How to Install Faux Stone Siding Part 1

What You'll Need
1/4 inch Plywood sheets
Construction adhesive
Galvanized nails (1 1/4 inch long)
Galvanized screws (1 1/4 inch long)
Chalk line
Jigsaw (or hacksaw)
Drill bits
Circular saw

Faux stone siding is ideal for the homeowner who wants the look of stone on the exterior walls of his home but doesn't want the high costs of real stone. Even for those who wouldn't mind the high cost of real stone siding, there would be the problem of weight. Natural stone is heavy enough that a standard foundation may not be able to bear its weight. Then, there is also the matter of foundation modification costs. Modification of a foundation to bear the weight of stone will likely be an expense that some homeowners will not want to pay. Instead, they can have the look of stone without the bigger expense—just by installing faux siding. Below are a few of the materials, tools, and installation instructions you'll need to install your own faux stone siding.

(This is Part 1 of a 2 part series. To move ahead to Part 2, click here.)

    Step 1 – Choosing Your Siding

    You'll find that some faux stone siding is manufactured with a tongue-and-groove system. This is a better system, even if slightly higher in price. The pieces of tongue-and-groove siding will fit together better when attached to the exterior walls of your house than other systems would. In installing siding with this system, you'll find you have less separation of panels, both during installation and after initial installation.

    Step 2 – Preparing for Your Siding

    The surface to which you attach your faux stone siding must be smooth. Otherwise, there will not be enough surface for the glue to adequately bond the new surface to the old surface. Neither can you attach this paneling to framing that is unfinished, or unsheathed. If the old surface is uneven, the new faux paneling will also be uneven, and this will effect the final apperance. This means, if the existing surface of the wall to which you plan to attach your faux siding is uneven or unsheathed, you'll need to attach plywood sheets to the old surface to act as an even base before you attach the new faux panels.

    Step 3 – Installing the Plywood Sheets

    The plywood you attach to your walls need not be thick. Quarter-inch will do. Your only purpose in attaching it is to create a flat surface. Plan to cover all the surface onto which you will be installing your faux paneling. To begin attaching the plywood panel to the wall, install the first plywood panel at one corner and bottom edge of your exterior wall. Drive a screw through the middle of the plywood panel that you're holding in place. Drive it through the plywood and into the wall. Then, drive in a screw through each corner of this plywood panel. You won't need more screws to secure the panel to the exterior surface behind it, because you'll be driving screws through the faux paneling. These screws will be long enough to secure both the plywood panels and the faux panels to the wall. Continue attaching other plywood panels, using the same process, until you've covered the entire surface with plywood. Where necessary, cut pieces of plywood to fit the wall edges and windows.