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The Ins and Outs of the Masonry Process: An Interview with Hirsch Brick and Stone

By Darren Leonardi

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

Hirsch Brick & Stone Co. is the leader in custom landscape masonry services. From paving stones to elaborate architectural stonework, we have built our reputation on two principles: quality and service. All of our team members at Hirsch Brick & Stone have had years of experience in the residential construction industry. From our sales associates to our construction crews, everyone brings an attention to detail that ensures the highest quality.

What are some of the most popular masonry products for homeowners in Illinois?

It differs depending on location. In regards to the north shore of Chicago, natural stone is a very popular choice such as bluestone and limestone. In the western and southwestern suburbs, concrete paver products such as Unilock or Rochester Concrete Products are very popular due to their price point. While concrete products may be cheaper initially, nothing beats the timeless look of natural stone and the simple fact that it will last forever.

Can you briefly explain the basic steps in a new masonry project?

The process typically starts with a full landscape design provided by a landscape architecture firm or individual landscape architect. The landscape architect in most cases will general contract the project subbing out each trade: masonry, carpentry, lighting, irrigation, and the landscaping. After a project is awarded to us a construction schedule is created that envelops every trade and In which order each item needs to take place. In most cases we complete vertical masonry first such as steps, stoops, walls and grill islands so that we obtain the correct grades. We then move on to flatwork to finish the project.

What are some of the main decisions that a homeowner will need to make?

Aside from the layout, which is typically determined by the landscape architect, the biggest decisions for the homeowners come down to materials. Whether they go with concrete pavers or natural stone, color, texture, pattern and sizing all come into play. A big determining factor for that decision is the cost.

What's one of the biggest challenges when it comes to construction?

Communication is typically the biggest challenge. With several different tradesmen working on a project, communication between all of the trades and coordination provided by the general contractor are key in a successful project.

How do you help homeowners solve that problem?

At Hirsch Brick & Stone we pride ourselves on what we are able to provide best to our landscape architect counterparts: our personal service, quality workmanship, communication, and experienced project management. With over 15 years of experience, our detail oriented team can construct nearly anything with brick or natural stone to fit any of your hardscape needs including: patios, pool decks, pathways, stoops/steps, seat walls, outdoor fireplaces, barbecue grills, and brick driveways.

Do you have any tips for Illinois homeowners about masonry design?

I think a very general tip when it comes to design regarding masonry or paving is to keep it simple. Often times vendors are quick to push new colors or heavy patterns or banding into walls or even symbols into paving patterns and most times it can be seen as tacky or gaudy. Keeping the color palette simple is always best so that the design does not become distracting or muddled which can detract from the experience of the space you are creating.

What's the best way for people to contact your company?

Email or phone are typically the best way to reach us. This allows us to gain a better understanding of the scope of your project prior to meeting. Feel free to give us a call at 847.623.0063 or email us at info@hirschbrick.com

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