Brick and Stone Exteriors Explained

There comes a time in every home’s life when it needs to upgrade its look. The exterior of your home gets abused by the wind, sun, rain, and is expected to perform no matter how hot or cold it is. That’s why you need to carefully consider the options available to you when deciding what exterior suits your home best.

Today, one of the most popular options for covering your walls is vinyl cladding. This is because it is cost-effective, insulative, and can be purchased in a variety of styles and colors. The fact that it needs very little maintenance is a bonus. However, if you have a brick or stone exterior you’ll probably be tempted to stick with this, it does offer an almost timeless look. But, what is the difference between brick and stone wall cladding?


Brick is the term used when you opt for brick siding. However, a brick exterior wall is actually one that has been built with brick. The most common approach is to build two walls and, every 6 rows, join the two rows with header bricks. This ties the walls together, giving them strength. You can also use metal rods inside the walls instead of the header bricks. The wall will be strong enough to support the house. And brick spacers help to make sure bricks are evenly spaced.

However, building techniques have improved and the need for insulation in homes has led to wooden framed houses with a brick veneer. The insulation is included in the frame and the brick veneer is more like a siding, although it can be made of actual bricks.

The main difference between these two approaches is that in the brick-built house the brick holds up the house. When you have brick veneer or siding, the house is holding up the brick.


Stone is effectively an older technique. Stone houses are built by slotting stones together, to create a solid structure or wall.  In this type of building, there is no need to bond the wall to itself, the stone wall is just one large space, sometimes filled with soil to help with insulation.

While this is an old-fashioned building method, it is replicated with stone siding. The siding is fastened to the exterior wall of the house in a similar way to vinyl cladding. There are very few times when a modern home is built from stone, although stone siding may be used to give the effect.

The Disadvantage of Stone & Brick

Brick and stone exteriors are strong, they won’t come down easily in any storm. However, they are also exposed to the elements and are not particularly waterproof.

Water sits on the stone and brick, dripping down and penetrating into the walls. A well-built house will have weep holes at the bottom of the wall, allowing the water to back out. But, this does leave it open for dampness to get into the house, especially if the weep holes become blocked.

While stone and brick may still be used, especially in extreme climates, siding, particularly vinyl cladding, is becoming an extremely popular and practical choice. You should consider it when you want to improve the exterior of your home.

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