Comparing Brick with Stucco
Each material has its advantages depending on your needs
By Sabah Karimi
Both these options can create visually pleasing facades and save you money in the long run. Brick and stucco are durable materials that are commonly used to build energy-efficient homes in all types of climates. When deciding whether to use brick or stucco for siding, wall building or masonry projects, consider the overall effect or aesthetic appearance you are trying to achieve, your budget, and the energy savings you wish to enjoy after the installation.
Both brick and stucco are commonly used to build walls and siding of a home. Brick is made out of clay with varying ratios of aluminum silicates and carbonate of iron. Stucco is made with a combination of limestone, sand and water. A builder may use either one or a combination of both materials when building a wall or siding.
Since both brick and stucco have similar levels of durability and can last for several years, many homeowners and builders choose stucco over brick because of its rustic appeal. Stucco creates a less formal effect and is often used to build Mediterranean or Southwest-style homes. It may be colored with dyes or polished and smoothed with a layer of plaster. Brick exudes a more traditional style and is often used to build classic European-style homes or modern, contemporary homes where the brick can be painted a certain color.
Benefits of brick
In addition to its aesthetic appeal, brick offers several benefits over stucco. Brick veneer used to build walls and siding can reduce energy costs, and also decrease fire insurance rates because it is less of a safety hazard than other building materials. In some markets, a brick home has a higher resale value than nonbrick homes. Brick is also an attractive option for homeowners and builders who are working with a very tight budget.
Benefits of stucco
Stucco is often an attractive option for homes in a warm or hot climate. It can also be used as a building material to fill any cracks or gaps between mortar joints in a concrete wall. Stucco has insulating benefits, and can be layered over brick to trap in heat and reduce energy costs.
Considerations for brick
If you select brick as your building material, learn about any finishing solutions or painting services that may cost you extra. It's important to learn about the different types of brick available and the level of durability of each so you are making the most informed long-term investment.
Considerations for stucco
Some types of stucco are more expensive because the manufacturing plant is overseas, or the stucco requires a special treatment to color or apply it with a special finish. It's important to confirm these details when meeting with your building contractor, and request a cost breakdown of the materials and labor involved with the project.
If you like the look of stucco but do not want to completely remodel or renovate your existing brick walls, have stucco applied over the brick. A siding specialist or building contractor can cement a thick layer of stucco directly onto the brick wall or siding relatively quickly and easily, and the stucco can be textured with different finishes depending on the look or theme you are trying to achieve.
About the Author
Sabah Karimi is a regular contributor to DexKnows.
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