Stone Siding for Your Richmond Home
Exterior stone has been used for centuries as a home siding option around the world. There are several types of exterior stone siding options to choose from, including:
Natural stone: One of the most expensive options, it offers a high level of protection and very little maintenance is necessary.
Natural stone veneer: The biggest disadvantage of natural stone is the weight. A lighter option is natural stone veneer, which is usually just one inch thick while providing the same look as natural stone.
Manufactured or faux stone: This is made out of concrete pigments. Many people opt for this today because it’s more affordable and looks just like the real thing.
This page will focus on real stone and the following page will focus on veneers and other options.
Initially, stone siding was manufactured from real stone. Flagstone was popular for awhile due to its relatively thin nature and the fact it mostly did not need to be cut. As stone started becoming more popular, quite a few manufacturers began offering natural stone siding from quarried stone, cut to a standard thickness.
As you might imagine, mining, cutting, shipping, and installing real stone can be prohibitively expensive. Very few stone homes you see are actually made entirely of stone. Most are framed with 2x4's or 2x6's and covered with plywood and a stone veneer. Below we will discuss the pros and cons of real stone.
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There are a couple advantages unique to stone. First and foremost is its authenticity. When installed properly, stone siding will last indefinitely and will give your home the solid look of a castle, built to stay. No other material, not even brick, gives a home the magnificent look or permanence of stone.
Additionally, it is a natural and sustainable material. Stone is one of the most abundant building materials on earth, and can be sourced sustainably, unlike plastics or cement.
And real stone can actually be reused if the home is destroyed or torn down for some reason.
Another advantage is its return on investment value, or ROI value. It is 92%, which is higher then any other type of siding.
And its R-value is excellent also, coming in around 5.0 while most other types of siding are less than 1. So your home should be a comfortable as it is solid.
The reason there are not more real stone homes is due to the cost. Your home might look like a castle, but it can be as expensive as one also. The cost of the stone itself is much higher than say a veneer which is made from other materials.
And not just any builder can do this properly. It takes a stone mason whose skill set and time are more expensive than the average contractor.
If the stone is not installed properly, cracking issues can develop which can be very difficult to correct. And mold and mildew are prone to inhabit the cracks if left too long, causing structural issues as well as health issues.
The mining process for the extraction of the stone is not considered to be environmentally friendly.
Also you need to be aware of the building codes in your subdivision or area. Many have restrictions on the weight per square foot that the stone can be. Knowing this in advance and insuring the stone is cut to the correct thickness to adhere to the local codes is crucial.