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Affordable Home Renovations: Concrete, Brick, and Stone

When completing an outdoor home renovation project, it is essential to choose the best materials for the job. You will need to consider durability, function, design, and more. Concrete, brick, and stone are three of the most common materials used for this kind of home remodel. The following is an overview on the materials that will help you determine which one will be the most effective for your renovation project.


Concrete is a construction material that is composed of cement and other cementitious materials such as fly ash and slag cement, aggregate, water, and chemical admixtures.

Concrete solidifies and hardens after mixing with water and placement due to a chemical process known as hydration. The water reacts with the cement and bonds the other components together to create a stone-like material. Concrete is used to make pavements, pipe, architectural structures, foundations, motorways/roads, bridges/overpasses, parking structures, brick/block walls and footings for gates, fences and poles. Concrete is used more than any other man-made material in the world.

Concrete is the safest, most durable and sustainable building material. It provides superior fire resistance, gains strength over time and has an extremely long service life.  

Concrete is the safest, most durable and sustainable building material. It provides superior fire resistance, gains strength over time and has an extremely long service life. Concrete annual consumption estimated at between 21 and 31 billion tons. Concrete construction minimizes the long-term costs of a building or infrastructure project.


A brick is a block of ceramic material used in masonry construction, usually laid using various kinds of mortar. For efficient handling and laying bricks must be small enough and light enough to be picked up by the bricklayer using one hand (leaving the other hand free for the trowel). Bricks are usually laid flat and as a result the effective limit on the width of a brick is set by the distance which can conveniently be spanned between the thumb and fingers of one hand, normally about four inches. In most cases, the length of a brick is about twice its width, about eight inches or slightly more. This allows bricks to be laid bonded in a structure to increase its stability and strength.

A bigger brick makes for a thicker (and thus more insulating) wall. Historically, this meant that bigger bricks were necessary in colder climates, while a smaller brick was adequate, and more economical, in warmer regions. These days, this is no longer an issue, as modern walls typically incorporate specialized insulation materials.

The correct brick for a job can be picked from a choice of color, surface texture, density, weight, absorption and pore structure, thermal characteristics, thermal and moisture movement, and fire resistance.


People have been building things with stone since the beginning of civilization, constructing buildings, structures, and sculpture using stone from the earth. These materials have been used to build many of the long-lasting, ancient monuments, artifacts, cathedrals, and cities in a wide variety of cultures.

There are many benefits to building with stone, including the following:

  • Quality building stone can be found most anywhere, usually free for the gathering.
  • It is quite easy to build with stone. By using any of several modern stonework forming methods, you do not need the years of experience that were required for the stonemasonry of yesterday.
  • Stone is durable, fireproof, bug-proof, and rot-free.
  • While some structures made from wood decay after approximately 50 years, well-built stone structures will often remain sturdy for centuries.
  • Stone is attractive and maintenance-free.
  • Stone can be a superior insulator.

Affordable Home Renovations Concrete And Stone,
part of our article series in the Concrete, Brick & Stone category.
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