Slap On Stone

Alright, let’s go back to architecture 101 for this post. Stone and brick are long used materials in homes and buildings of all shapes and sizes. These masonry materials not only look great, but provide a very low maintenance exterior cladding. Mixing stone and siding as materials for the exterior of a building is a great way to give it a bit of added character. A cardinal sin of this maneuver, however, is “slapping” the stone on the face of a building without giving it a corner to die into.

Here is what I mean:


These homes, are by no means ugly houses, but the stone placed on the front that does not continue into a corner is not only architecturally incorrect, but looks like someone decided on a whim to throw it up there to increase appeal. While the thought of mixing materials in both examples actually works quite well, it is the execution that falls short. Both homes probably looked great on paper, when looking straight on, but in real life (viewing in perspective) you see the abrupt end of the brick/stone.

The devil is in the details:


The illustration on the right shows the correct technique for mixing exterior materials. The masonry product wraps around the bump out and dies into a corner. The illustration on the left details the slap on method.

The argument for using the slap on method is of course cost. You are using less material and labor, and can state on paper that the building or home has a stone veneer. If you don’t have a corner to terminate the masonry, then that is your cue to either not use it, or do a greater portion (or all) of the structure in stone. Whatever you do, don’t slap on the stone!

Christopher Johnson