Adding Value To Your Home With Stone Veneer

Adding Value To Your Home With Stone Veneer

Stone Fireplace Stone Interior Stone Veneer

As a homeowner, you probably look for ways to add to your home’s value and your overall satisfaction with your home on a regular basis. Not all “home improvement projects” are created equal, though, as some are more worthwhile than others. One home improvement project that will yield the most return on your investment is adding stone veneer to your home in some form. According to Yahoo Real Estate, you can yield up to a 92.2% return on your investment when you incorporate veneer siding into your home’s facade. Now that you know it’s a worthwhile investment, you might wonder how to go about adding stone to your home. Thankfully, we can help you with this. Read below for some ways to incorporate stone into your home:

Exterior Stone Siding:

In most cases, you can easily have stone installed on the exterior of your home. This creates a rich look that exudes class and luxury, while dramatically improving your home’s curb appeal. It will also help your home stand out from the others around it that feature plain vinyl or clapboard siding. Moreover, it creates the illusion that your home is built out of stone, increasing its value and appeal.

Keep in mind, exterior stone doesn’t have to be only in the form of siding. You can instead use veneer stone as an accent on your home’s exterior. You can do this by creating stone pillars on the porch, having a stone accent wall added to the front of your home, or use it to cover up unattractive foundation. The idea is to incorporate stone into your home’s exterior in small amounts. Doing this will break up the long lines of a ranch or add style and flair to an otherwise dull exterior. In other words, it gives the exterior of your home a little boost.

Fireplace Stone:

Another way to incorporate stone into your home is adding a fireplace and using stone veneer to cover the visible parts of that fireplace. You can install beautiful fireplace stone in your living room or can create an outdoor patio fireplace using stone. This trend of creating an outdoor fireplace is extremely popular right now. Of course, you could add both versions for even more appeal. Just imagine yourself sitting alongside a crackling fire enjoying a pleasant evening at home. What is more relaxing than that?

A fireplace will also give you the benefit of heating your home without the use of electricity, and in Chicago, that is a huge selling point. However, if the idea of a true wood burning fireplace doesn’t appeal to you, you can always add an electric or gas fireplace that provides warmth and gives the illusion of a fireplace.

Veneer stone is ideal for electric or gas fireplaces, as it gives it a more authentic look. This will make your electric or gas fireplace easily mistaken for a real, wood burning fireplace, but you won’t have to deal with the hassle associated with those units. Furthermore, adding a fireplace, whether it be wood burning, gas or electric, is a good move when it comes to increasing your home’s value, since according to a National Home Builders report, fireplaces rank in the top three desired amenities by homebuyers.

Adding stone to your home in some form or fashion is a great way to improve your home’s curb appeal and to increase its overall value. It also will ensure you love your home more than you ever have before. Therefore, the next time you are thinking about improving your home, consider adding stone through one of the methods listed above.

5 Reasons Why You Should Hire an Interior Designer For Your Stone Veneer Project

5 Reasons Why You Should Hire an Interior Designer For Your Stone Veneer Project

Stone Interior Stone Veneer

According to the Council for Interior Design Qualification, “Interior design is a multi-faceted profession in which creative and technical solutions are applied within a structure to achieve a built interior environment. These solutions are functional, enhance the quality of life and culture of the occupants and are aesthetically attractive.” In other words, an interior designer brings with them a set of skills that allows him or her to make your home flow better and be in harmony with what you desire for your personal environment. Stone veneer provides the beauty and elegance of stone yet is lightweight, customizable and easy to install. To us, designing expertise and stone veneer sounds like a match made in heaven. As a result, we recently thought about what would make hiring an interior designer helpful when it comes to undertaking stone projects. Here is what we discovered.

