Brick Veneer vs Double Brick: What’s the Difference?
It’s exciting purchasing your dream house, but before you start scouring the market, it’s helpful to have a decent idea of what to look out for. An example of this is to know the difference between a house with a brick veneer vs double brick. They’re not the same thing and have their pros and cons. If in doubt, Google’ building inspectors near me‘ to find a local building inspection expert.
What Is a Brick Veneer?
Brick veneer or masonry is a popular alternative to traditional masonry and is a common building method in most states of Australia. Here in Queensland, it’s actually more popular than double brick. It is a construction method where a property made of a timber or steel frame is concealed with a single layer of brick as the exterior.
Pros of Brick Veneer
Brick veneer is an excellent alternative to traditional masonry since it gives a classic and timeless look. Brick veneers are made from clay and shale. This makes its look and texture identical to regular bricks. In addition, they are very lightweight, making them easier to handle and manipulate, and can be installed on most residential walls.
Brick veneers are more affordable than stone bricks regarding their unit cost, construction or installation, cleaning, and care costs. Brick veneers are as strong as conventional bricks, and they can last for a long time without the need for high maintenance. Brick veneers are great for DIY’ers because they are easy to install.
Cons of Brick Veneer
Brick veneer isn’t attached to the exterior wall of your house or property, so it doesn’t actually add any structural support compared to brick masonry.
Brick veneer is not advisable if you live in an area with regular heavy rainfalls, so it’s advisable to ask the opinion of an independent building inspector if you do come across a brick veneer property in a high rain area. Brick veneer’s porous surface is very susceptible to water damage, which can lead to severe damage over time. The space between the brick veneer and your home’s exterior wall is also prone to damage if water gets into this space. Brick veneer is a great house siding material since it is durable, but it is not ideal in locations where there are continual vibrations as these can cause the brick veneer to move or even fall off.
Double Brick Construction
What Is Double Brick Construction?
Double brick, also known as solid brick, is one of the most common construction methods in Australia. Double brick construction uses bricks to create double-brick walls.
Pros of Double Brick Construction
Double bricks can help shield your home against extreme weather conditions, including high winds and even fire. Double brick is:
- Great for moisture control.
- Has noise absorption properties
- Has insulating qualities which keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
- It is durable compared to timber bricks that do not rot, dent, or need to be painted.
- It has a lengthy lifespan which gives a property a long-lasting aesthetic over time.
- It is environmentally friendly and made from natural resources, including clay and rock.
Cons of Double Brick Construction
Double brick requires large foundations to take all of the weight, demanding concrete and reinforcing steel. It also requires extra site supervision and scaffold, raising the building cost.
A double brick wall is 60% wider than a timber-framed wall, meaning that your usable living space is a bit smaller than a timber-framed wall.
As you can see, it’s essential to have a decent idea surrounding home construction. But not everyone is savvy in this area which is why having a building inspector is so important. For example, you may not know the difference between brick veneer vs double brick but, an inspector does. In addition, they’ll tell you if there are any concerns you need to consider before making your purchase decision, so you can buy a home that will be a dream home for the long term.
Ben Paterson is the Director and Building Inspector at Safeguard Inspections, a Brisbane building and pest inspection Business specialising in pre-purchase building and pest inspections.