Did your custom-built home turn out differently than you originally envisioned? Or is your aging home in need of a thoughtful refresh? Custom brickwork can provide your home’s exterior with the flair you want. Custom brickwork can be installed pre- or post-construction, providing elegance and sophistication to your home. Beyond your home’s frame, you can spruce up your property with stylish custom brick mailboxes, garden walls, and outdoor fireplaces.

Achieving the aesthetic you want starts with choosing suitable options for custom additions or handling worn and faded areas of existing brickwork. Learning about upgraded masonry materials, such as natural stone, bluestone, and cultured stone or stone veneer, and their aesthetics should be your first step. 

Natural Stone

Natural stone veneer is developed from actual stone from a quarry and can be categorized as either full bed stone veneer or thin stone (or sawn) veneer. Full bed stone veneer uses large stones, often six to eight inches thick, layered atop each other to veneer walls and other vertical surfaces. It can take time to lay and affix this stone precisely to achieve the desired look so that the lower stones appropriately support the higher stones’ weight.

Thin stone veneer consists of natural stone cut into thin pieces to fit a specific project’s specifications. This type is easier to handle than full-bed veneer as it is lighter and more versatile. There are also a variety of styles to choose from, allowing you to mix and match the following stones and the pattern they are installed.

Types of Stone and cut: 

  • Ashlar
  • Fieldstone 
  • Ledgestone

Installation patterns:

  • Mosaic
  • Dimensional 
  • Square + Rectangle

Historically, stone veneer was the primary approach to custom brickwork. Stone veneer provides a natural and rustic appearance. It costs more upfront than synthetic options, like cultured stone. However, stone veneer retains its distinct appearance longer than other custom brickwork options.


Bluestone is a type of natural stone veneer, highly prized for its unique aesthetic qualities. As its name suggests, bluestone usually sports a blueish hue, sometimes with hints of brown, tan and gray. Bluestone is often used for projects like walk paths, stone steps, and patios. Bluestone is highly durable, and its surface is not slippery, making it ideal for pool decks and other areas that may get wet. However, you should also consider that it conducts heat exceptionally well, meaning walking barefoot on bluestone during the summer may burn your feet.

Bluestone is mined in Pennsylvania and the Shenandoah Valley. Bluestone from Pennsylvania is a type of sandstone whose color can vary from gray to rust to blue. Shenandoah Valley bluestone is grayish blue that will fade to gray over time. Many bluestone variants are available, including true blue, polished, natural cleft, gauged, and pattern.   

Cultured Stone

Cultured stone is an artificially produced type of brick designed to mimic the appearance of natural stone. Manufactured from aggregate materials and concrete, cultured stone is lighter in weight and painted, stained, or sprayed to resemble specific stonework. High-quality cultured stone can be nearly indistinguishable from natural stone to the average person.

Choosing the Right Custom Brickwork For Your Home

Custom brickwork is not a DIY task. So, the next step is talking to a qualified, Next Level Custom Brick professional about what options make the most sense for your vision, home, and budget. Specializing in custom brickwork for Metro Detroit homes, we can help you identify the materials for the installation you want and provide you with the custom brick facade work or addition you dream of.

We’re a family-owned and operated business passionate about making homes in our community beautiful. Whether with a stunning bluestone patio or a natural stone outdoor fireplace, we can give your home the right touches to enhance its appeal and value. We can also help you refresh your existing brickwork with flawless matching options that will make your home look brand new.

Give your home the makeover it needs. Contact us for a free estimate today.