Real Estate: Brick and stone veneers are rock-solid options for a new look

12/06/2010 3:46 PM |

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Eric Thompson of South Fork Supply on Speonk-Old Riverhead Road points a newly installed chimney

With the housing market rocked off its foundation, many East Enders are fixing up rather than upgrading to a new house. And as the wisest of the three little pigs might say, there’s nothing like brick or stone to give a home concrete appeal.

Local masons Chris Mohr of Mohr’s Landscaping and Masonry in Cutchogue and Eric Thompson of E W’s Southfork Mason Supply of Speonk, say brick and stone are durable materials that never need to be painted, never rot and provide excellent insulation.

“There’s nothing like weathered brick or stone to give a home or business a unique look,” Mr. Mohr said. “I did it at my shop. We veneered it with stones and Long Island quarry rock and it makes the foundation look like it’s an old stone foundation.”
Bricks and stone come in many sizes, textures, and colors and can be laid in a variety of patterns. Adding stone or brick to a typical two-story house takes four to five days for each wall, said Mr. Thompson.

It can cost as much as $55 a square foot for solid brick. Stone can reach $55 a square foot. Brick or stone veneers are both less expensive and lighter weight alternatives.

“It costs roughly $18 to $20 a square foot for split brick veneers,” Mr. Thompson said. “Stone veneers run between $20 and $25 a square foot and they’re only about six to 10 pounds a square foot. There are just some places, like an existing chimney, that can’t handle the weight of full stones.”

Brick and stone sidings are usually applied to a wood-framed wall over building paper, according to Mr. Thompson. They’re held in place with mortar, a mixture of cement, sand, lime, and water.

Mr. Thompson said that the mortar that holds the bricks or stones together can be finished, or tooled, in a number of ways, including concave, flush with the bricks, extruded between the bricks, raked, or V-joined.

“There are different applications,” he said. “We custom make all kinds of things.”

While bricks and mortar are solid, durable materials, they are also porous. Masons generally recommend that homeowners consider regularly applying a clear water-repellent coating to preserve the brick, especially to prepare for spells of freezing and thawing during the winter.

New manufactured faux bricks and stones do not need as much maintenance as their real counterparts, manufacturers claim. A simple hosing down every year usually takes care of keeping the faux stones clean.

Faux bricks and stones are also lighter in weight than even split stone or bricks. The faux rocks are typically a mixture of cement, natural aggregates and iron oxide pigments poured into molds made from real stones.

The result is a durable and fireproof material that looks realistic and can be fashioned into colors and patterns that don’t exist in nature, according to Mr. Mohr. Veneers come in a broad palette of colors and styles, in individual units or in panels from 1/2 inch to four inches thick. Like solid brick, they’re applied over wood framing, Mr. Mohr explained, but a gluey compound and wire mesh are used to fix them in place rather than cement.

Like solid brick and stone, faux brick and stone can last the life of a home, Mr. Mohr added.

“There are so many composite products out on the market, but some of the faux rocks can get expensive,” he said, adding that faux brick or stone sidings can range from $25 to $55 a square foot, depending on the product.

“Personally, I like working with the real rock,” Mr. Mohr added. “I think at the end of the day, real stone looks nicer, but that’s just my opinion.”

Both real and faux bricks and stone need to be fastened to walls with specialized ties and clips, said Mr. Thompson. Solid, dependable mortar and properly tooled joints are key to keeping a house weather tight and safe, he said.

“You see these walls that fall down in Manhattan,” Mr. Thompson said. “It’s because the ties that hold them up have given way. So if you’re doing a masonry building, say you have a cinder block wall and then you’re going to do a stone or a brick veneer in front of it, it’s good to put those same wall ties into the joints of the block wall first and then you can incorporate them into the joints of the facing over it.”

Mr. Thompson and Mr. Mohr both said that stone and brick offer many esthetic possibilities for home and business owners alike.

Mr. Mohr said that he specializes in making steps and walkways out of bluestone and Pennsylvania wallstone for a compelling entryway. Mr. Thompson’s projects include giving an average home a regal look with granite walls, a slate roof and stone columns.

But homeowners don’t have to go to extremes to improve the look of their properties, Mr. Mohr added. Simply adding stone or brick to the foundation of a house could sharply improve it’s look without knocking a homeowner’s bank account off its footing.
Both masons agree that when it comes to improving the look and value of a house, there’s not a more rock-solid choice than brick or stone.

“We custom make all kinds of things out of stone,” Mr. Thompson said. “We can do custom engraving, kitchen countertop work, stone columns, there are all kinds of different things. It’s crazy! It just depends on what you want.”

17 Comment

  • Great – another convenient place for kids to hang out all nite…..bring back the bowling alley….

  • Great – another convenient place for kids to hang out all nite…..bring back the bowling alley….

  • Nice way to add some class to the North Fork. Don’t you like going through a door that has markings to measure your height? This will be an enhanced traffic jam/accident producing corner.

  • Maybe they could add some more overhead utility lines to the corner to really dress up the entrance to Mattituck

  • I think the planning board has done a good job in working out the issues of this very tough site plan. From the very beginning both the applicant and the board new this was not going to be an easy issue to tackle. Current Zoning Laws permit the use of the 7-11 so by law they always had the right to exist there. It was the traffic issues that are caused by a very bad design of the Magic Fountain Building and a bad design of truck loading and unloading from the Shopping Center not the addition of a 7-11 on the corner. If we look back at that intersection it has changed from one that we begged the DOT to put a signal there back in the late 1990′s to what it is today. The applicants willingness to give up his property to rework this corner for a safer intersection for all traffic is key to why this works.

