Building a house is the ultimate goal of every family. Strategic financial planning, emotional strength, and physical energy are required for a successful completion of a housing project. Without walls, we cannot talk about a house. Walls are an important part of a house and hence a lot of care and due diligence should be done when purchasing of the quarry stones. It’s important you consider the points below.
1. Type of Quarry Stones.
We can classify the stones according to the way they are mined and shaped.Locally available in the market are machine cut quarry stones and manually cut quarry stones.
Manually Cut Quarry Stones: These are mined by blasting the stones and then manually using steel chisel and sledge hammer to cut into required shape and sizes,150 mm or 200 mm thickness. These stones are normally rough with uneven surfaces, manually cut quarry stones are sold per running foot. In Nairobi, they may cost kshs. 35 to kshs. 40 per running foot. In Kisumu, 6-inch cost around kshs.36 and 9 inch stone cost kshs. 45, with transport, factored in differently.
Advantages of Manually Cut Quarry Stones.
- They are strong and hard. Suited for foundations and other underground structures, like a water tank, septic tanks etc.
- Because of their strength, Structural Engineers, considering other factors can design a house with manually cut quarry stones as load bearing walls.I am sure you have seen mansions built without concrete columns, supported only by the manually cut stones on the ground floor.
- They come in various beautiful colors.
- The rate of water absorption/seepage from outside is very low, so it’s suited for external walling of a building.
- They can be used for both substructure (underground) and Superstructure walling.
Machine Cut Quarry Stones: As the name suggests, are cut into a specific shape and size using a special machine at the quarry that cut both in vertical and horizontal directions. The resulting stone pieces are same in sizes. Machine cut stones are sold per piece. They are commonly known as Ndarugu stones.At the quarry, they may cost between kshs. 23 to kshs. 28 per piece, transport can be sourced at the quarry or from where the site is located.
Advantages of Machine Cut Quarry Stones.
- Use Less Mortar: The stones well shaped with even surface hence, a small amount of mortar is used to bond the stones. There is even a bigger saving when plastering. Less mortar is used compared to manually cut stones, because you don’t need to fill in the uneven gaps on stones with mortar.
- Less Labour Cost: It is fast to build with machine cut stones, meaning the mason builds a larger area in a day; hence, you save on labor cost. Same labour benefits are there when plastering the wall.
- Neat: The wall build with machine cut stones is neat.
- No Stone Dressing: They don’t need stone dressing hence you save on the cost of carting away waste from the site. You save on time also.
2. The Intended Use of Stone.
What are you buying the stone for? Is it for internal or external walling? Sometimes it’s advisable to use 200 mm thick stones for external walling especially if you are using machine cut stones, to avoid rain water seeping through the stones from outside.
Sometimes the architect or the consultants can design a wall of a different thickness, like 100 mm (4 inch) stones for washroom partitioning etc
3. The Source of the Quarry Stones.
In the construction industry, just like most sectors, there are a lot of unscrupulous people, scheming day and night on how to con you off your hard-earned money. It’s important that you look for a reliable and honest supplier of quarry stones. Some suppliers will sell you poor quality stones that will compromise the structural strength of your house and later cause dampness or cracks on your wall. Apart from poor quality you may receive less quantity of stones, than what you have paid for. In fact, it’s advisable that when you are going to buy building stones you go with a qualified person to confirm the QUALITY and QUANTITY of stones. You can also confirm quantity and quality of stones on site. Stones of poor quality should be rejected on site.
4. The Quantity of Stones.
Before making an order for stones, you need to get the services of a qualified person to help you calculate for you the right quantity of quarry stones required. Buying without getting the right quantity may be costly, because, you may over or under supply the stones.
5. The Cost of the Quarry Stones.
It’s important to shop around for the right kind of stones at a reasonable cost. There are several types of quarry stones across the country. Some may cost more than others because of transport. So ask around for a quarry near your construction site, it may save you some good money. Ask for the price of stone at the quarry and the cost of transporting the same to the site. This will help you to negotiate better.