Combining natural stone accents with modern siding is one of today’s most popular exterior design features. The outside of your Madison WI home is your venue for making a great first impression. It defines curb appeal. It provides the first opportunity for your personality to shine. Mixing stone veneers with siding styles gives you opportunities to combine colors and textures.
You have a choice of sizes, shapes and colors. You can use real stone, but cultured, man-made stone is more common. Why, it’s lighter, easier to work with and in most cases cheaper.
Are you planning a remodel or renovation including a new look to the outside of your home? Combining stone accents with new siding makes a statement. Like the old “chicken-n-egg” question, where do you start – do you pick your stone or your siding color first? There’s no right way. If you have seen a stone veneer you really like, find siding that complements it. The same is true if you have a favorite siding color.
In the beginning, consider:
- Overall area to cover – if you’re going to cover a large area with natural stone, selecting the stone accent first makes sense. It will be the most dominant feature on your house. Look at cobbles stones, field stones and brick, for example.
- Match architecture – choose the characteristics of the stone to complement the lines of the building. Prairie style homes and Craftsman bungalows reflect horizontal lines. Stacked flat stones make the right impression.
- Select the right siding – when you’re using a lot of stone you’ll have texture and shadow taking center stage. Choosing a siding style with a lot of texture may conflict with the stone. A rule of thumb for siding selection is: the more stone the simpler the siding should be.
Natural Stone And Siding Combinations
Finding the right contrast between the stone and siding is important. You don’t want any confusion over where the stone ends and the siding begins, do you? Pick out the main color featured in the stone and highlight it with siding – or find stone to complement your favorite siding tone.
Most homes have several colors working together to complete the exterior appeal. They blend the primary siding colors with contrasting trim, accents like shutters and shingle color. Using cultured stone is a relatively new element added to the mix. It is becoming more of a standard all the time.
The two most common combinations of siding an stone are:
- Brick and siding – brick represents vintage elegance and adds an antique, colonial look to contemporary homes. It works as an accent or an entire wall. Brick comes in several colors to contrast with many siding styles.
- Stone and siding – stone adds texture and depth to a flat surface. The traditional way to use stone is along the base of the house or in concert with porches and entryway columns. The wide range of colors, shapes and sizes gives stone users dozens of options for unique and traditional combinations.
Most of the original stone siding options were real stones cut into slabs. That made using them difficult and expensive. Using real stone gave way to what’s often called “faux stone” (meaning fake) and stone veneer. Most are like paving stones created using Portland cement as the base. They are molded for “real” shapes with pigments and colors added.
Real Stone vs. Stone-look Options
Real stone, if you can find it, has advantages:
- It lasts – installed properly and kept clean it lasts almost indefinitely.
- Real stone is authentic – it looks like it has (and will) stand the test of time.
- It’s natural and sustainable – no artificial materials or manufacturing.
- It’s recyclable – should you choose to change, real stones can be reused.
It has disadvantages, too. In modern building the negatives have outweighed the positives because:
- Real stone is difficult to obtain – mining, quarrying, etc.
- Stone accents are expensive – because they are hard to obtain they cost more than manufactured alternatives.
- Stone is heavy – many building codes limit the weight of walls for residential buildings. Even if you’re within code, real stone walls require extra framing.
- Installation takes a skilled mason.
The faux stone or stone veneer options are man-made from synthetic materials. They are like paving stones for walls. They have gained popularity because:
- Natural stone is a very desirable accent material.
- Faux stone materials are less expensive than real stone.
- Man-made stones are lightweight.
- Skilled contractors can install stone veneers.
- There are dozens of color, size, shape and texture options.
- Stone veneers have an additional insulation value of as much as R-4.5.
Before jumping on the fake stone bandwagon, consider some of the less popular aspects of the man-made stones, including:
- Because these stone options are mass produced you will find identical pieces –when you’re trying for a natural look, you don’t want obvious repeats, right?
- Some cement-based products chip and crack – allowing moisture to get in as well.
Natural Stone Accents Exterior Renovation
Combining different siding styles, colors and textures opens up a new world of design possibilities. Adding brick or stone goes even farther. Blending stunning accents and subtle contrasts in texture results in a home with amazing curb appeal.
When you’re evaluating your siding and stone options, professionals recommend taking samples of your siding and the stone choices outside on the side of the house where you’ll use them. And, do it at several times of day so you see how they work together in both sun and shade.
Sims Exteriors & Remodeling has been installing siding of all kinds in the Madison area year-in and year-out for years. Sims’ craftsmen are skilled and well-trained. No company in the area matches our crews’ training and experience.
In addition, Sims’ supplies have the best warranties in the business and we stand behind our workmanship and commitment to deliver the professional results you expect. When you need help, any time of year, you want service from a company you can trust, right?
If you’re looking for ways to improve your home’s efficiency and good looks, inside and outside, email us or give us a call at 608-825-4500.
Sims Exteriors & Remodeling is a recognized leader for reliable, long-lasting siding products. We’re ready to evaluate your situation, share the options and recommend the best way to combine real stone accents with modern siding for your Madison WI area home.