Have some idea of what type stone you want. Use pictures from magazines and books or visit other job sites for ideas. The more you know, the better you’ll be at decision-making time.
Don’t be afraid to ask what’s new. Newer products, like thin stone veneer and paver products, can make all the difference in your project ... especially when it comes to making your job easier or creating a distinct stone look.
Look to the quarry as a place to help you find what you need. If you want to do it yourself, see if your quarry or stone yard offers classes; if you want to hire somebody, ask for mason recommendations. If you have a lot of questions, go in off-peak hours. Usually, late mornings and early afternoons during the week, or early mornings and late afternoons on Saturday, are great off-peak times.
Don’t choose stone on looks alone. That could be a costly mistake! Know which stone is 'right' for the project. Some stones are conducive to interior use, while others are best for outdoors. Some stone is cheaper but will cost you in labor time, while other more expensive stone will save you time and effort.
Many quarries have sample areas where they display all of their stone. Look at pallets of stone to see the variety of colors, sizes and shapes. Once you find a few stone types you like, take samples home and decide on which is the right stone for your project. Even if there is a cost involved, go ahead and do it. A little planning will go a long way with stone.
Every business has its own lingo, and the quarry is no exception. Know a little something about what you’re asking for. If you don’t know, don’t fake it and ask.
Big trucks, big piles, big mess! Be careful or you're looking at big trouble. Don't wander off on your own or leave children to run around unsupervised. There are dangerous areas at the quarries. Wear appropriate clothing. Quarries are dusty, so this is not a place for your Sunday best.
Quarries are places for stone and masonry tools. If you're planning on doing a lot of stonework, this is the place to buy your tools. If there's one tool that worth putting more money into, it's a good chipping hammer. Look for one that is a single piece of steel with a rubber handle. Quarries also have a system for buying and checking out, so let them help you with this final step.