Category Archives: home

Siding with Stone

Siding with Stone

by HomeAdvisor

Home with partial stone siding

Stone siding is an excellent way to transform the exterior look of your home. It adds distinction and timelessness to any structure. And if you’re looking for something a little cheaper and easier for your contractor to install, then simulated stone siding might be the answer you’ve been searching for.

The Longest Lasting Material in the Industry

Sure, rock siding looks good, but it’s also far and away the longest lasting siding material on the market. Since it’s already a few billion years old, there’s no reason to assume it won’t last for a few billion years more! All joking aside, if you have an experienced mason install your stone correctly, it should last a few lifetimes before you ever have to worry about it again. You simply won’t find a better material out there when it comes to protecting your home.

Pick Your Quarry

Another great feature of rock siding is the wide range of styles you can choose from. Sandstone, limestone, and granite are the most popular stones used for stone siding, but as long as there’s a quarry out there digging it up, you can choose any stone your pocketbook allows as a siding material. Beyond type of stone, there are many other design features to consider. You can have your stone cut rough and natural, or more even and refined if you prefer. And there’s natural variations such as color and texture to choose from as well (the smooth, rounded look of river rock is always a fan favorite).

If You’re on a Budget

About the only drawback of rock siding is its cost. Prices vary depending on which stone you choose and how refined you want it to look, but it’s not going to be cheap. Considering that you’ll never have to replace your siding again, the higher initial cost is easy to justify in the end. Still, for some homeowners the cost is preventative. If you fall into this category but still want the timeless look of rock siding on your home, look into simulated stone siding instead. Usually made of cement, these “think rock” veneers are much cheaper, easier to put up, and most people won’t be able to tell the difference between it and the real thing.

Talk to a Mason

There’s really no tougher home improvement project than working with stone. It’s brutal and time consuming work. For this reason, and because laying stone properly takes a high level of expertise, talk to a stone mason to install your stone for you. Even simulated stone siding can be heavy and cumbersome to work with, although any general contractor should be able to help you put it up since it doesn’t require such a high level of skill to install. Whichever direction you choose to go, rest assured that you can’t beat stone when it comes to choosing siding for your home.

Stone and Gravel Driveways

Stone and Gravel Driveways

by HomeAdvisor

 

Natural Stone Driveway

The driveway is a critical part of any home. It’s one of the first things guests will see, and it’s the most natural entrance onto your property. There are several options you have when it comes to materials, and each has different qualities. Stone and gravel driveways may not be nearly as popular as asphalt or concrete, but they have their place and advantages as well. If you’re thinking about building a new driveway, here’s some things to note about these two materials.

Gravel Driveways

Gravel driveways can refer to crushed gravel or crushed stone, a higher end installation. Crushed gravel isn’t the most elegant driveway material out there, but it is the cheapest. For this reason, gravel driveways are most commonly found in rural areas, as homeowners who have extremely long driveways (rarely found in the city) and a strict home improvement budget may have few other options. Another nice trait of gravel is that it can always be paved over later.

Other than low gravel driveway cost, they are also the easiest to maintain. Naturally, you don’t have to worry about driveway cracks. Gravel driveways are designed to shed water, but you’ll need to ensure that you have proper yard drainage before installation. If you live in the northern United States and constantly need a functional driveway, keep in mind snow removal from gravel is extremely difficult.

Stone Driveways

Stone driveways can also mean a number of different things. Stone can refer to concrete stones, brick stones, and natural stones. The most common “stone driveway” is, of course, natural stone, but even different natural stones can have several kinds of colors and textures. A natural stone driveway will probably be the most elegant, but also the most expensive and the hardest to maintain. Some materials are rare and cost-prohibitive to many homeowners. Again, you’ll have to ensure proper drainage in your yard and cold, moist climates with heavy freeze/thaw cycles will decrease the lifetime of this costly material.

Driveway Edging

Whichever material you choose, driveway edging will make it better. It can spruce up an otherwise dirty, bland gravel driveway. For stone driveways, it can help keep the pavers in place and reduce the incidence of cracks and costly repairs. Edging can be made from stone, metal, or even wood. It can be made from the same material as your driveway or contrasting colors and textures that add a more decorative element.

