Technological advances in manufacturing has led to the creation of faux rock siding that appears as if it was the actual real stone. Plus, the installation is simple enough so you do not need the expense hiring a professional contractor. Save some money. Do-it-yourself and save the money by making a home upgrade that will also increase your property value. You might want to bring a friend along for this weekend project to provide an extra set of hands and eyes.
Step 1 – Take Measurements
Take careful measurements and bring these to your local home improvement center to get the amount of materials necessary to complete the project.
Step 2 – Prepare the Wall
Prep the wall surface by stripping away all old siding on the wall all the way down to the sheathing. Now install a vapor barrier on the wall making sure to overlap all edges by at least four inches. Use asphalt paper as your vapor barrier because it handles well and can be easily stapled to the sheathing. However, if the wall you are covering is made from brick, skip the next step.
Step 3 – ‘Chicken’ Wire
Install “chicken wire” (wire lath) over the asphalt paper overlapping each section of lath by two inches. Use galvanized screws to fasten the lath into studs detected with a finder. Space the screw drilling on the studs at six-inch intervals. Partially install the screws. Push the wire lath over the screws and then completely insert the screw attaching the wire. Use additional screws to make sure the chicken wire is applied securely.
Step 4 – Mix Mortar
Mix up a batch or mortar. Use a trowel to apply the mortar to the wall spreading a thin layer exerting enough pressure so it sticks to the wall. Make a scratched-like finish using the trowel notches. The scratched up surface will allow the next layer to adhere properly after you allow the first at least 24 hours to dry.
Step 5 – Apply Faux Rocks
Apply the faux rock panels to the wall applying about an inch of mortar to the back. Work from the middle of the wall out either side tapering the amount used until hitting the wall edges. Press the panels firmly into the mortar, sort of using a circular push movement to make sure the mortar adheres properly. Immediately clean off any mortar that finds its way to the face of the faux rock panels. Allow for 24 hours drying.
Things to Remember
This can be a messy project require extensive cleaning if you are not careful applying the mortar. Always make sure your hands are clean when handling the faux rock panels to minimize cleanup efforts. If mortar spills, clean it immediately with warm water and a mild detergent.
Alternate full panels with half panels to provide a seamless look when the installation is complete.
Do not add water to thin out your mortar mix if it starts hardening because this will weaken the mix.