Forticrete’s Hand Made Stone

Forticrete’s Hand Made Stone

John Lambert, General Manager at Forticrete, discusses how high quality, handmade cast stone provides an ideal solution for adding individual character and definition to a home, without increasing lead times.

It’s the little details which make a house a home and owners are increasingly looking for the exterior of their properties to differentiate from the next.

The challenge for the professional builder is to meet this growing trend for individuality, in a cost-effective way, without compromising on quality.

More than 475,000 new homes in England and Wales have planning permission but are yet to be built, 25 per cent higher than five years ago (Glenigan).

However, with the government announcing a new Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill to ensure that new housing can commence without unnecessary delay, the number of new homes built should see an upturn throughout the remainder of 2016.

Over the past decade, new build projects have seen many contemporary designs and innovations, including the use of large expanses of glazing, distinct right angles and steel cladding.

However, there are those who still prefer to design with traditional natural products that create a heritage look.

3To create distinctive design touches when undertaking new build projects, more and more professional builders are turning to detailing building components to enhance the kerb appeal of their homes, particularly at the front of their properties.

Examples include creating feature windows with a mix of heads, cills, mullions and jambs creating attractive window surrounds or welcoming entrance ways incorporating specially crafted porticos, porch and door surrounds.

Traditionally supplied in natural stone or brick, professional builders are increasingly opting for beautifully crafted cast stone components, a perfect example of time-honoured craftsmanship and technology working together in perfect harmony.

An Ideal Solution

Manufactured from high grade limestone and sandstone aggregates, cements, pigments and waterproofing agents, in accordance with the current British, European and the UKCSA standards, cast stone is the ideal material to add these finishing and traditional touches.

Cast stone has long been perceived to be prone to damage causing many to opt against specifying the material. This is because in many instances it is poorly manufactured resulting in damage which becomes visible in the first couple of days from manufacture.

It is during this time that it is often packed and sealed for distribution and as a result, it’s only upon delivery that any potential damage is revealed.

However, cast stone can be produced to a high quality. With that in mind, it is vital that builders and developers ensure they’re sourcing cast stone from suppliers that are prematurely aging the product to improve early handling thanks to innovative curing methods.

For the professional builder looking to reflect their individual tastes in their material choices, they should also look to specify quality cast stone that is manufactured by hand using highly skilled craftsmen that carefully produce each piece in-house using a semi-dry or wet cast format.

As the cast stone is manufactured by hand, craftsmen are able to produce a wide range of bespoke cast stone products with ease, providing builders and developers with the personalisation they crave for their homes.

With speed of delivery of paramount importance for both builders and developers, having regular items made at popular sizes, available for delivery anywhere within the UK within a week, eliminates the inconvenience of long lead-times.

Through-coloured cast stone components, just like natural stone, can be dressed on site to suit individual requirements whilst retaining the original colour and texture.

In work at The DriveRegional Variances

Suitable for timber frame or conventional brick and block construction, cast stone detailing components are available in a range of colours each created to match regional differences in natural stone colour.

From the white limestone of York to the honey coloured walls of Bath and the reddish hues of sandstone that make Chester so distinctive, each region has its own distinct stone, synonymous with the area.

However, bespoke cast stone components can also be created to meet design requirements.. Unusual sizes, intricate or irregular shapes and precise matches for special colours and textures, this flexibility gives maximum design freedom to create stand out detailing for builders and developers.

Put to the Test

Showing just how high performance cast stone detailing can make a dramatic difference to the overall appearance of a building, they were recently successfully installed on to a stunning new home in Ickenham, Uxbridge.

The property, which comprises four bedrooms, six bathrooms and two reception rooms, incorporates cast stone detailing components from Forticrete including cills, decorative heads and copings to provide decorative finishing touches to the deluxe home’s roofs edges and windows, while harmonising the grand property with its local surroundings.

As such, incorporating additional decorative detailing into the design of the home was essential to deliver a stimulating finish in-keeping with the local area.

However, with such products traditionally requiring a number of weeks for delivery, a high quality off-the-shelf solution ensuring the project was completed without delay was vital.

Readily available for prompt delivery, Forticrete’s cast stone components provided the ideal solution, ensuring that the property truly stood out from the crowd.

A Simple Solution

To provide high quality, distinctive touches to a new build project, builders and developers needn’t look further than beautifully crafted cast stone components.

However, it is essential that to add the desired individual character to their properties, they turn to cast stone that is manufactured by hand with time honoured craftsmanship and manufacturing quality.

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