A Fusion Stone Featured Project: Driftwood Builders gives a charming facelift to a well-loved home

July 15, 2022

The project

Ruth-Anne built her family home in Kitscoty, Alberta in the early 1990s. But almost ever since then, she’s been frustrated by the impractical breezeway connecting her house to its two-car garage. Although it seemed like a reasonable design choice at the time, she later realized it wasn’t a functional space. The covered walkway become an eyesore of a storage space that friends and family had to troop through to enter the house when they visited.

So, after years of irritation with this poorly used, uninspiring space, she took the plunge and enlisted Driftwood Builders to enclose the breezeway space and refinish the boring exterior of the house.

Narrowing in on a design

When they began the project to realize her dream exterior, the Driftwood team, led by co-owner and contractor Matt Gartner, worked carefully with Ruth-Anne to design the appearance.

She had always appreciated the classic look of a stone exterior and found the white of the garage extremely dull, so the team used Great Lakes Fusion Stone in the colour Raven as the perfect material to complement a new warm and inviting sage green for the home’s feature window wall.

While the project proceeded smoothly, the contractors did have to deal with some of the challenges that come with building and living in the Canadian climate.

Choosing Fusion Stone: Fit for a Prairie winter

Every year, Alberta’s climate goes through extreme freeze-thaw cycles. This can affect the longevity of exterior building materials like mortar, so it’s important to choose supplies carefully.

Serving the areas around Lloydminster, Alberta and Macklin, Saskatchewan, Matt and the team at Driftwood Builders understand this harsh reality of winter on the Prairies. They witness the incredible toll of the region’s freeze and thaw on homes, and on the materials used to make them.

“The freeze-thaw beats the crap out of mortar,” Matt says. He’s seen enough cracks and falling pieces that it’s pushed him to look for something more durable. That’s why his team often opts for Fusion Stone to cover a building when they’re completing exterior renovations. The fact that the patented mechanically-fastened system doesn’t use mortar, and can therefore withstand the intense fluctuations in temperature, is of great value to them and their customers.

Describing himself as someone not afraid to complain about a product, Matt only has positives to say about Fusion Stone. “The Fusion Stone has a better quality of fastening than mortar with the freeze-thaw we get here,” he repeats. He also likes that it’s “so easy to install,” so they save time and money while getting a quality product; “it’s definitely DIY friendly.”

Happy with her dream come true

Homeowner Ruth-Anne is pleased with her newly updated house too, saying she “loves the look.” Now that her frustratingly unpractical breezeway is closed off and insulated, she has her ideal mudroom – complete with his and hers closets – as well as the beautiful and striking exterior that she had envisioned for years.

As for choosing the stone, she appreciated the lighter natural shape and size of the stone, the way the darker colour breaks up the green elsewhere on the home, and how it all seemed to come together easily.

Check out the Great Lakes Raven stone used on Ruth-Anne’s home in detail, or explore your own dream renovation ideas with the visualizer. To see more projects like this, follow us @fusionstone and follow Matt @driftwood_builders.