Brick and Stone Veneer Siding
Siding is the first thing people see when they look at your home; it’s what gives your home “curb appeal.” Brick and stone veneer adds a sense of stability, timelessness, and richness which is why it’s such a popular choice for home building and remodeling; it can give your home the appeal it deserves.
Many of the brick and stone homes built within the last few decades are made with veneer siding; it offers a realistic look at affordable prices and less than half the real stone weight. Only experts are immediately able to tell the difference between a natural and a veneer stone or brick siding. It also provides better insulation.
When choosing your siding you’ll want to consider your climate and the amount of care you are willing to devote to its maintenance; brick and stone veneer siding require very little maintenance. You’ll also want to ensure the siding is appropriate for the architectural style.
Where true brick homes are constructed block-upon-block to hold up the house, brick veneer siding is held up by the house itself. It is real masonry however it is applied as a single layer overlaying the original framework of the house. The siding is secured to the home using small metal ties which allows for a small gap of air between the pre-existing exterior wall and the new exterior façade. If you’re curious about a homes siding, the easiest way to tell the difference between real brick and brick veneer is to find out when it was constructed. If it was built within the last forty years there’s a good chance it’s not solid brick.
Grout for brick veneer – just as important as the brick
Grout technique, and how well it is executed, is as important as the brick itself. Impressive grout techniques, both in color hue and finished joint methods, significantly enhance the beauty and believability of your homes siding. Brick patterns, grout color, and joint techniques should be discussed with your contractor prior to installation. There are six grout techniques used with brick veneer and all offer a completely different look such as rustic or cottage, they are; standard, overgrout, weep, bead, grapevine, and full joint.
Advantages - There are many benefits to brick veneer; it’s durable and fireproof, which can possibly save you some money on your insurance premiums. You never need to paint or stain your home. It’s a great way to provide natural insulation against the elements of weather and, unlike solid brick, brick veneer siding traps air within the gap between the two exterior walls providing even better insulation. You can also add more insulation in the stud cavities of the house’s original framework. There are many colors and styles to choose from such as European brick or used brick.
Disadvantages – Because there is a gap between the two exterior walls moisture can get trapped and cause problems. Weep holes are often created to ventilate this gap. Also, because brick is porous, when it rains water can seep between the block and mortar, creating damage to the homes exterior. A water-resistant surface must be placed over the homes original framework to prevent moisture build-up and mold from entering your house.
Stone veneer consists of a mixture of natural ingredients such as Portland cement, lightweight aggregates and iron-oxide pigments, which become integral to the stone during fabrication. The materials are then cast into molds taken from natural stone to produce a realistic looking stone that is lighter than natural stone. Natural stone can require wall ties and footings, which in turn can increase installation cost and difficulty. The huge range of available styles and colors makes this product a strong choice. Some available choices are Castle stone, Cobble stone, Euro Cobble, Euro limestone, Fieldstone, River rock, Ledge stone, and the list goes on. The appearance is so realistic most people can’t tell the difference between real stone and faux stone – homeowners don’t feel it’s a compromise to use it, and the other benefits are significant.
Grout for stone veneer – just as important as the stone
There are 3 distinct grout techniques, each with their own unique look: Standard Joints (raked,) Dry-Stack Joints, and Overgrout Joints (historically known as a sack finish.) These 3 joint finishes play a major role when it comes to finishing a job that has the look and feel of real stone and the overall appearance. Be sure to discuss grout techniques with your contractor prior to installation.
Advantages – Lower price – manufactured stone veneer (MSV) is approximately half the cost of natural stone installed. The material weighs considerably less than real stone, as much as 75 percent less – making it easier and quicker to install and reduces the structural supports needed. Stone veneer doesn’t require foundations or footings, eliminating the time and money necessary for those supports. There is a huge range of styles and colors available. Stone veneer can be applied to any structurally sound surface with the proper preparation and can fit nearly any building plan. MSV’s are non-combustible. Some insurance companies will offer a reduction for using them. Most companies offer a fifty year warranty. Stones are easily replaced if damaged.
Disadvantages – Stone veneers are more expensive than most other sidings. Some varieties may not look as authentic.
Getting it right
As with any building material the quality of the product is as important as how well it is installed. Careful consideration regarding color, pattern, and the type of grout technique used are very important factors to discuss with your contractor. See below for our list of prescreened licensed contractors in your area.
Interested in exploring your siding options? Brick and stone veneer add a richness and timelessness to any home. And better yet, they look so realistic that usually only experts can tell it’s not the real thing. Read on to learn more.
While brick and stone veneer siding is certainly less expensive than authentic material, you should still expect to pay $11 to $15 per square foot. This could vary depending on the materials used and the cost of installation in your area. Contact a local professional for specific cost estimates.
Approximately half the cost of natural stone.
Durable and fireproof, which can save you money on insurance premiums.
Provides even better insulation than regular solid brick.
Brick is porous, so rainwater can seep between the block and mortar, potentially damaging the home’s exterior.
More expensive than most other sidings.
Leaves a gap between the two exterior walls; moisture can get trapped.
Both brick and stone veneer are very durable siding options. They can withstand a fair amount of damage and will protect a home from fire better than other materials.
Brick and stone veneer are virtually maintenance-free siding options. Stone veneer might need an occasional spray of the hose to clear away any dirt, and brick veneer may eventually need to undergo “pointing,” or grinding out old cement and replacing it with new cement.
Common Questions and Answers
What is the difference between regular brick and brick veneer when it comes to installation?
While true brick homes are constructed block-upon-block to hold up the house, brick veneer siding is held up by the house itself, secured to the home using small metal ties that allow for a small gap of air between the pre-existing exterior wall and the n
How is stone veneer created?
Stone veneer consists of a mixture of natural ingredients, such as Portland cement, lightweight aggregates and iron-oxide pigments, which become integral to the stone during fabrication. The materials are then cast into molds taken from natural stone to p
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