Stone facades or stone veneers, as some call it, are just glamorous. They make any standard concrete wall shine with immense curb appeal. In fact, it seems to add to the beautiful masonry of a finely-designed house. It is amazing that with just a little bit of DIY, you can put up a stone facade in every area of your home. Whether you have a surplus of stones or just want to make your home look more amazing, here is an in-depth guide to adding stone facade to front of house.
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Why Consider Adding Stone Facade to Front of House?
Yes, stone facades make any home beautiful and add to its curb appeal. The stones give the walls a texture that makes it look so photogenic, it helps improve its chances of being sold (if you’re selling the property, that is).
It also helps improve your home’s overall property value not just because it looks beautiful. Brick veneer, the material typically used for the facade, is versatile and durable. It has withstood the test of time as bricks have been used since time immemorial and have created impenetrable fortresses to comfortable homes
Brick veneer as stone facade even works better than the usual outdoor siding materials such as wood, metal, and vinyl. They’re also extremely easy to install!
Cost of Stone Materials
Stone facades are more expensive than other siding materials. Brick veneer is a special brick material. Depending on the manufacturer, they can have a price of $4,000 per 500 square feet. The maximum price you can get is about $5,000 per 500 square feet.
However, if you don’t mind crunching on material integrity, you can get stone facades from handmade brick stone, cobblestone, ledge stone, river rock, and fieldstone for just about $2,800 per 500 square feet. Most contractors will advise against this because durability matters when adding stone facade to front of house. Low-grade stones will also require frequent maintenance.
Professional Installation Expenses
It is indeed better to install stone facades by yourself. You can pay as much as $87,500 to $125,000 when installing a 2,500 square-foot stone veneer surface on all your home’s walls.
Indeed, some professionals give discounts for bigger square-foot projects. The average cost for typical 2,500 square-foot projects is about $105,000 for a decent contractor.
You are paying contractors this particular price for their equipment, experience, and capability to meet the project’s deadline. While it is entirely possible to DIY-install the stone facade, contractors maximize the lifespan of the home’s stone facade with their tested-and-proven methods and equipment.
Drive Down Stone Facade Installation Costs Through DIY
Determine The Stone Material You Need
You have dozens of stones to choose for your stone facade. The quality and rarity affect the market prices of the stone. In addition, some manufacturers and distributors sell stones by sheet rather than by square foot.
Here is a complete list of stones viable for stone facades per square foot.
- Natural Stone: $42
- Granite: $15 – $30
- Basalt: $7 – $11
- Limestone: $20 – $28
- Slate: $4.50 – $10
- Brick or Stone Veneers: $11
- Faux Stone: $6-$9
- Cultured/Manufactured Stone: $5-$8
Tools and Materials You’ll Need
Once you’ve chosen the stones you’ll use for the facade, you’ll need to have the tools and construction materials you need in check. Here is a helpful list.
- Grout bag
- Cut-off grinder
- Masonry nails
- Metal lath
- Moisture barrier
You will use the trowel and grout bag to apply the mortar. Meanwhile, you’ll need the cut-off grinder to shape the stones and cut off the excess where necessary.
Take note that the masonry mortar and moisture barrier costs about $10-$15 (per 70-80 pounds) and $30 respectively. Take note of the costs of masonry nails and the other materials as well to help you stay within budget.
Construct Your Moisture Barrier Before Anything Else
The first step is to create your moisture barrier. You can use waterproof paper, which costs about $30 per sheet. An alternative is to use roofing felt, which costs about $25 (but is immensely durable and watertight). Add an additional waterproofing layer by applying house wrap all over the surface.Make sure to cut all the excesses after you attach the moisture barriers.
Attach the Lath
The best way to install stone facades is to do it old-school (but with better materials). Metal laths have been used in 19th-century stonewall construction. They are proven durable and affordable, too. Apply the mesh on all the walls that you will construct facades. Use the masonry nails to make sure it stays in place.
However, if your brick veneers or stones were sold by sheet, then you can skip this step and others onwards. The sheets make adding stone facade to front of house easier compared to using metal laths and mortars.
The sheets usually include a metal fastener that allows you to use the masonry nails to attach them to the wall. Each part of the sheet attaches effectively with the others (like a puzzle), making them easy to install and fully secure at the same time.
Prepare and Apply the Mortar
Use a trowel to apply mortar on the metal laths from 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick. Do the application by section to avoid premature drying. Once you have applied a layer to the lath, apply mortar on the stone and hold the stone against the metal lath surface for five seconds or more until the stone sets in place. Repeat this process until you have the majority of your walls with stones.
Fill in the Gaps
Use the cut-off grinder to use smaller stones and fill noticeable gaps with peeking mortar deposits. You can avoid mortar deposits by finding a place for every stone shape in your possession. You can use a pencil to mark the stone size you need. The grinder will help you shape the stone.
Because the metal lath-applied mortar has dried, you can apply mortar on the stone. You can then fill the smaller spaces where no stone cannot enter with mortar, which you can apply using a grout bag.
Stone facades are a must for every home that wants to add a curb appeal that is nostalgic and glamorous. You can save up on stone facade construction by constructing one for your home by yourself. However, you may not be maximizing the lifespan of your stone facade because of minor issues during construction. Consulting your professional home contractors is a better option when adding stone facade to front of house.