Last Updated on April 16, 2021 by Maggie Sutton
There’s just something about the classic look of a brick home that captures the imagination. Perhaps that’s why so many prospective home buyers are attracted to brick homes. Known for being sturdy and reliable, some people wonder if there may be serious problems hiding behind that hard exterior. If you’re on the fence about what kind of home you want to buy, here are some 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. Like lumber, bricks and the elements that make them up are found all over, and unlike lumber, don’t need to be replenished.
Fire and Weather Resistant
Bricks are flame retardant and noncombustible. Even if you have a fire, brick walls will keep it mostly contained to one particular room or part of the house. Brick structures can also handle high-speed objects flying into them from high winds such as tornadoes or hurricanes much better than other materials.
Brick Homes are Low Maintenance
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 heat 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
There’s no way around it: brick homes are more expensive. This is due in part to the fact that people want brick homes, and with increased demand comes increased prices. However, brick homes tend to be less expensive to insure because of their durability. Also, brick homes typically have a higher resale value than non-brick homes, so they can still be a worthwhile investment.
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, water can soak through the pores and into the mortar and plaster, causing cracks and possibly foundation issues. In subzero temperatures, water could get in, freeze, and cause even more damage as the ice expands. 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 palate is limited. There can be several hundred colors to choose from with brick, but they will all be earthy colors, like brown, red, and beige. If that bothers you, you can always have your brick house painted or white washed. However, for most brick home lovers, the color of the brick is a big draw.
Repointing the Mortar
Although bricks are reliable and have a long life, the same can not always be said of the mortar. If the mortar starts to wear down and crumble, you would have to repoint your brick, and that costs time and money. It often takes decades for mortar to wear down with proper maintenance and upkeep, however.
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. Shifting and foundation issues do occur in all types of homes though; it’s just how it goes when building on land!
Temperature Changes Cause Issues
If you live in a region where extreme temperatures occur on both sides of the spectrum, brick houses might not be the best option. This weather causes buildings to expand and contract, and brick does not have a lot of give in this area. Consistently fluctuating can lead to some of the above issues like foundation shift, mortar wear, and mold issues.
Remodeling is Difficult
If you want to remodel the exterior of your brick home, such as add a room, it’s difficult to match the original brick. New wiring, windows, and plumbing will also cost more than in a wood framed house.
(Brick) Homes for Heroes
Brick might not be for everyone, both aesthetically and practically. But for those who love the look and ease of brick, it can be a great material for your home.
If you’re in the market to buy a brick house, or any other type of home for that matter, consider Homes for Heroes. Homes for Heroes prides itself on being able to serve those that serve us. Along with our real estate and lending affiliates, we offer significant savings to heroes in their home buying, selling, or refinancing process. If you’re a healthcare worker, police or law enforcement officer, teacher, firefighter, EMS responder, or active or veteran military, we want to get you into your next home.
Our real estate specialists work closely with you to make sure the home you’re buying is the best choice for you, your family, and your budget. Plus, after you close on your new home, you’ll receive our Hero Rewards. This is a special thank you in the form of a check worth .7% of the sale price of your home. We also offer discounts on lender fees, inspections and appraisals. We’ve helped over 44,000 heroes receive average rewards of $2,400!
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!