How NOT To Install Stone Veneer Siding

By
Home Inspector with Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC 3380-000723

When a large part of the exterior of a house is covered with a faux stone veneer, there are many locations each of which has its own method of protecting prior to the mortar application.  There are inside and outside corners, vertical and horizontal trim members, windows and doors, etc.  Suffice it to say that the stone veneer industry has done many studies and tests and has published very specific "best practices" diagrams.  They are available in a variety of places on line and in classroom form, complete with workbooks and technical diagrams.

This house has a VARIETY of such locations, each of which should have been done correctly.  One example is below, on the same new construction you have seen before --

Without getting too technical and posting architectural diagrams, this kind of thing is all over this house and it is a problem.  It is a problem because it simply is not done correctly.  With stone veneer things aren't simply nailed to the wall and surrounded by mortar.  Basically,

  • Wood has six sides, and all six need to be primed AND painted prior to installation.  You can see paint on the mortar on the left.  How about the rest?
  • Mortar never touches wood products.  There is defined separation with flashings (called casings or casing beads), backer rods and a caulking-type material.
  • Windows are not waterproof when mortar surrounds them.  The mortar will shrink and separate.  Water will get in.
  • Not only will the wood trim rot, but what is underneath can as well.  It is hard to see under the stone!  The framing around the windows will rot as water gets in there too.  Once you realize there is a problem it is usually a BIG problem because it has been there a while.

The Masonry Veneer Manufacturers Association has published, on line and in workbook form, over 50 diagrams which demonstrate best practices for such veneered stone.  They can be viewed here:

http://www.culturedstone.com/literature/docs/InstallationAdheredConcreteMasonryVeneer.pdf

As to the photo above, its proper application is described in diagrams 21 and 22.

My recommendation:  Whenever you see faux stone veneer on a house just remember that it is not as simple as paste and mortar.  There are very specific things necessary to make it a long-lasting application.

 

 

 

Posted by

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Gita Bantwal 11/26/2010 01:09 AM
  2. Bob & Leilani Souza 11/28/2010 03:03 PM
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Rainmaker
1,843,915
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Saga indeed Mike!  Yes, properly done this stuff is not easy.  But certainly it isn't something that requires slapping in a wood detail and surrounding it with mortar.

Nov 26, 2010 10:37 AM #45
Rainer
27,591
T Doe
Arctic Bay, YN

Proper installations for all systems and components related to a house...is all we can wish for, that is what I am asking Santa for.

Nov 26, 2010 11:42 AM #46
Rainmaker
1,843,915
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Santa is a good guy Thomas.  If you have been good, I am sure he will come through for you.

Nov 26, 2010 12:26 PM #47
Ambassador
573,714
Chris Alston
Chris Alston (Keller Williams Realty, Silicon Valley, California) - Campbell, CA
Silicon Valley, California

Dang, that is interesting...  I never thought about the fact that it should be primed and painted BEFORE that.  Great post, as always!

Nov 26, 2010 01:05 PM #48
Rainmaker
1,843,915
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Aw shucks, Chris.  Yes, always primed and painted BEFORE.

Nov 26, 2010 01:25 PM #49
Rainmaker
104,214
Robert Slick
Beach and River Homes - Georgetown, SC
NRBA, RDCPro, Trident/CCAR MLS

Too bad about this install. You know what the builder will say: "can't see it from my house."

Nov 26, 2010 05:30 PM #50
Rainer
43,428
Renée Montgomery
Century 21 New Millennium - Warrenton, VA
Northern Virginia Real Estate

Jay,

You are giving us a great education!

Nov 26, 2010 11:37 PM #51
Rainmaker
233,467
Reuben Saltzman
Structure Tech Home Inspections - Minneapolis, MN
Delivering the Unbiased Truth.

How unfortunate.  That's going to be one expensive fix... I'm assuming they didn't just get one window wrong, right?

Nov 26, 2010 11:44 PM #52
Rainmaker
3,240,078
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

Nothing in construction is ever as simple as it looks....here we say that the faux bricks...inside (frequently used for fireplaces) are buttered...mmmmm with great care in application!

Nov 26, 2010 11:57 PM #53
Rainmaker
1,843,915
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Robert - the supervisor will say that this is all acceptable practice.  I say, show him (and his subs) the diagrams!

Renee - I am happy you feel that way.  That is the objective here!

Reuben - right, all wrong, or yes, they were all wrong, right, or geez, now I'm really confused.  That's right, they were all wrong.  Or left...?  Geez...

S&D - I think faux anything, especially "marble" on columns and walls, looks less than stellar.  And those Z-bricks you are referring to are one of mankind's banes!

Nov 27, 2010 12:01 AM #54
Rainer
241,927
Justin Dibbs
Pearson Smith Realty - Ashburn, VA
REALTOR® - Ashburn Virginia Homes for Sale

It really is sad how poorly the "new construction" home are built.  My client had rotten wood and mold all beneath the stone facade of their home due to improper installation.

Nov 27, 2010 08:23 AM #55
Rainmaker
1,843,915
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Justin - this is a common problem, and apparently nationwide.  This stuff is not easy to install and people with it have lots of problems.  I call it the new EIFS...

Nov 27, 2010 09:49 AM #56
Rainmaker
31,955
Sam Fischer
Coeur d'Alene, ID

Part of the problem with "Do it your selfer's" is they don't realize how intricate a project can be to actually do it right. So, they end up cutting corners after starting to avoid damaging their pride.....

Nov 27, 2010 01:24 PM #57
Rainmaker
1,843,915
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

This is new construction Sam!  That installer was a PRO!

Nov 27, 2010 10:12 PM #58
Rainer
55,077
Mark Woodward
Floor Coverings International - Randolph, NJ
We bring the flooring store to your door

Just another case of cutting corners trying to say a few pennies.  What ever happened to taking pride in your work and doing it right the first time? I see a lot of this with bathroom tile.  Great post!

 

Nov 28, 2010 12:47 AM #59
Rainmaker
1,843,915
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

This wasn't simply a case of cutting corners.  This is all over the house Mark.  Do they even know how to do it right?

Nov 28, 2010 01:13 AM #60
Rainmaker
1,042,008
Bob & Leilani Souza
Souza Realty 916.408.5500 - Roseville, CA
Greater Sacramento Area Homes, Land & Investments

Jay, thanks for pointing out what to look out for in stone veneer installations, as well as posting a photo that demonstrates an incorrect installation. I'm going to re-blog this, as I think this is something most people overlook when buying a home. :)

Leilani

Nov 28, 2010 03:01 PM #61
Rainmaker
1,843,915
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Leilani - most people would look at that and see a well placed piece of trim and mortar carefully placed around it.  But that's not correct!

Nov 28, 2010 10:47 PM #62
Rainmaker
490,607
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Jay,

I wonder if contractors think that flashing is just not what it is billed to be, or is it just too darn expensive for them to use and install. I am amazed if I find a home that is properly flashed. I had one very close not too long ago but the deck ruined it. I guess different sub there.

Mar 01, 2011 10:51 AM #63
Rainmaker
1,843,915
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Don - flashing is quite the foreign concept for some people!  Especially, it seems, faux stone siding "pros."

Mar 01, 2011 11:19 AM #64
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Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
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