Real and faux stone and brick can transform a home's exterior style. Choose rock or brick based on three key elements: architectural style, cost of materials and weight. Some architectural aesthetics are enhanced by stone or brick, others by wood, stucco or steel and glass. Real stone and brick are fairly expensive, but faux masonry products are less so and achieve a similar effect. Weight is also important since real products are unlikely to adhere to wooden window frames whereas faux material will.
Real Stone and Brick
First, determine the square footage of the project. In 2010, stone costs from $15 to $30 per square foot and brick runs from $6 to $18 per square foot. Use real stone for exterior siding or build a new home entirely of stone. Naturally formed stone such as cobblestone or river rock, or field stone with mosses and lichens attached, make a home look like an English gatehouse or a rustic mountain getaway. Quarried and cut stones---granite, marble and limestone, for example---lend a stately, established or ultra-modern look to an exterior. Turn a two-story saltbox into an early Greek revival mini-mansion. Use cut limestone to side a raised ranch and it will take on the character of a French chateau. Real stone is not very suitable for use on doors or around windows, but it does make a nice garden home entry archway.
Stone and Brick Veneer
In 2010, brick and stone veneer---siding sheets molded and finished to look like the real thing---cost $11 to $15 per square foot. They adhere well to almost any siding, and can be cut and shaped for door and window surrounds. For a fortress look that makes a statement, use stone veneer on walls and even on double entry doors. Create a 1950s or 1960s retro look by adding window-wide columns of stone from the ground to the roof below and above windows. Brick veneer on almost any style of two-story home turns it into a Colonial. Brick siding, whether real or veneer, will channel the factories of New England for a loft styling on a nondescript home, the stalwart look of a Danish castle on a large multi-story building or the southwestern small-town ambiance of Mormon homesteads on a free-standing building with vertical lines.
Fabricated and Cultured Stone
Cultured stone is almost indistinguishable from the real thing without the senses of touch and sound. True cultured stone is not a veneer but it is actual loose artificial rock. It is priced in the middle between veneer and real stone. Use it the same way that real stone is used for siding; it can not, however, be used for standalone stone walls in a new home. Many cultured stones are contemporary looking and serve as a good way to bring a house built 50 years earlier into the modern era. Single-story box homes and rambling ranches look brand new and chic when sided with irregular geometric faux sandstone or limestone. Change the profile of a home by adding high garden walls with arched entryways into courtyards; cultured stone is good for free-standing framed walls that are not weight-bearing.
- Photo Credit stone entry image by jimcox40 from Fotolia.com
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