This use of mixed materials is being used in several ways. By first covering the home in a lap siding, areas of the home are then highlighted with a stone or brick product for a home entry, wainscoting or even columns. Spann adds there is a growing interest in using brick and stone combined. Designers and architects are focusing on recreating authentic looking styles in their projects and the blended use of brick and stone is an ageless, Old-World style that continues to be in high demand.
“We’re seeing more use of a combination of materials like fiber cement and Cultured Stone,” says Santerian. “There’s a move toward more combination of materials, to make it more stylistic with more color choice. People want to pick a color for their house and because of that there is more involvement with the homeowner’s decision on color.”
In areas where stucco is used a lot like Southern California, Arizona and New Mexico, there might be 1,000 color options for the stucco, but if used all over, it doesn’t take long before the home can start to look boring. Manufactured stone gets use in this area where people want to differentiate that exterior somewhat and add some curb appeal. It might be on some columns on the front of the home or maybe some wainscoting or trim around the windows, or the entryway. It’s this mixing and matching that has really pushed for manufactured stone companies to be compatible with other sorts of materials.
“I think a good balance in the amount of stone that a contractor chooses to use is important,” explains Heath. “There can be situations where the use of stone can be overdone. The tasteful use of the right amount of product in the right locations is important. We have a lot of design tools that can help a remodeler to determine stones including literature, our Web site and a software program called StoneCAD. There are a lot of ideas and photos and information about the proper use of stone and how to select it.”
The Push Forward
“Wider acceptance of manufactured products is apparent as consumers learn more about the benefits of working with a manufactured product and the cost savings they experience while still achieving the unsurpassed textural beauty of stone,” says Spann.
Companies are always looking at what the next texture and color should be, and are doing a lot of research to be ahead of the curve to make sure they’re introducing new products and providing things that people are asking for. Darker colors in certain areas of the country are beginning their push so products are in the cooking pot for companies to launch early next year.