Stone cladding on the exterior of a house? YUK! How awful, vulgar and tacky, but back in the 1980’s, many people went for that look. Here’s how to get rid of it
This article was written by the author of NPA (me!) and was published in Ideal Homes Magazine in the “ask an expert section”, sometime in 2005. Reproduced here in full, with additional comments.
If you don’t yet know what stone cladding is, the photo above, taken on the set of ITV’s Coronation Street (or “Corrie” as fans call it), shows how misguided people were when they went and had stone cladding on the front of their home.
In most cases, stone cladding looks out of place and not in keeping with most homes, espcially when it is implemented on a terraced house like the one above. In rare cases it can look OK, but many home owners are either put off buying someone with cladding, or if they own the property already, they despair about how to get rid of it.
What is stone cladding and why should I be concerned about it?
For people who don’t know, a definition in archinet, a great architecture directory, suggests that:
Stone cladding can be used internally and externally. Internally, stone cladding tiles can be directly fixed to internal walls with adhesive.
Externally, stone cladding is normally attached with stainless steel fixings; there are also proprietary stone cladding rainscreen systems, which typically attach stone cladding panels to extruded aluminium mullions fixed to the main structure.
With stone cladding rainscreen systems, any moisture penetrating the front seal is drained and expelled through weep holes in the stone cladding.
Another form of stone cladding takes the form of a thin layer of natural stone bonded to the exterior of a concrete panel; this produces the effect of stone cladding while economizing on material.
The materials used for stone cladding can include marble, granite, sandstone, limestone and slate.
So if your house has stone cladding on the exterior, what can be done about it?
This is the article I wrote for Ideal Homes Magazine.
Copyright exists with Ideal homes magazine, IPC media and G Bell, of NPA.
Q. “Please can you tell me the most effective way to remove stone cladding from the front of our house?”
From Mr. **********, Sutton Coldfield, UK.
A. Stone cladding can cause problems by trapping moisture, but removing it is a difficult job and best left to professionals. They will probably erect scaffolding and may even board up windows, then – starting from the top – will smash off a piece of cladding with a hammer.
Then they will chisel under the remaining pieces, taking them off one by one.
The brick beneath will invariably suffer and removing stone cladding can take the original mortar joints and even the faces of the bricks or blocks off.
You may also discover the cladding was applied to conceal or hide more serious problems such as major cracks and subsidence.
The surface left after stone cladding removal may need a lot of work to get it up to scratch, maybe even sandblasting or shot blasting, and in more serious cases, the home owner may also have to get the exterior re rendered and then painted.
Here’s what I said in Ideal Homes Magazine…
“It’s unlikely you can restore the wall to it’s original state” says Guy Alexander Bell of NEVER PAINT AGAIN uk, specialists in, amongst other things, stone cladding removal, “so it’s best to put up another surface onto the wall that is in keeping with the character of the house”
As a rule of thumb, removing stone cladding can be a costly and expensive business and frustrating too, that you are having to undo what was essentially a fad or fashion in the 1980s.
Stone cladding is still used today in many different forms, but mainly as a feature, such as a window head or quoins (the corner stones on house edges), but rarely do people hear of a house being covered in stone cladding like they used to be, people have more taste nowadays!
Another issue is quite a paradox. If the original cladding was installed by cowboy builders, it is far more likely to be easier to remove than if it was applied to the exterior walls of the house by professionals!
Also what does one do with the leftover rubble after the STONE CLADDING is removed?
Rather than take it to the landfill site, or pay for someone to remove it, some stone cladding pieces could be put to better use as decorative walling or edging in your yard or garden!
There are many ways that you can save both the environment and your wallet by using your head!
I hope you enjoyed this article.
If you would like to be featured on my site, you can either ask me a question FREE, or if you are a budding author, you can submit your article to us for inclusion on this website. It must be related to home repair, remodeling, home improvements etc, so email us at firstname.lastname@example.org (cut and paste this link into your email client).
We can help remove your stone cladding and replace with a brand new wall finish.
Remember, you can’t just have stone cladding removed and then that is it. There will almost certainly be damage to the wall beneath, meaning that unless you are happy for your home exterior to look even worse than before, you must then consider what should be put back on, in most cases, render and/or a weatherproof paint finish.
“If your home has been previously “ruined” with stone cladding, then CLICK HERE AND contact us today for a quote to remove the cladding and replace the exterior wall surface with something better!“
(Picture of coronation street TV set in Manchester sourced from the public domain. Coronation street is a trade mark of Granada TV.)