Faux Stone Has Been Around A While. So why Am I Still Seeing This?

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

Faux stone has been around a while.  So why am I still seeing this?

Over the years I have had many posts about faux stone, and the improper installation thereof.  When not installed well it becomes a problem.  And it's not a matter of if - improper installation will eventually result in problems, and often serious problems!  Water must be drained from behind the product, synthetic stucco or faux stone, and should be kept away from other materials.

Builders get upset when I point out things like this.

They say I, the home inspector, am creating problems!


As a home inspector I simply observe and report.

There is so much wrong here:

1.  You see an obvious hole in the mortar.  There were other holes and cracks all over the installation!

2.  Mortar is touching the wood framing.  These two materials should never touch.

3.  I can't see metal lathe under the mortar.  That is the material onto which the faux stone is "glued," literally, so it sticks to the house.

4.  The mitered joint in the wood trim was never sealed, or primed.

These are not my OPINIONS.  These are things I see.  They aren't wacky or out of line.  It is observation.

Faux stone installers have long history of understanding that this type of installation creates problems.  It's sure thing. 

So why am I still seeing it?  Ignorance or not caring.  Get in and get out, quick.

All of that represents a lack of professionalism.

And a lack of professionalism is my biggest beef with new construction.  A lack of pride is a lack of pride.  It does not matter who the builder is.  If it's unprofessional it's not desirable.  And I point it out.

Separation of materials, particularly wood and mortar is essential.  Drainage behind the faux stone is essential. 

How is it done?

Many ways.  For example, one product, seen to the right, has been around for years, and provides drainage and a permanent separation that will accept caulking and seal the area.  And mortar adheres well to it.  This product is produced by Amico Global and is called EZ Bead.  Every time I have contacted them they have been very generous with their time and explanations.

This is just one product of many necessary for a proper faux stone installation job.  It can also be used with synthetic stucco.

Why did I not see this or another product here?  Because this was not a proper or professional faux stone installation!  This job is setting the house up for problems.  And that is UNACCEPTABLE.

My recommendation:  people often ask me if this or that builder is a good one.  My answer is that it depends on who the supervisor is on site every day, and who the subcontractors are.  The same builder in two different neighborhoods can deliver a different product depending on who is supervising and who the subs are!  And that is that!  So, hire an informed home inspector who observes and reports.  You'll be glad you did.



Posted by

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

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


Comments (14)

William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Poor workmanship is the cause of many  an issue in our homes

Aug 24, 2017 03:15 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Jay. So true, it is the workers doing the work that determine the quality of the job! Shortcuts are too common. Enjoy your day!

Aug 24, 2017 05:16 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Agree so much with what you say at the end, all depends who the supervisor is and who the subs are as well.

Aug 24, 2017 06:32 AM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

I work with builders who do not use synthetic stone but thi is an issue I will look out for in existing homes.

Aug 24, 2017 07:16 AM
Fred Hernden, CMI
Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area - Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque area Master Inspector

Amen, so many people do not realize that the builder they hire does not build their home!

Aug 24, 2017 07:29 AM
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Jay. I think, new product or not it has to be enjoyed and well done.

Aug 24, 2017 07:49 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

This is important information to distribute, Jay.  I can see those holes in the mortar as an avenue to significant future water damage problems. 

Aug 24, 2017 08:46 AM
Stephen Weakley
Nationwide Mortgage Services - Rockville, MD

That's another reason I stick around to monitor contractors when they work on my home.  The experience of the crew that is sent out to do the work can vary widely.  I've stopped a project and requested managers on-site in the past when it was obvious the crew was in over their heads.  Beats having the job done wrong and and then having them come out again to redo the work!

Aug 24, 2017 02:05 PM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

An understatement, William!  And true!

N&T - I've been saying that for years.  Many years ago when I saw people who were sweeping and cleaning up because that was all they were hired to do, I said they will one day be in the trades and when that happens everything will change.  They are in the trades!

It is used all around here, Joe.  And for many years.

Fred - what's in a name!?  When builders advertise this or that award, I think that past performance does not guarantee future return on investment.  Like investments.

Aug 24, 2017 02:31 PM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Absolutely, Sheila.  And the enjoyment should last a long time.

Myrl - water is the big event, and when behind this stuff it is a killer.

Stephen - due diligence requires proactivity.  You should definitely stick your nose into the business and watch what's going on.

Aug 24, 2017 02:34 PM
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce

AH yes......that famous..."deferred maintainance".....we are seeing much more of this used inside homes...stone walls....with none of that ugly weather damage and really kind of cool ...happy weekend !

Aug 26, 2017 06:51 AM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

This is a 2 year old house, S&D!  The rotting walls will be deferred in a few years though!

Aug 26, 2017 10:50 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Jay Markanich,

I'm glad to see Sally K. & David L. Hanson re-blogged your post as I missed it. Great information to share..really appreciate your posts!

Oct 28, 2018 07:23 AM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thank you, Dorie.  I try to put out instructive stuff!  And I am shocked, shocked I tell you, that you did not see it first time out.


Oct 28, 2018 09:39 AM