A new study shows that consumers prefer genuine clay brick exteriors on a national scale. Scoring highest nationally among all ages, races, income levels and household types, brick ranked No. 1 over vinyl siding, stone, stucco, wood and fiber cement.
Regionally, brick ranked highest in five out of nine census divisions including the South, West and Pacific areas, but second to vinyl siding in parts of the Northeast and Midwest and trailed stucco in parts of the West. The study, "What Home Buyers Really Want," was conducted online last July by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Economics & Housing Policy Group.
New home buyers ranked energy efficiency as the most important factor - a key brick benefit from its exceptional thermal properties that keep homes warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Consumers also indicated how much more they are willing to pay for their preferences. Key findings are summarized in a recent Builderonline article.
“The study shows that home buyers trust brick to deliver on all fronts,” says Gregg Borchelt, president and CEO of the Brick Industry Association (BIA). “From its natural beauty and durability, sustainability, low maintenance, extreme weather resistance and higher resale value, there’s no substitute for genuine clay brick,” he said.
On a national level, respondents ranked brick highest at 34 percent, vinyl siding at 21 percent, stone at 16 percent, stucco at 12 percent, wood at 7 percent and fiber cement at 5 percent. To get brick, respondents reported they would add $7,500 in additional costs. Ranked by price point, brick topped other home exteriors in the $150,000 to $499,000 range, while vinyl was preferred in the $150,000 or less range; brick ranked second to stone in the $500,000-plus range, with stucco following in third place.
Even though adding a brick front to a house would cost consumers an extra $7,500 over aluminum and vinyl siding and $6,750 more than wood and fiber cement, the study indicated that consumers preferred brick 60 percent more frequently than vinyl and 4.5 times more frequently than fiber cement. And brick was preferred over twice as frequently as stone, which could be due, in part, to the fact that the study showed stone as having a 66 percent price premium over brick.
An earlier 2010 study by the NAHB Research Center comparing moisture resistance among typical residential exteriors evaluated genuine clay brick veneer as the highest in moisture resistance and dryness. Of the eight wall systems tested - accounting for approximately 90 percent of the cladding systems used today - brick veneer wall assemblies performed the best overall in controlling moisture.