Houses made of brick are timeless and beautiful.
These houses have a classic look that never seems to get old, but since the 1970s, the number of these houses has declined.
Nowadays, you will notice that new houses are made of steel, wood, cement, stucco, or any other material except for brick. It appears that people have stopped using brick.
Why aren’t houses made of brick anymore? What are the reasons why people have stopped using bricks for constructing their houses?
Table of Contents
1. Building Codes No Longer Require Brick
After World War II, people started to shift away from using bricks as the primary material for constructing buildings and houses.
Before this, building codes were strict on the use of bricks for construction. Brick houses are quite sturdy and durable, plus they have a long lifespan because the materials don’t rot.
When building codes were revised to no longer require bricks, people stopped using bricks for constructing their houses.
Bricks are generally more expensive than other materials, like concrete and cement, which are also durable.
Since it was no longer a requirement, people stopped using them to save costs on construction.
2. Brick Houses are More Expensive to Build
Of course, people want to save money, and even in construction, they want to cut costs whenever possible without compromising durability.
Unfortunately, the labor costs of brick houses are higher.
Since the labor costs of building with bricks are significantly more expensive than building with other materials, people stopped using bricks to construct their houses.
Also, if you use bricks for your house, the new building codes would require more masonry, which means more labor costs.
Plus, specific environmental regulation costs apply, which add to your expenses.
3. Brick Houses Are Expensive & More Difficult to Repair
In general, brick houses have a long lifespan and are quite sturdy when well-constructed.
They can withstand different weather conditions and even natural calamities like earthquakes. They won’t rot, and they are practically fire-resistant.
When part of a brick house is damaged, a simple repair job is not enough to fix it. You can’t just put a new brick in to replace the damaged ones.
Depending on the damage’s size, the builders may need to remove some bricks and even rebuild an entire wall.
This type of repair is always expensive, with the cost of materials and labor involved, plus the whole job can take a long time.
4. Bricks Are Vulnerable to Moisture and Water Damage
Even though bricks are sturdy and durable materials, it doesn’t mean that they are indestructible.
Bricks are porous materials that can hold moisture, especially when exposed to humid or rainy weather conditions.
Over time, the bricks foster mold and fungus growth. This can eventually lead to chipping and cracking!
Moisture and water damage can also happen to well-constructed houses made of good-quality bricks if they are constantly exposed.
When building codes stopped requiring bricks, cement became a more popular choice of building material. Cement is sturdy, and unlike brick, it is resistant to moisture and water damage.
Cement is also significantly more affordable to buy and cheaper to build with.
5. Using Bricks for Constructing Houses Has a More Negative Impact on the Environment
Buying bricks and using them for construction may be costly, which is why people have stopped using them, but some people are unaware that using them harms the environment.
Manufacturing bricks creates a lot of carbon footprint compared to manufacturing other building materials.
Since bricks are not easily accessible and not many people sell them, they also have to be transported, which adds to their carbon footprint. Bricks are heavier and need more fuel to transport.
Cement, stucco, steel, and wood are materials that are more accessible. They are also cheaper!
Pros and Cons of Using Brick:
There are many benefits of using bricks for constructing houses. When they are well-built, brick houses tend to age well because they are sturdy and can last very long.
Brick houses also have a higher resale value due to their aesthetic and long-lasting frame.
However, bricks are more expensive. They are less accessible, and the labor costs for building with them are generally higher than building with other materials.
Other materials you can use:
- Wood is cheaper and more accessible but less sturdy than brick. It’s also easier to work with.
- Steel is a light and sturdy material for construction. It is also affordable.
- Meanwhile, concrete is sturdy, moisture-resistant, and fire-resistant.