You can use natural stone siding to get a sustainable and gorgeous look for your home, no matter the style. Utilizing stone siding gives you a very distinct look for your home. It’s more durable than wooden siding because wood can rot over time due to being porous, and it’s very long-lasting. Natural stone siding comes built to stand the test of time, and it can last for decades.
The biggest drawback to using stone siding for your home’s exterior siding is that authentic stone comes with a huge cost. For just 500 square feet, you can easily spend upwards of $4,000 on materials alone. A professional should take on the installation process to avoid mistakes or gaps, and it can take weeks from start to finish. For tools and labor, you can easily add $2,000 onto the project price.
The material you pick out for the exterior of your home can have a large impact on the curb appeal. The aesthetic appeal and quality of this siding makes it a very popular choice. However, since solid stone siding can be very expensive, it can be a good idea to check into other stone siding options. For example, synthetic stone veneer siding is a great compromise that will save you money without sacrificing that authentic look. If you’re looking for other options when it comes to your stone siding, read on.
Stone siding has been popular as a building material for centuries due to the high durability factor, but it can also quickly get expensive. Hamley BRidge. The magnificent Catholic Church by denisbin / CC BY-ND 2.0
1. Manufactured Stone Siding
Manufactured stone siding is much more common and reasonable than solid stone siding that we touched on above. This siding can be somewhat expensive, but it’s not nearly as expensive as authentic siding. When you look at manufactured stone siding, you will see that it can actually be superior to the real deal in several ways. A lot of the problems that you have with stone siding you won’t get with the manufactured one.
You may hear this stone siding referred to by different names. One common thing that many people call this siding type is cultured stone siding. This name refers to the process used to create the siding. Companies use molds to culture individual cement stones that replicate how real stone siding looks. In turn, it can be difficult to tell real from faux siding.
If you decide to go with manufactured siding, you’ll get to enjoy the look of real siding with a few added benefits. First off, this is an extremely durable siding choice that will stand the test of time while protecting your home. It’s much lighter than real stone siding without sacrificing any of the durability factor. If you want to have a siding option that feels heavy-duty while still being reliable, this is a nice choice to consider.
The beauty of this siding is that it mimics the look of real stone siding so well. You get several different solid choices when you decide on the look of your siding, and many of them aren’t ones you’d necessarily get with the real deal. You can choose from different color shades, and this allows you to customize the look of your home. You get a better chance of matching your design aesthetic with this siding.
Being able to mimic the look of real stone both close up and from a distance without having to deal with the drawbacks of real siding. Even though this option isn’t necessarily lightweight when you compare it to wood or vinyl siding, it’s still lightweight enough to be able to transport to your home and move around the job site with relative ease.
It also won’t present nearly as much of a challenge as hanging real siding would. However, there still is a bit of a process to install it, and you’ll want to get in touch with professionals who have experience working with this type of siding. You’ll end up with a gorgeous look that boosts your property’s aesthetic appeal. So, while this isn’t necessarily a budget-friendly option, it is more affordable than solid stone siding.
Many people like manufactured siding because it retains the look of stone while not being nearly as expensive or difficult to install. No. 279 Cathcart Street, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada by Billy Wilson / CC BY-NC 2.0
2. Natural Stone Siding
Natural stone siding is another pick that is very popular with people who don’t want to go the manufactured route. There are some specific differences between solid stone and natural stone. The biggest difference that you want to be aware of is that you won’t find companies selling it as natural stones that they’ve sourced. Instead, the stones get cut into large slabs and sold like this.
There are many types of stone siding on the market, and you’ll find several of them sold under the natural title. The large slabs are nice for putting on the side of our home, and you install them similar to how you install more traditional brick siding.
Professionals usually install this siding choice in a staggered pattern. It attaches right to a substrate, and the process is usually pretty quick. It fits very tightly to the side of your house, and it looks great when it’s installed properly. However, it takes a skilled professional to install it because the stone slabs are very heavy and difficult to maneuver into place.
A lot of people find natural stone siding easier to work with than solid studying. It does have some of the same difficulties as solid siding, but being able to install it one slab at a time does help alleviate some of this difficulty and makes the process easier. It allows the installation to go quicker to help save you money. While this isn’t something that you can finish overnight, it’ll be a smooth process from start to finish when you hire an experienced professional.
You will have to pay a decent price for this material, so it’s important to beef up your budget. This isn’t as affordable as faux stone siding panels, but it’s still something to keep in mind. If you want something that looks rugged and matches the rustic design style, this is a solid pick.
