Real Stone Has No Equal, But Stone Veneer Will Suffice For Most Homeowners
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If you're looking for home cladding that provides a little more of a "wow" factor, give stone siding a look. And for homeowners who think stone is out of their price range, stone veneer, manufactured stone, or a stone accent wall can cut costs while still making an impression.
Reasons to Install Stone Siding
The benefits of real stone siding include the following:
- Rock of Ages: The stone that's used for siding was formed below the earth's surface under intense heat and pressure, ensuring that anything Mother Nature can dish out above the surface - sun, precipitation, wind, hail, freezing cold, and even fire - will be easily turned aside.
- Set It and Forget It: Installing stone siding is one of the most difficult and labor-intensive home improvement projects out there. But once the job is done, you'll enjoy a siding that requires virtually no maintenance and should easily last for your lifetime and beyond. In fact, some of the world's oldest standing structures are made from stone.
- Style That Isn't Set in Stone: Pick a rock...any rock...for your new siding. While popular choices include granite, sandstone, and limestone, anything that's been quarried is available for your home's exterior. Further customization is possible by selecting stone that's rough cut, more refined, or rounded.
Natural Stone Siding Alternatives
Although there's no such thing as stone siding on a budget, there are two less-costly options: stone veneer and manufactured stone.
The key thing to keep in mind with this product is that it is real stone. Where it differs from traditional stone siding is thickness: stone veneer uses thin slices of stone, rather than whole rocks. Because you're paying less for not only materials, but also labor (stone veneer siding is much easier to handle and install), overall project costs dip significantly.
Also known as synthetic stone or cultured stone, this material is made of cement, sand, and aggregate. Pressed and formed in rock-shaped molds and available in many shapes, sizes, textures, and colors, most cultured stone products do an excellent job of imitating the real thing. As with stone veneer, lower material and labor costs make manufactured stone siding a more economical option.
Stone Siding Costs
- For natural stone siding, expect to pay between $15 and $35 per square foot installed. For a typical two-story home with 1,500 exterior square feet, that's a total estimated cost of $22,500-$52,500.
- Stone veneer siding costs $12 to $25 per square foot installed (or $18,000-$37,500 for the same two-story home).
- Synthetic stone siding costs $10 to $20 per square foot installed ($15,000-$30,000).
- Bear in mind that actual costs can vary significantly based on the type and quality of the product selected, local labor and material costs, home size and layout, and whether additional work - i.e. removing and disposing of existing siding and repairing exterior walls - is required.
- While paying upwards of $50,000 for new siding might seem unrealistic, don't forget that a stone accent wall will only cost a fraction of an entire stone exterior.
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