Veneer Options

A true fieldstone wall has strength, charm, and costs only $3 to $8 per square foot. But the price doesn't take into account the thick footings needed to support it—nor the slow installation, requiring constant chiseling and shaping. One skilled mason with an assistant can lay only 15 to 20 square feet per day.

That's why natural stone veneer—real stone that has been carefully split and sawn into thin sheets—is a growing segment of the billion-dollar stone-veneer industry. The price per square foot can be double that of full-size rocks—$8 to $14—but it goes up twice as fast, meaning real savings can be had.

More popular "manufactured" stone veneer—a mix of Portland cement, lightweight pumice, and mineral oxides for color and texture—is even cheaper and easy to install. Cast in thousands of molds and color schemes, the best manufactured stone is hard to tell from the real thing—until you pick it up and notice how light it is. Pieces can be easily cut and trimmed with a hatchet or wide-mouth nipping tool. Prices are generally in the range of $5 to $7 per square foot, uninstalled. The only drawback: With just a 30- to 50-year warranty, nothing you build with it will be quite set in stone.

Ask TOH users about Exterior

Contribute to This Story Below