There are a few particularities that you want to know about before you make your final choice with this siding. For instance, there is a very real danger that it can freeze in colder planting zones. The moisture can penetrate right through this natural stone when the temperatures start to drop, and it can freeze. Even though this isn’t necessarily a big deal, it’s someone you have to prepare for so you don’t run into problems later.
Also, like solid siding options, you won’t find this choice readily available at major stores. You’ll have to get in touch with speciality dealers to get the natural stone slabs that you need to pull off this look. It shouldn’t be too hard to find it, but you’ll have to find a business that specializes in selling stone. This will help you find whatever you want without too many roadblocks. One of the most popular options on the market is granite, so this will most likely be the most readily available choice.
Natural stone is slightly more expensive, but it’s not as cumbersome to move around as other options on the list, and this can easily reduce your overall project costs. Stacked stone veneer bring installed by John Mills / CC BY 2.0
3. Polyurethane Faux Stone Panel Siding
There are faux stone panel siding choices available that feature a lightweight but durable polyurethane base. When you first hear of this siding type, you most likely picture a very inexpensive imitation product. However, this simply isn’t the case. Faux stone panel siding can look just like the real thing when you do it right. The manufacturing method used to create this siding is also very interesting, and it can give you some stunning results at a fraction of the cost of the real thing.
As you may have guessed, this is a faux stone siding that is going to appeal to people who want stone siding but don’t have the budget for it. It gets created used polyurethane that gets very densely rendered during the manufacturing process. It manages to end up as a sturdy and thick product despite not using natural stone.
Working with polyurethane faux stone siding is a lot easier than working with natural stone. One of the biggest reasons for this is the weight. It’s much lighter than other options on the list, and this makes the entire installation process much quicker and easier on the people doing the installing. Also, it removes some of the costly problems that you run into with real siding options due to the polyurethane.
Since it’s much less labor-intensive, this also goes to helping you save money. You can get the installation process out of the way Normally with real materials, the installers have to do everything on an individual stone basis, and this really drags the whole process out. Faux stone is totally different, and it doesn’t require such a high skill level or specialized tools to complete the process.
This is due to the fact that it comes with a different design than you get with traditional stone. Faux stone comes in panels, and this allows you to install bigger chunks at one time instead of one piece by piece. So, you can install this option by yourself if you have some DIY experience and you feel confident enough to tackle this project on your own. If you decide to hire professionals, you won’t pay nearly as much in labor costs.
This is going to be a very cost-effective way to get the look of stone siding without breaking your bank. If you want to have nice looking siding that is relatively durable, these panels can do the trick. Since it’s not natural stone, this can send some people looking elsewhere. If you’re willing to overlook the fact that this isn’t actually real stone, then this is a much more practical option that will give you the look you desire.
Since you use panels to install this option, it makes it much easier with a shorter installation process from start to finish. They look like natural stone without sacrificing durability. Wall_5261 by Dawn Easterday / CC BY-NC 2.0
4. Solid Stone Siding
If you’re after the most legitimate stone siding possible for your home, you’re most likely going to end up buying solid stone siding. There are a few issues that keep this siding pick from being a truly practical choice for everyone, and the cost is the single biggest factor. Even still, those people who do end up going through with this option really enjoy the look. It has the potential to create a very stunning look for your home.
As the name suggests, this material uses natural, solid stone in the design. The stone won’t get processed or manufactured in any way. The advantage of this is that you get something that offers a high amount of natural beauty with an unmatched durability. However, the downside is that it weighs a huge amount.
The sheer weight of this stone siding choice can make it a lot more expensive to both buy and install. Transporting this siding will cost much more than transporting other types. You’ll have to make a decent investment in order to install this on your home. Since it’s so heavy, it’s much harder to deal with than other options. This makes your costs go up because you’ll need specialized equipment, tools, and more manpower to get it in place.
The labor costs are another significant price point to keep in mind. The people who are going to do the work with this siding will need larger equipment to move the stone around and install it. It needs very careful handling as well, and not all modern contractors are used to working with this material. It’s not the most common option for siding, so finding a specialist will also drive your prices up.
A lot of people see this siding type as a throwback to years past. Before the technological revolution took hold, solid stone was the thing that kept the home safe. The beauty and durable nature of solid stone was something to admire. While people still use them today, they’re much less common.
