After I was done with work (and vacuuming!) yesterday we decided to head into the city and go visit a couple of places that sell mason stone. I texted our friend and asked him where he got his from for his house, and was there somewhere to go look, and he gave me the name of that one and another one in that area.
We first went to the showroom of the mason place friend didn't use. It was a really nice showroom. Lots of fireplaces done up in various stones and colors and some small walls. Really gave you an idea of what the stone looks like. We got a couple of brochures and they even had samples we could take home, so we got 4 samples. DH got his questions answered on how to install this stuff on like a 2'x2' pier (for the fence gate piers), so from those answers he realized he doesn't need the stone for that right away. He can build the piers anytime and it can be stoned when we do the house exterior and fireplace. If he had needed the stone right away, we would have had to decide now what we want on the front of the house, as we want it to be the same. Thankfully we don't need to decide right now! Plus, this showroom also sells the gas fireplace inserts so we got a chance to look at those and see what style we like, too. Then there is the decision to make it stacked/dry (no mortar in between) or have it more spaced out with mortar. They end up looking quite different (in my opinion). DH is leaning toward the dry stacked looked (that's what our friend did with his stone)
The second showroom wasn't as fancy and they sold same type of stuff - just different brands. They had no actual examples (ie fireplaces) - just squares on the walls. Very hard to envision what it would look like in large scale, that's for sure. Plus they were kind of busy - only had one guy working helping a couple of people at the counter. Finally a guy from outside came in and answered a few our DH's questions, but as far as pricing, we had to go wait for the counter guy. He did get us several samples to take, too. Then the customers were gone and the counter guy had to run outside a minute and a guy was standing around the other side of the L-shaped counter and he and DH started chatting and he started to give DH answers (I thought he worked there LOL). Turns out he is a mason and was there to buy some stuff. He even took DH outside to explain to him one way he could build a pier.
It seems their pricing is about same. The first showroom might have bee about .50 a sq higher in price. DH doesn't have a lot of imagination when it comes to design, colors, etc. He didn't quite get that the stone we use on the outside base of the house doesn't have to be the same style, or even color, as the stone we use on the fireplace LOL. Pretty much it will be my decision, especially the fireplace stone.
We're trying to get some of these decisions made in the next 6 months, so that we are not overwhelmed with trying to make all these decisions at the same time during the building process. Trying to nail down "what" we want/like and then I can price shop and work within our budget.
DH didn't even realize all this stone stuff nowadays is manufactured stone. The first showroom even had a faux stone fireplace mantle that looked exactly like an old barnwood beam. I thought it was real wood and they just had it there for their fireplace display.
I didn't buy any cases of water last Sunday when I shopped (thought we had more left) so we stopped at the grocery store and bought 4 cases, a few loaves of bread, and a banana cream pie. Then we stopped at Wendy's and got a couple of burgers for the drive home.