Used Brick

Used Brick

by HomeAdvisor

used-brick

Used brick is fast becoming a popular building material for homeowners looking for that antiquated, time-worn brick look on everything from homes to gates to arches and patios. Salvaged from old buildings and streets, these turn-of-the-century bricks and brick pavers provide your home with all the charm, character and originality of one hundred year old brick construction.

They Don’t Make ‘Em Like That Anymore

To be honest, bricks have pretty much been made the same way for thousands of years now. All it takes is clay, fire and water. The difference between modern brick construction and salvaged brick is in the automation. Bricks made at the turn of the century were more often than not made by hand instead of pumped out by machines, giving each brick a less finished and more individual appearance. It is this distinctiveness in each brick that attracts homeowners to use them for everything from constructing walls to building patios. If you’ve ever passed by a hundred-year-old brick building and stopped to admire the variations in color, texture and character, you understand why these recycled bricks are fast gaining popularity.

Oldies but Goodies

Despite being up to hundred or more years old, salvaged brick is just as strong and construction worthy as newer brick. If you have any questions about the longevity of brick, consider that The Great Wall of China, built around 200 B.C., is constructed of 3,873,000,000 bricks and doesn’t look to be coming down any time soon. Knowing that, building with seventy to a hundred year old bricks doesn’t seem like too much of a stretch. In fact, brick is an excellent insulator, lasts for generations, and is an incredibly strong building material when laid correctly. The only caution with building with salvaged brick is if you live in colder areas of the country, as some older brick will break down under harsh freeze/thaw conditions. Best to check with a mason or bricklayer

Street Pavers

Besides recycled brick, salvaged street pavers are also gaining rise in popularity, especially for use in patios and walkways. Common at the beginning of the 20th century for building streets and roads, these brick-like pavers are generally tougher and more durable than brick for uses such as patios and walkways, since they were originally manufactured to take the wear and tear of street traffic. Like brick, they add an antiquated, traditional touch to any outdoor area.

Bricks as a Green Building Material

On a final note, using used brick on a construction project is an environmentally-friendly building strategy. First and foremost you’ll be using a recycled material, minimizing the need for new production and all the environmental hazards that come along with it. From a mining and production standpoint, even new brick is one of the most low impact materials to pull out of the earth as clay mining is relatively eco-friendly enterprise. And, as mentioned before, brick is an excellent insulator, saving the homeowner on heating and cooling costs wherever it’s used. Add to these benefits the antique look and character that comes from building with used brick and it’s clear why many homeowners are choosing salvaged brick for their building needs.

While not the cheapest building material for home siding or in-home renovations, the resiliency of used brick outweighs the cost of installation.

Mix Natural and Classical Looks with Cantera Stone

Mix Natural and Classical Looks with Cantera Stone

by HomeAdvisor

Cantera stone fountain

Cantera stone is one of the best kept secrets in the stone industry. Made from volcanic ash that has been compressed into stone over millions of years, cantera is an unusually lightweight and porous rock, especially when you consider its strength and durability. It’s often compared to sandstone in texture and porosity, then paradoxically thrown in with marble and granite when the conversation shifts to appearance and classical looks.

What is clear is that cantera is one of the most versatile stone products on the market. It can be used across the board, from trim moldings to flooring tile to decorative carved stone accents, and just about everywhere in between. If you’re looking for a beautiful, natural stone product, cantera might be exactly what you’ve been looking for.

A Quick History of Cantera Stone

Thanks to its versatility, light weight, and malleable nature, cantera has been used as a building material in both the new and the old world for thousands of years already. Transforming stone into pieces of art, however, didn’t catch on in the Americas until the Spaniards brought the practice over from Europe hundreds of years ago. The art form caught on in the Spanish colonies, and today most cantera bought in the United States is quarried in Mexico and hand carved by Mexican artisans. Once the stone is finished, it’s then shipped to the U.S. for use.

Where to Use Cantera Stone

The amazing thing about cantera is that it is honestly suited for use just about anywhere in your home. The most popular use, however, is as accent stone. Because it can easily be carved into any shape or design, it makes for stunning trim moldings, balustrades, fireplaces, and accents around doorways, windows, and entryways. If artistic flair is your thing, cantera fountains, statues, and architectural accents take the art of carving cantera stone to its highest level, and add class and tradition to any space. And because it comes in a large range of natural earth tones, a color can be found to match just about pre-existing home design.

