Brownstone is a chocolate-colored limestone that became wildly popular in the 1800’s. While it is certainly a beautiful siding option, brownstone’s inability to repel moisture makes it hard to maintain and less durable than many homeowners would like. Here are the facts so you can decide if it’s right for your home.
Since extracting brownstone from quarries is a labor-intensive process, it’s certainly not the cheapest material on the market. Depending on where it’s quarried, however, the final price tag varies quite a bit. Ask a siding contractor in your area for specific cost estimates.
Historic records show that once it has been penetrated by moisture, brownstone tends to begin spalling 10 to 20 years after construction. However, if it is properly cared for before, during and after construction, it will last longer.
The biggest concern with brownstone siding is keeping it free from moisture. Speak to your contractor about the best way to care for brownstone in your particular climate.
Brownstone comes from stone quarries in a wide range of places, like Connecticut, Massachusetts, eastern New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. However, the most easily quarried brownstone is the Portland Formation in Connecticut, where the brownstone is thicker and more plentiful.
No, due to the huge cost involved in quarrying large pieces of brownstone, much of the stone being quarried today is utilized for replacement lintels, stair treads, sills and ashlar, or otherwise squared blocks for 2-inch pavers. But because it’s easily carved, brownstone is more often used for interesting interior features, such as an elaborately carved room divider.
Chocolate-colored brownstone was commonly utilized as a siding material in the late 1800’s in major cities throughout the United States. Brownstone has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years, though it still remains out of reach for most homeowners.
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