STONE IN THE LANDSCAPE: Tectonix – a new name in stone for landscaping

Dave Stanger and Chris Frankland, the Directors of Tectonix

Dave Stanger (left) and Chris Frankland, the Directors of Tectonix.

Last year, two of Marshalls’ senior managers, Dave Sanger and Chris Frankland, decided there was room in the market to establish their own company to supply natural stone to the commercial and domestic landscaping markets. In June, Tectonix Natural Stone was born.

Between them, Chris and Dave have 35 years’ experience of supplying stone to the landscaping industry, Dave on the commercial side and Chris in the domestic sector. And Tectonix aims to use the full extent of the two men’s experience to supply both commercial and domestic projects.

On their website they say the company arose from “a deep-seated passion for natural stone, a passion for the beauty hard landscaping can provide, and a passion for delighting our customers”.

But delighting customers does not stop with stone. There has been a significant growth of the use of porcelain in landscaping in the past few years and while porcelain does not get a mention on the company’s website home page, it is there among the products.

Chris told NSS: “Dave and I are stone people; it’s the reason we got into this business. But there’s a desire and demand for porcelain, so we have a porcelain option.”

He says some people say the porcelain from one country is better than that from others, but Tectonix is finding the porcelain from developing countries it has had tested performs just as well as porcelain from established producers such as Italy, although Tectonix offers products from both.

Nevertheless, stone was the focus that led Chris and Dave into starting their own business. They say they had been talking about it for some years and it was Covid that gelled the idea into action by making them realise you don’t know what’s round the corner so if you want to do something you should get on with it.

Since forming the company Dave and Chris have been joined by another of their colleagues from Marshalls, Ashleigh McHale, who is Operations Manager and facilitating the projects in the business, freeing Chris and Dave to concentrate on customers.

Dave says: “Chris and I are people-led people.” What he means is they want to work with customers on projects, whether those projects are 20m2 patios or major town centre redevelopments, responding straight away to enquiries, sending out samples on the same day they are requested and providing quotes that are straight forward and easy to understand for products that are are perfectly suited for the intended application.

They have used their experience to source stones from all over the world, although they have concentrated on China, Europe and the UK in the main. They have lately found a new source of Yorkstone from a company that recently opened a small delve. They say the stone looks reclaimed, and although they did not set out with the idea of supplying reclaimed stone are happy to have found this distinctive product because they aim to be able to source just the right material for any project they are involved in. And, says Chris, to supply it “with a smile on our face – that’s lost sometimes.”

As they say on their website: “In a nutshell, we believe this is an industry where people and relationships matter, this is why we started Tectonix and in essence what we’re all about.” Dave says they used their relationships and “mined our own networks” to pick up a lot of momentum from people they know. Their first contracts have included the supply of granite for a £100,000 project by Murrill Construction for Watford Borough Council on Queens Road, Watford. The project (pictured on the left) is underway and due for completion in March this year.

With the government and Bank of England concerned about inflation and talking about recession there is a certain amount of doom and gloom about, although Chris says that is not reflected on a project by project basis as far as he is concerned. “I think this is going to be a better year than people think – there’s a momentum. We’re not focusing our energy on the negative.”

Queens Road, Watford

European stones Quinta Grey, Quita Buff and Vidmar Pink have been supplied by Tectonix for the refurbishment project in Queens Road, Watford.