An independent study debunks common misperceptions of the actual cost to build a brick home versus competing exteriors.

RSMeans, North America's leading supplier of construction cost information, developed "The Installed Cost of Residential Siding" study for the Brick Industry Association (BIA).The October 2015 study compares RSMean's estimated construction cost of homes with brick veneer over wood framing with stone veneer, fiber cement, wood siding, wood shingles, vinyl siding and cement stucco in major metro areas throughout the U.S.

Spielmann Studio

Nationally, RSMeans estimates that the average total construction costs of brick wall cladding is just 8% more than vinyl siding, 1 to 3% more than stucco and wood siding and 4 to 6% more than wood shingle and fiber cement siding. Moreover, brick is estimated at 13 to 15% less than comparable homes with stone veneer. In 11 of 17 major, selected U.S. markets, brick's cost is not only less expensive than stone in every single market, it is also less expensive than wood siding.

"The initial cost of a brick home is quite competitive, especially since most homes require less exterior cladding than people think," said Ray Leonhard, BIA's president and CEO. "An average 2,700-square-foot two-story house only needs 2,265 square feet of cladding material when accounting for windows, doors, etc."

Leonhard said the unparalleled benefits of brick more than offset the relatively small increase in the initial cost of a new a brick home, including little to no maintenance with no painting required; extreme durability with some 100-year manufacturer warranties; better fire and wind safety; non-fading color and reduced exterior noise with improved energy savings.

The metropolitan areas shown here include Atlanta, Georgia; Austin, Texas; Charlotte, North Carolina; Chicago, Illinois; Dallas, Texas; Denver, Colorado; Detroit, Michigan; Houston, Texas; Indianapolis, Indiana; Jacksonville, Florida; Kansas City, Missouri;Louisville, Kentucky; Minneapolis, Minnesota; the New York City suburbs; Nashville, Tennessee; Raleigh, North Carolina; and the Washington, D.C. suburbs.