What are the pros and cons of brick and stone exterior facing? Part III

In this multi-part segment of Ask MJ, we answer your questions on refurbishing your homes exterior using some of the latest brick, rock or masonry facings.  What are the advantages, disadvantages, costs and installation challenges? Part III, Installation Challenges

Installation Challenges cont.

Newer technology, like diamond blade cutting, creates thin natural stone veneers that are 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches thick, with an average weight of 10 to 15 pound per square foot. Manufactured stone veneers are lighter, usually lower in cost and have a lower waste factor than natural stone. Good quality faux stone looks like natural stone in colour and texture. Stone veneers can be applied over any properly prepared surface.

When setting stone, the spacing between stones, size and colour of the stone and technique of grout application can create a particular look, like rustic or old world. Both natural and manufactured stone veneers can create the effect of a solid stone wall; however, low-quality materials and poor installation may result in a facade that looks artificial. Thin stone veneers are more difficult to use in detailed work like lintels, corbels and return corners.


Bricks may crack over time, so you still need to inspect your brick home on an annual basis. Small cracks can be ignored, but it might be better to patch them using grout tinted to match the brick. Cracks that grow too large will require the help of a mason to replace the damaged brick.  More likely, however, would be the need to replace mortar.  It should hold up for twenty-five years or longer, but when cracks and gaps start to appear, you will want to start calling masons for estimates. The damaged mortar should be chiseled out before new mortar is put in place.

Repointing mortar is not as simple as removing the old mortar with a power tool and then slopping in a new mix. Talk to the contractor to ensure he will remove the old mortar to a depth of one inch. The new mortar should also match the existing mortar to ensure proper bonding. This isn’t a big problem for new homes, but it can be a serious issue for historic homes. If your home is older, especially if it is more than seventy years old, consider hiring professionals who specialize in working with older brick.

Pace Realty’s Maintenance Team can help you with your yard and other home maintenance & renovation jobs. Call 250-562-6671 or email us at maintenance@pacerealty.ca today for a free, no-hassle quote.

Mary-Jean (MJ) Jacobson loves to talk real estate! She is passionate about helping clients increase the value of the assets. She is a Professional Property Manager, Strata Manager, Real Estate Sales Agent and Licensed Managing Broker. She writes a series of articles blogs and whitepapers about the real estate and property management industry at ASK MJ

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Mary-Jean Jacobson

Mary-Jean Jacobson

MJ is the Managing Broker & Owner of Pace Realty Corporation.

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