Cantera as Flooring Tile

Cantera is also well suited as a flooring tile, especially in areas where high moisture can wreak havoc with other flooring materials. Because it’s porous in nature, it also creates a non-slip surface wherever it’s installed, making it particularly well-suited for bathrooms and as tile for pool decking. The one caution here: it’s probably wise to seal your cantera flooring tile, especially in the kitchen or other areas where it may experience spills and stains. Because it’s porous stone, it will absorb a spill more readily than denser stone like granite or marble. Periodically treating cantera with a good sealer is the best way to ensure it will keep its natural, classical look, for years to come.

Don’t Trust Just Anybody with Your Cantera Stone

Because stone work with cantera is steeped in tradition, and because so much of it borders on art, you’re well advised to seek out a contractor/supplier who specializes in working with cantera to get the most out of your new home addition. They’ll have the connections south of the border to get you the best stone, from the best artisans possible. For a mix of classical looks and old world feel, you can’t beat the good looks and appearance of cantera stone.

Marble Floors: Elegant but Not Exclusive

Marble Floors: Elegant but Not Exclusive

by HomeAdvisor

Marble flooring
What is it about natural stone that people are so drawn to? Maybe it’s the timeless appearance, the fact that it’s not manmade, or simply that it stands out as an elegant addition to any home. Either way, there’s no denying its popularity when it comes to surface renovations, and this is especially true for the most used section of the house: your floors. In fact, the most high-end of products, marble flooring, has made a serious jump in terms of sales and installation. Why is this? Well, there are many reasons marble floors are back in style, but the real question is: Were they ever out of style?

Why Marble Floors?

It adds instant value to a home, never needs replacing, and has that aged, European style that’s always fashionable. And though it was once rare and exotic, it’s now become much more accessible. For instance, it used to be imported only from Italy, but now it s mined throughout the entire world. It was once only available in giant slabs that required custom-fitting, but now marble flooring comes in tiles that are easily installed. But this doesn’t mean it still doesn’t retain its original value. It continues to have characteristics that people enjoy—the unique shades, the high polish, and the sophisticated sheen. It’s just that with tiles you have more options. You can now make interesting patterns and mosaics, buy any color to match any design style (rustic Tuscan or simple chic), or create other features in the home (backsplashes, fireplaces, or even countertops).

Types of Marble Flooring

There’s a great deal of variety available, so here’s a small list of terms to be familiar with:

  • Veining: Small lines of color what gives this natural stone its unique look. In fact this veining affect is often referred to as “marbleized” when describing other items.
  • Gloss: A highly polished version of the stone that makes it reflective and shiny.
  • Tumbled: A process that distresses and ages the stone so it appears dulled. This soft look creates a milky, creamy color, making it seem buffed rather than glossy.
  • Honed: A no-gloss variety that has a flat, matte, or satin finish. It creates an earthy affect that’s become popular due to its less formal appeal. Plus, it reduces risk of etching.
  • Etching: With everyday foot traffic, the surface may slightly wear by slowly removing its initial polish.

The Drawbacks

First off, though marble floors certainly add value to the home and have become more accessible, they’re still expensive (in the neighborhood of $6-10 per square foot). Therefore, it may be best to use it sparingly: install it in a foyer or small bathroom as opposed to an entire kitchen. Also, there are imitation vinyl tiles available that may be a cheaper alternative.

Second, since it’s such a hard material, it’s virtually maintenance-free (little risk of scratching, cracking, or chipping). However, depending on foot traffic, it may require occasional re-sealing—annually for a kitchen or bath, every two years of other areas. And no matter which style you prefer, it should be polished and buffed when it gets dull.

Third, since it’s made of rock, marble floors can feel a little cold, both literally and figuratively. If over-installed, it can be a bit hard and cavernous, and in the winter it can get downright chilly to the toes (but this means in the summer, it provides some natural cooling). Unless you want the house to feel like a concert hall or court room, you may want to put down some nice rugs to warm things up (polished stone can get slick though, so make sure you have enough traction beneath these carpets and your feet as well).

Fourth, it’s porous, so it can absorb dirt and it isn’t stain resistant. Therefore, it will need to be cleaned often with some soap and warm water. Note: Its sheen can be hurt by any acidic materials, so when cleaning never use commercial products containing chlorine.

