Brick and Stone 101

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Brick and stone are two of the oldest building materials known to man, yet modern homeowners tend to know very little about them, even if their houses are constructed from them. This article aims to change that. Although you won’t be an expert by the time you finish reading, you will have a basic understanding of brick and stone that will allow you to talk to your contractor during your next home renovation more freely. Some common questions and answers have been carefully selected to help you learn about these vital construction materials.

What is a concrete masonry unit?

If you’ve been researching residential renovations in preparation of your own upcoming project, you might have run across the term “concrete masonry unit” or “CMU.” This is merely the technical term for a cinderblock, which has all sorts of applications in construction. This material is most commonly manufactured in 8x8x16 inch blocks and can be used for everything from building the foundation of a home to erecting a firepit in a backyard.

What is brick?

This might seem like a silly question because nearly everyone knows what a brick is! In truth, however, most people only know what a brick looks like, not how this building material is made. Bricks are typically made from a clay and mud mixture and have been used in construction for thousands of years. Most modern bricks are a standard size of 3x8x2 inches, but they can be custom made to nearly any specification. Brick is versatile, as it comes in both red and tan hues, and is easy to paint. It also holds up well in both exterior and interior situations. Whether you want to use it as the entire facade of your house or just as a fireplace accent, it will look perfect.

What is veneer masonry?

“Veneer masonry” is a term that refers interchangeably to brick and stone veneers. Veneers can either be synthetic materials meant to look like real brick or stone or thin slices of authentic materials. As a general rule, veneers are used in a couple of situations. The first is when a homeowner wants the look of a full brick or stone wall but simply cannot afford it. A veneer finish is a great alternative because passersby will never know the difference. The second case is when a structure cannot withstand the weight of full brick and stone pieces. A veneer finish solves this problem because it is so much more lightweight.

How can I decide what is best for me?

If you are having trouble figuring out what type of brick or stone you should use for your upcoming remodeling project, whatever it may be, have a conversation with your contractor. He or she will be able to talk to you about your vision for your space, look at the logistics of the job, and provide you with sound advice that will allow you to make an educated decision. If your issue is creating a vision in the first place, you may also need to work with a designer, at least for a while.

At Hatch Homes, our passion is helping North Carolina and South Carolina homeowners create their dream homes. We hope you will contact us about your next project and allow us to prove to you that we are indeed the best team for the job. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

More than just a contractor.

Hatch is your partner for exterior remodeling.