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The exterior siding installed on a new home will make a difference to the cost, maintenance and comfort levels of the house. Builders and homeowners need to educate themselves on the advantages and disadvantages of each type of finish. Vinyl siding is a popular choice with various benefits, while brick is often seen as the more traditional and durable option. Comparing the two will allow you to make a better decision and build a more attractive, durable house.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Brick
Installing a brick exterior finish on your home is a smart option for many reasons. Not only is brick durable in almost any weather conditions; it is also one of the most secure types of siding available. It's not easy to blow down or cut through brick walls, as was pointed out in the classical tale of the Three Little Pigs.
Bricks also tend to produce quieter conditions inside your house, more effectively blocking out the noise of traffic and neighbors. Combined with double glazed windows and well built doors, brick walls create a comfortable climate inside your home with less chance of drafts.
This type of exterior finish is one of the most expensive options. The materials are quite a bit more than other options. Since installation needs to be done by a trained mason or bricklayer, the labor charges are much higher than those charged for other exterior finishing products.
Some claim that brick siding creates more extreme changes to the interior temperature. For instance, it is said that a brick house will cool down faster when cold weather hits, requiring your furnace to turn on sooner than would be the case on a home finished with another type of siding. This may only be a personal observance and in some cases it might even be seen as an advantage (the house will cool down quicker on a summer evening, cutting back on cooling costs).
Benefits and Drawbacks of Vinyl Siding
Vinyl siding is also durable against harsh climate conditions, although it may be damaged in heavy winds and hail. Brick can hold up against almost anything. In areas where earthquakes are common vinyl may be the better overall choice though, since the flexibility allows for less costly damage. It is worthwhile to note that many insurance policies will not cover masonry damage.
Vinyl siding is an affordable choice both in the immediate cost and over the long term. Much less expensive than brick to purchase and install, vinyl is also cheaper to repair and replace. Bricks will need repair after about 20 to 25 years, while vinyl siding can go much longer than that without the need for any maintenance — other than a quick wash down with your hose.
Vinyl is also a good choice for those awkward angles and corners of your siding that would be difficult with brick. Using vinyl siding with brick is a common choice, especially within the gables.
While both brick and vinyl siding are durable and attractive options, one may seem a better choice over the other depending on your tastes and the style of your home. Be sure to consider the higher cost of brick and determine whether the investment is worth it on your house. Vinyl is durable, although slightly less secure and durable against harsh weather conditions. Using a combination of the two is another option that may be the best compromise for your home.