Brick vs Stone vs Concrete Masonry in Self Build Homes

If you are considering a masonry self-built home, it’s good to understand the key differences between the most popular masonry construction methods – brick, stone and cinder block.

Choosing between these materials for your self-build project involves considering various factors that will be important to you, such as aesthetics, durability, cost, and construction process.

This article lays out the core pros and cons of each.

Comparing Brick vs Stone vs Cinder Block


These are made from clay or concrete and are widely used in house building. They are known for being durable with good thermal insulation and a variety of colours, textures and sizes available.

Concrete / Cinder Blocks

These blocks are made from a mixture of cement, water and aggregate. They are known for being strong and load-bearing, making them great for self builds. They have good fire resistance and good thermal properties.


Natural stone comes in a variety of different types and textures, including limestone, sandstone and granite. This material is known for being exceptionally durable and gives a natural and rustic appearance.

brick and block construction house for self builds

Pros of Masonry Construction Methods

Brick Masonry Pros

1. Availability & Ease of Installation

Bricks are a classic material used in masonry, so much so that this makes them very widely available and therefore they are easy to come by. They are also fairly easy to install as they are lightweight to carry, uniform in shape and size and many builders will be very familiar with using bricks.

2. Cost

Bricks tend to be a fair bit more cost effective when compared to stone or specialised concrete materials. As they are extremely popular and widely used, this also offers more supplier options, so prices can be more competitive.

3. Durability

Bricks are well known for being a durable material, hence their popularity in home building. They can withstand adverse weather conditions well, including icy conditions, strong winds or high temperatures.

Stone Masonry Pros

1. Durability & Strength

Stone is undoubtedly the most durable and resilient masonry material compared to bricks and concrete. Properly constructed stone self builds can last for centuries and are excellent at withstanding all sorts of weather conditions. This durability contributes to other factors, such as great insulation, low levels of maintenance and fire resistance.

2. Appealing Aesthetic

One of the unique selling points for stone masonry is it’s stunning natural beauty and aesthetics. You will be able to choose between a variety of unique colours and textures for your self build home

3. Increased Resale Value

Stone homes often have a higher resale value due to their perceived high quality, durability, and timeless appeal. This is generally very attractive to potential buyers.

brick and block construction self build

Concrete Masonry Pros

1. Versatility

Concrete masonry construction for self build homes offers a higher level of versatility when compared to stone or brick. Concrete blocks come in a variety of different shapes and sizes which allows you more control over certain design elements. For more diverse or creative architectural styles, these can be a good choice.

2. Speed of Construction

This construction method can be fairly fast to install when compared to an alternative like stone. The concrete blocks tend to be bigger than stones or bricks meaning that fewer pieces need to be laid, speeding up the process.

3. Cost-Effectiveness

Concrete block are generally less expensive than brick or stone, but some specialised concrete can be more expensive depending on what you are looking to build.

Cons of Masonry Construction Methods

Brick Masonry Cons

1. Less Durability

Bricks are a very durable material when compared to other construction materials or methods, such as timber frame. However, when compared to stone or concrete, bricks are the least durable of the three and can be more susceptible to seismic damage.

2. Design Limitations

While bricks offer a lot of design flexibility, compared to other methods it can be more challenging to create complex architectural features, such as curved ceilings or doorways. This means you will often require specialised expertise and engineering.

boutique residential architecture

Stone Masonry Cons

1. Higher Cost

With the stunning aesthetic and excellent durability of stone comes a higher cost. Natural stone materials are generally costlier compared to brick and concrete and the labour involved in placing irregular stone shapes and sizes can add additional costs onto the construction process.

2. Longer Construction Time

As stones are not only heavier, but often irregular in shape, the amount of time required on site to construct a stone self build can be higher compared to brick and concrete. Skilled craftsmanship is often needed in order to achieve the desired look and structural integrity, which can add to the construction timeline.

3. Weight & Structural Considerations

Stones are heavier than bricks and concrete and therefore additional considerations may need to be taken into account when constructing a stone self build, including stronger foundations and load bearing elements.

Concrete Masonry Cons

1. Less Aesthetic Appeal

Compared to stone and brick, concrete doesn’t offer the same level of aesthetic appeal as it doesn’t give the same natural look. It is possible to have concrete blocks with different finishes and textures, but achieving the same look as the other masonry methods is more challenging.

2. Maintenance Required

Concrete is more susceptible to requiring periodic maintenance when compared to other masonry methods. The concrete surface can sometimes crack, stain or even deteriorate over time which can require patching or sealing in order to repair and maintain them.

3. Environmental Impact

Concrete construction is well known for being a large contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions, and therefore it has a high carbon footprint. If you are concerned about sustainability, concrete is perhaps not the ideal option for your self build.

Comparison Overview

Brick Construction Concrete Block Stone Construction
Thermal Insulation  Highest  Mid Lowest
Aesthetic Appeal  Mid Lowest Highest 
Cost Mid Lowest Highest 
Environmental Friendliness  Mid Lowest Highest
Availability Highest  Mid Lowest
Ease of Installation Mid Highest Lowest 
Durability Mid Lowest Highest 
Weather Resistance  Mid Lowest Highest 
Resale Value  Mid Lowest Highest 

Cost Comparison: Brick vs Stone vs Cinder Blocks in 2023

Here is a breakdown of the average raw material self build costs for each option, excluding the cost of the labour involved.


From £300 to £1,000 per 1,000 bricks or more, depending on the specifications and quality.


From £30 to £150 per square metre or more, depending on the quality and rarity of the stone. Granite, limestone and sandstone can all be as low as £30 per m2 but can go up to between £50 – £150.

Concrete Blocks

From £0.50 to £3 per block, depending on the size, strength, and any additional features such as insulation properties.

Choosing Between Brick vs Stone vs Concrete for your Self Build

If you are looking for tailored advice on your self build home and which construction material is most suited to your project, the team at incollective can help. We have a wealth of knowledge and experience in self build architecture and can help you make an informed decision on your self build construction method, whether you are opting for stone, brick or concrete.

If you are interested in a masonry self build, reach out to us on 023 8244 3801 or head over to our contact page.

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