Commercial buildings come in all shapes and sizes, and if you are thinking about building one from the ground up or adding on to an existing structure, you likely have questions about the best material for the job. A variety of masonry options could be the right fit for your commercial uses, but the exact choice will depend on the kind of business that you do, where you are located, your budget and more. Here are four of the most common types of commercial masonry and which types of businesses most often choose these selections.
Brick: The Most Popular Option for Mid-Sized Businesses
There is something pleasing about brick, from its warm, rustic color to its clean, straight mortar lines. Brick is appealing aesthetically, but it is also robust and lasts a long time with proper care. These are just a few of the reasons why many small and mid-sized businesses opt for brick. It can contribute a professional impression without bringing the burden of cost that some other materials might.
However, some large commercial businesses may find that the cost to build an entire structure out of brick is not economical when factoring in the total number of bricks, mortar and man hours. For particularly large applications, other materials that can be constructed in slabs or larger chunks might be appropriate.
Still, brick is easy to care for with regular maintenance, and it can withstand harsh weather conditions. It is prone to damage from water, especially in areas with regular freeze/thaw cycles, so consider your climate when thinking about whether brick is the right choice.
Concrete: For Large Buildings and Strong Exteriors
When a commercial building spans thousands or even tens of thousands of square feet, the cost to construct the entire structure out of small bricks might be higher than anticipated. In these situations, many businesses opt for concrete. This material can be poured into any shape or size, making it adaptable to a commercial building’s needs.
As an added bonus, concrete is fairly affordable and resilient against weather and physical damage. It can be made even stronger with metal support inside of the poured blocks or slabs-though this naturally comes at a higher price.
Some types of concrete can be colored, but even the standard light to middling gray can contribute an air of professionalism for businesses.
Stone: When Aesthetics Matter
Stone can be used in many of the same applications as brick. The primary difference is price, and secondarily to this aspect is aesthetic. Bricks are uniform in shape and texture, but stone can come in unique shapes and pieces that add a layer of texture and visual appeal to a building. However, because of these one-off shapes with rough edges, it may take more labor to create an appealing surface, and the stone itself is usually more expensive.
Not all stone is shaped in unique ways. It is also possible to construct a commercial building out of uniform stone blocks, and these are highly resistant to water and wear. When constructed carefully, they are also effective at keeping utility bills manageable, because they do not allow much in the way of drafts. Like any commercial material, stone will need regular maintenance to stay looking its best.
Stucco: A Unique Choice for Certain Locales
Stucco is a type of cement-based plaster with sand in it. Most commonly found in the drier regions like Arizona, stucco is a brownish material that contributes a unique look to any building. It takes a long time to dry during construction, but this extended curing time is a big part of what makes stucco strong.
However, while stucco is resilient in both hot and cold weather, it is best used in dry climates. When regularly exposed to moisture, the constant shrinkage caused by evaporation can result in cracks in the stucco into which moisture and pests may enter. Stucco may be a good choice for your commercial use if you are doing business in a dry area and want a unique visual look to your building. However, locations with piled snow or constant high humidity may not thrive with stucco exteriors.
Trust the Pros to Help You Choose the Right Type of Masonry
It can feel overwhelming to determine the right type of masonry for your commercial use. The experts at Waterproof Caulking & Restoration can help you to understand which type of masonry might serve your needs the best and how to keep it in good repair. Reach out to learn more or to schedule an appointment to get started.