When choosing to purchase a home or remodel, understanding what role the exterior plays is important in the decision making process. The most common exterior materials used are brick and vinyl siding. Some homes will even combine the two materials because they can both add great features to a home.

...
Insurance companies offer greater discounts for insuring a brick home.

Cost and Value

Brick costs about $6 to $12 per square foot while vinyl siding costs about $2 to $3 per square foot. According to the Marshall and Swift Residential Cost Handbook, which is used by appraisers, an all-brick home appreciates at an average rate of 6 percent immediately after it is built. This appreciation helps to offset the extra cost of brick versus vinyl siding.

Weather Resistance

Brick is considered to be weather resistant by brick manufacturers; it is not likely to be damaged by the sun, rain, snow, or ice. Though some home owners will testify that their brick homes can withstand hurricane force winds, there is no scientific evidence to confirm that. Siding is also considered to be weather resistant and some manufacturers will advertise that the siding has been tested to withstand up to 180 mile per hour winds. In addition to its weather resistance, brick is also considered a thermal mass. This means that it stores heat and releases it slowly, so that in the summer the brick keeps the heat out and in the winter it keeps the heat in.

Maintenance

Brick requires very little maintenance. There is never a need to paint the brick, it does not rot or dent, it is considered to be fire resistant and pest resistant. Vinyl siding does require some maintenance. It needs to be cleaned with a mixture of detergent and water to remove dirt and mold, and typically fades in 10 to 15 years and needs to be replaced or painted. It is a slow burning product and not fire resistant. Though it may dent or scratch, the vinyl color goes completely through so blemishes are not always visible.

Warranties

Some brick manufacturers guarantee the brick for up to two lifetimes but only to the original owner. Most siding warranties are for one lifetime, which about 20 years, and the warranty can be transferred from one owner to the next.

Bottom Line

Vinyl siding is much cheaper to install than brick, but this is primarily because vinyl siding was created to compete with wood siding. Brick is ultimately a more durable product that adds value to a homes curb appeal as it does to insulation as well. Some insurance companies will offer a discount for brick homes.