Cultured Stone

Wondering if anyone out there has done, or had done, any quantity of cultured stone.
Were wrapping up an addition for a customer which has 1200 sq' of stone on the exterior. The job is way out in the sticks and other than one mason we had no access to sub's. The one mason is pretty rough in the "attention to detail" department and having seen a bit of his work, including what he has done for us on past jobs, we werent confident he would deliver what we wanted for our customer. That said, we opted to install the stone.
We are a few feet away from being done and it looks fantastic but it took an excruciatingly long time. We have been averaging about 40-60sq' a day depending on temp. and location. This put a projected 10-14 day job out at a month or slightly more. Oy yoy yoy. Thankfully we quoted it, what I would consider, very high as compared to some masons we spoke with at the supplier.
For sh*ts and giggles I have been asking around, though not asked any masons yet, trying to find out what others are laying per day per man. Our rep. and the supply said they really havent heard any numbers as to how much a crew is laying per day but they were going to ask around. They said that from what they have seen none of their installers are being too fussy with regards to fit.
The stone our customer picked is a drystack and we didnt want it laid extremely "loose" where you could see all the way back to the scratch coat between stones at every joint. This is the way most all drystack jobs we have seen are laid. Joints big enough to stick your thumb in. This is of course where the time came in. Our average gap is 1/4" or under with the occasional gap at a corner or irregular stone being big enough to fit your pinky in. We are going to go back and point up some of the larger gaps but there arent many.
Just wondering what all of your experiences were with the stuff.
Thanks, Mark
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
40-60 is a pretty good number for that perticular style of stone (stacked) laying gointed takes about 1/4-1/2 the time for most styles. Laying stucco stone stacked (done right) is roughly equlivant to real stone or even slower in terms of labor. The average sq' for real stone (rubble the hardest, lots of cuts) is 50sq' for 2 guys which when you think about it or try to sell the price to the customer they think you are crazy, but laying stone (real) is a dying art in this country and when you do find someone that can do it the price is outragious but rightfully so. Stucco stone is all the rage now and although I really do not like it, I just dont care for fake materials at all, done right it can look very nice. The problem with finding masons that can do it right so that it looks like real stone (cause thats the whole idea right) is that you have to know what real stone looks like...how it lays up and how corners and arches look ect. this is where it can look really FAKE if not done right. But your on the righ track with that sq'. Out here Im getting $15.sq' for stacked and slightly lower for the others.
M&S wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Italian wrote:

Italian,     Thanks for the reply. Your points were all of our concerns when looking for a sub on this job. I went to several cultured (you say stucco) stone jobs while I was trying to decide if we would even commit to the customer and I saw nothing too impressive. Around here (WV) absolutely no one is doing any sort flashing whatsoever. Everyone is installing the stone like vinyl siding. Tyvek, lathe, stucco, stone, done. No flashing above doors and windows, no two layers of felt, no kickout at the base, nothing. The few times I have mentioned the issues of drainage even to the suppliers they have looked at me like I have nine heads. I have even seen guys installing it on older homes which you know have a very poor, if not nonexistant, vapor barriers. I can imagine this will be another Dryvit mess in a few years with mold/rot. I didnt see, nor hear, of anyone adhearing to code or even to the mfr.s most minimum guidelines.     As you say, making the job "look" like real stone really added to the time as well. I too share your dislike of fake/simulated materials but infortunately thats the way its headed. I definately wouldnt have liked to do this job, nor would I have, in natural stone.     In the end, the supplier, and the rep, think we went way overkill but its a job we are comfortable will last the homeowner a lifetime.     When you say $15/sf is that all labor? Labor & Materials? Oddly we billed $15/sf labor and materials.
Mark
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The 15 is labor and materials some of the off brands (the"Cultured" brand name is the higest material cost) are less per sq' for materials. Out here in CA we have 3 or for choices...and growing
M&S wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Most around here are using:
http://www.eldoradostone.com
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Rudy wrote:

We have far more than three to choose from here. Eldorado, Heritage, Dutch Quality, Landmark, Owens, and several others. Additionally there are many mfrs which will sell direct and shipp common carrier to the jobsite.
The cost ranged from Landmark being the least expensive up to Eldorado and Heritage being the most. We used Dutch Quality on this job and it was in the mid to low price range.
Thanks for all the input. Mark
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.