge of cast stone - a synthetic structured material intended to be used in a similar manner as natural stone. Indeed cast stone is often made to represent a particular natural stone and often the reproduction is so good that the difference is imperceptible, except to the expert.

 

 

New Stonework

The skills and experience of our local craftsmen in stonework ensures workmanship of the highest quality in all aspects of stone building and stone walling.

 


Our surveyors, in conjunction with project managers, can advise on products and materials, while on site we are able to complete the specification with our specialist fixers.

Our stone specialists offer the following services:

- Site Surveys
- Defects analysis
- Repair specifications
- Material sourcing
- Skilled supervision
- Experienced operatives
- Masonry carving
- Stone cleaning & replacement
- Welsh slate roofing
- Ornamental plasterwork



and all other associated stone services.