You can save money

When it comes to the thought of hiring an interior designer many individuals instantly assume that it is way too expensive and one of those luxuries that is financially out of reach. Believe it or not, this is not generally the case when hiring an interior designer. In fact, by utilizing the expertise of a skilled design professional you will probably save money. Why? Because a designer will help you avoid the costly mistakes like over-shopping or buying the wrong materials, that can sometimes occur with inexperience. Additionally, designers typically have access to materials and merchandise that the general public does not have access to. Moreover, at the end of your completed stone project, chances are if you used the skills of an interior designer, you are going to end up with exactly what you wanted and not something that you are going to have to redo.

You will stay on task

Another benefit to hiring an experienced interior designer is that they will help you and the project stay on task. Because of experience and specialized training, a good interior designer will help save you time with your project. A project you assume could take weeks or more may actually take much less time. A designer will do all the research so you do not have to. In most cases it is your designer that will be working with vendors and contractors to complete your project in an efficient manner. In terms of projects requiring stone, like transforming a den into a peaceful sanctuary or adding stone to a specific room like a kitchen or bathroom, your designer will be the one who teams up with the stone supplier to make sure the colors not only fit your personal aesthetic but work with your homes color scheme. Next, your designer will coordinate with the contractor in making sure installation adheres to the design plan.

Resourcefulness

A skilled designer will also bring resourcefulness to your stone project. With their experience comes the ability of finding the right materials and people to complete your objective. Instead of having to search high and low for a skillful contractor or finding a trusted stone veneer supplier who will be able to source your project with high quality materials, a knowledgeable designer will know where to go or should know how to find what you need easily.

Create the Desired Effect

Once completed, if you have used the special skill-set of an experienced designer, you should be able to step back and go wow! In other words, with a qualified designer you will have achieved exactly what you had hoped for. In many cases, a good designer, with their ability to work with particular spaces, will probably have exceeded your expectations by pulling the whole project together in a way that a novice, do-it-yourselfer may not be able to.

Increase your Home’s value

Mountain Ledge Stone 015Many homeowners find, especially those with the plan to someday sell, that hiring a designer in addition to adding stone veneer, have been shown to provide an excellent return on their initial investments. The expert work a designer does can actually increase the value of one’s home. The smooth transitioning of one room into another in addition to creating a harmonious layout for your spaces, are two elements a designer can work with you on and are both qualities a potential homebuyer will appreciate when trying to find an ideal home. While stone veneer, on the other hand, adds strength, beauty and timelessness. It is easy to see how combining design skills and stone can result in two value-added benefits.

Here at North Star Stone we can help you transform your home with the beauty and elegance of stone. We regularly work with designers to help homeowners execute that unique aesthetic that can only be created with stone. What makes North Star Stone special is how highly customizable it is, which means you can find just the right color, shape and size of stone to meet your home beautification needs. Moreover, North Star Stone is lightweight and easy to install so your project can get off the ground quickly and be completed in a relatively short period of time. If you would like to learn what homeowners in Libertyville, Arlington Heights, Long Grove and other Chicagoland suburbs already know about North Star Stone, please call 847.996.6850 or contact us at info@northstarstone.biz.

How To Easily Clean Stone Veneer

How To Easily Clean Stone Veneer

Home Improvements Stone Exterior Siding Stone Exteriors Stone Fireplace Stone Fireplaces Stone Interior Stone Veneer

Like many homeowners, you have made the decision to beautify your home with stone veneer. Maybe your have decided to add stone to the exterior of your home to various accent points or perhaps to highlight some of your home’s unique features. Or maybe your stone veneer is in your backyard where you chose to use it to help create a tranquil sanctuary. Here your stone can be seen on retaining walls, railings, or an outdoor fireplace. Then again, your stone might be inside your home where it is adding beauty and value to your kitchen, bathroom, or wine cellar. Either way, inside or outside, a time will come when you are going to need to wash your stone veneer. Despite the elegant complexity of how your stone appears, we are happy to tell you that cleaning your stone is far from complex and is actually quite easy. Keep reading to learn more.

diy-stone--fireplace1

What you will need:

Mild dishwashing detergent: It is very important to never use harsh cleaning materials or products that contain acid, ammonia, bleach or the like. Products containing these ingredients are way too harsh and can damage your stonework. Lastly, concrete cleaner is not recommended for stone veneer. An important note on cleaning products containing acid: cleaning products containing acid should always be avoided as they can easily strip the color from your stone and make it look dull.

