There are several choices for the exterior of your home, but brick, wood and stone make some of the most visually pleasing. They also cost more than stucco or vinyl. You may decide, however, that the added cost is worth it thanks to their long-lasting qualities and aesthetic beauty.
Brick is an especially higher priced choice, due to the cost of materials and labor for the installation. A lot of people today want to imitate the look of homes where they actually made the brick on the site and a lot of people will spend the extra money to get that handmade look.
While brick can add 25 percent or more to the cost of your house construction vs. a less-expensive option such as stucco or vinyl, it more than makes up for it due to durability.
Wood is the next high-end siding option to consider for your home. Much like brick, it may also cost 25 percent more than vinyl or fiber-cement siding. Lumber products are volatile in their price fluctuations, and the supply is also volatile.
Natural stone is another high-end option to consider, but it's costly for a different reason — because it's heavier weight, which means it's more difficult to install. This will raise the labor costs, obviously.
Note: Both stone and brick take longer to install than vinyl siding, and this additional time is another element contributing to their higher cost.
If you love the look of stone and brick but your budget won't allow for the added cost, you do have alternatives:
One way to achieve the look of a high-end siding material without breaking your budget is to use synthetic substitutes. For example, if you want the look of wood siding, consider using an engineered wood as an option.
Engineered wood takes wood chips, breaks them down into a size of a fiber, adds resins and wax and, with heat and pressure, bonds them back into a homogeneous panel. That yields a very stable product that can provide an excellent finish and a lot of versatility when it comes to siding the house.
Like wood, stone has a synthetic alternative called "cultured stone," which provides homeowners with the high-end look of natural stone — but without the higher price tag.
Cultured stone is actually a manufactured stone veneer product that replicates natural stone in size, shape and texture. And it's a lightweight product, which means it has installation advantages. Unlike quarried stone, which may be limited to a geographical area where it's available, this product can be available anywhere in the country.