i have spent the majority of my adult life in the south.
i lived for a short time in georgia (i was also born in georgia), just under 2 years in north carolina, and over 10 years in tennessee. one of the things that i love about the south is all of the brick homes. if you live in the south, you know what i am talking about!
brick is so popular because it is super durable, rather affordable, and easy to find. a LOT of houses are all brick, or have a brick facade and vinyl siding on the sides and back.
this is done to save money---because masonry products (rock or stone) are expensive, you can still get that "brick look", but save money by wrapping the rest of the house with a less expensive product like vinyl siding.
another popular product, and a product that we have used on the previous two homes that we have built is a cement siding board, often called hardiplank or hardiboard. because it is made from cement, it is extremely durable. it has the look of wood siding, without the maintenance issues sun/water/insect damage.
for house #1, (built in 2001) we used hardiplank, painted a custom mixed sherwin williams color.
for house #2 (built in 2003), we also opted for hardiplank, painted in sherwin williams "rice grain" (SW 6155).
the shutters and front door are sherwin williams "urbane bronze" (SW 7048).
here in the west, most of the houses are stucco, or have a facade of stone or siding and the sides and back are stucco or vinyl siding. there are also houses with touches of stone, but nearly all houses have stucco on them. we aren't big fans of stucco. we prefer the look of something with a little more texture.
for the exterior of the house, we have ultimaltely opted to go with hardiplank again. we like the way it looks, and have been really pleased with how it performed for us in the past.
for the foundation, we thought about doing either brick or stone.
both were over our budget, but we found a local quarry that had some "cobble" rock that is similar to the rock found on our lot. becuase of the size and coloring of this rock, it is considered undesireable, and therefor really affordable, and so we have decided to cover the foundation of our house with that.
i don't have a picture of the rock that we will be using, but it has similar look to this:
once we get a shipment of it to our lot, i will take a picture so you all can see it!