    Before you condemn the owners of the property for building what is their right to build by law, please take the time to look at the design and layout of the property that took almost two years and many $10′s of thousands of dollar to the owner and many hours of negociations with the Planning Board.

    I hear from many people how bad the ecomony is and here is a company that is willing to add jobs to our community both in the construction of the building and the opening of the store. And generate taxes to our town. I would say don’t be so quick to critcize. As to the comments of great another place for our kids to hangout. Don’t you think that it is up to the parents of these kid to make sure that doesnot happen? Or maybe the local patrol officer in conjuction with the store owner????

  • Riverhead East. What we need now is a couple of new traffic lights.

  • 1260 names on a Petition Against the 7-11 – Ignored.
    Concerns regarding traffic – Ignored.
    Concerns of small business – Ignored
    Protests and many meetings attended at Town Hall by opponents – Ignored
    Concerns of Unity Baptist Church and other neighbors – Ignored
    This issue will not be ignored in the next local election.
    Art Tillman, Chairman
    Southold Town Democratic Party

  • Time marches on ! My recollection of that corner back in the 60′s was an old time service station run by a young fellow named Armand. Better still I could fill my tank for a couple bucks and get full service too.

  • Please post the names of the politicians who appointed the planning board so we know who to send packing next election day. This was a done deal from the start the entire community voiced their opposition only to be totally ignored. Its time to vote out every person who put this planning board in power!

  • As of today all the people who signed the petion should retain a law firm for a civil suit. The Town , The planning board and the people who appointed them should be sued for every traffic accident at this site and every incident that occurs there.

  • Your life needs improvement if all you can do is complain about a new store.

  • Your post has many inaccuracies and shows an offensive lack of ethics. Your assertion that the only issue that was ever of real concern was the traffic issue shows a complete lack of empathy to the local persons and small businesses that objected to this 7-11 for far more imaginative reasons than the glaring traffic dangers. You show a complete lack of vision of the “magnificent benefit” that would be available to a town that ultimately preserved its small town nautical beauty enough so as to make it a stand out on the East Coast for years and years to come. You laud business taxes as the great generator of funds but have no viable plan for securing funds from anywhere else. What about the untapped resource of second home owners? Oh, I forgot, there’s no law on the books to generate an extra tax from them. Ok, nevermind! So it continues…
    You are pitifully unaware of the unspoken truth of what images a 7-11 conjurs? And what of property values? You cling to the fact that “no law exists” to prevent THAT type of business. Why wasn’t THAT law written into the books and voted on after CVS came plowing through? No law exists because THE TOWN has not written the law! Jeeez, have a little forsight. Be assured, in the years to come Mattituck will rival only Riverhead or perhaps Yonkers would be a better comparison.
    People don’t clammer to visit towns with 7-11s and Walmarts on every corner, instead they will drive right through perhaps only stopping for gas and a slurpie! Congratulations!
    Oh well, at least I know where I can buy crack at midnight.

  • Your post has many inaccuracies and shows an offensive lack of ethics. Your assertion that the only issue that was ever of real concern was the traffic issue shows a complete lack of empathy to the local persons and small businesses that objected to this 7-11 for far more imaginative reasons than the glaring traffic dangers. You show a complete lack of vision of the “magnificent benefit” that would be available to a town that ultimately preserved its small town nautical beauty enough so as to make it a stand out on the East Coast for years and years to come. You laud business taxes as the great generator of funds but have no viable plan for securing funds from anywhere else. What about the untapped resource of second home owners? Oh, I forgot, there’s no law on the books to generate an extra tax from them. Ok, nevermind! So it continues…
    You are pitifully unaware of the unspoken truth of what images a 7-11 conjurs? And what of property values? You cling to the fact that “no law exists” to prevent THAT type of business. Why wasn’t THAT law written into the books and voted on after CVS came plowing through? No law exists because THE TOWN has not written the law! Jeeez, have a little forsight. Be assured, in the years to come Mattituck will rival only Riverhead or perhaps Yonkers would be a better comparison.
    People don’t clammer to visit towns with 7-11s and Walmarts on every corner, instead they will drive right through perhaps only stopping for gas and a slurpie! Congratulations!
    Oh well, at least I know where I can buy crack at midnight.

  • HERE!!!!! HERE!!!!!!! hey j…… where do all the “townies” go now that the bowling alley is gone. i know one place is the “valise” but where else do they “hang” now. did you ever “hang” behind the a&p or the cemetary!?!?!? those were the days(please add a emoticon of a musical note)….peace.

  • you are NOT their constituent(S)……………VOTE OUT RUSSELL……………..(i was born and raised in the town(oops! i mean”hamlet”) of “hooterville” aka mattituck-leaving for university right after high school-never to return (well except to visit grandma)——what i left behind—-and lots of observation(thankx grand admiral thrawn-got to give credit where credit is do) and research has led me to believe that what i left behind are “psuedo” 1%ers who now “RUN THE SHOW” (i say “psuedo” because they came from “hooterville” (well except cardinale and russell) and probably just read the “cliff notes” (now cardinale and russell thats another story—scary) (READ my comment to(“Promoting tourism and business around the north fork”) i am being flagged on every thing i write so be quick. (“counteract 1984 with 1776—alex jones—infowars.com—-ck it out. peace.

  • 7-11 adding jobs to the community? all I know is that four people lost their jobs when the citgo station was forced to close in Feburary 2010 and its been empty ever since. Four jobs lost and zero created.

  • wonderful pics tammy….