Understanding the Difference Between Stick and Mason Homes
In order to find their perfect property, home buyers will need to narrow their focus to avoid spending hours upon hours at open houses. One way to do this is to decide whether they would prefer mason or stick houses. In short, concrete, brick, and stone make up the structure of mason homes, while stick houses are framed out of wood. To start sorting out the differences and decide which is best, home buyers can use this guide to learn more.
Stick Buildings Feature a Standard Wood Frame
In most areas, the vast majority of homes are stick houses, which are built onsite using a wood frame. The framing process is much faster and easier than working with masonry, allowing developers to quickly build out neighborhoods. Since they require less time, effort, and expertise, stick houses are typically about two percent cheaper to build as well.
When constructing stick homes, builders construct the wood frame on top of the foundation to create a stable structure. They use many types of lumber, cutting it all to match the design on the blueprints. The wood frame is held together with brackets and nails installed using high-powered equipment.
Wood frame houses can have wood, stone, or brick veneers to dress up the structure. There are even faux brick veneers to keep weight off the frame while adding to the aesthetic value of the home.
Mason Homes Are Built from Concrete Instead
Unlike stick homes, mason structures do not have a wood frame holding everything together. Instead, they use concrete as the main structural element, then often have brick or stone on the outer surface.
Since mason homes are built mostly from concrete, they are usually constructed by masonry experts who have the skills to work with the material. The construction process is usually much more involved and time-consuming than framing out a house with wood, which drives up the cost and project deadlines.
The result is stunning, however, with brick or stone veneers providing immense curb appeal. With concrete at its core and brick or stone outside, the structure looks and feels solid, beautifully standing up to the test of time.
Maintenance Requirements Differ Greatly
Germantown home buyers should consider the difference in maintenance requirements for mason and stick homes before making their purchase. With mason homes, the brick or stone veneer needs regular inspections to check for dirty areas and missing chunks of mortar.
If the brick looks filthy, homeowners can clean it by:
- Mixing one cup bleach with a gallon of water in a bucket
- Using a soft-bristled brush dipped in the mixture to scrub the brick
- Gently rinsing the exterior surface with a low-powered garden hose
If any of the mortar is missing, however, it is best to complete the repointing process before cleaning the brick. With repointing, masonry experts remove the old mortar and replace it with new, restoring the look of the home and making it water-tight.
Wood homes, on the other hand, only need regular cleaning and repainting to stay in great shape. Most wood siding needs repainting after three to seven years, though a thorough inspection will reveal when the timing is right. If the paint is peeling away from the wood, then paint is necessary to protect the siding underneath from water damage. Homeowners can also elect to replace their wood siding with vinyl, reducing maintenance needs even further.
As home buyers decide if they would rather have wood or stick houses, they can easily narrow down their options and focus on the ones that match their preferences. That way, they can spend less time going to open houses and more time surveying the properties that will work for their needs.