When it comes to improving your home’s interior, you can never go wrong with stone! Whether it be your living room, hallway, kitchen, or backyard, stone can significantly impact the appearance of your space. Stone is a timeless element in contemporary interiors—its features make for a beautiful design that many homeowners can’t help but gravitate to.

Stone is powerful. When you design your space right, the characteristics of stone could help create a space that feels elegant, natural, and inviting, all at the same time. Unfortunately, although widely appreciated, not every homeowner has access to authentic natural stone.

Many agree that natural stone is beautiful, but some would think twice about buying it due to its steep price. However, just because natural stone is way above your budget doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to your dream interior. Thanks to stone veneer, you can turn the vision for your home into a reality!

What Is Stone Veneer?

Also referred to as faux stone or cast stone, stone veneer is a type of stonework that serves as an excellent alternative to natural stone. By mixing cement, pigments, and natural aggregates, you’ll end up with a beautiful result that can fool the naked eye into thinking that the material is derived from the expensive original.

Many tend to think that artificial means poor, but stone veneer may just change your mind! With this artificial stone, you can transform your interior and elevate its appearance just as a natural stone would.

What Are the Benefits of Stone Veneer?

Of course, anyone would opt for real natural stone, but this isn’t always possible. Fortunately, thanks to stonework professionals’ creative and practical minds, they’ve developed stone veneer, which eliminates the inhibitions one might have with natural stone. Still, it replicates the beauty that you fell in love with.

Some of the many benefits of opting for stone veneers include:

  1. Cost Savings

Natural stone is beautiful as it is expensive. Depending on how much stone you want for your interior, you could end up more than you’re comfortable with if you’re firm on sticking to natural stone.

On the other hand, stone veneer provides a cost-effective way of beautifying your space without forgetting your budget. With stone veneers, you won’t have to worry about a hefty price tag or expensive shipping—you’ll get to have a beautiful stone element for your home without much expense!

  1. Easy Installation

Unlike natural stone that is incredibly heavy to move around, stone veneer is easy to install anywhere you wish. Using stone veneers eliminates the possibility of compatibility problems; this material can easily cover a variety of surfaces, such as cement, brick, wood, and more.

  1. Excellent Flexibility

Unfortunately, natural stone has its limitations. Although you can install it on a curved surface, you’ll have to spend a significant amount of time and effort to accomplish the task. With stone veneers, you can cover curved surfaces in just a fraction of time than you would if you used natural stone! As long as you leave the job to an experienced professional who uses the right tools, stone veneer can be placed on any less-than-level surfaces.


Natural stone can be an excellent addition to any home, but it’s not a practical choice for many homeowners. Fortunately, stone veneers allow anyone to easily incorporate stone elements into their interior without sacrificing their budget! With the right manufacturer and planning, you’re sure to have a home that feels comfortable and looks visually pleasing!

If you’re looking for the best stonework in Toronto, you’ve come to the right place! At Red Robin Masonry, we’re equipped to build full walls of houses or buildings, retaining walls, flagstone patios and more using natural stone or veneer stone. Request a quote today!

How to Avoid Chimney Repair Scams: Helpful Tips to Follow

Chimney problems aren’t always obvious. Additionally, not all homeowners are completely knowledgeable about their chimneys. These reasons led to the growing popularity of chimney cleaning and repair scams.

Scammers operate by telling homeowners they are in imminent danger of a carbon monoxide leak or other problems that require an immediate solution. This causes feelings of panic and fear to homeowners, leading them to pay a handsome amount in exchange for supposedly fast and effective service. Thankfully, preventing falling victim to a scam like this is possible by being knowledgeable. Here are ways to avoid being ripped off by chimney repair scammers:

  • Do Online Research

Before deciding to work with any chimney specialist, look them up online. Take the time to look at their online profiles and read client testimonials to have an idea of the quality of their work.

Pay attention to reviews. It can be a major red flag if a company has no reviews, despite being in the industry for a long time. It’s also best to stay away from a company with multiple negative reviews.

Go instead for a professional with a well-established online profile and a high number of positive reviews. They should also be bonded and insured to ensure you are protected against different potential problems. If possible, ask for proof of insurance before working with a company.

  • Get a Second Quote

Don’t settle for the first company that offers the lowest quote. Shop around, get second (or multiple) quotes before working with them, and compare those quotes with one another.

Beware of unreasonable quotes. Too high and too-good-to-be-true prices both signify that something’s wrong. For this reason, check the average going rate for a chimney rebuild, chimney removal, and other basic services to ensure to get the best deal possible.

  • Ask For Proof of Damage

Chimneys are difficult to access, and many homeowners have no definite way to see if there is actually something wrong with them. This is why they usually rely on chimney specialists to determine if they need repairs. However, not every chimney professional is trustworthy. Some of them are scammers.

To prevent making unnecessary payments, ask for proof of damage before agreeing to extensive chimney repairs. Request for a photo of the area that needs repairs or try to see the damage yourself. This type of repair can be pricey, which is why homeowners have to make sure they are getting their money’s worth.

  • Take Your Time

While faulty chimneys are best repaired immediately, never hire a chimney specialist in a hurry. Additionally, don’t let any company pressure you into agreeing to their services right away. As much as possible, take the time to do thorough online research and get multiple quotes from different companies. Doing this increases the chances of choosing the right contractor.


Scam artists are getting more creative and clever than ever. For instance, they will use pictures of someone else’s chimney or make problems up to make homeowners pay for services they don’t even need. Avoid becoming a victim of these common chimney repair scams by following these tips.

