Seattle’s Top-Value Home Remodel Project? Stone Veneer.

Mutual MNote: A variation on this blog post ran in the Seattle Times NW Homes section. The article was called; Achieve the look and feel of solid stone with this budget-friendly option. 

What remodeling projects have the highest return on investment in the Seattle area?

The value of a good remodeling project is undeniable, particularly in a hot real estate market like Seattle. People wanting to sell their home often look for cost-effective improvements that will add to both the home’s curb appeal and value.  And for some home buyers high prices might mean settling for a home to remodel, rather than buying the ideal home at a higher price.

But what are realistic prices for remodeling projects and which ones offer the highest value for return on investment?  Each year a nationwide Cost vs Value report is published to compare costs and return on investment for various home remodeling projects. You can find the full report online at the website and below are the top four Seattle area remodeling projects on the 2018 list:

Top 4  Seattle remodeling projects, Cost vs Value 2018 report

#1 Manufactured Stone Veneer
#2 Garage Door Replacement
#3 Deck Addition
#4 Minor kitchen remodel

For the past 2 years running, adding manufactured stone veneer to a home was listed as the number one midrange remodeling project for cost vs value in the Seattle area. A look at modern home communities easily shows that major home builders across the Pacific Northwest incorporate some form of thin veneer such as natural stone, natural clay brick, or manufactured stone onto modern home exteriors and interiors.  Because of this, adding a classic Pacific Northwest craftsman element like veneer can be a great way to spruce up an older home, for a more modern Northwest design.


What is manufactured stone veneer?

Manufactured stone is part of a category of products called ‘thin veneers’ that are used to enhance home exterior designs and interior spaces. You can think of stone veneer as thin slices of stone, like a tile.  The result is the look and character feel of a solid stone area.


Manufactured stone veneer is made from concrete and designed to imitate the colors, shapes and sizes of natural stone.  The end result is the look of a stone fireplace or wall at a fraction of the cost of real natural stone. Manufactured concrete stone veneer is a popular value solution for the budget-conscious home remodel, providing both a wide variety of styles and color ranges that can be consistently produced to achieve the look of real, natural stone.


What other types of veneer are popular for modern home remodeling projects in the Pacific Northwestern US?

In the Pacfic Northwest US (WA, OR, ID), beyond manufactured stone, more luxury properties are opting to choose either natural stone or natural clay brick as a thin veneer for adding design features in both remodeling and high-end home building.  Natural stone and brick are popular in projects such as fireplace surrounds, interior accent walls and home exteriors to lend the true design feature of a real brick or stone wall.

Five remodeling ideas for using either stone or brick veneer.


  1. Replace some of the exterior siding around the bottom of a home with a stone veneer, giving the appearance of a stone foundation.
  2. Turn your front door into a grand entryway by adding a stone veneer surround.
  3. For covered porches, add a stone wrapped base to existing columns or pillars.
  4. Use stone veneer to cover outdoor fireplaces and cabinets in outdoor kitchens
  5. Add a thin veneer like brick or stone to interior walls for unique craftsman design features


To summarize, remodeling can be a great way to imprint your unique style on your home and beautify your existing home environment. Some home improvement remodeling projects might also increase your home’s resale value. An important element for anyone looking to remodel a home or landscape a yard is to always keep in mind creating something that works for your needs, whether you are looking for top-notch luxury design and unique style at any cost, or seekiing more budget-consicous renovation improvements.

 Are you are considering a thin veneer for your home of manufactured stone, natural stone, or brick? Mutual Materials is here for you.  As the largest supplier of stone and brick products in the Pacific Northwest US,  we source natural stone from top stone quarries across the US, we represent a top leading brand of manufactured stone, and have been manufacturing locally produced natural clay brick in the Northwest since 1900.   

We are proud that Mutual Materials brick and stone building materials help build beauty that lasts in our communities in sports stadiums, schools, hospitals, local businesses and family homes across the Pacific Northwest. If you have a project please contact us, we’d be happy to help. 

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