One concept that we here at the BuildDirect blog are most interested in is the idea of transformation, which to some of you who’ve come to know us here is pretty obvious. And what better way of creating a transformation then by adding a new look and a new texture to the outside of your home?
Stone siding, or the suggestion of it, has been a popular choice in achieving a transforming a home from the ordinary to the extraordinary. But, much like flooring technology, the innovation involved in creating stone effects for exteriors as well as interior character walls or fireplace surrounds have come a long way.
And of course, this means options for stone siding that can get you that unique look of permanence that only stone can give.
So, with that in mind, here are 5 types of stone siding that are open to you, and all with distinct advantages.
1. Solid Stone Siding
Starting from the beginning, solid stone siding has been used in exterior surfacing projects for hundreds of years, with the benefits of superior durability and of the authentic look of naturally occurring stone. These benefits are significant, of course. And it is from these that the technology to reproduce them began. Of course, it is also from the drawbacks of solid stone siding that also sparked innovation. For instance, the problems of excessive weight, and the labor-intensive harvesting of solid stone (done by hand) required alternatives in order to reduce costs of shipping, and to reduce the time it takes to complete the job . And there are a few of those, luckily.
2. Manufactured Stone Siding
What is required of any alternative to a naturally occurring material is that its look and durability remain intact, while minimizing some of its limitations. Sometimes called cultured stone, manufactured stone does this and then some. Created through the use of molds that replicate the look of real stone, manufactured stone siding casts individual cement ‘stones’ and creates a new type of stone siding that is installed in a similar way, but weighs less, and therefore costs a bit less to ship.
3. Polyurethane-Based Foam Panel ‘Stone’ Siding
For a very lightweight alternative to real stone, foam panel siding or faux stone panel siding, which is made from densely rendered polyurethane, may be the answer. And because this type of stone-like siding is created to be installed in panels, and not by on a stone-by-stone basis, installation is more straight-forward as well. As far as appearances go, the technology that goes into this option of stone siding is truly amazing. Only a touch will reveal this type of siding to be something other than natural stone. And of course, it’s made to be weather-resistant for the long-term, too.
4. Natural Stone Cladding
Another option for natural stone surfaces is cladding. This variety of stone siding is offered not in harvested stone, but rather in cut-to-size units from larger slabs. A popular type of cladding of this type is derived from granite slabs. Granite is a very dense variety of natural stone that resists cracking, which can result in types of stone which allow moisture penetration that makes many types of stone to be susceptible to freeze-thaw cycles. The surface of the stone cladding tends to reflect irregular contours, much like traditional masonry. But, the backing of each piece is flat. Cladding is fixed to a substrate in a staggered pattern, much like brick is laid.
5. Stone Veneer Panel Siding
In many ways, this choice in stone siding for homes is a culmination of all of the above choices. The veneers of this stone siding choice are derived from real stone. The panel systems of many varieties of natural stone veneer siding are designed to seamlessly click together like puzzle pieces.
So, you’re getting real stone with all of its benefits in the durability department. You’re getting an easy installation, thanks to the panel system. And you get the look, multidimensional texture, and general feel, of a real stone siding surface. If you’re looking for an easy installation that involves actual stone, this may be the perfect option.
The look of stone on any building gives it a sense of permanence and of history. And because of developing innovation with these products, the effect is pretty easily won, and inexpensively so when compared to even a few years ago.