Yorkstone From Quarry to Centre Stage


Although one would not normally think about stone as being glamorous it's interesting that one of the major selling points of a behind-the-scenes walking tour of sets from the Harry Potter films is that it includes the opportunity to step onto the Yorkstone floor of the Great Hall itself.Yorkstone has an interesting history and has been worked from quarries in Yorkshire since medieval times. If you can't take a trip to the Warner Brothers Studios then an alternative is the Lincoln Cathedral in England known as one of the finest Gothic buildings in Europe and which is often cited as an excellent example of Yorkstone flooring. The cathedral is also no stranger to the movie scene as it has doubled on two occasions for Westminster Abbey firstly in The Da Vinci Code featuring Tom Hanks and secondly in The Young Victoria for the coronation scenes.Yorkstone has been used extensively in building, construction and landscaping applications as it is hard wearing and durable. Yorkstone is a type of sandstone and is a traditional paving stone used in London although it was initially used for roofing and known as grey slate or thackstone in Yorkshire. Today it is prized for its naturally worn surfaces and is used in both new and period restoration building projects and is one of the reclaimed stones salvaged for re-use from demolished sites. Due to its character and age, reclaimed stone paving can be more expensive to purchase than new Yorkstone paving.Reclaiming stone and specifically Yorkstone can be challenging as it is difficult to find in good condition with the correct thickness in addition to a clean, smooth face. If the stone has been outside both frost and time damage could lead to splitting (laminating) that renders the stone inappropriate for reclamation and re-use. On the other hand even if the stone has been indoors, if it has been used for house flooring and covered in asphalt then the surface is also damaged and no longer smooth.The Yorkstone has a bit of magic of its own since it displays colour variations depending on its mineral content that differs throughout the quarries from which it is mined. Slabs of paving, cobbles and walling stones make up the forms of newly quarried Yorkstone. Prior to the 1870s before the advent of modern mining machinery 'huggers' were used to carry Yorkstone from shallow quarries and although it must have been back-breaking work the thought of someone being employed as a hugger has a nice ring to it.Reclaimed stones

Essential Questions for a Home Renovation Consultation


This fall is the last chance to get some serious work done on your home, before what promises to be a chilling winter. In this crunch time, homeowners are scrambling to finish off bath remodels and kitchen designs before friends and family flock to their homes for the winter's festivities. This, however, puts homeowners in a vulnerable position if an unscrupulous general contractor attempts to take advantage of their needs. You have your consultation set and your kitchen remodel in mind, how do you make sure the contractor is the right company for the job? The answer will come from a few criteria that the contractor will meet or fall short of during that interview. However, we've compiled a few basic questions to make sure that you know what to ask of a general contractor before anything is signed. Do you have any references or examples of your work? Chances are that you are not the first person that a shady contractor has attempted to cheat. An ethical contractor will take pride in the work that they have completed; oftentimes carrying a scrapbook or similar literature that contains pictures and detailed plans of some of their client's bath and kitchen remodel jobs. Ask a contractor to see such material concerning completed projects, or for phone numbers or references and past clients that can vouch for their work. A contractor that hides this information, or is reluctant to give up the contact information of past clients should raise a caution flag. Don't you want them to perform a home renovation for you that they shouldn't be proud of? Can I see an itemized list or contract of the materials and labor involved? An itemized projection of what the home renovation will cost in terms of supplies and time spent on each task should be one of the first questions asked. Before the in-person consultation, ask to see the contract for a previous, similar job the general contractor has completed. If they wish to see the project and have the consultation first, allow them to, but DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING until you have that itemized contract. You're looking for transparency in how time and money will be spent, also foresight in what the project will require. What certifications do you carry? In most states, commercial remodeling and general contracting can only be performed by certified professionals that have been granted state licenses. Learn your state's laws, and ask to see any certifications that the contractor is required to do business. Also, see if the contractor is registered with reputable business or trade organizations such as the Better Business Bureau. Don't fall prey to empty promises and a good sales pitch. Be respectful, but take a pro-active attitude to your consultation, and you'll be showing off your new kitchen design to friends and family this holiday season.