Manufactured Stone Veneer proves its curb appeal star status, tops list in Cost. vs. Value study

It’s no secret that the overall value of a home begins with how people view it. Their initial impression. This can be first spotting it standing on the street, seeing it from a car window or getting a peek via photos online.

In other words: curb appeal.

And, according to a recent REMODELING magazine report, what remodeling project significantly increases a home’s curb appeal while giving the homeowner an almost 100 percent return on investment when it comes to its cost versus the value it’ll ultimately fetch?

Contrary to long-held conceptions, it’s not a mid-range kitchen remodel, or a window replacement, or a deck addition, a vinyl siding addition, or even a minor kitchen renovation.

It’s manufactured stone veneer.

Citing the magazine’s 2019 “Cost vs. Value” study — which surveyed approximately 3,200 real estate pros about returns on 22 projects in 136 U.S. markets in 2018 — and despite rising material costs impacting overall returns, manufactured stone veneer came in at a whopping 94.9% average cost recouped. It was derived from an average job cost of $8,907 and an average resale value of $8,449. In entire study it was second only to garage door replacement, which came in slightly higher at 97.5%.

For manufactured stone veneer, it’s trend of performance that’s been consistent since it was added to the study back in 2015. Since then, it’s been in the top three in return on investment (ROI) at a clip of 90 percent of greater each and every year.

“It’s huge,” said Rich Kelly, National Sales and Marketing Manager for Norse Building Products, a building materials company based in the Greater Chicago, Illinois area. Mr. Kelly is also the chair of NCMA’s Manufactured Stone Communications Subcommittee. “How many things can you invest in today and get back 97 percent? And that’s not putting the stone veneer on the whole house. That’s only 300 square feet on average.”

“The value of your house is all about curb appeal, and if you make a good choice of stone and a good color to go along with your siding — it’ll give you that type of boost.”

While the data shows that manufactured stone veneer is outperforming almost every other remodel project, it’s still not being presented as a no-brainer, cost-effective renovation option. But Kelly said, that’s swiftly changing.

“A lot of contractors are selling these exterior options at the kitchen table, at seven o’clock in the evening to a homeowner.” Kelly said. “If they don’t show stone veneer, they’re never going to get it. I tell the siding guys all the time, ‘you gotta have a stone sample in there.’ Because if you don’t offer it, maybe the next contractor coming in trying to close the deal comes in with stone and he closes it. Because he gave them a better option.”

“As we know, not many people are building castles today. Just a little bit of stone on the front goes a long way.”

Published February 24, 2019
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