You’ll most likely need to go to a specialty dealer to get the stone material for this siding type. Most of the other options on the list will come from major retailers, and they’re usually much easier to source. However, the major retailers won’t carry the heavy and large stones. This is an option that may really appeal to people who have the budget to afford it though.
Solid stone isn’t widely used anymore for siding due to how expensive and heavy it is, and houses don’t need to rely solely on this siding for protection anymore. Copley in the Flinders Ranges by denisbin / CC BY-ND 2.0
5. Veneer Panel Stone Siding
The final stone siding option on the list is veneer panel siding. This could be the best choice outside of solid stone that you could make if you really want to capture the look of natural stone. This siding comes with many benefits that the faux stone panel siding offers while being able to give you a much more legitimate stone siding experience. It’s also very popular to use in backsplashes for interior decor.
You will be able to source this siding choice without a huge amount of effort, and it gets designed to have panels that effortlessly click together. This design makes the entire installation process move along very nicely, and it’s much quicker than virtually any method on the list. It’s very similar to the faux stone panel siding we went over earlier.
All of the benefits that you get with natural stone siding types are still present if you choose this option. You will get a siding option that is extremely durable, and it’ll last for years after you install it. Also, when you use this siding option, you’ll get to enjoy the natural beauty of stone that looks authentic from both up close and far away.
This is a solid choice if you’re on a budget but still want the look of stone siding. It costs right around what you’d pay for the faux stone panel siding we talked about earlier. However, this is slightly more expensive due to the fact that it gets made out of real stone, but it’s still very realistic. If you want to get stone siding without breaking the bank, this is one to consider.
Since the installation process is much easier than other options on the list, you won’t have nearly as much labor costs to worry about. So, you should be able to save money even if you hire professionals to do the install for you. Installing this siding on your own can also be possible, but you really don’t want to attempt it if you’ve never done this project type before. No matter which option you choose, you want to ensure that your installation process goes well so the siding lasts and looks nice for years to come.
Stone veneer is another popular choice for people who are on a tighter budget, and it can keep the look of real stone when you see it. Tlam Residence Project by Rosenwald / CC BY-SA 2.0
Five Main Benefits of Stone Siding
Although there are arguably a huge amount of benefits for this type of siding, some stick out much more than others. We’ve picked out the top five benefits of having this siding installed and we’ll outline them below for you.
Function may be an important factor when you make choices about how the exterior of your home looks. However, you also want siding that is beautiful enough to boost your home’s curb appeal. Brick and stone buildings have a long history of being the epitome of elegance, and that is why these siding options come in a range of textures, colors, and styles to suit a broad taste range. The beauty of using this option is that you can rest assured that your home will never go out of style.
It’s hard to beat the durability factor when you have stone siding installed. It will last for as long as you need it too, and it’s easy for it to look good for decades. A lot of stone buildings have been standing for centuries and they’re still going strong. This siding option will stand up to virtually any climate, and unlike a range of other siding choices, stone is impervious to insects and fire damage.
Stone requires a huge amount of heat, and a large amount of energy, to produce it. However, the energy-enhancing qualities and the durability factor reduce this drawback. If you live in an area with quarries, you may be able to source large slabs of natural stone for your siding, and this can save a huge amount of energy by eliminating the need to transport heavy materials long distances. It’s also possible to find recycled or reclaimed stone to further reduce your energy usage and waste.
However, mining stone can easily damage the environment, so you want to look for options that work to minimize this impact. You can find salvaged stone or stone that has been displaced when a company cleared a site for a new home or extension. Manufactured stone uses molded cement, and it’s almost impossible to tell it from the real thing. Using cement will lighten the environmental impact, and you can buy it at a fraction of the cost of real stone.
Stone siding will offer your home protection against extreme weather conditions as well as creating an effective sound barrier. Stone is very energy-efficient, so your long-term utility bill savings can help offset what you originally pay for the materials. This siding type can help you keep a peaceful home because it blocks noise from outside from getting in and interior noises from drifting out. If you live in an area that has high traffic, this is a very attractive feature, both for the current occupants and any potential buyers if you decide to sell the house.
Finally, stone siding requires very little maintenance once you get it on your home to keep it looking nice and lasting for decades. The only thing that you’ll have to do is power wash it once a year or so to remove grime buildup. It’s not prone to insect damage or warping with exposure to hot or wet weather.
We’ve gone over five popular types of stone siding that are all durable, beautiful, and they can be a solid choice for your home’s exterior. You can decide which one will work best for your needs without breaking the bank, install it, and watch it boost your home’s curb appeal.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.