7 Tips for a Beautiful Brick and Stone Exterior

Dina Cheney
Written by Dina Cheney
Updated November 5, 2021
Home made of light stone and brick
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Sticks and stones may break bones, but bricks and stones can make beautiful homes

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You've always dreamed of owning a brick Colonial until you stumbled upon a stone cottage. Can you have the best of both worlds? By combining brick and stone, you can incorporate two different styles and end up with a look that’s refined, classic, and easy to maintain

But meshing these materials can be difficult design-wise. They each bring color, texture, and shape to the table and can clash when paired. Read on for tips to make them complement each other. 

1. Go for Contrast

Since brick and stone have different textures, play up their differences instead of trying to disguise them. Don’t try to match colors. It’ll be obvious they’re not the same material, so trying to match them color-wise will look distracting and forced. 

Instead, choose a brick and a stone in different colors. If your brick is dark, go for a light stone. If your brick is painted white, consider slate or another dark gray or black stone. If one material is multicolored, opt for a solid hue for the other. Although contrast should be the goal to give your facade a cohesive look, you may want to choose two shades within the same tone, like sandstone with light brown bricks.

2. Pick Out a Hue From the Stone or Brick

First, pick the stone or brick you want to use. Then, assess all the different colors in that material. To do so, hold up paint color swatches next to the brick or stone. Or take a digital photograph, then use a color dropper tool to identify specific hues. 

Use one of the colors you found for the other material. For example, if the stone you select features a specific off-white, go with that exact color when choosing a paint color for your brick.

3. Ensure the Roof and Hardscape Coordinate

Once you’ve selected your brick and stone combination, plan your roof and hardscape. Since you’re already using two different materials on the exterior of the home, minimize additional materials for the hardscape. If you can, use more of the same stone or brick on your property. The color of your roof should blend in. Otherwise, it will compete with the brick and stone. 

4. Designate Focal Points

Contrasting stone and brick home
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Cover gables, column bases, or arched entryways with bricks or stones. These architectural elements are natural places to transition between different materials. 

5. Take Inspiration From Architectural Styles

Tudor, Craftsman, French country, and Colonial-style homes can feature a combination of brick and stone. In Craftsman houses, brick and stone often appear on porch columns, paths, and steps. In ranches, they’re found on chimneys, porch pavers and planters, columns, and carports. French country homes pair brick and stone with stucco, while ranches include wood or composite siding.

6. Pay for a Sample

It’s difficult to visualize what your home will look like—and it’s not an easy decision to redo, so you want to get it right. Ask your masonry contractor to build you a 4-foot by 4-foot sample to get an approximation of the look. Since masons charge $70 to $110 per hour for labor, this project may cost a few hundred dollars. Still, shelling out for a sample can help you feel more confident in your brick and stone selections. 

7. Install Stone Over Brick

Let’s say your home aesthetic is entirely made of brick, and you want to add some contrast and drama. Have a professional stonemason install a stone veneer over brick that’s in good condition (they shouldn’t be bulging, cracking, or crumbling). To guard against water damage, the pro should apply a waterproofing membrane before mortaring, grouting, and adding stone. 

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