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Affordability & Cost Comparisons

No other material provides as much aesthetic, protective and long-lasting value as genuine clay brick. Whether it is for a starter home or a suburban school, RSMeans® data confirms that brick costs less than one may think. With so much going for it and the significance that cladding has on the entire building project, it makes sense to view brick as an investment rather than a cost. What does brick cost?

Residential Costs

Read about the results of an October 2017 study comparing the installed cost of clay brick to six common home exteriors. Brick costs about half as much as manufactured stone and just a third more than fiber cement - before considering fiber cement's lifetime maintenance costs). Because cladding represents just a small percentage of the total construction of the house, it pays to invest in brick! Read the Press Release or Download a Summary Presentation.

Cost of Residential Wall Systems

The cost of adding clay brick to all four sides of your new home is probably much less than you may have imagined. Using the independent cost estimates for clay brick vs. other wall cladding options developed by RSMeans (see above in Cost of Residential Wall Systems), you can estimate the change in your monthly mortgage payment when adding the best wall cladding for your new home, clay brick.  

Total installed cost comparison between brick and other materials

Non-Residential Costs

Learn how the construction costs of various brick buildings compare to buildings with five common exteriors. Brick with CMU (and certainly brick with steel stud) costs less than precast concrete, metal panel curtain wall and glass panel curtain wall systems in just about every type of commercial application one can think of – whether it is for an office building, a hospital, an apartment building or something else. Read the Press Release or Download a Summary Presentation

Cost of NonResidential Wall Systems
Total Installed Cost Comparison Brick and Other Materials Per Square Foot

Cladding Cost in Context: An Investment for Value or a Cost to Be Cut?

Whether the building is a starter home or a landmark office building, many cladding customers are encouraged to pare down costs wherever they can. This is a mistake, and here’s why.

  1. Cladding does more than cover a building; it protects the building and its occupants from the elements. If the cladding doesn’t do a good job against weather and other external events, what’s the point of cladding? Perhaps this is a reason why dozens of cities have adopted strict masonry standards after major events – like fires.
  2. Cladding represents a small percentage of total construction costs. According to a December 2017 study by the National Association of Homebuilders, the costs of new cabinets, countertops and appliances are comparable to that of the exterior cladding. And on commercial structures, brick exteriors represent less than 10% of the total construction cost. It makes sense to invest in a first choice exterior rather than some compromise that is visible to everyone who strolls by.
  3. Exterior cladding is something that can stay with the building for a long time. Interior components, such as appliances, office suites and even factory equipment, can come and go while the exterior frame and cladding of the material can stay in place. We see this frequently with brick buildings – ranging from old (and historic) houses to factory warehouses that have been transformed into condominiums. Since brick does not need paint, sealant or replacement on a periodic basis, it is a tremendous value!