Masonry Contractors

Masonry Contractors

by HomeAdvisor

masonry

The broad expertise of a masonry contractor is a largely untapped resource for homeowners. You know that you want to install a patio or walkway, but once you start looking into it, you soon realize the overwhelming options available to you. A masonry contractor will be able to guide you through this process and offer expert opinions that will help you get the most from your money and your home. They will be able to tell you what the most popular choices are and why these choices are so popular, but a masonry contractor will also be able to give you a synopsis of some of the more under appreciated installations and what they have to offer.

Common Masonry Projects

Stone Walls and Veneers—Constantly working with stone, a masonry contractor knows how to manipulate the material to fit any design and look. They can also help answer questions you might have about the relative pros and cons for natural stone, engineered stone, and stone veneers for your specific project and budget.

Stone or Brick Siding#151;One of the first masonry projects (indeed, one of the earliest methods of home building), brick and stone siding is essentially the same thing used to build the pyramids. Needless to say, the Egyptian icons are a strong endorsement for this siding’s durability.

Fireplaces—More than just a hole in the wall where you can burn wood, these contractors can create a true hearth for your home. Arguably, no other place in the home shows a greater difference between authentic brick or stone masonry work and cheap imitations.

Patios and Walkways—These contractors can transform your yard into a connected whole and give you more living space. More than just these common projects, many other stone landscaping projects can add value and curb appeal to your property.

Hiring a Masonry Contractor

Do your homework. Talk to at least three contractors and get written estimates from each contractor. This will let you know what’s out there. You don’t want to pay more than you have to, but there may be a reason one contractor’s estimate is lower than another. You should also know that different contractors may have specialized areas of expertise within the masonry field. Contractor X may be to cost-effectively build a first-rate stone fireplace, while Contractor Y has the best retaining wall system in your area. Ask for references not just from previous clients but clients who completed projects similar to your own idea. In the end, go with your gut when making the final hiring decision, but protect your investment by signing a clearly written contract.

Masonry Alternatives: Concrete Contractors

Professional masons also work with concrete, usually concrete block. But poured concrete projects can be handled by generic concrete contractors. Less precise than masonry, concrete finishing is, nevertheless, an art unto itself…and one that is transforming the home improvement industry. No longer do you have to choose between inexpensive concrete and the stunning look of classic stone masonry. Modern concrete finishing allows the material to appropriate any number of colors, textures, and finishes. Whether you’re looking for a smooth, shiny, bright red surface or the look of distressed leather, concrete is your answer. Of course, brick and stone still have their place, and concrete can’t perfectly match their timeless look and feel. But before you pull the trigger on a stone or brick masonry project, you should at least entertain a proposal and cost estimate for a finished concrete project.

Brick Veneer Siding

Brick Veneer Siding

by HomeAdvisor

brick-veneer

As you go house shopping, you may see entire neighborhoods full of quaint houses that appear to be made from solid-brick. Masonry certainly adds value to a home because of its solid, durable reputation (just ask those three little piggies), however many brick homes built within the last few decades aren’t actually constructed of brick. But how could this be? Though solid-brick homes are certainly sturdy, they are also very expensive and labor-intensive. Therefore, to gain the finished appearance of a brick home without all the work, brick veneer siding was invented.

What’s the Difference?

Most importantly, it is not a structural element of the home. True “brick homes” are constructed block-upon-block to hold up the house, whereas brick veneer siding is held up by the house itself. It is real masonry, but like any other siding, it is simply a single layer overlaying the original wooden framework of a house. Using small metal ties, this faux “brickwork” is secured to the home, allowing for a small gap of air between the pre-existing exterior wall and the new exterior facade.

How Can You Tell?

The easiest way to know the difference is to see when the house was built. If it was constructed within the last 40 years, there’s a good chance it’s not solid-brick. Also, look at the masonry pattern. Solid-brick will run lengthwise (horizontal), with occasional rows where the blocks will be installed so you can only see their ends—this irregular crisscross pattern ensures durable structural integrity. Plus, around windows there will be reinforced arches with the blocks, again, facing in towards the house to reinforce the opening. But brick veneer siding will almost always run lengthwise since they don’t perform any structural responsibility.

What’s to Gain?

Brick veneer siding still retains some of the benefits of solid-brick. Like any masonry, it is durable and fireproof, which can possibly save you some money on insurance premiums. You don’t have to ever paint, stain, or maintain the exterior of your house. Also, masonry is a great way to provide natural insulation against the winter cold and summer heat. But unlike solid-brick, brick veneer siding is an even better insulator because it traps air within the gap between the two exterior walls. Also, it allows you to install additional insulation in the stud cavities of the house’s original framework, saving you money on utility bills.

