How to Spot the Difference Between a Stick and Mason Home

How to Identify a Stick Home vs. a Mason HomeThere are a variety of types of homes out there, and the architectural differences can become confusing quickly. One way to cut back on the frustration is for homebuyers to begin weeding out choices long before they even go to an open house. Because mason and stick homes are sometimes confused, it's time to find out about how each one is actually constructed. See what the differences are, who they're recommended for, and which one is better for the environment.

Stick Building Basics

Stick building is the art of creating a frame that includes both the base structure, floor supports, and roof. This technique is typically used for smaller homes or those that are custom-built because they have a more flexible design. With more and more homes being pre-assembled models, many builders still want the ability to adapt and adjust the home before it's completed. For a stick building, there needs to be separated pieces of wood, and the construction must place on-site.

Mason Building Basics

Rather than using pieces of wood, a mason building primarily uses concrete to reinforce its construction. This typically includes a concrete foundation, floor, basement, and walls. The outside is often brick and the roof is made of wood. There are several materials being used in a mason home, and it's not always easy to tell what lies inside from the outside. Simply looking at the home, buyers may assume that the home is made entirely from brick, but there's more to it than that. Mason homes usually have thicker frames and more insulation.

Mason vs. Stick

There are a few central points about mason and stick homes that can help homeowners decide between the two:

  • Stick homes may seem like inferior properties at first glance, but the truth is that it comes down to the skill of the individual builder.
  • Mason homes are constructed with an emphasis on sound insulation and energy efficiency. Mason homes also require less maintenance than a stick home.
  • Mason homes are, on average, 12% more in price than stick homes. (Though they often make up for the difference in energy efficiency.)
  • Stick homes often look unique and interesting, even when they're small.

For many buyers, it often comes down to space and budget. Those who want something a little smaller and more affordable will choose a stick home, while those with their eye on a larger and more stable home will choose a mason home. Mason homes can also be customized according to the buyer's wishes. For example, they can add hardwood floors over the concrete if they so choose.

Environmental Concerns

Mason homes use far fewer trees than stick homes, employing the use of abundant quarries rather than the dwindling forests. While lumber is renewable, certain areas aren't seeing the rapid regrowth needed to sustain the destruction rates. In addition, mason homes take roughly the same amount of time to construct, meaning they use fewer resources than a stick home and produce a larger home.

Whether an Alexandria South homebuyer prefers a stick or a mason home, it's important to note the advantages and disadvantages before deciding on one or the other. A stick home can be an affordable way to buy a home that's bursting with personality and charm, which a mason home may hold more promise for a buyer who wants an efficient home on every level.

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