Dear PoPville – Working with Fieldstone for new windows and painting


“Dear PoPville,

We have a single family home that is covered in fieldstone/formstone/permastone (no brick underneath). When the windows were replaced in the 80s, they wrapped the original wooden surrounds with ugly metal sheathing. Is it even feasible to put in new windows without having to accommodate the fieldstone siding in a similar way? Has anyone replaced windows lately in a fieldstone covered house? Any experience with costs on removing and residing completely? And alternatively – does anyone have direct experience with painting fieldstone and the pros and cons of that maintenance-wise? I can’t even imagine what a whole house would look like with painted fieldstone.”


12 Comment

  • I would call some contractors on what it would cost, how long it would take and what your options are.

  • Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the Brixton is painted fieldstone.

  • gotryit

    1. Painting formstone. I saw a neighbor do it (I think it was a GDoN post here), and it did help mask the tackiness of the formstone. It at least made it a step less obvious that it was formstone.
    2. Regarding the metal caps around the end of the window – I think you can do a piece of wood trim (or imitation wood trim for better durability outdoors) that fits in the corner between the window and the stone. Talk to a professional window installer – I expect that would cost some more.

  • Have you considered covering it in Flintstones rocks like that $1.5 million palace in Brookland?

  • I painted my fieldstone covered row house. I sealed the stone with a concrete sealer and then used a concrete stain (2 coats). It was actually quite easy. And yes, it made the house look so much better.

  • Fieldstone is not formstone, but rather actual natural stones collected by clearing fields.

    Apparently the above company calls their formstone by the trade name Fieldstone, which is just confusing and misleading.

    I would imagine that there are also some flagstone buildings in the District, which is similar in appearance to formstone but uses real stones.

  • No brick underneath? I’ve never heard of such a thing. When was this thing built? As to the question, I’d talked to a whole bunch of different contractors and see what their ideas are.

  • If you’re demoing the sleeping porch cladding I’d suggest cutting a large piece of drywall out to make sure it’s framed in properly. The rear of our row house was covered in formstone. We had it removed during a major renovation. If you have a similar situation where formstone covers the sleeping porch, be careful. Once we had the form stone removed we found out that there was no framing underneath. That is, there were only the old rotting 6x6s in the corners, plywood and 1by holding up the windows.

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