How Much Does Natural Stone Siding Cost to Install?
$57,000 - $72,000
Natural stone siding costs $30 to $48 per square foot of material installed. If you were to side the entire exterior of a 1,500 square foot home in stone, you could expect the total installation to cost anywhere from $57,000 to $72,000. There are cheaper alternative options such as stone veneer siding, which costs just $5.50 to $10.75 per square foot to install. Home siding costs will vary by the size and design of your home, local labor rates, and whether you are doing a full or partial stone siding installation.
Natural stone siding is a high-end exterior material typically reserved for grand structures like cathedrals and university buildings. But depending on the structural stability of your home, you can also add it to your home’s exterior to create a stunning look that will last a lifetime.
Natural stone is significantly more expensive than other home siding options. However, it is completely resistant to rot, insects, fire, and almost anything that mother nature can throw at it.
In fact, depending on where you live, installing natural stone may even earn you a discount on your homeowner’s insurance premiums. So while the initial cost to install new siding may be steep, the long lifespan of natural stone combined with the potential increase in your home value can make the investment well worth it.
Natural Stone vs. Faux Stone Siding
You can create the look of natural stone at a much more affordable price by using manufactured faux stone veneers. In fact, most homes that appear to have stone siding today actually have stone veneer siding.
But it is important to understand the difference in quality between natural stone vs. stone veneer. Faux stone is created by pouring concrete into a mold that resembles natural stone. Then, that product is stained so that it is more closely imitative of natural colors.
Siding installers started using faux stone decades ago as an alternative to heavy natural stone. Real stone is typically at least four inches thick, which placed a lot of weight on the structures of homes. Stone veneer and faux stone is less expensive, as it forgoes the quarrying process. It is also light weight which makes installation and labor costs significantly less.
Faux Stone vs. Stone Veneer
You may have heard of both stone veneer siding and faux stone siding. Believe it or not, they actually have subtle differences.
The natural stone market responded to competition from faux stone by developing a new sawing processes to produce a much lighter natural stone mix product, most often referred to as stone veneer siding. Stone veneer makes natural stone more budget-friendly and lessens the impact on the structure of your home.
The look of stone veneer is superior to faux stone and it can be customized to fit your home, as masons can cut and chip stone to make it fit a desired pattern. This kind of customization is less possible with faux stone, as cutting and chipping would expose the inner, unstained concrete.
Additionally, while faux stone may look great from far away, up close, it cannot compete with the stunning beauty of stone veneers. Natural stone veneer has a unique appearance and texture, while faux stone is limited to a certain number of molds.
Finally, in terms of longevity, stone veneer provides a beautiful look for the lifetime of your home, while faux stone is stained and painted–so count on fading, less durability, and more maintenance.
Benefits of Installing Natural Stone Siding
While it is an expensive siding option, there are plenty of benefits to know about natural stone siding.
Natural stone creates a unique look for your home. It is not crafted from a mold in a factory and comes in a variety of natural colors and textures to give your home a distinct, one-of-a-kind look.
This type of siding is significantly more durable than other types. It will not fade over time and is resistant to chipping or scratching.
If making an environmentally sustainable choice for your home is important to you, natural stone is a fantastic choice. It is naturally occurring and emits no gases that would impact indoor air quality. Depending on where you live, you may be able to use stone that comes from your immediate area, which reduces CO2 emissions from long-haul transportation costs of stone siding.
With its durability and relatively low maintenance, natural stone will last the lifetime of your home. You should never need to complete another siding replacement project!
Is Natural Stone Siding Worth the Cost?
While natural stone siding is probably the most expensive siding choice you can select for your home, unlike other siding choices, you can expect it to last the lifetime of your home so it’s a one-time investment.
Most siding replacements can yield a 77% rate of return on your investment or more, and you can expect an even greater return with stone. According to Real Estate Pro Magazine, stone siding is very attractive to prospective homebuyers as they associate natural stone with quality, polish, and durability. If you plan to sell your home at a premium price someday, new stone siding can make your home stand out to the competition.
Stone Siding Maintenance Tips
Natural stone siding is virtually maintenance free, but you’ll still want to adopt a few regular practices to keep your stone siding looking great.
Regularly inspect your siding. A few times a year, inspect your siding to look for signs of damaged stones. Though natural stone is very rugged and durable, it can be damaged by impact or loosened by intense vibrations.
Repair damage promptly. If you find any cracks, apply a small amount of mortar into the crack that has formed around your stone. While wearing a latex glove, smooth the mortar with a damp finger to work it into the cracks and create a smooth, finished surface. Allow the repairs to dry overnight and inspect again. Reapply if drying has opened the gap. If cracks continue to be a problem, consult a professional right away.
Gently clean your natural stone. To clean your natural stone siding, simply fill a bucket with warm water. Add a little vinegar or dish soap to create a mild cleaning solution. Scrub the stones with a sponge or a soft bristle brush that has been moistened with your cleaning solution to remove any stubborn dirt. Finally, rinse your natural stone thoroughly with water to ensure no soapy residue remains.
Finding a Stone Siding Replacement Professional
Before selecting natural stone for your home’s exterior, you will need to make sure that your budget can accommodate the high cost, typically $30+ per installed square foot.
Additionally, because of the heavy weight of the stone and need for heavy duty professional tools to cut the stone, this is definitely not a do-it-yourself project. You will need to consult with a reliable stone siding installer near you to first make sure that your home’s structure can handle the additional weight from the stone, as well as to complete the installation.