General characteristics :- A good building stones should have following characteristics :-
Appearance :- The stone to be used for face work must have a uniform and pleasing colour.It must be free from cavities , cracks , flaws and patches of loose and soft material etc.
Strength :- A good building stone should have sufficient crushing strength to withstand the load of superstructure .In general ,it should not be less than 1000 kg /cm2
Hardness ,toughness and resistance to abrasion :-The stone to be used in stairs ,pavements ,as railway ballast or road metal must be sufficiently hard, tough and resistance to abrasion ,it must be able to resist wear and tear .
Durability :- A good building stone must be durable enough to resist the effect of weathering agencies e.g . Rain ,wind, temperature etc. It should have fine grained ,compact and crystalline structure.
Texture :- A good building stone should have a close grained and compact texture .
Seasoning :- The stone to be used for an important interior works should well seasoned . Presence of moisture makes the stone soft and it is liable to an early decay when used in structural works .
Workability :- The stone to be used for ornamental carving and architectural appearance , should be easily and economically dressed.
Porosity :- A good building stone should be less porous . It should not absorb more then 5% of water .Any stone absorbing 10% of water should be rejected .
Resistance to fire :- A good building stone should be able to resist high temperature . Its mineral constitutes should have equal co-efficient of expansion .
Specific gravity :- The stone to be used on heavy engineering works ,docks ,harbours, gravity dams etc. must have high specific gravity . It varies from 2.4 to 2.8 .