Q. From start to finish, how long does a project take to complete?
This one is tough to answer without knowing the scope of your project.
How long it takes to finish depends on the size, complexity, and location of the project. We must take into account whether your property has machine access, whether we need to pull out previous landscaping, etc.
In phase one of our approach we will send an estimator to look at your project in detail. Once we have the information, we will provide you with a specific timeline. This timeline becomes part of our written agreement so there are no surprises.
Q. When is your typical start date?
I’m sure you’ve heard the horror stories of landscape companies booked months in advance. That’s not us.
We can usually begin a project within 2-4 weeks.
Why so soon? Because our unique structure of mobilizing specialized crews to work on different stages of your project means we work faster than the norm, but without cutting corners.
Of course there are always exceptions depending on your project, but your estimator will provide you with a start date and projected completion date so you know what to expect.
Q. What is the difference between brick sand and polymeric sand?
Polymeric sand ensures less shifting, less weeds, and less water washout than brick sand.
Unlike brick sand, it has an adhesive quality. When properly used, this stops the seepage of water below the bricks. A dryer base is less susceptible to shifting or settling under heavy traffic and loads.
Although it costs more than brick sand, polymeric sand keeps your interlocking stone project looking great for years to come.
Q. What base do you use to prevent shifting or cracking?
The only way to prevent shifting and cracking is to pay special attention to your base. At Markstone, we’ve got an entire crew that specializes specifically in preparing your base – that’s how important it is.
For concrete, we use ¾ crushed concrete, watered down and compacted.
For interlocking stone, we use majority ¾ crushed gravel with a top layer of lime stone screening for levelling.
There’s lots more involved, of course, but the rest comes down to your property.
If special measures must be taken, they will be discussed and agreed on ahead of time.
Q. What slope is used to keep water away from my foundation?
We love when homeowners and property managers ask this question because it’s so important.
Basement leaks can happen for many reasons and improper landscaping is a frequent culprit. That’s why we strictly adhere to the industry’s preference. We use 1/8”-1-4” per linear foot going away from the house.
This is one area where you simply can’t take shortcuts (without incurring serious costs down the line.)
Rest assure, when working with a professional and experienced crew like Markstone, you have nothing to worry about.
Q. What happens if I have a shifted stone or warranty issue?
While these kinds of issues are rare (we do everything we can upfront to prevent them) there is the odd time when a stone will shift or become defective in some way. This usually occurs within the first year or two.
All you need to do is pick up the phone.
At Markstone Landscaping, we’re committed to you and your project. We will come back – free of charge – to remedy any issues for the first 24 months.
Even better, the materials we work with have a lifetime guarantee so you’ll never be left in a lurch.
Q. How do you prevent concrete from cracking, or my interlock from shifting?
This is a common question – and a common issue that occurs because contractors don’t prepare the base properly.
In contrast, we recognize this step as one of the most important. We spend the most time working on the foundation of your interlocking stone project to ensure it doesn’t shift.
We also use 10mm rebar in all our concrete to prevent cracks and shifting between quadrants.
Because this is so important, our estimators will thoroughly explain this step to you before work proceeds. We want you to feel confident about the long term viability of your investment.
Q. What warranty do we have on material?
One of the many reasons to work with Markstone is that we use the best materials. Our crews are specialty trained to work with these specific products.
Because of that, we’re happy to stand behind a lifetime warranty on the materials used in your project.
For us, every client is a client for life, which means that if you have any issues with our work, whether the project was completed last week or last year, we want you to call us.
It’s not only our guarantee, but a matter of principle.
Q. What is the difference between pavers and stamped or patterned concrete?
Pavers are individual stones or bricks, whereas stamped or patterned concrete is concrete (plain or colour) with a design or pattern engraved onto each slab.
Stamped or patterned concrete can crack, fade and chip due to extreme weather conditions whereas pavers will weather beautifully.
If a paver has a defect in it, it can be lifted, removed and replaced when needed without disturbing the rest of the pavers.
This is convenient if others need access to the subgrade (irrigation system workers, municipal construction workers, etc.)
In contrast, concrete is stationary and can’t be removed or replaced without machinery.
To learn more about whether you should use interlocking stone or concrete for your landscaping project, click here.
Q. Should I seal my pavers?
Choosing to seal your pavers is more of a preference than a necessity.
It does, however provide additional protection against UV rays and stains. Sealing your pavers will enhance their colour – similar to when you stain wood.
If you do choose to seal, we recommend that you set aside some extra sealed pavers to ensure colour consistency should you need to replace any individual pavers in the future.
Q. Why do some pavers have a whitish/chalky residue on them?
This residue is common in concrete/clay brick products.
It is caused by natural salt minerals found in the material during production. It doesn’t damage your pavers and, in our opinion, is nothing to worry about.
Typically, the white residue will fade within a year. If you find the residue bothersome, it’s possible to purchase a cleaner. We recommend Techni-Seal’s Efflorescence Cleaner. But again, for most projects, the residue fades on its own.
We have also compiled a list of top 5 frequently asked questions on concrete & concrete installation. For a comprehensive explanation, visit “What You Should Know About Concrete and Concrete Installation”.