Sponge or cloth: Use what works best for you. Remember to use soft products as not to scratch your stone.

Bucket: Fill your bucket up with water and use it to mix your cleaning solution and help rinse your sponge or cloth. Make sure to use clean water when rinsing

Backyard hose: Fortunately, to keep your exterior stone veneer clean, you do not need to rely on a heavy-duty pressure washer; for your stone veneer a simple garden hose is all that is needed.

Soft bristled brush: Never use a scrub brush with metal bristles as this kind of brush can easily scratch and damage your beautiful stone. A soft-bristled, nylon brush will do the trick. Remember to never apply hard pressure when using a brush for cleaning.

Ladder or step stool: For those hard to reach places

Rubber gloves: Optional

What to do:

Read these instructions thoroughly before you wash your stone veneer.

Fill a bucket with clean water.

Add some mild dishwashing detergent to create a gentle cleansing solution.

Use a clean cloth or sponge containing the solution to thoroughly wipe down your stone. Use a brush to gently remove any dirt or mud. Keep in mind this mild solution will not remove stains like tar or oil that may have gotten on your stone during be other home improvement projects.

Rinse your stone with the hose.  If indoors, use a clean cloth or sponge to remove any of the cleaning solution.

Let dry.

Important – A note on how to clean newly installed stone: If your stone is newly installed and wet mortar or grout has gotten onto the face of the stone, let it dry to a point where you can easily scrape it off with a masonry brush. If you try to wipe off wet mortar or grout it will smear and will be extremely hard to remove completely. Do not use water. On the flip side, if you wait too long, you will not be able to remove the grout or mortar, so make sure to remove it the same day as the installation of the stone veneer.

How often do I need to clean my stone? As often as you feel cleaning is needed.

Clearly the ease of cleaning stone veneer is just another reason why this highly versatile and customizable product is such an excellent option for improving the home. If you would like to move forward with your stone projects then give North Star Stone a call and see why Chicagoland has chosen us for their stone veneer needs. For more information contact us at info@northstarstone.biz or call 847-996-6850 for a free estimate on your new interior or exterior stone.

Watch the North Star Stone blog next week we will discuss sealers and enhancers.

A DIY Stone Veneer Installation- Step By Step

A DIY Stone Veneer Installation- Step By Step

Stone Fireplace Stone Interior

For those unfamiliar with stone veneer and seeing it for the first time, it would probably seem inconceivable that a novice do-it-yourselfer would be able to install such a stunning and elegant home update on his or her own with very little help. One such accomplished do-it-yourselfer, a client of ours named Grant, did just that. An emergency room doctor by day, Grant decided he was going to update his old fireplace with versatile and highly customizable stone veneer. Continue reading to discover why and how with a little time, patience and energy Grant was able to rejuvenate his family room and implement his vision of a beautiful focal point that will be in keeping with this tranquil lakefront property.

Below is a picture of Grant’s original fireplace and his starting point. Grant’s former fireplace is an inviting canvas for the stone that awaits.

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In this next image, you can see where grant has taken off and removed the original marblesque veneer that surrounds his original fireplace and covers the hearth. With some assistance, he frames the fireplace using 2” x 4” pieces of wood. Grant also decides to create a pocket for the fireplace mantel. This will insure a secure fit.

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After the frame is in place, it is time to place a material called Durock (see below) where the stone veneer will be placed. Durock is a cement board that will speed up the installation process as it negates the use of mesh, which is commonly used to get materials, like stone, to adhere. Also note that Grant made sure to install a plate in order to create a platform from which to hang his television from as well as a place to feed his television cables through. When asked how he learned to carry out this project, Grant explained that he turned to YouTube for videos on how to install stone veneer.

