Selecting and communicating stonework for your home building project

Selecting the appropriate stonework for your house is a task that requires meticulous attention and careful communication with your builder. In this journey, you’ll be venturing into a world filled with various hues, textures, and styles that can uniquely define your home’s aesthetics. In this blog, we guide you through the process of selecting and communicating your preferred stonework with your builder, steering through different types of stone masonry lays, an array of stone colours, and the vital role of mortar in the construction process.

Step 1: Explore the Palette of Stone Colours

First, let’s delve into understanding the diverse array of stone selection and the varying colour palettes that stones offer. Here are a few popular choices to consider:
Slate Grey: These stones portray a sleek and contemporary look, suitable for modern homes.
Sandstone: This type of stone showcases a range of colours including beige, yellow, red, and brown, perfect to add a warm touch to the house façade.
Limestone: Available in neutral tones such as white, cream, and light grey, it gives an elegant and timeless appearance to homes.
Granite: It is available in a spectrum of colours including pink, grey, and black, offering both durability and a rich appearance.

Step 2 : Understand the Different Types of Stone Masonry Lays

Once you have an understanding of the type of stone, the next step is exploring lays available for your selection:



Coursed Random Rubble Masonry: Coursed refers to the fact the stones are roughly placed in layers or ‘courses’. This type of lay is known for its irregular pattern with stones of different sizes and shapes but that followes a general layered / row pattern. It gives a rustic and natural appearance, ideally suited for traditional homes.













Coursed Square Rubble Masonry: In this type of stonework the stone is worked into a square shape and arranged in clear courses. This form of stonework is most recognisable with formal public building such as court houses.








Uncoursed rounded rubble Masonry: Stones are generally utilised as supplied with rounded edges, minimising labour in forming the stone. Generally depends on the type of stone to achieve the effortless rounded stone. 







 Uncoursed rubble masonry : The stones are used as supplied from the quarry, with weak edges knocked off with a hammer and layed. The most cost effective stonework as labour is minimised and most stone types can be used. Can be layed with most types of stones, generally found in garden walling.









Ashlar Masonry: A highly formal type of masonry, it utilizes stones that are finely dressed and cut into uniform shapes. It is commonly used for a sleek and modern aesthetic.











Squared Rubble Masonry: This lay includes stones that are squared on all joints and beds, rendering a neat yet slightly rustic appearance, often seen in traditional house facades.








Dry Stone Masonry: In this lay, stones are stacked without mortar, relying on the meticulous selection and arrangement of stones to hold the structure together. It is commonly used in garden landscapes and retaining walls.







Step 3: Choosing the Right Mortar

The choice of mortar (What holds the stones together) can significantly affect the overall appearance and stability of the stone masonry. Mortar comes in various colours and types, and it’s essential to choose one that complements your selected stone.

Here are a few options:

  • Lime Mortar: This is a traditional type of mortar, known for its flexibility and breathability. It is ideal for older buildings or for achieving a historic aesthetic.


  • Cement Mortar: This type of mortar offers excellent strength and durability, making it suitable for modern constructions.


  • Coloured Mortar: To enhance the visual appeal of the masonry, coloured mortar, matching or contrasting the stone colour, can be used to create a distinctive look.


Step 4: Communicating with Your Builder

Having selected the masonry type, stone colour, and mortar, the next crucial step is effective communication with your builder. Here’s how to go about it:

Share Visuals

Provide your builder with visuals – photos or sketches of the type of stonework you envision. This can serve as a reference point and facilitate smoother communication.

Discuss the Budget

Have a transparent discussion regarding your budget. Different types of stones and masonry work come with varied cost implications. Your builder can provide insights into making selections that align with your budget.

Visual Discussion

If possible, accompany your builder to stone yards or showrooms to have a firsthand look at the materials. This allows you to make informed decisions and gives your builder a clearer picture of your preferences. Even better ask your Builder to organise a sample wall with the stone mason on site prior to making the final commitment to the look your after.


Berrima Project Stonework by Wallace Stone Masonry


Choosing the right stonework for your home is a harmonious blend of art and science, a melding of aesthetics with structural integrity. It involves a keen eye for detail

and an open channel of communication with your builder. As you embark on this journey, take time to explore the rich tapestry of options available in stone masonry lays, the vibrant and diverse colour palettes of stones, and the supportive role of mortar in accentuating the beauty and stability of the structure.

Remember, the goal is to craft a home that not only resonates with your personal style but stands as a testament to quality craftsmanship and timeless beauty. So, communicate, collaborate, and create your dream home with the perfect stonework that mirrors your vision and aesthetic appeal.

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