If you’re planning on building a new house, you may be wondering if the cost of masonry is worth the benefits. We’re here to tell you that if you have the right budget, you can’t go wrong with masonry.
This natural material has been used for centuries to build durable homes that can withstand the test of time and inclement weather. Even better, you can choose from a variety of colours, styles, and textures to suit your aesthetic.
Lewis Build masonry homes are constructed with large concrete blocks that are treated with the StoArmat Render System [link to open in new tab] by our build partner Allied Concrete. This process ensures that the masonry surface is fracture and impact resistant, engineered to provide optimal protection and finish, and comes with a warranty for all concrete block construction.
Read on to learn all the benefits of masonry homes so that you can learn whether they’re a good fit for your home!
What Is a Masonry House?
Masonry homes are one of the most durable kinds of construction. They’re typically made out of brick or stone such as limestone, marble, granite, adobe, cast stone, and concrete.
Homes can have entire masonry construction or just a brick veneer. Brick veneer is the best choice for homeowners who like the look of masonry but already have a constructed home.
The veneer is made out of solid, full-size bricks, but they’re a separate layer outside the load-bearing walls. You can usually tell the difference between veneer walls and stone masonry homes because load-bearing walls made of brick will have header rows.
These rows are perpendicular bricks rotated 90 degrees in order to bridge the gap between the two layers of brick walls. Veneer walls only have one decorative layer and don’t need a header row.
Benefits of Masonry
Now that you know about masonry construction, here are the benefits you can enjoy if you opt to find or build a masonry house. You’ll be able to enjoy both the aesthetic of brick as well as the durability.
One of the best things about masonry construction is that you’ll still have a lot of choices when it comes to the exterior aesthetics of your home. From the classic brick to rough stone, there is a wide array of options that still keep your home structurally sound. You’ll be able to choose a material based on colour, finishes, textures, and styles.
Although the initial cost will be high, you’ll be able to enjoy the cost-effectiveness of masonry over the years. That is because brick and stone won’t fade over time and don’t need as much maintenance as drywall. You’ll also enjoy the lower cost of fire-insurance over time.
You’ll have the substantial benefit of energy-efficiency if you invest in masonry homes. That is because their huge mass reduces the transfer of heat. If it’s hot and sunny out, it will take longer for the stone to fully absorb the heat and a matter of hours before that heat starts transferring to the inside.
It is also true when it’s cold out; the heat inside your home will stay trapped inside for longer. It’s the reason why you may have noticed that some historic homes from the late-nineteenth-century without air conditioning still felt cool on the inside.
Because of the mass of masonry, you’ll also enjoy less noise getting through from the outside world. The sound transmission is greatly reduced compared to less dense walls such as drywall. You can also construct walls with special masonry units that are designed to absorb sound better.
One of the top benefits of masonry is that they’re a natural fire barrier, which is import if you live in heavily forested, dry areas. Masonry is non-combustible, meaning that it won’t fuel fires or emit any toxic gases if it’s engulfed in flame. That is the reason why the majority of firehouses you see are built out of masonry.
Although masonry requires little maintenance, if you’ve bought an older home or want to keep your masonry in the best shape for as long as possible, here are some preservation tips.
You’ll notice that these tips are all about doing as little as possible to avoid damaging or disrupting the material’s natural ability to protect your home from moisture.
Avoid Painting and Sealing
You may be tempted to paint or seal your brick to make it look better over time, but you’ll find this invites more problems. Once you paint your brick, the paint will require more maintenance to keep it looking fresh.
Worse, painting and sealing can cause moisture-related issues over time that may bring about mould. That is because painting and sealing don’t allow brick or stone to properly “breathe” and wick away the moisture.
Use Hand Tools
If you do need maintenance to be done on your masonry, it’s important to use hand tools instead of power tools. That is because hand tools are better for precision work and will do a minimal amount of damage to the material.
It’s important that you only have your masonry cleaned when it’s absolutely necessary. Use water, a mild detergent, and low-pressure washing of 1,000 psi or lower in order to ensure you’re not doing any long-lasting damage.
That is because abrasive cleaning methods can deteriorate the tough outer crust of the brick or stone and expose the materials to water damage.
Beautiful Masonry Homes
Masonry homes are a great choice if you’re looking for a durable, fire-resistant, and energy-efficient home that also has a classic, natural look. The best thing about these homes is that they require little to no maintenance.
You can also choose from a variety of natural materials to customise the colour, texture, style, and more of the exterior of your home.
Ready to begin looking into the construction of your new home? Contact us today to get started!