By Charles Richardson
Homeowners invest a lot of time and money into decorating the interior of their home. Not only does it add value, but it also serves as a reflection of personal style and tastes. Just as important as the interior, however, is the exterior of one’s home. Curb appeal is not to be underestimated—in terms of functionality, resale value, and aesthetic appeal. The following building materials are options you should consider when building your dream home.
Exterior building materials in 2015:
Brick is always a popular choice for homeowners because it is durable, maintenance-free, and never goes out of style. A well-constructed brick home will fit nicely with virtually any neighborhood, new or older. What you may not realize is that there are many options available for brick houses. Boral America offers all sizes, shapes, textures, and colors, and bricks can be easily adapted to fit a particular theme: traditional, contemporary, colonial, modern, prairie, and so on. Because of its durability and low maintenance, brick typically costs between $17-$20 per square foot.
A stone exterior adds rustic luxury and elegance to any home. Much like brick, it is low maintenance, lasts for years, and is aesthetically pleasing. In the old days, quarried stone was an ordeal to install—it required the stacking of large, heavy, cumbersome pieces. Today, stone quarries actually cut thin layers, or veneers, from stone that are authentic-looking, unlike the cheaper, man-made composite veneers. Like brick, stone comes in a variety of colors, textures, and styles to fit most preferences. Stone is not cheap—although the thin layered veneers make it more palatable. Costs can run from $30 to $50 per square foot.
For homeowners looking for an alternative to brick, wood, or stone, and who want a high quality siding, HardiPlank is a great alternative. It is an innovative combination of cellulose fibers and cement (part wood, part cement) that is thick, durable, paintable, and attractive to the eye. It’s also considered a “green” solution because it is made from environmentally friendly materials, and it lasts a long time—up to 50+ years. HardiPlank is 100% resistant to insects, vermin, and fire. It does cost a good deal more than traditional vinyl, of course, but it is less expensive than brick, stucco, or stone. Ask your contractor about specific costs for material and labor.
Remember that there is no unspoken rule that says you have to use only one specific material. Today, many forward-thinking builders will combine several different exterior cladding materials that complement one another and work well within a clearly defined theme or motif. With the increasing options of siding materials now available, homeowners can get creative and design according to their whims or preferences. HomePlay is a free online tool from Royal Building Products that lets you change the style and color of your exterior materials piece-by-piece until you love the way it looks. External sections of brick and/or stone can be combined with siding to create a unique look that aligns with any lifestyle and individuality. It’s best to discuss the many possibilities with a contractor.
Have questions? We can help
To learn more about the many choices for enhancing your home’s exterior curb appeal, visit the DAG Marketplace or call one of our professional representatives today: 800.388.7580.