Using Manmade or Natural Stone Veneer When Remodeling A Porch

Learn About Stone Veneers For A Porch Remodeling Project

Today, as a homeowner, you have more choices than ever before when it comes to high-quality building materials, to achieve the look you're seeking for your home. From low VOC paints and products that reduce harmful emissions to high-efficiency appliances, green building materials, and efficient, durable materials like concrete pavers and stone veneer today, you can affordably create the home of your dreams.

Manufacturers have developed both natural and manmade stone veneer that makes adding a stone finish to your home much easier than in the past. While stone veneer has been around since the Romans built the Coliseum, adding a stone finish to your house had been a challenge. Using natural stone was labor intensive and often prohibitively expensive, and faux veneers just didn't have the right look.

View A Recent Porch Remodeling Project Using Stone Veneer Columns

Using a natural or manmade stone veneer when remodeling a porch, for example, is easier than ever, and homeowners have a wide range of materials to choose from. Let's explore some of your options regarding both natural stone veneer and manmade veneers when remodeling a porch.

Natural Stone Veneer

The home here, and in the header photo above, uses the same stone to integrate the design of the front porch and rear 3-season room together. Natural stone veneer by Halquist Stone was selected, blending 75% “Maple bluff” red stone with 25% “Ridge” grey stone, creating a look to match the stained concrete patio.

Modern Manufacturing and Stone Veneer

The days of hauling a few tons of rock to your driveway and labor intensive installation are over thanks to advances in modern manufacturing. Today, natural stone can be sliced into thin slices that are lightweight and able to be used anywhere, indoors or out. Because they are light, it's no longer necessary to install a heavy metal framework to hold the weight making installation quick and easy.

Cast or manmade stone veneer, also known as cultured stone or sticky stone, has become much more realistic looking. Today, it's made from a concrete mixture that can feature a dozen or more pigments blended together in naturally cast molds produced from real stone. The molds are vibrated during the manufacturing process creating a natural looking color-through infused product that mimics the look of natural stone.

Thanks to advances in manufacturing, stone veneer, both natural and manmade are being included by designers throughout the home. From the bathroom to the outdoor kitchen and porch, these lightweight veneers are incredibly versatile.

Building A Stone Veneer Facade

The installation process requires several steps to ensure that the installation is watertight. The process begins by installing a base layer of Asphalt felt or grade D building paper to serve as a moisture barrier against water and snow. The next step is the addition of a self-furring galvanized lath is installed to support the mortar. 

A mortar scratch coat is added to help support and bind the stone. Finally, a mortar setting bed bonds the stone veneer to the scratch coat. 

Working With A Professional Remodeler

Cultured Stone

Ohio White Vein Limestone by Dutch Quality Cultured Stone was chosen for the exterior of this transitional two-story home on the front porch and exterior.

Whether you choose natural stone or cultured stone, stone veneer is best installed by a professional contractor. This is especially true when applying stone veneer to the exterior of your home. They can help you to select a product that is budget friendly and will provide you with the look your seeking. Today, there are relatively few differences between cast stone, and it's natural counterpart. Artificial stone is less expensive, structurally lighter and quicker to install. It can, however, break if stuck with enough force, so it's a good idea to keep some extra in storage just in case. 

When it comes to natural stone veneer, it is a more durable material. It comes complete with all of the shading, color, and flaws that come with eons of geologic pressure. It is a beautiful material, but it will cost you more, and it takes longer to properly install. 

Types of Stone Veneer

Today, stone veneer is available in styles to match stone from all over the world. Both natural and manmade stone veneer is available in many styles and species. These include:

Natural Stone:

  • Cubist - A quarried fieldstone veneer that comes in traditional shapes and sizes. Perfect for exterior use.

  • Stacked - This style is tailor-made for a snug fit. This ledgestone is a cinch to layer and looks great! If it weren't for the raised edges and variations in color thew joints would be barely noticeable.

  • Mosaic - This veneer is only 1-inch thick and can be cut and shaped to create a bold, dry-stacked pattern.

  • Earthy - These well-weathered stones have traces of moss and lichen adding to their natural, aged, rustic beauty.

  • Mineral Rich - These stones mimic softly rounded river stones complete with specks of gold and silver. The worn edges give this style a rustic charm.

  • Streaked - Natural striations add character to blue-gray stone. Streaked with white and gray, these stones add an elegant look to any outdoor area.

Cast Stone:

Cultured Stone

This remodeled home features Dutch Quality cast (cultured) stone in the Stack Ledge pattern. The color is blended using a mixture of 90% Sienna color and 10% Autumn Blend color.

 Also known as cultured stone or manmade stone, cast stone brings out the best qualities of natural stone at a lower price.

  • Rounded - Worn edges and subtle color give this stone a warm, inviting texture.

  • Rugged - This stone is uniquely shaped. With a rough face, it is reminiscent of the vibrant colors of Italy.

  • River Rock - This man-made product is so realistic you can almost hear the water polishing them! A very realistic manufactured product that can add a rustic charm to any porch.

  • Chiseled - Thanks to incredibly life-like molds and a vibrant color palette this stone is a dead-on imitation of the real thing!

  • Rough Cut - A warm golden color palette and angular edges give this style a unique depth adding an extra dimension to your patio project.

  • Impressionistic - Dynamic colors catch the eye, but it's the crisp lines in these slim ledgestone that give them a quiet sense of order and subtle elegance.

Your design-build-remodeling contractor will have some samples available from a range of manufacturers at different price points. When choosing a stone, always take into consideration the application along with the architectural style of your home. Working with a design professional can help make selecting the right stone a seamless experience.

This article was updated by Abe Degnan on 1/25/2019.

If you live in the Madison, Wisconsin area and are planning a porch remodeling project, give the experts at Degnan Design-Build-Remodel a call at (608) 846-5963. Our designers are well versed in the many types styles and stone veneer materials available. We can help you to choose the perfect style to match your home and your needs.

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