January is usually a slow month for a natural stone paving supplier. This year we were all prepared for another freezing winter and instead we got the wettest January on record which has been painful for everybody involved in the hard landscaping industry. Luckily, January is always a good month for us to get things done behind the scenes before things begin to get busy in March and this year has been no exception.
Bespoke Stone Masonry
There have been some really big developments in our bespoke stone masonry operation. Shortly before Christmas we moved the entire operation to a large indoor warehouse and having now settled into the new factory we are already starting to see some improvements in the production of our bespoke stone. As well as moving the factory we have also added some brand new equipment.
Cutting natural stone requires huge volumes of water to suppress dust and to prevent the cutting blades from overheating. We have just installed a sludge press which removes all the dust from the water so it can be re-used. Not only does this save money on water bills, its also a much more sustainable and environmentally friendly method of production. The quality of the recycled water is so good that we can even use it to operate our jet washes.
We have also just installed a new edge profiling machine. The edge profiling machine will be used to add edge profiles to the bespoke stone steps, coping stones, pool surrounds and pier caps that we produce. This new edge profiling machine is a huge improvement on the existing machine. One advantage of the new machine is that we no longer need to change the edge profile over manually, the new machine will automatically change the profile from a bullnose to a pencil round or chamfer. This saves a lot of down time and also saves time for the person operating the machine. The best feature though about this new machine is that as well as adding an edge profile it will also calibrate the stone at the same time. There is always slight variation in the thickness of natural stone, even in sawn stone. While this may be acceptable in paving it can cause a problem in steps and coping stones which for aesthetic reasons all need to be the same thickness. After adding the edge profile this new machine will then calibrate the front edge of the step or coping stone which result in all the coping stones or steps being exactly the same thickness. This makes for a better quality product and a faster and more efficient installation.
The stone masonry department are currently working on some really large Yorkstone Paving projects at the moment and moving across to the new factory has really improved the overall efficiency of the stone masonry department.
There have been loads of developments at our natural stone showrooms. We recently announced that we would be opening up a new showroom over in Essex. Steve Goulds, who is currently a sales adviser at our West London Showroom has been promoted to showroom manager and will be in charge of the new showroom over in Essex. This gives us a lot of pleasure because we always want our staff to be able to progress through the company. We also welcome Chris Durnsford to London Stone, Chris joins our West London sales team and with a background in estimating is quality addition to the West London team.
The weather has played a big part in the lives of our showroom staff this winter. We have had so much rain over at out Kent showroom that our display pond has overflowed onto our nice display of sawn paving. The high winds we experienced before Christmas tore down all our timber screens and kept us busy with repair work
Our showroom staff are reporting lots of enquiries for steps and copings and we are also seeing lots of demand for our Portuguese limestone products after we have finally addressed the supply issues we had with these products throughout 2013. Click here to see our range of Portuguese limestone products. We have been seeing lots of visitors to our showrooms throughout January which bodes well and is a sure sign that the economy is finally on the up
We are doing loads of work at our head office. Moving the stone masonry department to our new factory has created loads of additional space at our depot and we are currently re-organizing our stocks of paving to make more efficient use of the space. We have installed a diesel tank because our drivers were spending so much time at petrol stations.
Kayleigh, our head office manager has also been working very hard on getting our back log of sample boxes cleared. They have been a real hit with our trade clients and we hope to have the backlog cleared within a couple of weeks. Also we are always clearing old stocks of paving on eBay for people who are looking for a deal
We are also going to be stocking a limited range of 50mm thick material, mainly in granite paving and sawn sandstone. This is due to demand from some of our commercial clients
That's all for now. For any information about London Stone please get in touch with us: firstname.lastname@example.org