Are brick houses better than wood houses?

One of the most frequently asked questions for homebuyers is “is brick house better or wood house better?” The answer is never simple as each material has its pros and cons. So, instead of telling you that one is better than the other, here are the facts on brick houses and wood houses.

Brick houses’ pros and cons

Many people prefer brick houses, and in fact, it is very popular in Australia that many houses in the metropolitan areas are made with bricks. One of the reasons that homebuyers prefer brick houses over wood houses is the higher resale value of brick houses. Studies revealed that brick houses are 6-8% higher in resale value than wood houses in the same size. The price difference is attributed to the minimal maintenance and slower wearing of bricks.

Unlike wood houses, brick houses are not affected by insects and rot. If wood houses are affected by insects or rot, they may need to be removed and replaced. Properly built brick houses are also resistant to the wet and dry process of rain and storms. While brick houses are eroded by winds, ice, and expansion and contraction by temperature changes, the process is very lengthy.

Brick houses have a key advantage in metropolitan areas – it’s fireproof. This meant fire is less likely to spread in a neighbourhood and lead to extensive property loss.

The temperature resistance of bricks helps with more efficient use of energy. With insulation installed, the indoor temperature of brick houses is less influenced by outside temperature changes, reducing the need for cooling or heating. In doing so, the overall energy consumption in a year is lower as well.

The price premium of brick houses is also due to the higher construction cost of bricks. Quality bricks are critical for home building to reduce the maintenance cost over the years. Cheap bricks might cost less at first, but they are susceptible to mould moisture retention and cracks.

If you are planning to have vegetation climbing up the exterior wall of your house, brick houses may not be the best option. The roots of the climbing ivy can damage bricks and widen cracks on the bricks.

Wood houses’ pros and cons

Wood houses are less expensive to build than brick houses. But studies have found that the total construction cost was not wildly different. The average cost to build a wood home is only 2% less than brick houses.

The cost, however, may be compensated by the time taken to build the house. Wood houses take less time to build than brick houses when the process is performed by traders in similar skill levels. But the building time for both types of houses are also dependent on weather conditions.

Wood houses are more commonly found in areas prone to earthquakes. The higher strength-to-weight ratio and flexibility of wood can help a house to survive in earth movements.

Being a sustainable and renewable material, wood houses are great for the environment. Wood logs consume less energy and water than bricks, steel and concrete to be processed and be ready as a building material, which leads to less carbon footprint to build a wood house than a brick house.

Wood is more prone to natural damage than brick, reducing the potential expectancy of wood houses. Insects, such as termites, carpenter ants and carpenter bees, and water can cause damage to under-maintenanced wood houses. Constant monitoring and regular maintenance to scrap and paint wood houses are needed over the life of wood houses, heightening the maintenance cost.

Choosing Bricks for Building Brick Houses

Quality bricks resist weathering and erosion better than cheap bricks. Good quality bricks and blocks should have uniform colour and shape to show that they are burnt properly. Each brick should have a uniform size as well.

BuildMark Australia offers a range of bricks and blocks for house building. If you need help with choosing the right bricks in our range, call us on 03 9560 7601 or email us by to find one of our experienced and friendly staff members.

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