Stonemasonry is the oldest form of masonry, practiced since the beginning of civilization. Compared to brick, stone is just as durable; however, it is generally more expensive to purchase and install. The advantages of stone are mainly aesthetic. Since stone comes straight from the land, as opposed to man-made bricks, you can typically source it from a regional quarry, thus providing a connection to the local environment. Stone will also provide a more uniform appearance than brick, which some homeowners prefer.