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Brick Siding Cost & Material Guide

Brick siding is often cited as one of the most beautiful additions to an older home. They offer a classic look in the construction of a home. They are also one of the most durable siding choices on a home. There are several varieties of bricks available on the market and each style can offer a practically unlimited choice for the home. There are also materials available to fit into obstacles in the home that traditional masonry methods would be unable to accomplish 40 years ago. Newer techniques and concepts reduce labor time and increase the architectural design options for an entire house or just the first floor.

The Costs

  • Minimum cost: $3.50 per square foot

  • Maximum cost: $8.00 per square foot



Bricks can be insulated with one-inch-thick foam insulation. It's attached to the side of the wall facing the brick and offers a thermal break between the home and the heat mass gained from the brick. The gaps between the insulation and the brick are then filled with mortar. A thin overcoat application can also be installed to increase insulation in the home. It provides a thermal barrier to improve the existing insulation found behind the brick. It reduces the amount of air infiltration that causes draft and reduces efficiency of the foam insulation.

Insulated panel systems and veneer may include an integrated insulation material that reduces the amount of labor involved.

Brick Veneer

Brick veneer can use a combination of thin brick and panels to create a realistic siding option. It can be installed over any surface, especially vinyl. Veneers are an overlay to existing sheathing or siding material to create the impression of a brick-built home with added insulating factors. Brick veneer is not considered a structural element, but can offer added fire resistance. Veneer is added to the insulating r-value factor of a home due to the air trapped between the siding and the wall surface. Brick veneer is also considered a custom product because of the variety of shapes and cutting styles that can be placed in the material. Custom sizing can allow for unique patterns and shapes.

Real Brick

As the name implies, this form of siding uses various thickness of real masonry brick. Real brick comes in several sizes for various applications. Thin bricks are 1/2" thick and can be installed directly over the home's exterior with little work involved. Thin bricks look very similar to a masonry surface and can resolve gap issues with the use of corner bricks. The corner bricks are installed to create the illusion of a full-length brick along the perimeter of the siding.

Full bricks are full-thickness bricks used in traditional exterior masonry. It is an extremely durable form of siding that requires additional labor to install. They require support to handle additional weight on second stories. A footing has to be dug to prevent frost heave in cooler climates. Full brick siding can be considered structural as well.

Panelized Brick

Panel brick siding comes in two forms: interlocking panels, synthetic tiled siding. Interlocking brick is considered a "mortar-less" siding panel. Interlocking panels can be either horizontal, whereby small concrete 'bricks' slide into a slot and are glued down, or tongue and groove units made up of concrete. The concrete material can be painted a brick color. Panelized brick is considered one of the fastest ways to install a brick or faux brick siding. The speed of installation is most likely related to the lightweight material. Interlocking panel siding is one of the most lightweight siding materials to work with next to vinyl. Installation can be either vertical or horizontal.

Tile brick creates the appearance and texture of real brick on the surface. The installation is more traditional and requires a mortar set to achieve a finished product. The colors are highly flexible and can be painted to match the layout of the home. The tile product is more labor intensive and requires expertise in masonry products. Tile brick siding is used in architectural settings that require a more rustic or historical look that interlocking panels require more work to achieve. Tile brick will usually require a plan ahead of time due to the extra labor of masonry and permanent layout of the bricks. Unlike other veneer options, tile brick will set immediately and cannot be manipulated very much during installation.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Brick Siding

Brick siding has several advantages. Most of these advantages are related to maintenance and care. Real brick siding doesn't require much labor intensive maintenance in cleaning the exterior. Surfaces such as vinyl have to be washed or replaced over time as the sun's UV rays fade the exterior. Veneer siding is fireproof and extremely resilient to the environment. Panelized brick and thin brick siding can resist the effects of frost heave.

Older brick found on surfaces such as a chimney will show the effects of frost-heave in the form of "splaying". Today, this splaying effect is practically eliminated. Brick siding also has the unique benefit of naturally stabilizing interior temperatures of the home when combined with internal insulation. Heat takes longer to reach the interior of the home on hotter days. Finally, brick has the long-lasting value associated with the product. It can increase the value of home and create instant curb appeal with not much more cost than vinyl or other siding products.

Brick veneer is easy to install but may allow moisture to infiltrate the exterior wall. There is a gap between the sheathing and the veneer product. Weeping holes or ventilation ports are usually added to reduce moisture from building up. However, additional costs may be required to install a water-resistant material over the framework of the home. Some homeowners may also find that the veneer and panelized concepts lack the rustic quality of a real brick structure. They are also not structural to the home. As a result, some consumers will install a hybrid of thin panel brick veneer and masonry brick around the home on specific walls.

Last updated on Jun 18, 2014

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