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Tips for Choosing the Right Flagstone Supplier

Flagstone is a popular hardscape material used for patios, walkways, pool decks, steps, and more. When shopping for Flagstone, choosing the right supplier is key to getting high-quality material at fair prices. With many options to select from, it helps to know what factors to look for in a reputable flagstone supplier.

  • Check experience and reputation.

One of the top things to verify is the supplier’s experience and reputation in the flagstone industry. Look for a company that has been in business for several years and has extensive expertise in sourcing and supplying flagstone. They will understand the nuances of the material and have connections to reliable quarries.

Ask for references from recent customers that you can contact to inquire about their satisfaction. Review the supplier’s ratings and feedback online or with organizations like the Better Business Bureau. A reputable flagstone company will have a proven track record of excellent customer service and high-quality materials.

  • Verify their stone sources.

Find out where exactly the supplier obtains their flagstone. Reputable companies work directly with quarries and stone yards rather than using third-party vendors. Ask questions about their sourcing locations and standards for selecting quality stone.

Domestic flagstone from quarries across the United States tends to offer more consistent quality control compared to imported stone. A supplier should be knowledgeable about the properties of stones from different regions. This allows them to hand-select flagstones well-suited to your climate and project needs.

  • Inspect stone samples in person.

Always inspect stone samples in person before finalizing a purchase. A reliable supplier will have a showroom or yard where you can view and touch multiple flagstone varieties. Being able to see the exact stone that will be installed gives you a better idea of color, texture, and consistency.

Pay attention to details like surface finish, thickness, chipping, cracks, and color variations. Reputable suppliers stand behind their inventory and will allow you to take your time assessing stone samples. Never buy flagstone sight unseen based only on photos.

  • Understand Your Material Options

Flagstone comes in a diverse range of natural stone types, including sandstone, quartzite, limestone, bluestone, travertine, and slate. There is also a wide array of colors, from pale greens to rich reds and buff tans. Prices fluctuate based on stone variety, so discuss options that best fit your budget.

A knowledgeable supplier will explain the characteristics of each stone and make recommendations based on your project. For patios or pool areas, a hardstone like quartzite may be preferable over a softer stone like limestone. Look for a full-service company that offers guidance on selecting an appropriate flagstone.

  • Ask about custom fabrication.

Many reputable suppliers provide custom stone fabrication services in addition to their inventory of flagstone. You may want special patterns, cuts, edges, or shapes that require fabrication.

Check if the company has their own stone yard and equipment for sawing, chiseling, and finishing flagstone to size. Precision cutting prior to delivery ensures a clean installation. Custom work also allows you to find harder-to-find shapes like circles or diamonds.

  • Verify delivery services.

When buying heavy materials like flagstone, having it professionally delivered is key. Ask the supplier about their delivery process and equipment to ensure your stone arrives safely.

They should have advanced lifting and handling equipment so the flagstone is not damaged. Also, find out if they offer installation services or can recommend experienced contractors. Coordinating delivery and installation together gives cohesive results.

  • Compare pricing and warranties.

When requesting a quote, look for pricing by the square foot so you can accurately compare across suppliers. The quote should have an itemized breakdown of material costs, delivery fees, taxes, and any custom fabrication charges.

Ask about any price match guarantees, and be wary of quotes that seem drastically low compared to other suppliers. Also, compare warranty terms in case any defects are found upon delivery or issues arise down the road. Many reputable companies offer warranties of five years or longer.

  • Review their previous projects.

You can often get a better sense of a supplier’s work by reviewing photos of past installations they have provided stone for. Most companies have project portfolios on their website or available upon request.

Pay attention to the quality of the stone and workmanship in these photos. Reputable suppliers are proud to show off the stunning patios, pools, steps, and landscapes they have been involved with. If a company can’t provide proof of previous successful projects, proceed with caution.

  • Ask about installation services.

Some flagstone suppliers have in-house installation crews, while others only provide materials. Ask upfront if the company handles installation or can recommend reputable stone contractors in your area. Dealing with just one company for both materials and labor helps streamline the project.

Companies with installation teams will have extensive experience with properly laying flagstone. Their crews are likely to do higher-quality work than general landscapers who don’t specialize in stonework. Look for suppliers that offer warranties on their installation services.

  • Request Photos of Quarries and Operations

A transparent flagstone supplier will provide photos and information about their quarries if requested. This allows you to see firsthand where your stone is coming from and how operations are run.

Photos should show adherence to safety procedures, well-organized yards, and professional equipment. If a company is vague about their quarries or won’t provide visual access, it may be best to get quotes elsewhere.

  • Ask about sustainability practices.

Choosing flagstone from a supplier with sustainable quarrying and business practices helps lessen the environmental impact. Ask if their operations recycle stone waste, minimize chemical use, and limit water runoff pollution.

Responsible companies will use clean energy sources, plant native vegetation at quarries, and take steps to avoid habitat disruption. Eco-conscious suppliers show commitment to reducing their carbon footprint from start to finish.

Conclusion

Choosing the right flagstone supplier is critical to getting high-quality materials for your hardscape project. Take time to thoroughly research companies and inspect product samples in person. A trusted flagstone supplier will patiently answer your questions, make informed recommendations, and provide beautiful stone that exceeds expectations. Investing in the ideal flagstone and fabrication services ensures your project looks and functions flawlessly for decades to come.

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