Learn how to install STONEfaçade® Architectural Stone Cladding System the right way
Stone panelized siding is an easy and cost effective way to improve the curb appeal of any home, so it’s no wonder the trend continues to grow. Chances are you may have a project that includes it this fall. STONEfaçade® is engineered for siding contractors to easily install, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some important things to remember before tackling a siding project.
Here are some of my top pro tips for STONEfaçade installation:
- Put Safety first. Use gloves when handling the panels and their accessories because they have sharp metal inserts on the back. Also, when cutting the panels, use eye and ear protection.
- Open multiple boxes to start – You’ll want to open several boxes of panels at a time to find the pieces that fit best along the wall. When you open just one box, you will have to do a lot more cutting than necessary. And try to use the least number of vertical seams.
- Cut, then rinse before installing – Use a wet tile or brick saw to cut the panels and an electric grinder for shaping. Once you’ve cut the panel, rinse it in a large bucket (5 gallons or more) to remove all debris before installing.
- Check your work before you get too far along – Step back from the wall frequently and check the look of your installation. Correct any issues before proceeding. Always position the cut end of panels or accessory’s away from entrances or walkways.
- Level twice, install once – That famous cutting advice applies here as well. Make sure the wall is level and all accessories are straight when they’re installed. Use a level to check each panel along the way, including each direction on the corners. If something is not level, use a rubber mallet and a piece of 2×4 to tap panels into place, use a crowbar to raise the panel to level or substitute another panel to optimize fit and aesthetics. Use composite shims as needed to fix wall imperfections.
- Line the feet for a clean drill hole every time– DO NOT USE NAILS. Use stainless steel wood screws with a pan or truss head. When fastening panels to wall, use a 2.5- to 3-inch driver in the drill, so the chuck on the drill won’t mar the face of the stone when you get close to it. When you line up the stainless steel feet correctly, you should be able to drill a clean hole every time.
- Use a single piece to create corner sills – The best way to create a corner sill is to take one piece of sill and make a pie out of the corner rather than cutting two separate pieces at an angle and trying to make them line up.
- Stagger the joints for a natural appearance – When starting a new course of panels, stagger the vertical joints of the panels at least three to five inches from the previous course. This will keep vertical seams and stones of the same size from aligning. Vary the use of all three widths of panels within a course, and from course to course, to give the stone a natural appearance.
As with any product, always be sure to read the full installation manual before installing. By following these best practices and more, your customers can have the beautiful home exterior of their dreams.
Duane Crouch is a CertainTeed Siding Product Application Specialist
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