Some Precautions

Although the masonry itself won’t rot, because there is that small gap between the two walls, moisture can get trapped and cause problems. Additionally, weep holes are often created to ventilate this gap. Plus, brick is porous, so when it rains, water can seep between the block and mortar, creating damage to your home’s exterior. Therefore, when installed, a water-resistant surface must be placed over the home’s original framework to prevent moisture build-up and mold from entering your house.

Call the Experts

If you’re thinking about installing this exterior yourself, the best thing you can do is resist the temptation. You may think it’s simple since you’re not tampering with the actual structure of the home, but as mentioned before, in a round about way you are altering the house’s original exterior. Plus, it’s still brick, which means that you’re adding weight to your foundation. Masonry projects require specific construction and calculation, taking into account your geographical location, your climate conditions, and the type of soil you’re building on. Plus you may need to pass special zoning codes if you live in an earthquake-prone environment. So, though it may cost extra, always consult a professional mason when it comes to any kind of brickwork.

Stone & Granite Fabricators

Stone & Granite Fabricators

by HomeAdvisor

Remnant Granite Countertops

You probably realize that the granite counter that gets installed in your kitchen or bathroom goes through a process to transform its naturally occurring appearance into your beautiful, polished counter. What you may not realize is just how much happens during this process and how important it is to getting the most from your granite counter. The process is called stone fabrication; the contractors are called stone fabricators.

What Stone and Granite Fabricators Do

First, a stone fabricator can help you choose the material for your home improvement project. The practical design includes templates or measuring the dimensions of the installation to know exactly how much stone is needed. Once this is done, the type of stone, veins, shading, and color can be considered amongst the available stone company supplies.

Density and overall structural integrity is another crucial step in stone selection. Not only does the quality of stone quarries vary widely, the section in the quarry where each stone slab is quarried from can influence its strength and durability. Unfortunately, it’s not cost-effective to test each individual stone slab, but reputable stone companies should have structural test information on stone from the same general area of the quarry as the stone you’re purchasing. Stone and granite fabricators are great quality control coordinators that will help ensure you’re getting what you pay for.

Stone and Granite Fabrication

Stone fabricators can help you with these choices, but all of these decisions are made before the fabrication process itself. Fabrication involves making a final inspection for stone flaws, including blemishes, fissures, seams, and scratches. The slab is laid out to ensure the best appearance of both color and vein texture. Then, the stone is cut to approximately 1/16 of an inch of its final thickness. Edging and any special scribing will further shape the stone. Support rods and drain boards that the slab may require are installed next. A multi-step process involving ever-increasing grit polish is used to smooth the stone surface; finally, your stone is washed, dried, and the sealer base coat is applied. All of this typically occurs off the job-site so the stone is ready to be installed when it reaches your home.

Finding and Choosing a Stone Fabricator

This is the easy part. We can find and match you with stone and granite fabricators in your area. Our background and quality control checks help ensure you find a quality stone fabricator. Whenever available, we’ll match you with multiple contractors. You should always talk to multiple contractors for any home improvement project and considering the delicate and important work a stone/granite fabricator does, this is especially true for these contractors. We have contractor profiles for each company we match you with, allowing you to search their ratings, reviews, and service information.

Choosing Natural Stone Tile

Choosing Natural Stone Tile

by HomeAdvisor

Stone Tiles

Any natural stone tile project begins with stone tile selection. Understanding the qualities of each type of stone can help you make this decision. Personal preference is a large part of this process but, when considering budgetary concerns, remember that price is determined more by availability and supply than a particular stone’s quality or durability.

Types of Natural Stone

  • Granite – Granite is probably the most popular stone tile because it combines good durability and bolder colors and textures at an affordable price. Few natural stones are able to offer this kind of quality and practicality.
  • Marble – As great as granite is, marble is still the unparalleled champion of stone texture and appearance. Many forms of marble have contrasting vein and base colors that make this stone synonymous with high-end, chic decor. Keep in mind, though, that not only is marble more expensive, it’s also less durable.
  • Travertine – You may love the look and texture of natural stone, but this doesn’t always mean you want your stone tile to jump out at you. Travertine is dominated by beige, neutral colors. Travertine is part of the limestone family, making it durable but also more susceptible to staining than granite or marble.
  • Slate – A good durable natural stone, slate is also extremely versatile. You can find almost any color or texturing from slate. This also makes it a great choice for accent installations. In your kitchen, for example, you might have a granite countertop and a slate wall tile.
  • Sandstone – Another stone susceptible to staining, sandstone’s softer texture and beautiful appearance still make it a reasonable and popular choice if you’re willing to take care of it.
  • Engineered Stone – A combination of quartz and resin, this stone isn’t a true natural stone, but it creates a more durable and cheaper alternative. It can offer similar appearances to natural stone but tends to lack their more definitive grains.

