The Difference Between Stick and Mason Homes

When choosing a stick or masonry built home, consider these factors.One of the fundamental choices for those buying or building a new construction home will be that of choosing stick built or masonry construction. Stick built, or wood built homes, are those primarily built board by board with wood as the major construction material. Masonry or concrete homes are those constructed using concrete products such as bricks and/or blocks.

Each form of construction has its own advantages and disadvantages. A homeowner should compare:

  • Strength and Durability
  • Heating and Cooling Costs
  • Environmental Factors
  • Construction and Maintenance Expense

The type of material chosen will impact a homeowner for years, and perhaps decades to come. It can even impact the ultimate resale value. The best way to determine the most optimal choice is to review the various benefits and drawbacks of each, both in the long and short term.

Strength and Durability

Generally speaking, concrete materials are much longer lasting than wood products. They are far less prone to damage from water, insects and high winds. It is important to keep in mind, however, that even homes that use masonry materials as their primary source will likely also have wood elements. These wood elements can still suffer damage from moisture and insects. For homes built near water, in humid climates and in warm areas where insects are more prevalent, bricks, blocks, and concrete is often a more prudent choice.

Heating and Cooling

While wood is considered a good insulator, stick built homes have large gaps between studs. These gaps must be insulated with rolled or blown-in insulation to keep interior space comfortable. Concrete has more mass which slows the loss of heat. While certainly, masonry homes can benefit from additional insulation like foam board, it has an immediate advantage over stick built construction.

Environmental Considerations

While it may seem concrete may be a more environmentally friendly choice of construction materials, both stick built and masonry homes have negative impacts on the planet. Wood, while renewable, takes a lengthy period to replenish. Concrete, while long-lasting, takes significant energy to produce and transport. Both materials are recyclable with wood able to be regenerated into recycled wood products and cement blocks can be pulverized for use in cement.

Construction and Maintenance Costs

Most experts agree that a masonry built home can cost about 25% more than that of a stick built home. That initial costs can be made up in lower maintenance costs and greater durability. It also frequently, makes the home more valuable upon resale. In fact, because concrete homes are more resistant to fire, some estimates place the savings on homeowners' insurance to be up to 25%. Wooden stick built homes are also more prone to damage from termites.

The Right Choice for You

Choosing a stick built or masonry built Ham Lake new home may depend on a homeowner's personal taste and budget. For homes located in a community governed by a homeowner's association, the construction materials permitted may be pre-determined. While stick built construction may allow for a buyer to get more square feet for their real estate investment dollar, a concrete or masonry built home may provide better long-term value.

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