When we begin to design a home, we generally have an idea of what the exterior material will be. Often we will try alternate materials either to change the aesthetics, to adjust the budget, or simply at the request of our clients. Many of our projects combine two or more materials.
If you are designing a modern home, the exterior material palate is almost limitless as long as it keeps the weather out and doesn’t fall apart.
A traditional home in the Northeast, for the most part, will be clad in one or more of a handful of materials such as: stone, stucco, painted or natural wood, cedar shingles, brick, or some form of composite material which looks like the real thing. Within this group of materials, there can be great variation including the type of stone, the color of the brick, and the configuration of the wood siding. Board and batten siding looks very different than clapboard, but achieves the same goal of keeping the weather out and lasting for decades if not centuries.
A stone veneer generally is the most expensive material to clad a home in. On the positive side, you never have to paint stone and it should last forever.
In my opinion, the key to being happy with what clads your home is to carefully choose the material, whether it is brick, wood, stone, stucco, or something else. After that choice, review the possible colors, textures, and configurations unique to that product. Last but not least, review samples large enough to understand what the final product will look like on your home. After that, relax and enjoy your home’s new look.