Home Articles

Stone Veneer Siding: A Buyer's Guide

Written by Carol J Alexander

Published on March 19, 2024


Stone Veneer Siding: A Buyer's Guide

Stone veneer siding is a solid alternative to natural stone siding. Our buyer's guide will tell you about the pros, cons, and cost of stone veneer siding.

See how much stone veneer siding would cost for your home.

Get local cost

To provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information, we consult a number of sources when producing each article, including licensed contractors and industry experts.

Read about our editorial process here. Want to use our cost data? Click here.

The average cost range to add stone veneer siding to your home is $13 to $43 per square foot, depending on the product type.

You can achieve the classic, stately appearance of a stone house with stone veneer – and you'll recoup over 153% of your investment if you sell it. If you're in the market for new siding, this buyer's guide will walk you through everything there is to know about stone veneer siding so you can decide if it's the right choice for your type of home.

Receive quotes from local siding installers

What is stone veneer siding?

Definition of the word veneer ; "a thin decorative covering of wood, stone, or another material"Simply put, stone veneer siding is a thin covering of stone on a home. It is attached to the exterior wall using mortar.

The difference between a stone house and stone veneer siding

Stone house on a residential streetThe difference between a stone house and a house with stone siding is in the framing. The walls of a stone house are built of solid stone, which could be several courses (or layers) thick. There is no wooden framing or concrete block. On the inside, the stone walls are covered with plaster to give them a smooth surface.

A house with stone veneer siding is built either of concrete blocks or is framed with wood or steel. Plywood sheathing and a moisture barrier cover the framing, and the siding is on top. 

Types of stone veneer siding

Natural, manufactured, and stone veneer siding side by sideThere are a few different types of stone veneer siding. Before you decide which is right for you, compare the pros and cons of each one.

Natural stone veneer

Natural stone veneer on a homeImage courtesy of Stoneyard

The average cost for natural stone veneer siding is $23 to $43 per square foot.

Natural stone veneer siding is made of natural stone quarried from the earth. The back side of the stone is flattened so that it can adhere to the wall. Full-thickness stone siding isn't appropriate for the average home because the wood-framed walls cannot support the weight. However, some manufacturers like Stoneyard offer a thin, natural stone veneer that is lighter in weight. Always check with a professional before installing natural stone veneer on your home.

Pros and cons of natural stone veneer

  • + Authentic look
  • + Natural insulator
  • + Increased curb appeal
  • - Too heavy for most homes
  • - Expensive

Manufactured stone veneer

The average cost for manufactured stone veneer siding is $16 to $21 per square foot.

Manufactured stone veneer on a homeImage courtesy of Coronado

Manufactured stone veneer looks like natural stone but is made from cement, sand, and aggregates. To create a better-quality product, some companies like Coronado blend pigments in the product mixture to ensure coloring throughout the stone. Other manufacturers apply coloring to the surface of the stone. Both should include a sealant. Stones with surface coloring can discolor, scratch, or lose color where chipping occurs. Many homeowners prefer manufactured stone because it weighs less, is more affordable, and is easier to apply. 

Pros and cons of manufactured stone veneer

  • + Lighter than natural stone
  • + More affordable
  • + Easier to apply than natural stone
  • + High ROI
  • - Color can scratch or chip off lower-quality stone
  • - Cost more than other siding options like vinyl

Faux stone panels

The average cost for faux stone veneer siding is $13 to $24 per square foot.

Faux stone panels on a residential homeImage courtesy of Genstone

Faux stone veneer is formed of polyurethane foam and is put into panels with a stone-shaped profile. The veneer panels are then coated with paint and a scratch coat to resemble natural stone. Faux stone siding is lightweight, like vinyl siding, and more affordable than other stone veneer options. And because it's mortarless, it's easier to install.

Pros and cons of faux stone veneer

  • + Very light
  • + Slightly more affordable
  • + Easier to apply than other options
  • - Color can scratch or chip off
  • - Not as durable as real or manufactured stone
  • - Repeating patterns

Pros and cons of stone veneer siding

Adding stone veneer to your home, while beautiful, has its drawbacks. Here are some pros and cons to help you make your final decision.

  • + Improves curb appeal
  • + High ROI
  • + Increases insulation value
  • + Low maintenance
  • - More expensive than other siding options
  • - Requires professional installation

Additional uses for stone veneer siding

Stone veneer fireplaceImage courtesy of Stone Centers

Stone veneer installation isn't just for the exterior of your home. There are plenty of places to add stone to the home's interior walls, too. Here is a list of ideas to get your redecorating juices flowing.  

  • Surround a fireplace.

  • Cover the wall behind the woodstove.

  • Add a stone backsplash in the kitchen.

  • Side the bar in the game room with faux stone.

  • Create an accent wall in the living, dining, or primary bedroom.

Pro tip

Only use natural or manufactured stone on a fireplace surround or behind a wood stove. Always check the manufacturer's instructions for safe placement.

Stone veneer vs. other siding types

If you're looking into stone veneer siding, you might want to see how it compares to other siding options, like fiber cement or wood. While it may be one of the most expensive options, it surpasses others in longevity and durability. Here is a comparison of the most popular siding materials and how they compare on the main issues.

A graphic illustrating the different types of siding and how they compare to stone veneer siding

Stone veneer siding on a budget

If stone is a must-have for your home improvement project, you can choose a less expensive material, like faux stone, rather than natural.  If the expense is still prohibitive, consider withdrawing funds from your home equity line of credit (HELOC). You may also consider a few of the following ideas to help you trim the budget.

  • Combine the stone with another, less-expensive siding.

  • Use stone as an accent rather than covering the entire home.

  • Apply stone on the front-facing wall of the home only.

  • Shop around for materials as well as installers.

  • When shopping, compare warranty information for each product.

  • If you have the skills, DIY it.

  • If you don't have the skills, do some of the prep work.

  • Do the work in stages – front of the house now, other sides later.

DIY vs. professional installation of stone veneer siding

Stone veneer is applied directly to the exterior wall of the home. Therefore, its weight pulls on the wall and can cause it to collapse if it wasn't originally engineered to support stone. When a wall can't support the weight, professionals construct an additional foundation adjacent to the home's existing one to carry the weight. 

As you can see, the installation process for natural or manufactured stone requires skills most homeowners lack. While a skilled DIYer may have what it takes to install faux stone, we always recommend hiring a pro for the heavier materials.

Get free estimates from stone veneer siding installers near you

How to care for stone veneer siding

Cleaning and maintaining stone siding depends on the materials. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions, which should be included on their website.

Pro tip

Never use a wire bristle brush on any siding. It can scratch all surfaces and erode the grout between natural or manufactured stone.

Written by

Carol J Alexander Content Specialist and Subject Matter Expert

Carol J Alexander is a home remodeling industry expert for Fixr.com. For more than 15 years as a journalist and content marketer, her in-depth research, interviewing skills, and technical insight have ensured she provides the most accurate and current information on a given topic. Before joining the Fixr team, her personal clients included leaders in the building materials market like Behr Paint Company, CertainTeed, and Chicago Faucet, and national publications like This Old House and Real Homes.

Frequently asked questions

When considering other siding options, stone veneer is on the expensive side, hovering around the same price as LP SmartSide siding. How much more expensive it is depends on the product.

Stone is heavy. The home construction must be able to support its weight. If it cannot, additional reinforcement must be built.

Natural stone veneer can last as long as the home is well-maintained. To improve the life of manufactured or faux stone, always follow the manufacturer's instructions.