From experienced builders to future homeowners, the excitement surrounding a new home build never goes away! Every material or labor choice is an opportunity to add your favorite personal touches, bring in skilled experts, or make savvy budget adjustments. We’ve written at length about the advantages of using North Georgia Brick varieties and the many brick benefits are beyond impressive: 100-year lifespan, attractiveness, low maintenance, energy efficiency, sustainability, recyclability, contributions towards LEED certification points, and more. There are good reasons why the National Association of Home Builders survey respondents ranked brick as the top home exterior choice!
With every important decision that will be made, including building with brick, there are factors to be weighed and considered before ultimately signing off. Today we are going to address three common misconceptions that may arise when the question “Should I build a new brick home?” is asked:
- Brick Houses All Look the Same – When designing with brick, some only see brick as traditional red, as well as brown, grey, and other red variations. To change the color outside of this palette, painting can present a labor-intensive process since spray rigs will not achieve the paint job on porous brick that brushes and rollers can. Within climates that see extreme weather conditions, chipping and fading can be a concern for painted brick over the years. These tasks also present additional costs to an overall budget which can become problematic if resources are tight. Therefore, brick exteriors may look similar without the added task and cost of painting.
The truth is, today’s brick varieties come in a wider array of rich earthy tones, whites, creams, and pastels, as well as multi-colored varieties and white-washed brick. Painting will certainly change the look of a brick home, but so will an uneven whitewash paint that adds unique distressing with far less time and paint needed. You can also use the North Georgia Brick mortar visualizer tool to see which mortar color adds the most pop to your property! For undeniable luxury, the combination of brick and stone veneer adds stunning customization capabilities and breathtaking curb appeal. This charming home with Forest Glen brick (below top) and this gorgeous estate created with Charleston brick (below bottom) produce equally striking appeal but two totally different feels:
- Brick Houses Are Too Expensive – It is inherently true that brick homes will be more expensive to build than stick-built homes. Quality brick will cost more than wood, fiber cement siding, or vinyl siding. Generally, a brick exterior can cost 6%-7% more than vinyl siding and this overall cost difference can add up the larger the total size of a home is. Since cheaper bricks are more porous and increase the risk of moisture issues, mold growth, and even cracks, purchasing quality bricks will be necessary for the best performance from the finished brick home.
However, brick masonry has a one-hundred-year lifespan! Brick will essentially pay for itself over the course of its lifespan: In addition to retaining more value than other building materials and actually appreciating in resale value over time, brick homes improve the value of the neighborhoods they are part of. According to the US Dept. of Energy, a properly insulated brick home will save about 20% on energy bills annually. Along with lower home insurance premiums, lower maintenance costs, and greater damage resistance to fire, wind, and moisture, investing in brick as a building material will prove to be a better long-term financial choice.
- Brick Houses May Need to be Repointed – Pointing refers to the mortar used to keep the bricks together and over time some brick homes will require repointing due to natural wear and conditions. This repair can easily be both expensive and intensive. For the best chance of avoiding this situation entirely, it’s worth hiring the best experts to perform the original pointing. This initial cost and the possibility of pointing repairs can make homeowners leery of building a brick home and add to an argument for building with other materials.
This issue really goes back to using quality materials and hiring top professionals during the build to essentially ‘get it right’ the first time. Brick is extremely low maintenance: Brick exteriors don’t require painting, will not rot, and can even withstand tornadoes, earthquakes, and hailstorms. Therefore, the investments you make during the build will yield the best long-term results!As a homeowner, builder, or designer, brick is certainly worth your investment. For inspiration on your next amazing build with a striking North Georgia Brick exterior, visit our Cumming or Cartersville showrooms and bring your ideas to our brick experts. Our Turnkey Service Department is also ready to help you complete your next project with skill and efficiency!