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How to Weigh the Pros and Cons of Veneer vs. Natural Stone Exteriors

If there are two agenda items that seem to be on everyone’s to-do-list this summer, they are home improvement and beautification! As we spend more time outdoors to enjoy the warmer weather and get away from the television between now and October, many of us are beginning to notice outdated housing exteriors, particularly masonry. 

If you’ve been considering investing in either natural stone panels or stone veneer siding, read on to learn the ins and outs of each prior to making a final investment.

Natural Versus Engineered Housing Exteriors

Although our staff at E&E Contracting is proud to specialize in natural stone for housing exteriors, we still believe in understanding how this is different from what you might expect from manufactured selections. Each material requires different care and planning throughout each stage of the buying, installation, and maintenance processes.

Cleaning Stone Exteriors

Here are some strategies you and your family can use to ensure that your natural or engineered stone exteriors stay clean and safe over time.

First, you should select a process based on whether you are working with natural stone or synthetics materials. If the former, soap and water are among the best ingredients you can use to sanitize surface areas. Although it may be tempting, steer clear of everyday household cleaners such as vinegar, which can ultimately decrease finish and shine. We recommend this for our own natural stone exterior options, which come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes.

If you have chosen to go with manufactured stone veneers, you should plan to use a similar process as the one outlined above, but minus the soap! Using a soft, bristle-based brush, you can simply dip the tool in water and work through with a gentle scrubbing motion to rid the surface of any unsightly stains. In this case, ammonia, vinegar or any non-abrasive solution will do the trick without causing damage to your exterior.

Comparing Engineered and Natural Stone Exteriors

With respect to installation and maintenance, expenses come to mind. Let’s take a look at whether engineered options require more effort, and cost, to add to your home as compared to natural stone options. 

One rule of thumb to consider when it comes to cost: if you are planning on a low-end natural stone selection, you may well consider a high-end manufactured stone by comparison. While natural stone is in the higher price range upfront on average, the durability is well worth the cost.

When it comes to installation, a few of the options you can look into typically include:

  • Sawn Height – materials that are construed as the fastest, least-expensive options as minimal fitting is required
  • Drystack – this is by far the costliest selection, since there are no sawn sides exposed
  • Mortared Joints – Decrease the meticulous nature of installation projects, which saves time and money

Regardless of what you select, remember that E&E Contracting offers financing options through Synchrony Bank to make it simple. Our easy application process and fast credit decisions can have you matched with your perfect housing exterior in no time! Our professional staff can help you decide which offerings make sense for your plans, vision and budget.

Why wait? Weigh your options while discovering what our clients have to say about their quality engineered and natural stone veneers. Check out our featured testimonials at the bottom of our gallery page, where you can also view our range of natural stone selections.

Click here to learn more about our stone veneer services.