Do You Dream of Better Outdoor Spaces?

Making the most of our outdoor living spaces is a trend that grows stronger year by year. There’s never been a better variety of materials available to bring outdoor dreams to life, says Andy Benson, president of Benson Stone Co., 1100 11th St., Rockford.

A Rockford staple for more than eight decades, Benson Stone offers one-stop shopping for all things outdoors-related, including a huge variety of stone materials, from pebbles to boulders and pavers to composite materials.

Benson, who joined his family’s company more than 30 years ago, says his team makes every effort to stay ahead of trends.

“These extended outdoor living spaces have really grown in popularity and so have outdoor fireplaces,” says Benson. “We can build them up with landscape block, brick or stone. Sometimes we use a metal-framed unit with stucco and stone.”

Both natural and man-made composite materials have advantages. Benson’s professionals help customers to understand the benefits or drawbacks of each.

With a variety of materials available and a list of trusted contractors, homeowners have a ready partner at Benson Stone. Some projects are not as easy as they look on TV. Many people watch home improvement shows and get grandiose ideas about tackling difficult projects on their own, Benson says.

“You need to know how to do it right if you’re going to take on these types of projects yourself,” says Benson. “We have a couple of people in the landscape department who’ve been doing this for decades. These are people who have been through training many times with the manufacturers, and it’s what they literally do all day long. We do quite a bit of advising homeowners. Our staff is well informed, and is happy to share that knowledge.” ❚