The stone market is growing and veneers have become the hot new trend in hardscape design. In the past, stone work on a home or landscape was very expensive because the designs called for whole stone. The weight of the materials required larger footings and thicker walls, driving up costs.
Over the years manufactured stone has come a long way, and it’s now virtually indistinguishable from the real thing. Here are some reasons stone masons are recommending manufactured stone veneers more often.
1. They are more versatile
Manufactured stone veneers can be installed both indoors and outdoors. The thinner, lighter materials in man-made stone veneer take less of a toll on a household than natural wall stones, and the structure generally won’t require extensions of reinforcement of the foundation. With a thickness of roughly 1”, stone veneers can be used in construction applications where traditional stone masonry simply won’t work, and at about 13 pounds per square foot the thin veneers can be installed on walls that could not support traditional masonry.
Veneers can be easily installed on any wall surface, from plywood to concrete. Every time you can tell a customer, “Yes we can do that,” you have another opportunity to make a sale.
Interior stone veneers are used for fireplaces, stairways, kitchen islands, backsplashes, bars, and wine cellars. On the exterior, they can cover walls, chimneys and pillars, dress up the patio and grill area, spruce up the outdoor fireplace or landscaping, and lend the warmth and elegance of stone at a very affordable price.
With natural stone, high transportation costs generally limit the selection to varieties and colours that are quarried locally, unless the builder has deep pockets. With manufactured stone, many more texture and colour options are available, all at a very attractive price.
2. The price is affordable to a larger customer base
Stone veneers achieve the same look, textures, shapes and colours of natural stone. They also have the same durability and benefit of maintenance free ownership. The homeowner receives all of the benefits, but at a far more attractive price point.
Prospective customers that would never have considered conventional stone masonry can afford manufactured stone veneers. New construction projects and renovations are limited. With more attractive prices you have a shot at landing a higher percentage of the available jobs in your area.
3. A larger target market
Often referred to as faux stone siding and man-made stone cladding, manufactured stone veneers offer an alternative to siding, brick, stucco and other cladding materials. Not only are you able to bid against other stone masons, but you can scoop projects that would have gone to installers of these other cladding options.
Some stone masons have been resistant to embracing manufactured stone veneers because they consider them to be a do-it-yourself product. If a product opens new doors, and can improve the bottom line, it could be good business to get on board with it, and show the local market just how great it can look when installed by a professional.
4. It’s better for the builder
Any time you can improve the customer experience, your chances of being hired again go up significantly. Manufactured stone veneers have a smaller footprint on the job site than traditional stone, brick and some other materials. The materials are light, should they have to be moved about on the job site after delivery.
Installation, particularly for a professional, is quick. You’re in and out in less time. That looks really good on a Gantt chart. Hiring you helps reduce the total construction time, and you are also easier to schedule between other trades.
5. Increased profits and quicker payments on receivables
Larger conventional stone projects may be priced higher, but they tend to drag on a lot longer. That can tie up resources and become expensive if you find yourself dipping into a line of credit to cover materials, operating expenses and payroll. With veneers, the time between delivery of materials and receiving the cheque should be reduced, improving your cash flow. Manufactured stone veneers are light weight, compact and easy to transport. This can often reduce delivery costs.