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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a Contractor who has never laid a bit of stone. Generally, pretty smart when it comes to new projects. I have a customer who trusts noone else in their home to do work. They have a fireplace that is to be covered with Stoneworks Autumn and Buckeye fieldstone. I understand the wood sheeting exterior, tar paper, and lathe. My question is... without having experience in properly mixing mortars, is their a ready mix for the scratch coat and installation mortar that I can use to prevent the possibility of wrongly mixing these two?
 

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I am a Contractor who has never laid a bit of stone. Generally, pretty smart when it comes to new projects. I have a customer who trusts noone else in their home to do work. They have a fireplace that is to be covered with Stoneworks Autumn and Buckeye fieldstone. I understand the wood sheeting exterior, tar paper, and lathe. My question is... without having experience in properly mixing mortars, is their a ready mix for the scratch coat and installation mortar that I can use to prevent the possibility of wrongly mixing these two?
Get a qualified mason to do the work, or tell the HO, which I would imagine is you, that you will not touch it and need to hire a qualified mason.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
No Mr. 6 string, I am not the home owner. This customer is one of those Bread and Butter customers that you definitely want to take care of. I understand the point of view regarding a "Qualified Mason". Maybe I should have elaborated on the project. It is a Fireplace with about 12' of corner stones and maybe 50 sq ft' of field stone. Knowing the time of year and economy in the state that is still in, contractors would like to get every job they have a chance to get. After calling quite a few masons in the area, nobody is really interested in a project this small. Plus I would have to BABYSIT the contractor to make the Customer happy. That means that I am not making money on a job that I need to be on in order to get the task completed. Therefore, with it being so small, I figure the best way to please them, and close the bid (without the overhead of a sub-contractor, leaving hardly any for profit margin) I would try to do it myself. Now, after explaining a litle bit about the situation, do you have "any other ideas"
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I thought these forums were for suggestions and help topics, not for typing useless jargon.No not overwhelmed, just have enough business smarts to research something before I go into a job blind, and end up losing money. I have read quite a few of the threads and have come up with probably 4-5 different mixture ratios: thus giving me a reason to inquire about premixed formulas.
 

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there are several premixed mortors call the local masonry supplies as a lines are different geographicaly......

if the customer is truly near and dear to you id still say call a pro
 

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there are several premixed mortors call the local masonry supplies as a lines are different geographicaly......
And your trade is tile stone masonry? Pfft :no:. This is why I get pissed off on this site. Youre a hack or a wannabe. Masonry isnt even my trade...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I can understand your point Tulsa, But do "you" have a proper mixture ratio for scratch coat mud and mortar? I haven't seen too many suggestions in your posts either! except maybe in the 81' Firebird or whatever topic, which fits very well in a Contractor Forum
 

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Valtman, please step back and take a look at what you're saying.

You have a customer that you want to take care of-that means to me that you are looking for future work from him/her. The ABSOLUTE BEST way to take care of them is to bring in someone who knows how to do it.

If they trust you, they will trust your judgement.

If your intent is to score a larger job later, your time will be well spent "babysitting" the experienced mason.
 

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I can understand your point Tulsa, But do "you" have a proper mixture ratio for scratch coat mud and mortar? I haven't seen too many suggestions in your posts either! except maybe in the 81' Firebird or whatever topic, which fits very well in a Contractor Forum
This is so easy, go with a higher cement ratio if in doubt. You happy now? Geeze man, think. Its not rocket science. Do a minute bit of research.
 

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No Mr. 6 string, I am not the home owner. This customer is one of those Bread and Butter customers that you definitely want to take care of. I understand the point of view regarding a "Qualified Mason". Maybe I should have elaborated on the project. It is a Fireplace with about 12' of corner stones and maybe 50 sq ft' of field stone. Knowing the time of year and economy in the state that is still in, contractors would like to get every job they have a chance to get. After calling quite a few masons in the area, nobody is really interested in a project this small. Plus I would have to BABYSIT the contractor to make the Customer happy. That means that I am not making money on a job that I need to be on in order to get the task completed. Therefore, with it being so small, I figure the best way to please them, and close the bid (without the overhead of a sub-contractor, leaving hardly any for profit margin) I would try to do it myself. Now, after explaining a litle bit about the situation, do you have "any other ideas"
I find it hard to believe that noone wants this job, regardless of how small it is. If it were me I'd take it in a second. I could make $500 or $600 in a short day and be done with it. Put a post on craigslist. You'll have masons calling you all hours of the night trying to get this work.

Theres more to laying stone than just the mix ration. Knowing when and how to tool the joints is one of the most important things. If you mess that up, all is lost and you start over from scratch. And I can tell you from past experience that its not fun taking off fake stone and then have to put it back on.

Theres also the trying to keep them clean in the process of putting them on. I've seen people who thought it was easy trying to do it. They usually end up with more mortar on the face of the stone than behind it.

But if you insist on doing it yourself, for with a type N mortar, add some portland, and about 20 shovels of sand. Mix it to your desired consistency, and start the abomination.

Please take and post pictures of during and after.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
RSELCTRIC- definitely understood. Those type of customers you do not want to upset, perform shotty work, or be dishonest to them. These have been LOYAL customers of mine for about 2 years. It is a 100 year old home. After new custom windows, two antique bathroom with all the vintage extras, Complete 3000 sqft of african maple floors ( a little bit of duraceramic thrown in) Custom beams w/ t & g wainscoting ceilings, wallpaper throughout, custom kitchen, two tiered deck, and a wine cellar, we have been trusted with everything that goes on in this house. I would definitely hate to lose this customer. Thats why i joined this site, to get answers from reliable sources. The Husband wants to get his Parlor complete by stoning his fireplace. He only wants me to do it or he will just pass. I guess the main question then is, is cultured stone that difficult to install that a Nitpicker contractor cant install 50 sq ft of it. BTW thanks for you imput RSELECTRIC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
6String- See thats what im talking about, knowledgeable advise.:clap: Yes, having ample experience with tile, I know how important the clean work aspect is to these type of jobs. I will try the Craigs list thing. Definitely checking insurance, comp, and references, due to getting "wanna bes/ hacks" as Tulsa put it, in the past. Having someone doing a small job can cause a huge amount of damage to the customer relations department if you know what I mean.
 

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Dont listen to 6stringmason, if you get the mixture right, whatever your laying will set itself and and almost selfclean too. Masonry is easy and almost idiot proof.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Thats one section in the DIY videos and brochures I forget to pay attention to, The self cleaning characteristics to Stone/Brick/Block. I'm gonna go back and watch that video now, thanks, Tulsa. I thought sissies were they guys who hide behind Pit Bulls. Are you jealous of a real tradesman's salary? I will pay a tradesman his self due compared to a handyman (sorry-remodeler) anyday.
 

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I had a mason friend once, you guys are overpaid sissies. He had bigass forearms but those were probably mostly fat.
Judging by how you talk I can see why you only had a mason friend once. :whistling:laughing:
 
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