For many homeowners, the hardest part of home improvement is the simple burden of choice. Choosing a landscaping stone is no exception. There are literally hundreds of different landscaping stones and often many variations within each type of stone. Expectedly, this is a double-edged sword. Virtually any color, shape, and texture stone is available for your different landscaping projects. It also makes finding the right stone an involved process.
Some homeowners tend to stick to local stones for price and authenticity. Others choose imported or exotic stones to give their landscape a distinctive flair. If you have a general idea of what you like but aren't sure about availability and plausibility of stone, hiring a landscape designer can be a good idea. If you don't like the idea of a professional consultant, you might consider choosing a stone by looking at the yards of your neighbors and friends to help generate ideas.
Natural Stone vs. Manufactured Stone
No matter the color and style of your stone selection, there are a couple basic decisions you'll have to make. One of these decisions is to go for natural stone or manufactured stone. Both have their pros and cons. Natural stone has a nearly limitless array of colors and textures. Many have a more dynamic appearance than their composite counterparts. Most natural stones are heavier than manufactured ones, making them sturdier.
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The lighter weight of manufactured stone, on the other hand, makes it easier to work with and install. For more detail-oriented projects or for DIYs, this can be the best option. While either type of stone will work for most projects, the lighter weight and workability of manufactured stone helps explain why it is becoming more popular for interior installations such as countertops and tiling, while natural stone still rules the day for most exterior projects.
Cut vs. Uncut Stone
You will also need to choose between cut or uncut stones. Again, each option has its own relative pros and cons. Cut stone will give your landscaping project a more uniform, refined feel. Uncut stones will retain the natural feel and look of stone. It's easy to understand why most projects either go with natural, uncut stone or manufactured, cut stone, but there's no reason you can't mix the choices depending on your project and preferences. Cut stone may raise the price of your stone purchase considerably, but some of this cost can be recouped with lower installation costs.
Landscaping Stone Ideas
Patios and walkways are the most common projects for landscaping stones, but there are countless possibilities to add to your home landscaping. Accent walls can add a nice touch to your backyard. A wall with stone steps can make for the perfect landscaping addition for sloped or two-tier yards. Benches, birdbaths, and other smaller landscaping projects can give you immense returns on a relatively small investment. And few home improvements provide the stunning elegance of landscaping stones for your pond or pool surrounds.