Richard Travers – Brick Category Manager discusses why choosing the right brick for your build is one of the most important decisions you’ll make during your project.
The bricks you choose for your project will require a lot of thought as they should complement the look of your build and take into account the look of the surrounding buildings. Once built, it’s virtually impossible to change the style of brick, so brick type, size, texture, mortar colours and type of bond all need to be considered.
Select local bricks for a consistent finish
Your first step in choosing the perfect brick is to see what type of bricks are appropriate for the area you’re building in. Speak to your local planning office to find out what is acceptable to the region, although you will often be able to tell simply by looking at surrounding buildings. For example, if an area features buildings predominantly made from stone, then a new red brick build is unlikely to be approved. It’s worth bearing in mind that certain areas often feature a predominant type of brick, in Yorkshire this is reds and buffs.
Consider the style of your house
The style of your home will have a big influence on the type of brick you choose, as it should reflect the character of yourproperty so that the results are seamless. If you’re extending a traditional farmhouse built from old, irregular bricks, then building the extension with bricks that are too precise is going to look jarring.
How you want the building to look will also dictate the type of brick you choose. Clay is a cost-effective choice as bricks can last for up to 150 years with very little maintenance. Depending on the look you want, cement and lime can also be specified.
Choose between machined or handmade bricks
There is something alluring about handmade bricks and they are a popular choice when customers are looking for premium products for their build. Although handmade bricks are aesthetically superior, technically there is no difference between handmade and machined bricks.
Machined bricks offer a cleaner finish and a smoother surface as the bricks have been extruded or wire-cut and therefore have a uniform shape, making them popular for use in many modern style buildings. Machined bricks are a more cost-effective choice so can be a better option for large scale builds or those on a tight budget.
Handmade bricks cost around four times as much as machined bricks, but their open texture and creased face will add a beautiful look to your build. Often there is a much wider range of choice when it comes to colours and sizes with handmade bricks.
Use a brick matching service
Brick matching services are useful when you’re extending a property but are struggling to find bricks which match the weathered look or patina of existing bricks.