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In 2017 we added a patio and walkway to our Smith Mountain Lake house. When this project was completed in 2017, we did not add stone veneer to the patio to match the house knowing that we could complete the work ourselves at a later date. Two years later, we finally completed this project and love the end result.
Patio Stone Veneer Before and After
We started this project in March, so all of my “before” pictures show no furniture on the patio as it was still stored away for winter, and no leaves on the trees.
Now let’s look at the after pictures. What a difference adding stone veneer makes!
Here’s a side-by-side before and after of this view:
We were able to order the same stone veneer used on our foundation locally. It’s so nice to have it all matching.
I love a good before and after picture and our porch definitely looks so much better after the stone veneer was added.
We spend nearly every summer evening when we are at the lake on this patio. Most recently we enjoyed viewing fireworks that neighbors released over 4th of July week and weekend.
Project Details – DIY Patio Stone Veneer
We started this project by measuring the length and height of the patio wall and calculating how many square feet of stone that we would need. We looked back through our paperwork for when the lake house was constructed to find the brand and variety of stone veneer that was used on the foundation. We were able to order the stone veneer that we needed for this project from Boxley.
6 Boxes of Tuscan Ridge Sienna Flats
1 Box Tuscan Ridge Sienna Corners
2 Bags Stone Hold Mortar
5 – 5 gallon buckets of masonry sand
Concrete Mixing Tub
Tote to hold Stone Hold Mortar
Garden trowel to mix sand and concrete
Trowel to spread mortar
Step 1 – Expose all of the Foundation
Dig the soil away from the foundation. We exposed about an additional 6″ of patio block wall in this step.
Step 2 – Apply a Skim Coat of Concrete to Patio Walls
We originally thought that a skim coat of concrete wouldn’t be necessary but after mixing the concrete and trying to apply a few stones, we found that the stones wouldn’t stick. Plan B was to apply a skim coat and hope that the stones would stick to that.
We mixed a small batch of concrete at a time, used it, and then mixed more. We worried that mixing too large of a batch at one time would result in it drying out before we could use it all.
We stay at our lake house typically just on weekends and resumed this project the next weekend which gave the skim coat of concrete plenty of time to dry.
Step Four – Face the Patio with Stone Veneer
We started adding the stone veneer at the corner using the corner pieces that we ordered. We only needed a few pieces but had to order an entire box, so we have a lot of corners left over.
We mixed a small batch of concrete and sand as shown above and got to work. Adding stone veneer is a lot like tiling a backsplash. Pick up some concrete on your trowel, smooth it across the back of the stone, then push the stone into place. We found that it was helpful to hold the stone in place for about a minute to make sure that it wouldn’t slide.
Step Five – Tuckpoint the Wall
Tuckpointing means to fill in between the stones with mortar. We mixed our mortar, poured it into a concrete “pastry bag” and got busy. We quickly found that tuckpointing is an art and that our initial effort at it was not satisfactory. We stopped for the day, watched some YouTube videos and tried again the next day. The results the next day were no better so rather than do the tuckpointing ourselves, we hired someone to do it.
It took us a while to find someone to do the job, thus the delay in finishing this project by my May 26 birthday.
Lucky for us, when the guy we hired got to our house, he informed us that he did our foundation stone veneer. $350 later, our patio walls were beautifully tuckpointed. Sometimes you DIY, sometimes it’s worth it to pay a professional. We both agreed that it was 100% worth $350 to finish this job.
A Final Look
A flagpole is another new addition to our lake property. Mr. SP gave this to himself for his birthday in April. Our neighbors love it and it makes it easy for friends to find our house by water as we are the only home in our cove to have a flagpole. The bunting was a 4th of July addition to our deck and we love it so much that it will stay in place until fall.
This shot was taken from our floating dock. We think that the lake water level used to have been higher based on the ledge above the shoreline. Speaking of shoreline, our rip-rap took a beating this past winter when the lake levels stayed high. On our “want to do” list is to add more rip-rap. We also plan to work on getting rid of tree stumps.
We are so happy that this project is finally complete and I’m still admiring it every weekend.