Is Wood Cladding Cheaper Than Brick?

wood cladding and brick

When it comes to cladding the exterior of a home, homeowners have plenty of material options to choose from. Two of the most popular choices are wood cladding and brick. Both provide protection from the elements and can boost a home’s curb appeal, but they differ significantly in terms of cost, maintenance requirements, and overall aesthetics. Is Wood Cladding Cheaper Than Brick? In this article, we’ll explore the cost differences between wood cladding and brick, as well as other factors that homeowners should consider when making their decision.

Cost Comparison: Wood Cladding vs. Brick

The initial material and installation costs are often the primary concern for homeowners when selecting an exterior cladding material. Let’s take a closer look at how wood and brick compare in terms of cost.

Wood Cladding Costs:

Material Costs: Wood cladding materials can range from relatively inexpensive options like cedar and pine to more premium choices like redwood and tropical hardwoods. On average, expect to pay between $3 and $10 per square foot for wood cladding materials.

Installation Costs: The installation costs for wood cladding can vary depending on factors such as the complexity of the design, the size of the home, and the contractor’s labor rates. Generally, installation costs range from $5 to $10 per square foot.

Total Cost: For a 2,000 square foot home, the total cost of wood cladding (materials and installation) can range from $16,000 to $40,000.

Brick Cladding Costs:

Material Costs: Brick is a more expensive material compared to wood cladding. Prices can vary based on the type of brick (e.g., clay, concrete, or veneer), but you can expect to pay between $5 and $15 per square foot for the materials alone.

  • Installation Costs: Installing brick cladding is a labor-intensive process that requires skilled masons. Installation costs can range from $10 to $25 per square foot, depending on the complexity of the project.
  • Total Cost: For a 2,000 square foot home, the total cost of brick cladding (materials and installation) can range from $30,000 to $80,000.

Based on these estimates, it’s clear that wood cladding tends to be the more affordable option for most homeowners, with potential savings of thousands of dollars compared to brick cladding.

Maintenance and Longevity

While the initial cost is an important consideration, homeowners should also factor in the long-term maintenance requirements and longevity of each material.

Wood Cladding Maintenance:

Wood cladding requires regular maintenance to protect it from the elements and prevent rot, insect damage, and other issues. This typically involves repainting or re-staining the wood every 3-5 years, as well as periodic cleaning and sealing.

Wood cladding can last 20-40 years with proper maintenance, but may need to be replaced sooner if not well-maintained or if exposed to excessive moisture or insect damage.

Brick Cladding Maintenance:

Brick is a low-maintenance material that requires little upkeep beyond occasional cleaning and repointing (replacing deteriorated mortar joints) every 20-30 years Brick cladding can last for decades, with some brick homes standing for over 100 years with proper maintenance and care.

While brick requires less frequent maintenance, the costs associated with repointing and repairs can be significant, potentially offsetting some of the initial cost savings of wood cladding over time.

Aesthetic Considerations

In addition to cost and maintenance, homeowners should consider the aesthetic appeal and versatility of each material when making their choice.

Wood Cladding Aesthetics:

Wood cladding offers a warm, natural look that can complement a variety of architectural styles, from traditional to contemporary.

Different wood species and stain/paint colors provide numerous design options to suit individual preferences.

Wood cladding can be installed in various patterns and styles, such as shingles, lap siding, or board-and-batten, adding visual interest to the home’s exterior.

Brick Cladding Aesthetics:

It is associated with a classic, timeless appearance that can enhance the curb appeal of many home styles.

Brick comes in a range of colors, textures, and patterns, allowing for customization to match the desired aesthetic & Brick can be used in combination with other materials, such as stone or wood, to create unique and visually appealing exteriors.

Both wood and brick offer distinct visual qualities that can enhance a home’s curb appeal, so the choice ultimately comes down to personal preference and the desired architectural style.

Other Factors to Consider

In addition to cost, maintenance, and aesthetics, homeowners should also consider the following factors when choosing between wood cladding and brick:

  • Energy Efficiency: Brick cladding can provide better insulation and energy efficiency compared to wood cladding, potentially resulting in lower energy bills over time.
  • Fire Resistance: Brick is a non-combustible material and offers superior fire resistance compared to wood cladding, which can be an important consideration in areas prone to wildfires.
  • Environmental Impact: Wood cladding is generally considered a more environmentally friendly option, as it is a renewable resource and can be sourced from sustainably managed forests. Brick production, on the other hand, has a larger environmental footprint due to the energy-intensive manufacturing process.
  • Local Building Codes and Regulations: Certain areas may have specific building codes or regulations that favor one material over the other, so it’s important to research and comply with local requirements.
  • Resale Value: While both wood and brick can potentially increase a home’s resale value, brick cladding is often perceived as a more premium and desirable feature by home buyers.


When it comes to the cost of wood cladding versus brick, wood cladding is typically the more affordable option, both in terms of initial material and installation costs. However, brick cladding may be a more cost-effective choice in the long run due to its lower maintenance requirements and longer lifespan.

Ultimately, the decision between wood cladding and brick will depend on a homeowner’s budget, personal preferences, and the specific needs and characteristics of their home. Both materials offer unique advantages and can enhance the aesthetic appeal of a home’s exterior when chosen and installed correctly.

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