How to Fake Your Home’s Exterior Without Being Caught

Toronto Life
Peter Sellar House
Photography by Peter A. Sellar - www.photoklik.com

They say what you see is what you get. But seeing isn't always believing — especially when it comes to today’s home construction. We always want to surround ourselves with beautiful things, and the same applies to our homes. If you've ever wished to live in a true stone house with cedar shingles and wrought iron window and door applications but have always dreaded the price and the extensive maintenance these houses require, fear no more. Unlike the kitschy products of yesterday, today’s market offers high-quality substitutes that offer the same charm for less.

Faux Stone

Once you get past the fact that something, such as stone, is artificial, you can really see its design potential,

says Shane Starkweather of Boulder Creek Stone Products in an interview with Forbes.

A cinderblock wall covered in faux stone can look as if it was built by a skilled mason or craftsman. And because the stone is lightweight, a couple of do-it-yourselfers can often do the work on their own.

Stone fireplace
Faux Stone Fireplace by Boulder Creek Stone

A comparison of authentic masonry and manufactured brick and stone veneers reveals that faux stone siding offers more pros than cons. To begin with, the veneers are considerably less expensive to purchase and install. Plus, natural bricks are not recommended for use in humid areas. They have many pores that let the moisture seep between the stone and mortar and thus can potentially cause severe damage to your house's exterior. Faux stone and brick siding is generally more durable and more fireproof that the genuine options.

In addition, artificially produced siding offers better insulation and require less maintenance. This technique requires no stain or paint, nor any special foundation or footing. You can therefore keep the final price at a minimum while achieving high-quality appearance and functionality.

Faux stone and brick siding is manufactured using a mixture of natural materials like Portland cement, lightweight aggregates, and iron oxide for colour. Together, these ingredients give integrity to the stone’s natural appearance during the manufacturing process. Once the mixing is complete, the resulting material is cast into natural stone and brick constructed moulds, resulting in a realistic product weighing substantially less than its natural counterparts.

There is a wide range of faux stone and brick varieties, colours, and finishes available to suit every house. You can use brick and stone veneer with other natural or manufactured products as well.

Plugs
Blending In by Mark Nordgren

StoneRox is a high-quality stone veneer manufactured by Architectural Accents, Inc. It serves both residential and commercial properties and offers an interesting range of products.

StoneRox came to the market based on requests and encouragement from our builder clients, who consistently look for innovative products and unique looks. We have researched the facing stone market and believe that with the improvements we have made, we will meet the needs of the Canadian Market by offering a facing stone made here for our climate,

said Mike Grace, president and owner of Architectural Accents Inc.

Faux Shingles

Fennec smaller
Siesta à la Fennec by Tambako the Jaguar

Nothing gives a house a nicer finishing touch than cedar shingles. They are beautiful and lovely, true — the only problem is that you need to repaint them every two or three years to maintain their appearance.

Wood shingle roofs have a terrible history of fire problems. Not only does cedar wood catch fires easily, but intense heat and winds can also lift the shingles off roofs and scatter embers and flames onto neighbouring houses. The average life expectancy of a cedar roof is twenty years, and during that time the roof requires a lot of attention. Maintenance for a natural cedar roof can cost between $500 and $1000 per year on average. Many environmental factors affect the roof, such as falling and decomposing leaves, dirt, small animals, humidity, and too much shade or too much sunlight. High-quality cedar shingles are made from thick and treated cedar wood, and the overall cost for these roofs isn't very appealing.

For a long time, cedar roofing didn’t have a competitor. Cedar shingles used to be the king of roofs. Any imitation looked flimsy and wrong because every shingle was the same colour and had the same pattern. The natural look of a cedar rooftop was lost. Manufacturers designed cedar shingle alternatives as environmentally friendly substitutes to the natural options. Faux cedar shake tiles are made from the finest composite materials, offering a highly durable, long-lasting alternative to traditional wood cedar shingles. Today, cedar shingle replacements are made in a range of colours and in different moulds to preserve the natural-looking appearance. This is a fire- and hail-resistant option, and it offers the best protection possible for your roof.

Enviroshake is a leading Canadian company offering cedar roof replacement with their own shingles. They guarantee a lifetime warranty that's fully transferable within the first 50 years.

We’ve launched the new Enviroshingle as a response to a growing demand from our customers for a 5” cedar shingle look. The Enviroshingle® is designed to be installed at a 5” reveal offering a look that is perfectly suited for your roofing needs, as well as other accent areas on the exterior of your home,

says Ashley Hewko, director of marketing for Enviroshake Inc.

Faux Wrought Iron

fence
Fence by Mike Willis

Designers have cited Asian and Middle-Eastern design influence as a top trend for several seasons. It has a certain glamour and a glimpse of charm that can't be found elsewhere. One of the signature elements of Asian and Middle-Eastern design are wrought iron details. Wrought iron can be used inside as well as outside to decorate and protect windows and doors. It's also great for gates or as fencing. The only downside of wrought iron is its price, since every piece is handmade to order.

Today, however, faux wrought iron has started to appear on the market. It offers many advantages compared to its genuine counterpart and has the potential to become very popular in the coming years. Tableaux is one of the best faux wrought iron on the markets distributed by Faux Iron Solutions Inc. It's the largest distributor of faux wrought iron in North America, with over 1,300 interior design and window treatment dealers in the United States and Canada.

Keep in mind that Tableaux® is not iron at all — not that you'll be able to tell the difference. It's made from composite material formed of recycled or reclaimed wood fibres and resins. Some of the biggest advantages of Tableaux are its ease of installation and cost effectiveness. It weights only one-tenth the weight of iron and therefore can be used more widely. Unfortunately, you can only use faux wrought iron for non-structural applications, such as windows, doors, cabinetry, ceiling coffers, or wall decorations.

A genuine and faux wrought iron comparison also needs to take into account the fact that decorative applications made by Tableaux faux iron do not require the additional structural reinforcement typically needed to support the weight of real wrought iron pieces. The more customized and detailed the design, the more price-competitive Tableaux faux wrought iron becomes.

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