How Stone Is Making Its Way Into the U.S. Home Building Marketplace

Homeowners are choosing stone as an exterior accent and cladding material at an increased rate. Stone use in home building has risen 6 percent in the years between 2004 and 2002, according to Builder.

This data on stone use in was published in the most recent Builder Practices Survey, conducted by Home Innovation Research Labs.

Traditional Exterior by Boston Architects & Building Designers david phillips

In 2012, 10 percent of newly built homes had stone exteriors, evenly split between natural and man-made stone products. Luxury homes had an even higher amount of stone usage at 14 percent, with 9 percent using natural stone and 5 percent using manufactured materials.

The numbers were similar in 2008, when 10 percent of homes used manufactured and natural stone in a 50-50 split. Stone use dropped following the economic recession of 2008 and is only recently regaining traction.

Stone is most often used as an accent material in recently built homes, according to Bill Sutton, principal at Washington, D.C.-based SYAA Architects. Exterior features such as wainscoting, porches, landscape barriers and entryways not only give homes an image of permanence and durability, but they also suggest elegance and a connection to the surrounding environment.

Malm reported that manufactured stone, usually made of a type of lightweight concrete, is significantly less expensive than natural stone. Manufactured stone products typically cost a third to a half less than quarried stone.

Since manufactured stone is also lighter than its natural counterpart, it’s easier to use as a construction material. It costs less to install and doesn’t require the same type of sturdy wall ties or footings required in a natural stone installation. Visually, manufactured stone still lags behind natural stone, but newer processes are improving the look of factory-made materials.

Construction Monitor keeps construction industry professionals up-to-date on the most recent housing starts in communities throughout the United States. Contact us today for more information on stone use in home building and what it means to you as a contractor and homebuilder.

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