Choosing the Right Time for Stonework

laying stonework

Choosing the Right Time for Stonework

Paving your driveway, garden path, or patio with stone can greatly enhance the visual appeal of your property. Sandstone and Yorkstone, specifically, are widely favoured options in the UK owing to their enduring charm and robustness. Nevertheless, the timing of when you undertake the installation of these stones can significantly impact the outcome of the project.

Late Spring to Early Summer

  • Favourable Weather: The period spanning from late April to early June is frequently distinguished by moderate temperatures. This timeframe offers an ideal climate, neither excessively cold to impede the setting process of mortar, nor excessively hot to induce rapid drying.
  • Ground Stability: During this period, the soil and groundwork typically exhibit stability, having effectively dispelled the surplus moisture from the winter precipitation. This guarantees a solid base for the stonework.

Early Autumn

  • Mild Temperatures: During the period from September to early October in the UK, the weather typically exhibits mild and stable characteristics. Similar to the late spring season, these climatic conditions are favourable for the process of mortar setting and guarantee a proper settling of the stone.
  • Preparation for Winter: Having your stonework completed during the early autumn season guarantees that it will be properly installed and undergo the necessary curing process prior to the arrival of the severe winter months. This precautionary measure safeguards the stonework from potential harm caused by frost.

Times to Approach with Caution


Although the temptation of extended periods of sunny weather may be enticing, the excessive heat can lead to the rapid drying of mortar. Consequently, this accelerated drying process has the potential to compromise the strength and durability of the stonework.


Frost poses a significant threat to the integrity of newly constructed stonework. The freezing of mortar can result in the formation of cracks and ultimately compromise the durability of the entire structure. It is generally advised against laying stone in freezing temperatures unless appropriate measures are taken to safeguard the work from the detrimental effects of frost.

During the winter season, the presence of damp and flooded soil may result in the displacement and instability of the stone foundation.

Heavy Rain Forecasts

Regardless of the current season, in the event of a forecast indicating heavy rainfall, it is advisable to postpone the process of laying stone. The presence of excessive water can compromise the integrity of the mortar mixture and result in an irregular placement of the stone.

Additional Considerations

  • Project Type: Whilst the guidelines are of a general nature, the specific nature of the stone project in question may also influence the timing thereof. For example, whilst it may be feasible to construct a dry stone wall under diverse weather conditions, projects that are reliant on mortar may be more susceptible to the effects of extreme weather conditions.
  • Professional Insight: If you’re engaging the services of professionals, their expertise and availability can offer valuable guidance. With their extensive experience in diverse circumstances, they can provide recommendations on the optimal commencement time for your project.
  • Material Availability: Occasionally, the beginning of a project may be dependent upon the accessibility of the desired stone. It is prudent to engage in practical planning, guaranteeing the preparedness and availability of your selected materials coinciding with favourable weather conditions.
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