 

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Before continuing, Grant makes the smart decision of protecting his floors with tarp, which is also where he will lay out his stone. This will help give him an idea of placement prior to installation.

 

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Halfway done. Grant has placed his hearthstones, which he was able to size properly by using a cutout. Grant selected ledge stone that was then custom colored by selecting between two samples in North Star Stone’s showroom. It is looking amazing! Ledge stone is one of North Star Stone’s most textured stones, which is evident by how natural it looks. You can see how the stone surrounds the bottom half of the mantel. This process will be completed on the top of the mantel as well.

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Quite the sight to behold, Grant’s stone veneer fireplace looks beautiful. All that is needed now is to hang the television. The stone is installed perfectly and reaches to the ceiling to create a place where one’s eyes will naturally gravitate.

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Four days later and Grant, a truly creative do-it-yourselfer, has completed a magnificent stone fireplace he can be proud of. Lovely!

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If you would like to undertake your own stone masterpiece, we can help. Our experts are here to help provide you with the stone you need as well as the techniques to help create your own beautiful focal point. For more information contact us at info@northstarstone.biz or call 847-996-6850 for a free estimate.

5 Ways to Beautify Your Kitchen With Stone

5 Ways to Beautify Your Kitchen With Stone

Houzz- NSS Stone Colors Stone Interior Stone Veneer

Have you just finished creating your dream kitchen but feel like it is missing that little something extra? Or, are you happy with your kitchen but feel like it could be better? Then you may want to consider adding stone veneer. Versatile, strong, beautiful and highly customizable, stone may be just what you need to turn your kitchen from that place where you keep your food and eat the odd meal to a warm and inviting room that your family will want to congregate in as the heart of your home.

 

stone-veneer-accent-wallStone Accent Wall

Add depth and variety to your kitchen by turning a plain wall into a stone accent wall. Select colors to coordinate with your kitchen or do something a little bolder. Choose more symmetrical stones to offset gleaming stainless steel appliances like a stacked stone or maintain the earthy continuity of hardwood flooring with organic cobblestone.  Either way, we think you are going to love the new look.

 

Give Your Island a Facelift

Turn a boring or plain kitchen island into something special by adding a stone veneer face to one or more sides. Select the perfect colors from the endless shades available. Why not consider updating the island top as well? Granite and marble still add a touch or refinement but you will never go wrong with classic butcher-block.

 

A Stone Veneer Backsplash? Why Certainly!

Tired of looking at that old tile backsplash? Then consider swapping it out with stone veneer. Stone is quickly becoming one of the first choices when updating kitchens.  Thin and lightweight, stone veneer is much easier to install and friendlier to the pocket book then original stone. Stone looks beautiful with any special hardware, faucet or sink materials. For an elegant look consider a brushed nickel faucet out in front of a narrow profile stone veneer – in your personalized color selection of course.

RELATED:5 Things You Can Do With Stone To Turn Your Backyard Into a Sanctuary

stone-veneer-kitchen-chicago1Beautify Your Breakfast Bar

Completely transform your breakfast bar into something beautiful by adding a customized stone veneer face. Compliment your kitchen by selecting coordinating colors or select colors that pull in from a shared space with your breakfast bar, like the living or dining rooms. Compliment the stone facade of your breakfast bar with a granite top for a rich look. We think you are going to love your new and improved breakfast bar so much that you’ll find yourself eating more than your morning meal here!

 

Highlight Cabinetry By Adding Stone Accents

Have you ever wanted to add a rustic or country feel to your kitchen but were not exactly sure how? Then why not consider stone veneer? Hand pick your own style and color to bring out your kitchen’s potential as an inviting space that is a little closer to nature. Add stone around your cabinets and places that will accent the beauty of the wood or other special cabinetry you may have selected. For example, stone veneer nestled among glass-faced cabinets is not only beautiful but also adds openness to the space that can’t be denied.

