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Pros and Cons of Building Brick Homes

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Why you should – and shouldn’t – build a new brick home.

Is building with brick a good option for your residential construction company? The answer depends on the preferences of your buyers, cost, how durable the home needs to be and more. Here are some of the most relevant pros and cons of building new homes with brick.

The Advantages

It’s low maintenance. Brick doesn’t require painting after installation, and it’s not subject to rot or damage from hailstorms. While homeowners have to replace wood siding and trim from time to time, brick typically remains durable for decades after initial construction, unless it endures substantial damage due to tornadoes or earthquakes.

It is resistant to fire and infestation. While they aren’t totally fire-proof, brick homes are resistant to fire damage. Since it doesn’t aid in the spread of fire, brick can help contain a fire within a home and prevent it from spreading. Brick is also resistant to termite and other types of insect infestations. Unlike wood, it can also withstand damage caused by nesting birds.

It’s eco-friendly. Since it’s made of two of the earth’s most abundant natural resources – clay and shale – brick often appeals to buyers who favor “eco-friendly” and “zero energy” homes. What’s more, if builders have leftover brick after construction, they can use it to line patios or create walls for raised-bed gardens.

Brick provides better temperature control. When combined with quality insulation, brick helps stabilize interior temperature and delay the movement of heat through walls. During the winter, heat stays inside; during the summer, interiors stay cooler. Brick can also block more sound from outside compared to wood and vinyl siding, even with thick insulation as a buffer.

The Downsides

It’s more expensive. Brick homes are more expensive than stick-built homes. On average, brick exteriors also cost around six to seven percent more than vinyl siding. While that might not seem like a big difference, the costs can add up fast depending on the total size of a home. To offset material and labor costs, builders typically have to charge more for a new brick home.

There aren’t that many options. Since brick is made from natural materials, builders only have a few color options to choose from — generally a series of browns, reds and grays. Although brick can be painted, it can be a labor-intensive process. In addition to priming the surface, painters usually have to use brushes and rollers to force paint into tiny holes and cracks, since spray rigs have difficulty thoroughly coating the porous brick surfaces. Homeowners also need to repaint every couple of years to keep brick exteriors from chipping and/or fading.

Repointing is sometimes necessary. Every now and then, homeowners will have to pay to replace pointing (the mortar used to keep the bricks together). While this is less likely if the original pointing is properly performed, it can still happen even under perfect conditions. Since this can be an intensive and expensive repair, some homeowners are leery of brick homes.

You get what you pay for. While cheap, poorly made bricks can save builders money, they are porous. This increases the risk of moisture issues, mold problems and cracks. Since knowledgeable buyers and real estate agents will be wary of such issues, it’s important for builders to make sound buying choices when selecting construction materials.


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Painted Brick

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Although it’s not necessarily a new trend, painted bricks are definitely a favorite right now, and we love it. I recall a few years ago one of the builders we work with did a lot of brick work in a show home they were going to have in the Parade of Homes and once all the brick was installed they painted it all white. It was stunning!
Since that time I’ve seen more and more people painting their brick on both the interior and exteriors of their homes.
Why Use Painted Bricks? 
Painting your brick really is a statement of your style. On existing brick it might just be a new look that you are going for. On new brick it might be a statement you are wanting to make. It may also be a specific area of your home you want to highlight and feature.
Painted brick also give you more control over the choice of your colors.
Really, any color you choose can be used to paint your brick but there are a few colors that seem to be at the top of the list.
White painted bricks are probably the most common we’ve seen. White gives a modern, sophisticated look and works great on both interior and exterior applications. The home builder I had mentioned above had brick pillars in their show home, along with a fireplace and a feature wall. They painted those brick white and they looked amazing. You can either do a whitewash where some of the bricks natural color still comes through or a solid white coat. Both give their own unique look.
Grey painted bricks are also very popular and a great alternative to white. Grey has a more traditional look and works well in many different styles of homes.
What Bricks Do I Use?
At Kodiak Mountain Stone we have a number of different brick profiles for you to chose from in both full brick and brick veneer. Since they will be painted the most important thing you are looking for is the profile. If you visit with one of our experts they can help you find the perfect brick for your project.
Paint Grade Brick and Block
If you are planning a project that will include painted brick we do have some specific products from Creative Mines that are made just for that.
Loft Craft Paintgrade Brick has a somewhat shorter face height and a longer length. It pays homage to urban warehouse interiors ad lofts and its raw, off-white concrete color easily accepts any paint color.
Creative Mines Loft Paint Grade Brick Veneer
Brewery Craft Paintgrade Brick – has the dimensions, shape and pronounced texture reminiscent of classic English Brew Pubs. Even though it is course
Creative Mines Brewery Craft Paintgrade Brick Veneer
Modern Craft Paintgrade Block™ has a smooth uniform face and rectangular mid-century modern shape. It is attractive installed as either an offset or stacked bond and its surface effortlessly receives paint.
Creative Mines Modern Craft Paintgrade Block
Come in an visit with one of our experts and we will help you create your dream project. You can contact us at 1-877-563-4252
As you are designing your project take advantage of the Kodiak Mountain Stone Visualizer so that you have the opportunity to see your dream project before you begin. As they say, “Begin with the end in mind!”
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