Do you have Wallpaper to resemble Stone or Stone to resemble Wallpaper?
It doesn’t matter if your stone-work on your house is veneer as long as it looks real. Now you may think it looks real, but your subconscious mind can tell the difference and will interpret this with an uneasy feeling. That is if you take the time to notice your senses.
Even though Stone Veneer is not structural, it must appear structural as real stone. On a wall constructed with real stone, the stone is stacked with the face up, not out to the side. Think of how you would stack stone.
By turning the broad face of the stone to the outside of the wall, an illusion of wallpaper is created. This is unnatural and unbelievable for stone cannot be stacked in this way.
However, THIS IS the correct way you would lay stone flooring, flagstone, or a mosaic tile design. When the broad face of the stone faces out, an illusion is created that there is no top or bottom. When standing on the stone floor looking down, your body feels free to move in any direction.
For a vertical surface, there must be a top and a bottom as each stone rests on the one below creating the illusion of structure. This is aesthetically the correct way to do it although throughout history this un-coursed or random coursed stonework has been used on many structures.
So, as you drive around, check out the stone work on the exterior of buildings and chimneys, and don’t forget the fireplaces on the interior, and see how many stone walls would look better as a floor. Once you pick it out you will recognize this every time.
I am so unbelievably glad that I found this site. I bought a 1918 Gothic Revival home last year. The house has its issues due to previous owners not doing maintenece and it sitting unused for years in court battles, but it is so beautiful and charming to me. The Good points are that the original woodworking in the house is still good and has never been painted, though I have my doubts about the stain in a few rooms. Other than one window. I found Beautiful original hardwood floors under the carpet throughout the entire house and immediately ripped it out. The original ornate balconies are still on the house as well. I love older homes and this one still had so much of its original charm that I fell madly in love with it from the moment the Realtor opened the door. One of the best features are the windows. The original 9ft (give or take) windows are still in place. This is why I found this blog, The windows are old and drafty and some of the sills are rotted out. Everyone kept telling me to replace them with modern windows. I laughed this off at first because the windows were so unique and I just felt instinctively that the house would not like that. (I know how crazy that sounds). I put plastic over the windows and hung curtains, so it wasnt to bad during winter. Then summer came, Luckily the people who built the house were much smarter than me, and they built an exterior door leading onto a tiny little balcony right in my bedroom. Open up the door and put a fan in front, you are good to go. Downstairs they were smart enough to design 12-14ft ceilings with transoms over every one of the 9 total exterior doors. I was now fully convinced that I would never need to replace the windows. However, during my spring cleaning I really started looking at them and the old worries came back. Some of the glass panes have been replaced with fiberglass, (WHY????) none of them are operable and the wood is rotting. I spent all the summers of my youth helping my dad literally build houses from the ground up, so I’m fairly handy with tools. I though maybe I could restore the windows myself since I would literally have to pay more to have them restored than what I paid for the house and I wouldn’t be able to afford it for another five years anyway. I don’t want the windows to have another 5 years of damage done to them. I have been searching for information to help me in the restoration of this house forever, and this is by far the best site I’ve found. I literally spent hours on here tonight. I was already on the right track with the windows, but now I cant stop thinking about the rest of the home and some mistakes I might have made. When I researched the house I found that it was in the same family for most of its existence, before it went through a couple banks, two short term owners and now my fiance and I. The original family who owned it lived in New York, this was not the primary residence for them. I think thats why the house still has so many of its features, it hasnt had enough owners to destroy it yet. I found a listing of the old homes in my town, and my house was rated “O” for outstanding arch integrity. (although it is an old report.) and when I looked up the history I found out that the original owners when the home was built, is semi-famous. (famous for this area anyway, they have a hall named after him at Indiana University,) It is going to take me years to restore this home, but I’m hoping that it will be worth it and that when it is complete I can get it listed as a historic site so it will hopefully have a little protection from well-meaning home owners after I’m gone. Anyway, sorry to write a novel, I’m just so impressed with this site and it truly inspired me, At 25yrs old everyone I’ve talked to about my house has looked at me like I’m crazy (probably because they still live in their parents mc mansions) so thank you for letting me know that other people care about old homes as much as I do.
Old House Guy Blog says
Hi – thank you so much for your letter. I am happy I was able to help you out. Please feel free to email me and hopefully I can guide you in your restoration.
I too am glad I receive your newsletter…I had painted my front door “colonial” bloe and you advised me on another color…very dark green on my door and REAL moving shutters….I love it!! Thanks to you!
Matthew Siegmann says
Something I wonder about with the old stone veneer. I live in southwest Missouri where houses and commercial buildings from the 1910’s through the 1930’s (maybe as late as just before WWII) had native rock placed like you would see a flagstone floor. What are your thoughts on these considering this is how they were intended to look?
Ken Roginski says
Random stone like a flagstone floor is not wrong architecturally or historically. It is wrong in a psychological way. Our senses prefer to see a wall of stones stacked up supporting those above. That look is natural and is welcomed by our inner senses. The random stone pattern is more difficult for our senses to accept.
The non structural stacking reminds me of a cross section of rubble. The minds eye always wants to build and requires form and function at every turn for authenticity.