 

Things To Keep In Mind

  • Stone pairs beautifully with marble or granite counters
  • When it comes to looking good with flooring materials, stone looks amazing with stone tile, wood, bamboo and all other flooring materials.
  • Because stone veneer is so customizable you can create the perfect color palette for other features in your kitchen like cabinets and flooring.

 

If you are ready to consider stone as an option to enhance and improve your kitchen then please call or email the experts at North Star Stone and learn why homeowners in Chicagoland suburbs like Arlington Heights, Libertyville, Barrington and Mount Prospect are turning to North Star Stone when it comes time to beautify those special indoor and outdoor spaces with stone.  To learn more, please contact us at info@northstarstone.biz or call 847-996-6850 for a free estimate on your new stone.

Custom Coloring Stone

Stone Fireplaces Stone Interior Stone Veneer
Mountain Stack Stone Veneer 005

Custom Colored Mountain Stack Stone Veneer

If you want a custom blend of stone color to create the stunning focal point of your home, whether it is the front of the home or the fireplace, we can help.

For the last nine years North Star Stone of Libertyville, IL have been custom blending and coloring our manufactured stone and supplying stone and providing installation in the Chicago market. We have just recently started shipping our hand crafted stone due many requests for custom colored stones.

We start by deciding the amount of color intensity we want in a project. Some designers might refer to a lot of color of intensity as “Drama”.

We quantify these measures as:

1) Very Intense Color with all of the stones having color added to them.
2) High Intensity Color will have about 70% color and 30% neutral or no color.
3) Medium Intensity has a blend of 50% colored stones and 50% no colored stones.
4) Low Intensity is about 30% colored stones and typically softer and less colors to blend with the remaining balance of the 70% non colored stones and
5) Very Low Intensity is almost all no colored stone with hints of a few light colors gently misted on the stones to provide some variation.

The colors are hand applied to mold before the concrete is added to the mold. By blending two – three different colors in a mold we create beautiful shading. The intensity will also vary as the color is applied and then brushed in. We have had customers and even young children help with some of the coloring and if you would like to help color your stone just let us know.  It is our attention to detail and artistic nature that creates these beautiful and life like colors that will exactly what you want.

If you find a color of stone that you like in a picture that you want to replicate, send us the picture and we will let you know if we can match your request. Our fireplace pictures are all custom creations based on our customer suggestions. No two fireplaces will ever look alike, but the desired color and warmth that you desire will be just what you wanted. Maybe you want earth tone colors but no burgundy or maybe no gold tones, just let us know. Maybe you have a dark hardwood floor and you want the ebony colored picked up a slightly; no problem.

At North Star Stone we customize every batch just for you and will install the stone locally or ship it to you using our best freight rates.

Stone Veneer for Fireplaces & Color Choices

Stone Fireplaces Stone Interior Stone Veneer

Stone Veneers are Perfect for Fireplace Refinishing:

Are you looking to reface your brick fireplace with stone veneer for your fireplace, or possibly create a stone interior wall and unsure of the color of stone that would work best for your project? Maybe you love the earth tone colors, but don’t want to have any rust in your newly remodeled stone veneer  fireplace. North Star Stone, Inc., custom colors every batch of your stone order for your fireplace or interior wall project. We will help you select the perfect colors for your dream stone fireplace

Stone Veneer for Fireplace sample boards

North Star Stone, Inc. Showroom Stone Veneer Sample Boards

How to Select the Right Stone Veneer for your Fireplace? 

There is a very creative process that we provide when coloring your stone veneer.  We ask you about the color of the room, the flooring, paint choices, lighting and your likes and dislikes for color. We will also discuss the color tones and intensity of color you want for your new faux stone project. This information is turned into a color formula to be blended in your choice of stone styles.  We have interior designers, couples and even families add a helping hand when we start coloring the stone. You can also help color your own manufactured stone so you can say you helped make your newly refinished stone fireplace.

