Do you ever look at your home and think, "I am so tired of the way my house looks!"? Well, there is an easy and relatively inexpensive way you can create a fresh, new look by simply adding a stone veneer accent to the exterior of your home.
Manufactured Stone Veneer
The least expensive way to add a stone accent to your home's façade is by using a manufactured stone. This product goes by a lot of different names (architectural stone, simulated stone, etc.), but in essence, it's a concrete product made to look like natural stone. The advantage of this type of product over a true natural stone veneer is that it is much lighter weight, is easier to install and is available in a wide variety of colors and styles.
There are a lot of brands of manufactured stone on the market today – do your homework before selecting one, because they are not all created equally! Look at the texture, color blends and stone style, preferably on an existing job or sample wall as opposed to relying only on a small sample board. The goal is obviously to simulate the look of natural stone as closely as possible and some brands do a better job of this than others. Blue Max Materials carries Glen-Gery Landmark Stone because it does a great job mimicking natural stone; visitors to our showrooms often have a very difficult time determining which walls were veneered in natural stone and which were done with Glen-Gery Landmark Stone!
Where can I use a Manufactured Stone?
Because of its lighter weight, with proper surface preparation, manufactured stone can be applied onto existing wood, concrete block or brick. This makes it suitable to use not only on exterior applications like home accents or structures (fireplaces, outdoor kitchens, columns, etc.), but also on interior projects like a fireplace renovation or adding a stone wall to a kitchen. The stone comes in boxes that cover roughly 10 – 12 square feet, so they are manageable to lift and move close to the work area, both indoors and outdoors.
One Harrisburg area homeowner has undertaken a major renovation project and has chosen to use the Glen-Gery Landmark Stone in a Ledgestone style and Ashford color. He is using it as an accent in a couple of different places on the front of his house, first to replace some existing vinyl siding near his front door and second on the front of a new addition. The homeowner elected to hire Tommy Whitlow's crew from McGee Brothers Masonry to do the work instead of attempting the project on his own.
How is manufactured stone installed?
Whether you choose to use a manufactured stone veneer project yourself or hire it out, you should still have a basic understanding of the process.
1. Surface preparation
a. Manufactured stone can be applied directly over existing concrete block or brick. Just make sure the surface is clean and free of debris.
b. When applying over a wood surface, steps are needed to protect the wood from water damage and to allow mortar to adhere to the wall:
Allow the scratch to dry completely – often the scratch coat is applied one day and the stone veneer is started the following day.
2. Select pieces to adhere to your wall. The pieces are obviously irregularly shaped to simulate natural stone, so it will take trial and error as well as some chipping and sawing to get pieces to fit together well. Think of it like a free-form jigsaw puzzle!
3. Apply mortar to the back of pieces of manufactured stone and put in place on wall. Once you put a piece on the wall, hold it in place for a few seconds and tap it to make sure it is adhering all over – then don't try to move it again or you will break the mortar bond. Step back often to make sure the overall look is pleasing to you. It's very easy to get going and not realize you are running crooked or using too many of similar sized pieces next to one another until it's too late.
4. Specially made corner pieces are also available to match each type of Glen-Gery Landmark Stone style. These enable you to wrap around corners more easily with a beautiful, finished look.
For more information, contact Blue Max Materials at 704-821-2426 or on the web at www.bluemaxmaterials.com.