Here you can see what it looks like with all of the layers up on the stem wall. The purpose of the mesh is to hold up a layer of mortar, which is exactly the same as a stucco scratch coat. This will then provide a strong surface to which we'll attach the cultured stone.
Here you can see, the entire house wrapped in waterproofing and mesh. The plastic and paper were overlapped above the mesh, so that after installation, I can install Z flashing on top of it all and have a waterproof stem wall.
Oh and you might notice the tiny kennel in the foreground. That's Rooney in there. He was visiting and had a tendency to wander, so he had to hang in the kennel while watching me work.
And, and the mortar is being applied! I had to purchase approximately 1200lbs of mortar, which was then applied in a 3/8 - 1/2 thick layer, all around the house.
This was hard work, to say the least. Each bag of mortar weighed 80lbs. I had to haul this from the street to the concrete mixer, add in 6 liters of water, and then manually trowel it on, one big scoop at a time.
Here you can see the front of the house. The Future Missus and I tag-teamed this. I would work ahead of her, getting the mortar onto the mesh, at the appropriate thickness. She would then follow up behind me, smoothing it out and filling in any hollows I left behind. It worked out great, and goddamn, is she a great worker. This one is definitely a keeper. ;)
Once the concrete cures and stiffens up, it's necessary to then scratch a bunch of horizontal lines in it. This serves to provide additional surface which allows the subsequent coat of mortar to better stick.
You might ask how we did it? Easy! A garden rake!