Stone Veneer for fireplaces, coloring process

Cathy Murray, Interior Designer, hand painting stone veneer for her customer’s wine cellar

How to select the “best” stone veneer for my fireplace?

In addition to customizing the color of your soon to be remodeled fireplace, you can select from our many different stone veneer styles. Our man made stone selection includes cobble stone, ledge stone, field stone, river rock and our custom blends of stone like our Mountain Stack Ledge Stone, Wisconsin Prairie Ledge Stone and our Traditional Dry Stack Ledge stone.

stone veneer for fireplace

Mom and Daughter coloring stone veneer for their new stone fireplace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you love stone walls, stone fireplaces and looking for fireplace design ideas including custom coloring your stone veneer for your home, contact North Star Stone, Inc at 847-996-6850.  

Stone Veneer sample board.

Stone Veneer sample color board, many colors and intensity are available with North Star Stone

Our Stone Veneer Installation Has Been Featured on Houzz.com!

Stone Interior

Take a look at this great article on Houzz.com which features some of our work- a very cool interior stone veneer design on a basement stage!

North Star Stone Announces Launch of Custom Stone Color App

Brick Fireplace Renewal Stone Exteriors Stone Fireplaces Stone Interior

Chicago area North Star Stone develops application that allows customers to custom design and color their stone fireplaces and stone exterior veneer online.

Libertyville, Illinois– April 25, 2013   Stone Veneer manufacturer North Star Stone has announced the launch of their new Stone Veneer Color Selector online. The custom color selector allows users to custom design a wall that would represent the colors their stone fireplace or exterior walls would have once installed.

The Stone Color Selector uses a combination of HTML5 and Javascript to allow users to drag and drop the stone veneer bricks they like to their wall and create a customized design. They can then send their custom stone wall to North Star Stone as well as a copy to themselves.

NSS Custom Color Stone Veneer App

NSS Custom Color Stone Veneer App

“We’re excited to allow customers a more active role in choosing the color of the stone veneers they have installed in and on their homes. This new feature will allow users to truly customize their designs and match their décor and color schemes as well as their individual tastes,” owner, Alan Andrews says of the custom color selector.

The Stone Color Selector is now live on the North Star Stone website for users to start custom designing stone for fireplacesinterior stone and exterior stonework.

About North Star Stone
North Star Stone, Inc., founded in 2004 offers custom stone fireplaces, exterior stone work and interior stone design for homes throughout Chicago and the Northwest Suburbs. North Star Stone custom manufacturers stone veneer to transform old and outdated fireplaces, update home exteriors and add new style to interior structures like wine cellars, interior walls and stone columns. Find out more about the custom stonework that North Star Stone offers at http://www.northstarstone.biz.

Corner Brick Fireplace Gets New Look with Stone Veneer

Brick Fireplace Renewal Stone Fireplaces Stone Interior

Corner Brick Fireplace Gets New Look with Stone Veneer

Is Your Corner Brick Fireplace Dated? Want to change it?

fireplace veneer

Time to give your home a fireplace make over? Call North Star Stone at 847-996-6850 or check our web site at http://www.northstarstone.biz

Stone Fireplace Transformation in just one day:

Our customer selected our blend of our popular Wisconsin Prairie Blend. It is a blend of our two ledge stones and field stone and the color was selected and hand made just for this order. A skim coat of mortar is applied directly to the brick and the stone is installed piece by piece to get the finished look. We can assist you and your fireplace project from design to stone selection and installation. Your fireplace can be brick, drywall, or just about any other material and we can help create a new fireplace focal point.

fireplace veneer

The new stone fireplace in on day http://northstarstone.biz for more information email us with questions at info@northstarstone.biz

 

North Star Stone, Inc
1921 Industrial Dr.
Libertyville, IL 60048
847-996-6850