Brick is one of the most well-known and widely used building materials. It’s also one of the more expensive building materials on the market, but there are options out there to give your home that brickwork look at a fraction of the price. In this article, we’re looking at the pros and cons of a brick facade seeing how they compare to double brick and other building materials.
What’s the difference between Brick Veneer and Brick?
Brick veneer is an exterior brick cladding for your home placed over a timber or steel frame, meaning the brick itself doesn’t provide the structural support as it would in a brick home. For a home to be considered a traditional brick home, there are usually two layers of brick tiled together to create a strong, durable structure for the home. With brick veneer, real bricks are used to provide a single layer, that doesn’t provide the frame of the house, but still has a range of benefits.
If you’re purchasing a pre-existing home, it’s important to know whether you’re purchasing solid brick or brick veneer. For one thing, it’s nice to know what you’re paying for and that the seller isn’t trying to pull a fast one on you. But in the long term, it’ll give you an idea of what to expect from your home on a functional level.
What are the benefits of a Brick facade?
- Classic brick look at a cheaper price: To the untrained eye, brick veneer is difficult to tell apart from an actual brick home.
- Quicker, easier installation than normal brick homes, thereby reducing your labour costs. It’s even possible to install without a builder, but we wouldn’t suggest this unless you have masonry experience.
- More affordable than double brick or stone
- Potentially better insulation than either timber or traditional brick
What are the drawbacks of a Brick façade?
- A brick veneer will be more vulnerable to issues like rot, termites, and mould. This is especially true if your frame is made of timber. If your frame is made from steel, rust could be an issue. Good maintenance and upkeep will help prevent these problems.
- More susceptible to cracking than a traditional brick house due to the thinner layer.
- Though more affordable than brick, brick facade is still more expensive than other options such as timber, vinyl or weatherboard.
How much does a Brick facade cost?
Brick facade is usually cheaper than solid brick as a building material, both due to the material itself being cheaper and the fact it is much less labour-intensive to install. For an average-sized house, expect to pay around 10,000-25,000 to brick-veneer the entire home.
How does a Brick facade perform?
The brick facade can provide added waterproofing to your home. Brick masonry is a porous material that allows water through it fairly easily.
Sound and thermal insulation
Brick veneer provides up to double the thermal insulation of timber. There is a cavity between the brick veneer and the mainframe of your house. The air itself can serve as insulation, but to really improve both your soundproofing and the house’s thermal performance, you can install insulation into this space.
Though it is a bit of an urban myth brick can’t attract mould, it is certainly much less likely to do so than timber. Usually, mould growing on brick is due to organic matter stuck to the brick rather than the brick itself. Your best bet is to try to minimise the build-up of organic matter on your exterior wall (including on building corners and windows) and when you do notice mould, treat the issue ASAP.
Brick has a reputation for being one of the most durable materials on earth. While brick veneer won’t have the same level of durability that comes with double brick. Therefore, your home will be slightly more vulnerable to cracks and damage.
How much maintenance and cleaning is required for a Brick facade?
Overall, brick doesn’t require a lot of maintenance, providing your builders design and build your home well. However, components of the brick wall such as the mortar, caps, sills, coping and sealing may need repairs now and again.
Are Brick facades sustainable options?
How eco-friendly your brick veneer is will vary depending on the other materials you choose for the rest of your home. For example, if the frame is made from steel or wood, it’s going to be less sustainable than a house made entirely of brick.
What are the key differences between Brick facades vs other material options?
Traditional Brick Masonry
This is the most obvious comparison and the best choice will come down to what you’re after. When it comes to appearance and customisation, both brick and brick veneer are neck and neck. Brick veneer has the advantage when it comes to insulation, ease of installation, and overall cost. Traditional brick masonry is, however, more durable, has a longer average lifespan, adds more value to a house and is more eco-friendly.
- Hebel is more affordable than brick
- When it comes to insulation, it’s difficult to determine which offers the best thermal efficiency between brick veneer and hebel.
- Brick has a traditional aesthetic appeal that a lot of homeowners like.
- Bricks tend to last longer than concrete, though well-installed concrete can last 100 years.
- Precast concrete panels are usually more affordable
- Concrete is easier to paint than bricks and arguably, offers better thermal insulation.
- Timber is a more affordable option
- Brick is more durable and less vulnerable to rot and termites.
- Timber is more readily available.
- Both are among the most popular building materials in Australia
Our tips for choosing a facade for your new home
- Consider the environment you’re building in. For example, if you live in a colder area, you’ll need materials that will maintain heat, while if you live up north, you’ll want to cool down your house in any way you can.
- Remember that a brick façade home is unlikely to be worth as much as a traditional brick house on the open market.
- Talk to a building broker, like Buildi, for more advice on the best facade for your home.
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