Brick Veneer: Pros and Cons

Stick-built single family homes with brick veneer tend to have a good return on investment. They have curb appeal. Natural brick, in various colors, makes a home look pleasant, warm, and inviting. Add beautiful landscape and sidewalks, a wreath on the door, charming decorations, a welcome mat, and envision a picture postcard view of your home.

Advantages of homes with brick veneer:  About 150 to 200 years ago, some homes and large buildings and multi-family housing complexes were built with solid masonry construction. Solid masonry is also referred to as double brick, solid brick or brick, and block construction. This type of construction consists of an inner layer and an outer layer of brick. Within the USA, since the early 1900’s, through the 1940’s, the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s, in mainstream building construction, it became economical to move away from solid masonry construction. However, due to fire and building codes, even in the 21st century, still existing are large multi-family residential units constructed of solid masonry and there are some older single-family residential homes built of solid masonry still standing and occupied today. Differing opinions expound the benefits and disadvantages of solid masonry/brick construction. Nevertheless, within the USA, these dwellings, though rarely found, remain in use today. In other parts of the world, i.e., Canada and Europe, solid masonry is still used today.

However, most modern single-family residential homes are not made of solid masonry/brick construction. Instead, homes are constructed with a combination of stick-built wood frame and brick veneer construction. Some people use brick veneer halfway up the front of the house and cover the rest of the home with siding material. Or, they choose to fully cover the front of the home’s exterior with a brick veneer and the rest of the home with vinyl or wood siding because there is less cost involved. Other people choose to cover all four exterior sides of the home with a full brick veneer from top to bottom. Using full brick veneer does increase construction cost but it also seems to appeal to homeowners and buyers as well. Homes with full brick veneer have curb appeal and a higher resale value than homes without a brick veneer. Some of the main advantages of a brick veneer home, of course, are curb appeal, durability and strength, insulation R-factor value, security, and resale value. People really like the fact that brick homes are traditional, charming, and they last a long time.

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Disadvantages of homes with brick veneer:  There are a few disadvantages of using brick veneer on a home.

Brick veneer homes require maintenance and they are more expensive to build. Every few years, the home’s exterior should be reviewed and the brick veneer should be evaluated for cracks and the deterioration of mortar joints. This is especially true for homes with brick chimneys and fireplaces. According to research, brick masonry does not do well in earthquake-prone regions. In addition, poorly maintained homes tend to be prone to drainage, mold, and water damage.