Replacing Vinyl with Brick Veneer Siding
Using brick veneer siding over existing vinyl siding can change the entire look of your house. Brick veneer siding offers homeowners the option to increase the value of their home, increase weather and sound resistance and add another thermal barrier. There are different installation methods plus benefits and drawbacks to be aware of.
There are two ways to install brick veneer siding, both require extensive labor. Both may require foundation work. Whether using thin or regular size bricks, they are heavy and need support. The foundation is used to support the weight. In most homes, the wood walls are installed to the edge of the foundation, leaving no room for another structure to use the foundation for support. Depending on the type of foundation you have, an approximate 4-inch slab of concrete may be able to be bolted on to the existing foundation for the new brick work to be laid on. In other homes, a foundation ledge may have to be poured.
The first method is to build the brick veneer wall over the existing vinyl siding. A gap is left between the existing siding and the new brick wall to allow water to escape if it penetrates the brick. This water way will prevent water from sitting or getting to the wood structure behind the vinyl siding.
The second method is to tear out the existing vinyl siding and apply a heavy-duty water membrane to the wood. Next apply the thin brick veneer directly to the membrane. The water membrane is imperative as it will prevent water from seeping through the brick veneer and into the wood.
Brick veneer provides many benefits to home owners. Although the initial cost of materials and installation will be much higher than other siding choices, brick veneer siding will significantly increase the value of your home. Brick siding is a desirable attribute to potential home buyers. Houses built with structural brick are often expensive.
If you use brick veneer siding over existing vinyl siding you have now created 2 layers of moisture resistance for your home. Moisture protection is a major concern for home owners because wet wood rots and grows mold, causing structural damage. Prevention of structural damage is important to a home owner as these types of repairs are often the most expensive.
In addition, either type of brick veneer application adds other types of resistance to your home. Bricks provide a sound barrier by reflecting sound waves, keeping the outside noise outside. Bricks are also fire-resistant, most having a 1 hour resistance rating, helping to prevent the spread of a fire should it occur. If your existing walls are not well insulated, you may not need to worry about it after installing brick veneer siding. Brick siding will absorb and release heat slowly, creating a more energy efficient home.
The major drawbacks of brick veneer siding are the cost and labor that go into installation. A structural engineer must assess the home prior to planning and installation to decide which type is appropriate. Since there are so many steps involved in brick veneer siding installation, the process of re-siding your home could take a while, especially if you plan to do it yourself.
If you decide not to use a professional for installation, plan to spend a lot of time designing the brick layout and practicing laying bricks. Installing brick can be frustrating for an inexperienced person. Often the windows or foundation of the house are not straight so brick installation must be adjusted to avoid having diagonal brick lines. Usually the mortar grout widths are slightly adjusted to accommodate the crookedness.
The last drawback is the cost of brick veneer siding. The need for foundation assessment and work will be an additional expense that is usually not necessary if using a different type of siding.