Stone siding creates a timeless look with lasting quality, and homeowners can enjoy gorgeous textures and various color options made available with stonework. Choosing a stone pattern enhances the natural beauty of the landscape and highlights the home’s trim and features, all while creating a simple and ageless exterior appearance.
When considering stone as a siding, it’s important to know the facts; here are some of the pros, cons, and styling options available.
Stone siding comes with several excellent advantages.
When properly installed and cared for, stone siding can last a very long time. Manufactured and veneer stone options hold warranties ranging from 20 to 75 years with proper maintenance and care.
Homeowners should follow the manufacturer’s instructions for care over time, but even that is very low maintenance. For most stone options, a sealant should be applied about every five years for the best look and lifespan.
Suitable For Harsh Climates
Both natural and manufactured stone are resistant to harsh climates, making them a great fit for almost any region. Aside from being extremely durable against all adverse weather types, stone is naturally resistant to rot, insects, rodents, and other invasive species.
Because manufactured stone is typically made to be resistant to environmental dangers, as well as fire-resistant, both it and natural stone are equally strong choices.
Stone siding is a great choice for the energy-minded homeowner. It naturally seals in the cool air during the warm summer while blocking the chilly winds during winters. Stone siding may help homeowners to lower utility bills over its exceptional lifespan. Additionally, stone siding provides an excellent sound barrier in high traffic areas.
Here are a few disadvantages to consider when installing stone siding.
High Material and Installation Cost
Natural stone is among the most expensive of siding options. It can range in price from $35 to $50 per square foot installed, depending on factors such as the type of stone, material availability, size of the home, and current labor costs in the area. While this upfront expense is high, it includes an incomparable return on investment when considering future resale value and energy efficiency.
Cultured stone, typically a more affordable alternative to authentic stone, costs around $5 to $8 per square foot installed. This is partially due to its lighter weight, allowing easier transport and installation.
Stone veneer offers an affordable alternative to full stone siding by including thinly-cut stones to create the appearance of real stone without the added weight and laborious installation. Veneers typically cost an average of $11 per square foot installed, but may be more depending on the type of stone. These are often sold as sheets to place over another siding material.
Faux stone is a lightweight alternative and inexpensive option that usually costs between $6 and $9 per square foot. Like veneers, these panels must be applied over an underlayment material such as drywall or timber.
Heavy to Transport
Natural stone is among the heaviest of siding materials. This makes it difficult and expensive to ship, potentially limiting it to areas that are easily accessible by large transport vehicles.
Real or Manufactured Stone?
So, you’ve decided on stone siding for your house. Now what? Homeowners must first choose between real and manufactured stone.
Real stone offers the authentic and classic look of high-end design. However, it also comes with an expensive price tag due to the high cost of materials, labor, and transportation.
When it comes to maintenance, most natural stone will require a sealer to be applied at least once every five years. Homeowners should use neutral cleaners without harsh chemicals when washing off debris. Metal and wire brushes should not be used because they may potentially scratch the surface.
Homeowners can enjoy the look and feel of real stone siding for a lower cost by choosing manufactured stone. This is made from either cement or polyurethane material. It may be created in a variety of colors and shades and weighs much less than real stone, making it less expensive to transport.
After choosing either real or manufactured stone, homeowners can now select their design and installation method.
Full Stone Siding
For homeowners who want the natural beauty and durability of stone, full stone siding is the real deal. However, it is not the most practical option for those with a strict budget. It has high labor costs because it must be installed stone by stone. Those who choose full stone siding love it for its beauty and long lifespan.
Cultured Stone Siding
Cultured siding is an affordable alternative to full stone siding. Instead, it is manufactured stones that are cast from molds to replicate the look of stone siding. They are far lighter than real stone and easier to transport, but still require an extensive installation process.
Natural stone cladding, on the other hand, is cut and sold as large slabs. It is installed similarly to brick and is often in a tight, staggered pattern. Depending on the stone, it can offer a natural, rugged look or sleek and stylish aesthetic. It is easier to install than full stone siding, but the large size of the slabs make it close in cost for materials and installation.
Faux Stone Panel Siding
Manufactured stone is also available in polyurethane faux stone panels. These durable panels are created as a lightweight and easy-to-install alternative to real stone. By installing large panels rather than stone by stone, these panels offer easier installation and the same seamless look of real stone, not to mention the same level of home protection.
Veneer Panel Stone Siding
For homeowners who want the look of real stone but don’t want to break the bank, veneer panel stone siding is a better choice. It uses thin cuts of real stone that are set in panels that simply click into place. Similar to faux stone panels, these sheets create a simpler installation process and ready-made professional design.
Veneer panels offer the durability and longevity of natural stone without the hassle of installation at a fraction of the cost. Veneer is typically priced around the same as faux stone siding panels, but may be slightly more expensive due to the real stone.
Here are seven different types of natural stone to consider for a stylish home exterior. The type of stone can also limit the color availability.
Flint has maintained popularity since its early use in England due to its durability and longevity. It can easily be cut and arranged for a unique look. Today, flint is primarily sold in solid hues such as black, gray, tan, and blue.
For a speckled, natural look, granite is a top choice stone. As one of the hardest stones on the market, granite is known for extreme durability. It offers a lovely appearance flecked with colors, widely available in pink, white, and in variations of gray and black. The swirled grainy appearance can be left in its natural rough state or polished to create a sleek and smooth surface.
Limestone is an ideal choice for exterior cladding because it weathers nicely over time and gives the siding character. It is easily sculpted to fit any aesthetic and its light in coloring offers a unique elegance and bright appearance.
Travertine is a type of limestone known for its distinctive character and unique swirl patterns. It is formed by mineral deposits from natural hot springs, boasting simple cream-colored tones and gorgeous patterns. Travertine, unlike standard limestone, is available in a variety of colors like pink, orange, and gray.
Known for its distinctive and classic look, marble is often associated with high-end luxury homes. When used on the exterior of a home, marble requires extra maintenance to maintain its gorgeous and glossy appearance. It offers unparalleled durability and longevity if well-maintained. Marble’s polished appearance comes in a variety of colors to match any home aesthetic, from gray to brown, purple to pink, and even two-toned combinations.
Widely popular in sunny climates, sandstone has a reflective quality which creates a unique appearance. It can easily be cut into any desired style. Sandstone is also available in a wide variety of colors ranging from neutrals to bold hues, including but not limited to white, orange, yellow, pink, and purple.
Similar to marble in its appearance and durability, quartzite can add a touch of high-end style and the appearance of luxury to your home. If well-maintained, quartzite can last years and stay in excellent condition. It has a slight reflective property that gently sparkles in the light. It can be found in an array of colors including gray, white, blue, pink, purple, and brown.
Stone Siding is for Any Home
Stone siding can fit with any home’s style. Some homeowners select irregular and rough textures to invoke a rustic vibe for a woodland or country home. Polished and smooth marble panels can make a subtle statement for your high-end, luxury estate. Aged limestone creates a classic look to your Southwest-style aesthetic, while evenly-spaced quartz panels can give your Colonial-style home a fresh, distinctive look. With so many stone siding options, the design possibilities are endless!
Melanie Theriault is a writer, counselor, and lifelong learner. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from Southwestern University, where she discovered her passion for fostering human connection through storytelling.