The idea of a stone house brings up images of a solid, durable, safe place to live. After all, not even the Big Bad Wolf could blow down that house built of bricks!
If you’ve always dreamed of a cozy stone cottage or impressive brick mansion, you may think the cost of natural stone will stand in the way of bringing that dream into reality. You may even have looked into the cost of brick installed by a mason and decided it’s out of reach for your budget.
But have you considered manufactured stone veneer as an alternative? In many situations, the cost of stone veneer can be much lower than that of bricks or quarried stones.
But what about the durability and maintenance of stone veneer vs. natural stone? Is stone veneer less expensive because it won’t last as long? And how about aesthetics? Can manufactured stone veneer really achieve the appearance of natural materials without looking fake?
The pros at Casa di Sassi are glad you’re asking! We’ve put together answers to help you decide which types of stone will meet your needs for a beautiful, low-maintenance home exterior that stands up to the elements for the long run.
Read on for our expert insight into formed brick vs. stone veneer vs. real stone cost, plus tips on finding the best professionals to install your ultimate choice.
Stone Veneer vs. Real Stone: Cost & Other Considerations
Adding stone or brick details to your home’s exterior is a great way to increase curb appeal. Whether you’re building your dream house from the foundation up or giving your beloved older home a makeover, different types of stone create varying first impressions.
Aside from the cost, things to consider when choosing stone exteriors include:
What hue will complement your home’s trimwork, window casings, roofing and other siding materials? Bricks may be available in red, white or yellow shades. Natural stones are typically neutral colors. Manufactured stone veneer can be made in a variety of colors, including dark gray and multicolor options.
Are you partial to a symmetrical, even look? Or do you want a more varied effect that seems borne of nature? Bricks bring inherent symmetry to any project whereas stones are naturally irregular in shape. You’ll find manufactured stone veneer in both categories, as well as some mashups, like our Blends profile that features unique combinations of size, texture and dimension.
Rarely is the entire exterior of a modern house covered with one type of stone. In fact, one of the hottest home design trends for 2023 is to mix materials by pairing a stone accent wall with exposed wooden beams or existing wood shingles. Consider the placement of your stone or brick details to bring out your home’s best features — including outdoor living spaces and exterior stairways.
Types of Stone for House Exteriors
Now that you’ve started thinking about color, shape and placement, let’s dive into the most common types of stone for house exterior projects and how their respective costs stack up. Keep in mind that professional installation costs can vary widely depending on your location and the size of your project.
What is it? Manufactured stone veneer is a thin, lightweight wall treatment made to resemble the look of natural stones or bricks. Designers handcraft molds based on real stones used in historic buildings, then mix concrete, aggregate materials and mineral pigments to mimic the nuanced appearance of stone. There is no fiberglass, foam or other synthetic materials in the mixture, which is poured into the mold and allowed to cure. The finished veneers are inspected for quality, durability and a natural appearance. They can be installed on nearly any vertical surface, including interior walls and cabinetry.
Cost of Stone Veneer: Is stone veneer expensive? The lighter weight and higher versatility of manufactured stone veneer vs. real stone often translates to lower overall costs. You’ll be surprised how far your dollars can go with this option!
What is it? Stones occur naturally from physical changes in the elements of our planet. These changes include geologic pressure, the cooling of molten lava from a volcano or the effects of water on chemical compounds. Natural stones are at once incredibly durable and vulnerable to natural forces, like erosion. They have been used for centuries to construct homes and other buildings, but the environmental impact of quarrying stones can include irreversible erosion, chemical runoff and toxins entering groundwater.
Cost of Natural Stone: Because of their excessive weight and irregular shapes, natural stones are very expensive to quarry, transport and install.
What is it? Bricks are a type of ceramic. Similar to ceramic plates and cups, bricks are made by combining clay with water and pigments, forming the mixture into a desired shape, then firing the object in a kiln. This high-heat process results in a very strong product with excellent hardness but surprising brittleness. Bricks for construction projects are formed into rectangles with uniform dimensions that can be stacked into neat, symmetrical patterns. They can be painted or glazed to achieve a wide array of colors.
Cost of Brick: Materials alone can be quite pricey, with installation by a professional mason (highly recommended) pushing the overall tab even higher. Keep in mind that the mortar between bricks generally requires repair over time, which can add to the long-term cost.
Explore Stone Veneer Profiles From Casa di Sassi
Now that you know more about the cost of stone veneer vs. real stone vs. brick, you’re ready to explore the options Casa di Sassi brings to your project. We’re committed to helping you buy stone veneer without regret! Check out our profiles, then find a reputable distributor near you who can help make your stone house dreams come true — without reducing your budget to rubble!