If you need chimney repair services, then you’ve come to the right place. We are Red Robin Masonry, and you can count on us to keep your chimney up and running in no time. Contact us to request a quote!

You may be unaware of when you should be repointing or replacing brickwork. When masonry is deteriorating, it indicates the possibility of more serious issues. But at the get-go, you must know that not every masonry is as strong as it appears. In some cases, it could be prone to failure if they’re not properly cared for. With the help of brick repair services and professional advice, you can assess accurately. Here are some signs that brickwork should be replaced:

The Rusty Brick

Damaged brickwork may allow additional moisture into your home or risk the wall’s structural soundness. Sometimes, masonry adapts to damage organically over time, especially if it contains lime mortar. Due to this, broken bricks may require removal and replacement.

The Incorrect Pointing

Perhaps the masonry was pointed in such a way that it inadvertently damaged the wall. This is possible if modern cement mortar is utilised instead of traditional lime mortar. Modern mortars may be able to hold moisture and keep it from evaporating through joints, but this would force moisture into the brick faces, where it may freeze and destroy the bricks.

The Efflorescence

Efflorescence refers to white deposits that form on brickwork as a result of rising salt-containing water. The good news is that efflorescence almost never causes structural damage to brickwork. However, if the way the bricks are manufactured contributes to efflorescence, replacing them may be the best option.

The Filthy or Burnt Surface

Cleaning brickwork must be done correctly. Otherwise, you run the risk of damaging the masonry. For one, aggressive chemical cleaning would be required to remove the burnt surface of the brick, but it may leave stains. The use of water causes efflorescence. If you’re new to this process, begin with a small area when deciding on a larger one.

The Dampness

When water moves from a high location, such as your roof and into your home, in your home to a low position can also cause penetrating dampness. Dampness may become more noticeable as your wood flooring is deteriorating or your plaster is cracking.

Questions To Ask Yourself:

  • Is it possible to turn the brick around?

If the brick’s outside has worn away, remove it and reinstall it in the wall to reveal the brick’s reverse. This is a fantastic method for preserving old structures since it keeps the bricks uniform and adds beauty.

  • Is the Structure Built in a Sustainable Way?

If the entire structure is unstable, whether leaning, bowing, or otherwise, the entire wall may need to be replaced.

  • How Much Damage Is There?

Understanding what is causing the damage to your bricks may help you decide whether to repair or replace the structure. The critical step is to address the root cause to avoid recurring problems.


When you look out for the warning signs, the better your chances of detecting and preventing problems. Water damage, crumbling mortar, and mortar fractures are all classic indicators of a problem. And, of course, the goal is to repair the mortar before it causes damage to the brickwork. So be attentive to the details. This will help you in the long run!

Are you looking for masonry services in Toronto? Red Robin Masonry has a track record of being the best in the field. We offer first-class tools, industry expertise, and well-trained professionals. Don’t hesitate to call us and get your free estimate today!

Retaining walls are often an essential part of landscaping. The primary purpose of a retaining wall is to hold soil behind it. But there can be many benefits to a retaining wall. For instance, they can improve accessibility, add value to formally unusable properties, and visually enhance a particular space.

While the concept of a retaining wall may seem simple, a few things could go wrong if you’re not careful. Here are some of the most common mistakes you can make when building a retaining wall.

Not Hiring a Professional to Design the Wall

There’s more to building a retaining wall than just stacking some concrete blocks. Certain engineering science is involved to ensure that the hydrostatic pressure of the water-laden soil does not end up destroying the wall. By underestimating the engineering involved and designing the wall yourself without professional help, you will most likely end up with a poorly engineered wall. So, it’s best to leave the designing of the retaining wall to the professionals.

Failure to Procure a Permit

In most places, you will need to procure a building permit before you can start work on the retaining wall. However, in some instances, additional requirements may need to be met. For example, you might need to get permits from the community level to the municipal level. Permits from state environmental agencies may also be required.

Improper Wall Construction

When you don’t focus enough on the wall construction, your retaining wall may structurally fail over time. In fact, retaining walls are known for being one of the most frequently ruined construction projects.

There are several mistakes in construction that you could make. For one, not using the correct specialized techniques for your material of choice could be disastrous. To help you avoid this mistake, here are some tips you must be aware of.

When building a stone wall, you’ll need to have a sloped back and other specialized skills. For concrete walls, sufficient rebar is necessary. And for wooden walls, you’ll need to have dead-man anchors. Segmented walls, on the other hand, would require a geogrid to tie them back to the ground. And in general, you must have a well-compacted base and a properly done footer.

Poor Drainage

As mentioned before, hydrostatic pressure could easily destroy your retaining walls. Thus, it’s important to have adequate drainage to relieve this pressure. This is especially true when working with non-pervious walls, such as brick, brick veneer, concrete, and mortared stone.

Typically, retaining walls would require outlet points, a gravel envelope, subsurface drainage along the bottom, and weep drains at the appropriate intervals. But if you have a segmented wall, you may be more at ease when it comes to drainage. This is because segmented walls are dry-stacked and allow the water to flow through.

In Summary

Retaining walls are often one of the most frequently botched construction projects due to the number of things that could go wrong. To ensure your retaining walls can stand strong and firm, you must never underestimate the engineering involved, pay attention to the construction, and provide adequate drainage. And, of course, don’t forget to procure the appropriate permits to start on your project.

Put up a well-designed and well-constructed retaining wall with the help of Red Robin Masonry. We are an award-winning company that provides masonry services in Toronto with a full warranty. At Red Robin Masonry, our top priority is to bring you the quality and service you deserve. Get a quote now!