You might read about these natural stones and think you’re set, but once you talk to your service professional and actually see and touch your options, you might change your mind.

Mosaics and Backsplashes

For a simple, classic look, larger stone tiles are generally preferred. Mosaic tiles are most popular for wet floors, but they can also act as a nice, contrasting border for your tile. Mosaic tiles are best used with a creative design or even more elaborate murals. The most common place for a mural is the backsplash in your kitchen. Many kitchens are designed with a naturally-framed area above the range and a creative mural can create a stunning accent for your kitchen.

Natural Stone Finishes

Nearly as important as the stone itself, there are just as many finishes for tiling projects. Honed and polished are among the more popular and will give your natural stone tile a smooth, glossy look. Other finishes also include aged, filled, rubbed, brushed, antiqued, sandblasted, tooled, broached, droved, and sparrow-pecked. Each type of stone can also be put into a tumbling machine to create a softer, more rustic texture.

Stone Veneer: Better than the Real Thing?

Stone Veneer: Better than the Real Thing?

by HomeAdvisor

Stone Veneer SidingMany homeowners want a rustic rock exterior because it adds curb appeal and value to a house. But finding the real thing isn’t easy anymore. Instead, synthetic stone veneers have become the latest trend due to their accessibility, versatility, and overall convenience. Though manmade, this manufactured product consists of several ingredients, carefully constructed, in order to retain an authentic appearance. A mixture of cements, aggregates, natural materials, and iron-oxide pigments are all cast in molds which have been taken from nature. Then, afterwards, this cultured product is colored to match any specifications.

But Why Better?

You may be asking yourself: just because you can control the product, does that really make it better? Well, it certainly makes it more convenient: it’s easier to deal with during remodeling projects when you have to match pre-existing colors. And though constructed to imitate, it may lose a little realism if inspected closely. But overall there are many other practical benefits gained due to its versatility:

  • Lighter: Stone veneer weighs significantly less than the real thing, which makes it easier to handle, quicker to install, and no additional structural support is required.
  • Optional Location: And since it is lighter, it can be installed anywhere. Most homes don’t have walls or foundations prepared for the weight of natural stone, but stone veneer allows your home to have that quaint look without all the extra strain.
  • Cheaper: It costs about 1/4-1/2 as much as natural material, typically running about $3-4 per square foot. And once again, because it’s lighter, installation gets done in half the time, and no special footings, foundations, or other supports are necessary.
  • Fireproof: It’s not as impenetrable as real rock, but more so than wood or vinyl siding.
  • Environment: Stone veneer helps to save on expensive quarrying, preserving the environment—and your pocketbook.
  • Maintenance-free: It’s surprisingly durable and doesn’t take any special maintenance except for the occasional spray of the hose.

Inspired Installation

As mentioned before, cultured stone veneer can be installed anywhere. Here are just a few options available to you:

  • Interiors: We often think of it being put on the home’s exterior, but why not bring the outdoors inside. These façades are great for fireplaces, backsplashes, tiling, and any other interior designs.
  • Gardens: It can be matched to any stone in existence, so why not get creative with your garden? Create pavers, walkways, or benches made out of any “rock” around the world.
  • Specialty: So your current exterior is chipping or cracking. Or maybe you have antique objects that need some restoration. This material can be handcrafted to match any reconstruction jobs, even for stone that is no longer naturally quarried.
  • The Pros: Although the installation is much quicker than dealing with real stone, it doesn’t mean it’s a do-it-yourselfer. Unless you have skill with masonry or other construction, you may want to leave it to the pros since you still have to deal with mortar, flashings, and other technicalities. Though it may add to your expenses, we are talking about the sides of your house here. Therefore, it’s important that cultured stone veneer be installed correctly for your own family’s safety.