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Three Design Tips to Remember When Using Stone Building Materials

Natural stone
Natural stone grabs the attention with both subtlety and strength. The sizes, colors and textures of stone bring out the best in nature, and can transport the viewer into experiencing the home or outdoor living space of their dreams. As you incorporate natural stone into your new home build or renovation, keep the following tips in mind.

Don't Be Shy

Go visit the stone supplier's showroom or stone yard in person to select your stone materials. Pictures and videos don't do the many varieties of natural stone justice because stone colors will vary in color depending on when and where the stone was pulled from a quarry. Photos may not always be representative of how the product is coming from the earth at the time you are interested in applying it. That is why it is so important to come, in person, into the store and meet with the expert staff who can advise you of quarry changes. In person, you can also touch and feel the stone and get a better sense of its texture and sizes.
If you've already chosen exterior siding or interior paint colors, bring samples along to the store. Compare and contrast how the various stones look next to your chosen colors and trim work.
One of the nicest perks about inspecting stones in person is the opportunity to get ideas from other people's stone projects. The stone supplier can show you recent projects and knows the benefits and drawbacks of all the stone types sold on site. You'll receive suggestions and ideas that you might not have thought of or discovered on your own.

Be Open Minded

You may have your heart set on a stone look from your childhood neighborhood, or perhaps you're dreaming of a stacked stone turret you saw on your honeymoon trip. There's nothing wrong with either choice. However, do be open to other suggestions if it turns out the material you prefer won't work the way you want to use it or is not appropriate for extreme climates.
Experienced stone suppliers and stone masons know the properties, strengths, and weaknesses of the materials they sell. Take their advice to heart when planning stone accents and elements. You'll have the best look and performance from the stone choices and arrangements when you're open to new ideas and methods.
Stones can be arranged in a variety of patterns. For example, you could choose a random, natural placement of flagstones and boulders around flower beds or a more linear and modern placement of ledge stone on an accent wall. Check out plenty of examples of stonework in architecture and landscaping, and be open to updating your plans to better suit your needs or your favorite stone type.

Use Stone Anywhere

Stone can work inside or outside. In order to ensure you are getting the correct materials that are appropriate to either or both settings, and that can handle extreme climates, speak with the stone supplier’s staff to get the best products for you. Make sure and enjoy yourself along the way and remember that once you envision what you want your project to look like, stone suppliers can help you achieve that dream.

UPDATE - The Rock Garden is no longer stocking tile

The Rock Garden continues as Tahoe and Truckee’s premier supplier of natural stone. For that reason, have decided to specialize predominately in natural stones and have removed our tile department from our showroom. We are proud to announce we have a large and excellent selection of thin veneer stone with us stocking 16 varieties with more coming. We also have some new building stones such as Trinity Mtn. Granite, Twin Peaks Granite, Country Estate Limestone and Black Mtn. Basalt. More options arriving as the season progresses. Come in a take a look!

Creative Hardscape for Sustainability

Increase your landscaping budget through the use of low maintenance, environmentally sustainable and water reducing designs.
Hardscape is the skeletal design that provides interesting texture, color and unique esthetic character. When you design first with a hardscape framework, it is much easier to infill with low water requirement, native and xeriscape plant material. You can create beauty and functionality within the original structure you design. Hardscapes come in many different types of materials and can be used in heavily traveled areas as well as in relaxing garden nooks.
Some examples of some very cost effective and beautiful hardscaping options for pathways and patios are random flagstones. These provide a multitude of color, density and even rough or smooth textures. You can utilize higher sheen materials or buff silhouettes. The hardscaping also provides a natural weed repellant for many areas in your garden as well as warming the earth during our periods of extreme colder temperatures. Some other examples of frequently used hardscape materials are concrete interlocking pavers and crushed aggregates. You can also get the benefits of raised flower or vegetable beds through keystone block retaining walls, natural stone step materials and unique architectural focal points such as basalt columns or other unique stone formations.
Hardscaping is a simple and highly functional tool to incorporate into a sustainable, environmentally pleasing outdoor living area.