The Brick And Stone Selection Process

Photos Courtesy of Brock White Company

A brick or stone home is a personal reflection of those who live in it. With brick and stone you can dream any design and transform it into a beautiful living experience.

Brick and stone give us everything we desire in a home – comfort, enduring beauty, style, craftsmanship and peace of mind. More importantly, the use of brick or stone delivers all that we need in a home – permanence, stability, security, design integrity, and long-term value.

No other building material offers so may elegant ways to create detailing and unique architectural effects in walls, windows, entryways and landscaping. From vaulting arches to stalwart columns, subtle sills to expressive corner projections, sculpted chimneys to decorative bond patterns accentuating facades and pathways. At very first glance, nothing leaves a more memorable impression than a brick or stone home. 

The brick and stone selection is among the most important decisions you will make when customizing your home’s appearance. Brick and/or stone is the visual foundation of your home, potentially making up three-quarters or more of the exterior walls. The selection process includes choosing from the many choices of colors, textures and materials that are available to truly make your statement of personal tastes when building your dream home.

Years ago you had limited selections to choose from. You could drive around neighborhoods and name off any one of the dozen or so brick selections that were available. Most of these brick selections are still available along with a much larger selection of brick and an even more increasing selection of stone.

Brick and Stone selections range from brick, thin brick, natural stone, and thin natural stone and manufactured stone. Let take a look at these options:

Brick

The brick manufacturing process itself provides distinct characteristics and options to consider. Extruded, molded and handmade – the looks range from uniform, to soft and casual, to irregular. Your choice will depend on architectural style and personal preference. Choices range from a variety of face sizes and hundreds of colors.

Thin Brick

Thin Brick veneer looks like a conventional brick, yet weighs considerably less. For this reason, it is popular with homeowners for exterior brick accents such as chimneys and other areas where the weight of traditional brick cannot be supported as easily. In addition, thin brick is often used in the homes interior, whether it is on a fireplace, an accent wall or other detailing.

Natural Stone

Natural stone is one of the most sound and visually appealing building products available. Because it is quarried direct from the earth, it has unique qualities that only Mother Nature can produce.

Color-rich stone veneer can provide the visual dimension that elevates the “eye appealing” to “awe inspiring”. Using full veneer building stone or custom-cut accents, steppers, and landscaping stone, natural stone can make your creation, and the impression it gives a lasting one.

Stone veneer products can be custom selected and attractively blended together. This technique gives you an unlimited range of design possibilities for your home exterior, fireplace surround, or the interior or exterior accents.

Natural Thin Stone

While full veneer natural stone is still regarded as the premium choice for high-end home and building construction natural thin stone offers a more affordable installation for those who still want the quality and beauty of natural stone. Natural thin stone is a lightweight alternative to full veneer and a natural alternative to manufactured stone.

Natural thin stone is cut at a thickness ranging from three-quarters of one inch to one and one-quarter inches as compared to full veneer, which has a thickness of three to five inches. Some of the advantages of natural thin stone and manufactured stone are as follows.

It is easier for masons to handle and can be installed in about half the time as full veneer, providing costs savings. In many cases, it can be installed without a brick/stone ledge or foundation, making it especially good to use for remodeling projects and zero clearance fireplaces and gas fireplaces.

Manufactured Stone

Manufactured stone’s usage has increased in popularity over the last ten to fifteen years, and in some communities and developments, it is the most popular masonry product used on residential homes. Manufacturers have many new textures and colors available today. Most textures and colors look exactly like the natural stones from which they were molded. Other stone veneers and trim, while still nature inspired have been enhanced to either simplify installation or better fit in with today’s styles.

Beginning the Selection Process

Check the neighborhood where you are building, some developments have covenants or rules that require a certain percentage of brick or stone be used on the front of a home. Some have rules that do not permit homes in the same area to have the same combination of brick, stone and siding colors, so as to provide a distinctive look to each home.

When making brick or stone selections, try to choose from as large a sample as possible in order to see the full color range that the product provides. Visit the brick and stone yards that have a large quantity of outside displays and you will want to view these in natural lighting. Also, whenever possible, view the selection from a distance away as you will be seeing your product in a natural setting, as if from standing on the curb and looking at your home.

After the brick or stone has been selected, choose the colors and textures of the siding, windows trim and roofing.

Consider added options to your home. A popular selection when using brick or stone is the use of an address stone. An address stone is a piece of genuine limestone which has your house address number sandblasted into and once placed, provides a permanent address market that not only compliments your home, but is easily seen from the street. Additional accents that will compliment your brick and stone selection include quoin corners, keystones, sill stone, window and door trim and stone column caps.

Enjoy the process of selecting your brick and stone with the satisfaction of knowing you are choosing quality materials that will enhance the look and feel of your new home now and for many years to come. 

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