If you’ve driven anywhere in the UK, you’ve probably noticed a familiar feature common to most UK houses – nearly all of them are made of brick. While this might seem silly at first glance, there’s a good reason why so many are made from brick.
Houses in the UK are made of brick because of culture and practicality. Brick is more efficient at keeping in heat and stabilising humidity levels – important features for homes in the UK. In addition, brick is easy to lay, making it a quick option for home building.
UK houses began being built with the traditional red bricks in the thirties, which has continued throughout the years. After so many years, it’s commonplace to see these homes everywhere. Read on to learn more about how this happened and whether this may change in the future.
Advantages of Brick Houses in the UK
“If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” This is the motto for many who build houses in the UK, and it rings true. Brick houses have been around for decades, and for a good reason. They’re strong, easy to build, and act as great insulators. In addition, the materials are relatively cheap.
Brick houses have many advantages, and as a result, they’ve remained a constant in the UK since the thirties.
Brick houses began being built as part of a housebuilding boom in the UK about ninety years ago. Brick was seen as the ideal material to build homes with at this time. As time passed, this never changed.
Now, we know about many more advantages that brick homes offer. Let’s talk about why brick homes make such good options for UK residents.
1. Brick Homes Are Fantastic Insulators
Brick is one of the best insulating materials. Wood, without any additional insulators, offers practically no insulation capabilities. Brick, on the other hand, is a natural insulator.
The whole of the UK is situated in a location where it constantly receives an oceanic breeze – even in the centre of the country. The proximity to the ocean, combined with the size of the country, however, requires houses to have the ability to adapt.
Humidity levels are high throughout the country. As such, it’s necessary to have a well-insulated home that can handle both the temperature changes and humidity rises and falls throughout the year.
Brick is a fantastic option for weather defence because it has such great insulation qualities. They are known to stay stable in temperature through both winter and summer.
2. Brick Homes Are Safer & Stronger
Another major benefit of maintaining a brick home in the UK is that they are safer and stronger.
Brick is significantly stronger than wood and other materials. In a natural disaster, it holds up much better – making it a better building option. Some parts of the UK can get hit with strong winds, and building with brick helps ensure that your home stays standing, even in challenging weather.
In addition, brick homes maintain much better fire safety standards. While brick homes will burn, it’s more difficult for the fire to find material to latch onto. For more information about how brick homes hold up in a fire, look at this article.
3. Brick Homes Are More Pest Resistant
Brick homes, while resistant to natural disasters, are also much more resistant to pests than wood homes.
While all areas occasionally experience pests, especially during the warmer months, some areas of the UK are more prone to pests than others. Termites are particularly bad in some areas – a problem that can easily be solved through a brick home.
With all this in mind, it’s essential to maintain a home with fewer entrances for pests and fewer food sources for them. For this, brick homes are a much better option.
4. Brick Homes Are More Sound Resistant
Another major benefit to brick homes is that they have decent soundproofing qualities. Wood houses have quite a bit of open space between the drywall and beams, and sound travels easily through the air.
Brick homes, on the other hand, offer a much better sound resistance. They have much less space between the walls, giving less opportunity for sound to travel.
5. Brick Homes Showcase Uniqueness
Every brick home is unique, even when they’re built in a similar style. Each brick laid looks slightly different from another, and as an entire picture, this can make even similar-styled homes look completely different from one another.
The alternating patterns of light and dark bricks make a huge difference in how the house is perceived, up close and from a distance. This is one of the things that makes brick homes so appealing.
6. Brick Homes Are Built To Last
Brick homes can be expected to last significantly longer than other homes. While many homes will last for years, brick homes can be seen lasting for hundreds of years.
Brick can be passed down from generation to generation – from family member to family member. When you purchase a brick home, you aren’t just purchasing for yourself. The house has the potential to last for years to come.
7. Brick Homes Can Be Turned Into Something New
A final advantage to brick homes is that they can be turned into something new when the house eventually falls apart or simply gets too old.
Brick can always be taken apart and turned into something new. In addition, the stones can be ground down and made into new creations.
The best part about brick, as a material, is that it’s completely recyclable. Even when a home gets torn down, the materials can be used to build something new – thus bringing a longer lifespan to the material.
Why Use Brick in the UK?
Brick has many advantages, as we discussed. However, we don’t see as many brick homes in other places as much as we see throughout the UK.
While brick homes in this area do have some cultural and historical significance due to the housebuilding boom that took place in the 1930s, the biggest reason why brick is so prominent in this area is because of practicality.
The majority of UK soil is clay-based. Clay makes excellent bricks, so it is more efficient to use this as a building material rather than importing wood and other materials to build more homes. Wood is expensive and can be challenging to come by, depending on your area.
Brick in the UK is an abundant natural resource and makes for a great building material. In addition, it has all the added benefits we discussed – lasting for years, durability, strength, sound resistance, and so on.
Brick will likely continue to be used throughout the years as new homes are built simply because it is one of the easiest resources to obtain.
While you’ll see houses interspersed here and there that aren’t made from brick, most homes in the UK are made of the same familiar red brick.
Houses in the UK are built with brick because it’s affordable, easy to get, and practical to use. In addition, brick maintains some historical and cultural significance.
Brick houses have many advantages over wood houses and, as such, will likely continue to be built for years to come – especially throughout the UK.
- Turnbull Masonry: 7 Advantages of Brick Exterior Homes
- Reddit United Kingdom: Why are Almost All Houses in the UK Red Brick Semi Detached Houses?
- Wikipedia: Climate of the United Kingdom
- Quora: Why are So Many Buildings in the UK Made Out of Brick?
- GB & D: Prioritizing Sustainable Home Design Using Brick
- Fire Safety Through Brick: Fire Safety Through Brick