If you love the look of brick houses, it’s tough to be logical when thinking about buying one. Whether you grew up in one and nostalgia has taken the reigns, or you’ve always wanted to live in one just because they’re beautiful, let us help you decide if it’s worth it. If you’ve already made up your mind, let us give you reasons to share with your friends who are trying to talk you out of it. Here is our list of the pros and cons of owning a brick home.
The Benefits of Owning a Brick Home
Bricks come from clay and shale, some of the earth’s most plentiful materials. They absorb humidity better than any other building material and minimize the chances of mold, mildew, and dust mites. Brick is a reliable and compact material, and you can repurpose it for retaining walls, paths, landscaping ideas, or ground up into smaller pieces for permanent mulch or sub-base materials.
When one customer purchased a brick home, he wanted to build a pantry in his kitchen, but there was a window in the outer wall that was in his way. He also had a brick retaining wall in his backyard he didn’t want. He took the window out and used the excess brick from the retaining wall to fill in the hole. Other than the color of the new mortar, you can barely tell there was ever a window, and even the mortar will age in time and blend in almost entirely. He raised the value of his home and did so using bricks that he wasn’t using anyway.
Fire and Weather Resistant
Bricks are flame retardant and noncombustible. Even if you have a fire, brick walls will keep it contained to one particular room or part of the house. Brick structures can also handle high-speed objects flying into them from high winds much better than other materials.
Because of its color retention and durability, brick doesn’t take a lot of upkeep. It also won’t rot and doesn’t need to be painted after you install it. Other than the occasional drainage problem, brick homes are easy to control. You don’t have to agonize over painting it; just power wash it when the mood strikes, and repair any chipped or loose bricks if they occur. You also never have to worry about termites or carpenter ants, so your house will age well without too much upkeep.
Because of its thickness, brick can block more sound from outside than wood and vinyl siding does, even with insulation as a buffer. That benefits light sleepers, people who like their privacy, and those who want to have friends over for a party without disturbing their neighbors.
Temperature Control and Energy Efficient
If your brick walls are combined with insulation, the brick stabilizes the inside temperature and delays the movement of heat through the wall. In summer, the weather stays outside, and in winter the heat stays inside, saving you money on your utilities.
Increased Home Value
Even though brick houses cost more, they also bring up the value of your home, and you save on maintenance costs, making the purchase of a beautiful house worth it. Many people like the look of brick, and it brings up the curb value of your home and neighborhood. Brick houses catch people’s eye, and they are more likely to look at your house because of it.
Endless Design Possibilities
Because clay and shale is a molded material, bricks come in various shapes, colors, and styles. Each brick is unique, giving every brick structure its own stylish look. Depending on what look you’re searching for, you can usually find it in brick, whether it’s classic or modern.
The Disadvantages of Owning a Brick Home
Bricks Are Expensive
When it comes to building with brick, you can have cheaper options, but that usually means they are more porous. In the event of heavy rain or any gutter overflow, the water would soak through the pores and into the mortar and inside plaster, causing cracks and possibly foundation issues. In subzero temperatures, water could get in, freeze, and cause even more damage. If you choose to buy a brick house, make sure the brick is of good, dense quality.
Color Choices are Limited
Because bricks come from clay and shale, your color options are limited. If that bothers you, you can have your brick house painted. And honestly, if you’re a person who loves the look of brick houses, changing that color isn’t on your list of priorities.
Repointing the Mortar
Although bricks are reliable and have a long life, you cannot say the same of all mortar. If the mortar starts to wear down, you would have to repoint your brick, and that costs time and money.
Because brick and mortar are so solid, in the event of ground movement, no matter how subtle, you could end up with a shift in your foundation. Brick houses are not built to withstand shifting very well, which may cause issues in your foundation.
Temperature Changes Cause Issues
If you live in a region where extreme temperatures occur on both sides of the spectrum, brick houses are not the best option. This weather causes buildings to expand and contract, and brick does not have a lot of give in this area.
Remodeling is Difficult
If you want to remodel the exterior of your brick home, such as add a room or two, it’s difficult to match the original brick. New wiring, windows, and plumbing will also cost more than in a wood framed house.
If the disadvantages on this page don’t scare you away from your love of brick, go for it. If the extra expenses or the fear of foundation issues in the future outweigh the benefits of a lower heating bill, then searching for wooden frames and vinyl siding may be more up your alley.
Homes for Heroes prides itself on being able to serve those that have served or serve us. Our real estate specialists work very closely with you to make sure the home you’re buying is the best choice for you, your family, and your budget. And choosing a brick home, or not to- is one of those many choices they will walk you through.
If you qualify as a hero, head on over to our sign up page and fill out the information needed. Our specialists will call you and be your advocate for the home buying process- and they will also save you money!