Build Your Dream Brick Facade Home with Masonry Chicago
Understanding Brick Facade and Its Benefits
Bricks and brick buildings may have been around for thousands of years, but the brick homes you see today probably aren’t exactly what they seem. Solid brick homes stopped being popular in the mid-1900s, so when you see modern brick construction it’s probably either brick facade or brick veneer. But what are brick facade walls and what are their benefits? At Masonry Chicago, we are experts in working with bricks and most of our work uses the superior brick facade, rather than veneer. If you want to learn about how we build with bricks and how we can make your brick home a reality, contact us today at 773-231-5371 or email [email protected]
Brick facade vs brick veneer
You may have heard of brick veneer and brick facade or brick siding but what’s the difference.
Solid brick facade
A solid brick facade uses a single layer of real, full-sized bricks, built by a skilled brick mason a short distance away from the wall of your standard wood- or steel-framed house. The bricks are attached to the frame using metal ties and weep holes are left in the brickwork to allow for ventilation and drainage.
A solid brick facade will have some benefits and some disadvantages:
- Solid bricks are durable and fireproof.
- A solid exterior brick facade will require very little maintenance.
- Solid bricks are extremely long-lasting.
- The bricks will offer a layer of insulation, as well as the modern insulation you can install in the frame.
- A solid brick facade can be costly as you need to work with skilled brick masons, although it’s still much more affordable than a solid brick building.
- Bricks are porous so you need to make sure your wood-framed house has a water-resistant coating.
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Is brick facade expensive?
A solid brick facade is generally more expensive than a brick veneer, mostly because of the skills required to lay it. Despite thin bricks being smaller than solid bricks they can often be more expensive, but this cost difference is negated by the cheaper installation costs of brick veneer. A brick facade will usually cost from $9 – $20 per square foot to install, depending on the choice of materials and local labor costs.
How do you repair a brick facade?
A brick building facade is repaired in much the same way as a solid brick structure, with a mason using tuckpointing to repair damaged mortar, or replacing cracked bricks with new bricks.
How much does it cost to replace brick facade?
Removing and replacing a brick facade on your house is not a small job and should not be undertaken lightly. Removing your old facade is likely to set you back from $1,500 to $8,000 for a whole house and installing new siding will cost from $2,000 to over $100,000.
Thin brick veneer
A brick veneer uses thin bricks either attached to the exterior walls like tiles or traditional siding, in a frame, or in sheets. It may look the same as solid brick facades but is much more similar to other types of siding that are attached directly to a structure. There are some benefits to brick veneer but also some negatives:
- You don’t usually need to work with a brick mason to install a brick veneer, making it quicker and cheaper to install.
- Installing brick veneer can be quicker and works better on existing structures.
- Brick veneer doesn’t offer the same additional insulation properties as solid brick facades.
- Thin bricks or brick veneer systems can work out being more costly than solid bricks.
- Thin bricks are not as long-lasting as solid bricks.
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How much does it cost to repair brick veneer?
The cost of repairing brick veneer will depend very much on the type and extent of the damage to the wall, and whether it’s just the mortar that needs repairing or also the thin bricks and frame. Generally repairs cost from $1 – $12 per square foot, according to HomeAdvisor.
How do you repair brick veneer?
Most repairs to brick veneer will be to the mortar, which wears out over time and due to weather exposure. Old mortar should be cleared away and loose thin bricks should be re-attached before repointing with fresh mortar.
Chicago is a city of bricks, so much so that there’s even a ‘Chicago Common Brick’ made from local river clay. This results in a wonderful range of colors, once the bricks are fired, from yellows to pinks and reds.
Most Chicago bricks these days are antiques as the last brick maker closed in 1981, but they are still available and can be used to create beautiful brickwork that will give your building a sense of solidity and hark back to the history of Chicago’s storied past. If you want to build a brick building facade using Chicago bricks, call Masonry Chicago on 773-231-5371 or email [email protected]
What size is a Chicago brick?
Chicago common bricks are standard size bricks, which makes them easy to use in modern structures. They generally measure 8-inches x 3-5/8 inches x 2-1/4 inches.
How much does Chicago common brick cost?
The price of Chicago common bricks will depend on the age, color, and quality, and can range from $0.10 all the way up to over $1 per brick.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What are brick facades?
Brick facades are an external layer of brickwork that is built in front of a standard wooden-framed house to give it the appearance of a solid brick structure. They offer some of the benefits of solid brick, such as being fireproof and very low maintenance.
How much does it cost to put a brick facade on a house?
In general, a solid brick facade wall will cost between $9 – $20 per square foot, including materials and labor. One of the reasons this cost is relatively high is due to the fact that you need an experienced brick mason to build your facade brick walls.
What is meant by brick veneer?
Brick veneer is a term that can have several different meanings. In general, it describes an exterior coating or siding of bricks on a house, either partially or wholly covering a wall or structure. Some people use it to describe solid brick facades, however, it should really just be used for thin brick siding.
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