One of the oldest building materials that are still commonly used in construction is bricks. Many many don’t realise that there are two different options for creating the same appearance — brick veneer and double brick.
Both are similar in materials and structure but differ in the construction process. Here we outline the difference between double brick and brick veneer as well as the pros and cons associated with each option.
What is the difference?
Brick veneer and double brick are two different types of construction methods used for building walls. Double brick is a solid construction method that uses two layers of brick to form a wall. Brick veneer however involves an external layer of brick attached to a timber or steel frame with a cavity in between. The cavity is typically filled with insulation to improve thermal performance. The main difference between the two methods is that double brick walls are load-bearing and self-supporting, while brick veneer walls are not load-bearing and require a separate structure to support the roof and upper floors. Additionally, double brick construction can be more expensive than brick veneer due to the additional materials and labour required.
Contrary to popular belief, brick veneer is not composed of thin pieces of brick. Properties that utilise brick veneer look almost identical to solid brick structures, except that they are built using different techniques. The construction of brick veneer walls involves the building of a timber frame or steel frame. When the frames are up you fill with insulation and applying cladding to the exterior wall.
Brick veneer combines a stylish appearance with effortless upkeep needs. It’s important to weigh up the pros and cons of brick veneer before making a final decision on your home renovation project or new house purchase.
Brick Veneer Pros
By opting for a brick veneer house, you can enjoy numerous advantages of brick construction while avoiding the expense of a double brick building project. In terms of value, brick veneer homes are generally less costly to build compared to homes using double brick. The brick exterior allows the house to have a solid artistic look, and it is easy to make alterations and renovations to internal walls. Thanks to the cavity between the veneer and the frame, adding insulation to the home is also a relatively easy task.
Due to its relatively low weight, brick veneer exerts less pressure on foundation building and support systems, which reduces the need for extensive footing systems.
Brick Veneer Cons
Brick veneer doesn’t provide the best level of thermal transmission, and it can be quite noisy when touching internal walls. Also, because timber bracing and framing will still be used extensively in the building process, there is a higher chance of termite attack and other timber pests.
Double brick construction consists of two panels of masonry which can be made of clay bricks, cement bricks, and concrete blocks. The outer layer can be rendered masonry or face brick with no need to render.
Double Brick Pros
Double brick allows solid construction which has little maintenance over time. It also offers durable structures in the event of a natural disaster, violent storm, or exposure to the elements over many years.
Excellent sound insulation is also guaranteed in double brick homes due to the thickness of the bricks. This means fewer noise complaints from room to room or house to house in medium to high-density developments. By using double brick for your new home you ensure it is Properties that are made of double brick are not prone to damage by timber pests, including termites.
Double Brick Cons
Using double brick construction can incur significantly higher expenses compared to other methods due to the additional material and labour costs involved. It might take long labour to build a double brick house, and it does not provide the flexibility to make variations in the design once you build it.
The double brick walls also occupy a lot of space and can crack over time. It would be very costly to maintain. The complexity of home extensions and remodelling projects is increased with double brick construction due to its unique characteristics.
Other Brick Options
Choosing the right type of bricks and materials for building a house is crucial as it can impact the environmental and economic aspects of the project. Each type of brick has its own benefits and drawbacks, and it’s essential to understand these before making a decision.
Solid brick is a type of construction method that uses bricks as the primary structural element. This option offers excellent load-bearing capacity and provides a unique combination of structural, thermal, and aesthetic benefits. Solid brick walls have excellent thermal mass properties, which can help to regulate indoor temperatures and reduce the need for artificial heating and cooling. Additionally, they can provide superior sound insulation and are highly durable, making them a popular choice for high-traffic areas.
Reverse brick veneer is another construction method that involves the use of bricks but in a different way. In this technique, the bricks are placed on the inner leaf of the wall, and insulation is applied to the external leaf. Using this technique results in buildings that have exceptional energy efficiency, requiring minimal heating and cooling. The insulation on the external leaf reduces heat loss and gain, which results in a more comfortable indoor environment and lower energy bills.
Overall, there are many options available for building walls using bricks. Choosing between solid brick, brick veneer, and reverse brick veneer will depend on various factors. These factors include the project’s budget, climate, and desired aesthetic. It is recommended to consult with a professional builder or architect to determine the best option.
It’s important to know the difference between double brick and brick veneer when purchasing a property as costs and maintenance can vary greatly between the two. Our professional inspectors will be able to let you know what the prospective property was constructed with during your Building and Pest Inspection.
Call TCBPI today at 07 4723 2770 or enquire online to know more about how building materials can affect your property.