Source: The Balance Small Business
Brick siding costs between $9 and $17 per sq. ft. to install.
For a typical 2,000-square-foot home, you can expect to pay somewhere between $18,000 and $34,000 for a brick siding installation.
Brick can cost more than most other siding materials, largely depending on the type of brick siding you choose. Like other siding materials, the accessory system components and home layout also play a major role in installation costs.
Fortunately, you can quickly learn more about the costs as well as the key benefits and drawbacks of brick in this article.
On this page
- Brick siding cost factors
- Benefits of brick siding
- Drawbacks of brick siding
- Is brick siding right for you?
Brick siding cost factors
Type of brick siding
Solid brick houses are a thing of the past, as the process is a bit complicated. However, you can still achieve the stately-yet-rough character of a brick home with brick masonry, thin brick veneer, and faux brick.
Source: Morton Stones
The most authentic method of brick siding uses actual bricks.
To support the weight of a brick wall, installers lay a foundational brick ledge. From there, they stack one layer of bricks with adhesive mortar between each unit.
The bricks do not sit flush with the wall framing. Rather, installers leave at least a one-inch air gap between the bricks and exterior wall to allow ventilation and drainage.
Brick absorbs water, so the physical spacing and airflow prevent water from reaching the inner wall, which can result in damage. To tie the brick wall to the structure, installers use metal anchor ties every few square feet.
Siding doesn’t get much more durable than bricks, largely thanks to their sheer weight. All that mass, however, makes installation and transportation more labor-intensive and costly. Additionally, going this route is not DIY – you’ll want a seasoned mason to ensure proper installation, which adds to costs.
Source: Home Depot
Instead of full-size bricks, most homeowners opt for brick veneer siding, also called thin brick. It looks just as good as regular brick, but thin brick measures as little as half-inch thick, which reduces the weight substantially.
Similar to indoor tiles, you would install thin bricks directly to the wall surface with adhesive grout.
Brick veneer better accommodates DIYers. As opposed to laying blocks one by one, some brick veneers come in large, interlocking panels that quickly adhere to the sheathing with fasteners for expedited installation.
It might look like the real deal, but faux brick is usually polyurethane plastic cast into brick molds.
Faux bricks seamlessly emulate the trademark rugged appearance without the back-breaking weight and need for skilled labor. Like brick veneer, faux brick often comes in siding panels for relatively quicker and cheaper installation.
They won’t have the trademark texture and sturdiness of kiln-fired clay blocks, but faux bricks look essentially indistinguishable from the original.
Home size and design
Alongside the unit price of the siding, how much material you need directly influences project costs.
Most manufacturers and installers offer pricing by the square foot, though other design features can play into costs.
For instance, homes with many corners and multiple stories increase installation difficulty and, therefore, costs.
Wall repairs can add unexpected costs to a new siding project.
After removing existing siding, it’s not uncommon to find damage to the sheathing or wall studs, which you should repair before they cause further trouble down the road.
The brand and type of house wrap you use play into material costs.
Brick siding requires the use of weather-resistive barriers, which prevent water from penetrating the inner walls. Such a moisture-resistant component is crucial for brick as it absorbs water that can damage wood structural components.
Benefits of brick siding
No matter your location, brick siding can drastically elevate the curb appeal of your home.
A 2020 study from the National Association of Homebuilders found that 19 percent of homeowners nationwide tend to prefer brick over the likes of vinyl, stone, stucco, wood, and fiber cement.
Tumbled brick evokes a weathered, storied appearance, whereas cut brick channels modern sentiments with clean lines.
From neutral whites and greys to intense reds and oranges, brick also comes in a long list of colors to match your distinct preferences. You can customize your brick siding to another degree with custom-colored mortar.
All things considered, brick suits just about every taste and looks good in the process.
Remember “The Three Little Pigs” fable?
After destroying the houses made of straw and sticks, the Big Bad Wolf attempts to huff, puff, and blow down the house made of bricks, but it remains upright in the end.
Likely unbeknownst to the wolf, brick exceeds the stringent impact resistance requirements for high-velocity hurricane zones, where winds can approach 180 mph.
On top of transcending severe weather standards, bricks are non-combustible. While termites and rot are commonly found in wood siding, they do not pose the same threat to brick.
From hurricane-force winds to fires to pests, few types of siding can claim better durability than brick.
Another reason brick siding stands the test of time is that it is relatively maintenance-free.
If installed properly, the brick itself should require almost no maintenance apart from cleaning and plant removal. However, seasonal inspection will maximize the prescribed lifespan of your brick siding.
Most maintenance items revolve around accessory components such as sealant joints, mortar joints, and flashing, which can require repairs as little as every five years.
Adding brick can potentially lower your monthly utility bills when switching from a non-energy-efficient siding material.
While brick does not insulate well, it boasts an exceptionally high thermal mass relative to other cladding materials. This means it absorbs and stores more heat before emitting it into or out of the building.
A high thermal mass effectively reduces the rate at which your home gains and loses temperatures. With your siding inherently "maintaining" comfortable internal temperatures, you can reduce your demand for your HVAC system and lower your monthly energy bills.
Providers may offer lower insurance rates for fire-resistant building materials like brick. In fire-prone regions, homeowners making the switch from more combustible materials like wood can expect significant insurance savings.
Drawbacks of brick siding
Brick siding costs vs. competitors
Average cost installed per square foot
Genuine brick is among the most expensive siding options in most cases. If you seek a highly affordable siding material, steer clear from brick in favor of aluminum or vinyl siding.
Source: Texture Plus
Alternatively, you don't have to side your entire home with brick. Smaller brick accents in conjunction with more budget-friendly siding can produce just as much if not more elegance than full-on bricks.
Laying bricks or even applying brick veneer correctly requires some know-how, which is where the value of professional masons comes in.
Brick panels and mortarless brick debatably require less savvy to properly install, though they certainly require some skill. Even with such products, you should defer to an experienced contractor to ensure a lasting installation.
Although raw material extraction for brick is relatively environmentally friendly, manufacturing brick, which requires firing clay, demands substantial fossil fuel consumption. Since brick is so heavy, it requires even more fossil fuels to transport.
To maximize the sustainability of your brick siding, look for used, salvaged, reclaimed, or recovered materials. These repurposed bricks come from demolished buildings to eliminate the massive energy expenditure needed to extract and manufacture new materials. You should also prioritize locally sourced materials. Much of brick’s global warming potential comes strictly from the fossil fuels spent transporting it to the installation site.
Is brick siding right for you?
If you can get past the price tag, we recommend brick siding.
No other siding material elicits the alluring sensation of brick. Additionally, it lasts a lifetime and can even save you money down the road with reduced utility, upkeep, and insurance cost.
The challenging installation and sustainability issues of brick might concern you. However, you can mitigate or avoid these downsides by teaming up with an experienced installer and purchasing recycled, locally sourced materials.