What is masonry siding?

What is masonry siding?

Masonry siding defined

Masonry siding is a non-structural external layer of masonry. Masonry defined means “stonework.” In the home improvement industry, when we talk about masonry siding we mean siding made from stone.

There two types of masonry houses, those made from solid stone and those made from veneers or cladding. The biggest difference is that solid masonry holds up the house but with veneers, the house is holding up the masonry.

Solid masonry homes have two or three layers of stone, each layer is called a “wythe.” Masonry veneers consist of just one wythe in front of a wood frame wall and it’s the wood frame that holds up the house, not the stone.

Masonry veneer walls are siding.

Masonry siding construction

Homes with masonry siding do not rely on the stone for structural support. Walls are built, usually from timber, then sheathed and insulated before the masonry siding is installed.

The masonry wythe is anchored to the sheathing leaving a gap that acts as a drainage plane. Masonry siding isn’t 100% waterproof so water that manages to penetrate the siding encounters flashing and then is directed outside through weep holes.

illustration showing wall framing, sheathing, flashing, sheathing paper, air space, and brick with weep hole.

Is masonry siding better than vinyl?

Masonry siding and vinyl siding can increase the value and beauty of your home and while they both offer durability, they aren’t the same.

Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is essentially a plastic composite material, the quality of the vinyl will vary by manufacturer. The best aspect of choosing vinyl siding is the cost. Vinyl is on the opposite side of the cost spectrum from masonry siding (brick, stone, fiber cement, etc.). It is also easier to remove and install than masonry siding.

PROS

CONS

  • Low-maintenance
  • Lots of color options
  • Easy to install
  • Resists mild weather
  • Susceptible to impact damage,
    scratches, staining
  • Less fire-resistant than stone
  • Less environmentally friendly
    than stone

Masonry Siding

Masonry siding is considered permanent and will last for decades but it does require some maintenance. The amount of maintenance required varies by the type of masonry siding you choose. The cost of masonry siding is also higher than the cost of vinyl siding but masonry siding is much more durable than vinyl and offers a higher return on investment when selling a home.

PROS

CONS

  • Made from sustainable materials
  • Fire resistant
  • Highly durable
  • Resists extreme weather
  • More expensive than vinyl
  • Requires more maintenance
  • It’s heavier and more difficult
    to install

Is masonry siding better than LP SmartSide wood siding?

LP SmartSide lap siding is one of the most popular engineered wood siding options on the market and offers its own set of benefits compared to masonry siding brands. Both types of siding, masonry and engineered wood, are environmentally friendly and durable.

LP SmartSide Wood Siding

LP SmartSide siding is actually made from engineered wood meaning it’s not 100% wood–that’s a good thing! Engineered wood is more durable, cost-effective, and lighter than real wood.

PROS

CONS

  • Easier to install than masonry
  • Available in 16’ planks
  • Durable & moisture resistant
  • Low-maintenance
  • 5/50 limited warranty
  • Limited smooth finishes
  • Warranty is prorated
  • Wood siding typically does not qualify for home insurance discounts

Masonry Siding

Some homeowners choose just one type of siding for their home but masonry siding is often used in combination with other types of siding. The texture and color of masonry stands out next to other materials offering homeowners a great option for improving curb appeal.

PROS

CONS

  • Made from sustainable materials
  • Fire-resistant & highly durable
  • Resists extreme weather
  • Resistant to rot and insects
  • Masonry siding typically qualifies for
    home insurance discounts
  • More expensive than engineered
  • It’s heavier and more difficult to install
  • Can have moisture issues
  • Warranty varies by brand but typically less than LP

Masonry siding products

Masonry siding products are available in a variety of choices, making it easy to accommodate any homeowner’s style.

Stone siding products we recommend for our clients come from a variety of sources including James Hardie, Texas Stone Designs, Acme Brick and others.

James Hardie

James Hardie is one of the biggest names in fiber cement siding. Fiber cement siding gives you benefits of masonry siding in styles that look like stone, brick, clapboards, or shingles like those commonly made from vinyl or wood. James Hardie’s fiber cement siding is available in shingles, lap, and vertical styles. Visit our James Hardie product section to learn more.

Blue James Hardie lap siding with white trim on a two story house

Texas Stone Designs

Texas Stone Designs sells manufactured stone veneers. Stone veneers (masonry siding) are lightweight concrete products made from Portland cement, lightweight aggregates, and iron oxide pigments. This company offers a variety of styles that will give your home the look and feel of natural stone without the look and cost.

House with wood accents, stone, and shingle siding.

Acme Brick

Acme Brick manufactures residential bricks that will endure sub-freezing cold and withstand blistering heat. George Bennett founded the company in the 1890s offering “superior” quality brick. Their first big project was the Armour and Swift meat-packing plants located at the Fort Worth Stockyards. Acme Brick is made from clay and backed by a 100 Year Limited Guarantee.  

Brick with Acme Logo

Others

Homeowners interested in masonry siding have lots of options but working with experienced contractors is key. Experienced contractors know which vendors have the best quality products and service. Below are a few more of the vendors and manufacturers we like to partner with for our clients’ projects.

Whiz-Q Stone

Whiz-Q Stone is one of the largest stone yards in the state of Texas. They offer thin stone veneers and natural stone for residential buildings as well as supply stone products for landscaping.

DFW Stone Supply

DFW Stone is another large stone supplier in North Texas. They offer natural stone and rock products for residential and commercial properties including landscaping and pool coping.

Boral Stone

Boral Stone has a large portfolio of stone companies with products for a wide range of uses. For stone veneers, Boral’s Cultured Stone brand offers precision, quality, and dependability.

Masonry Stone Veneer is the Best Siding Material for ROI

It’s no surprise that masonry siding offers the best ROI, it’s beautiful, energy-efficient, and incredibly durable. According to the 2019 Cost vs. Value report, the national average ROI for manufactured stone veneer was 95%. For those in the Dallas area, the return on investment was even higher at 112.4% compared to 82.4% for other siding replacement projects.

Find out which home improvement projects in Dallas offer the best ROI by downloading the 2019 Cost vs. Value report.

Which masonry siding should you install on your home?

For most homeowners that will depend on budget, style, and what currently exists on the house (if anything). With windows, we usually recommend that homeowners purchase windows of similar or better material than what currently exists on the house.

If you choose a higher quality material than what currently exists it should also make sense for your budget and the style of your house and neighborhood. With masonry siding, it will feel like you have limitless options to choose from because siding sets the tone for your home.

Take a drive around your neighborhood or nearby neighborhoods and look for inspiration in your neighbors’ houses and remember to consult with your HOA about limitations. Once you’ve got some inspiration, contact a contractor and schedule a consultation. Masonry siding projects aren’t the type of project you should DIY so choosing a contractor with lots of experience is key.

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