One of the ways to live more sustainably is to choose a home that is durable, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly. Modern brick houses are a great option for sustainable living, as they offer many benefits that can help you reduce your impact on the planet.
Pros of Brick Houses
Durability and longevity:
Brick houses can last for centuries, as evidenced by many historical buildings around the world. They can withstand harsh weather conditions, such as storms, floods, and earthquakes, without cracking or collapsing. They also have a high resistance to fire and pests, such as termites and rodents, which can damage other types of houses. For example, according to the Brick Industry Association, brick houses have a lifespan of more than 100 years, while wood houses have an average lifespan of 20 to 30 years.
Energy efficiency and insulation properties:
Brick houses can keep the indoor temperature stable throughout the year, reducing the need for heating and cooling systems. They can also block out noise from outside, creating a quiet and peaceful environment. Brick houses can help you save money on your utility bills and reduce your carbon footprint. For instance, a study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology found that brick houses can save up to 20% on energy costs compared to wood houses.
Low maintenance requirements:
Brick houses do not need frequent painting, staining, or sealing, unlike other types of houses. They also do not rot, warp, or dent, which can affect the structural integrity and appearance of other types of houses. Brick houses only need occasional cleaning with water and soap to remove dirt and dust. Therefore, brick houses can save you time and money on maintenance.
Cons of Brick Houses
Higher initial construction costs:
Brick houses require more materials, labor, and time to build than other types of houses, such as wood or metal. They also need a strong foundation to support their weight, which can increase the land preparation costs. According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost of building a brick house is $150 per square foot, while the average cost of building a wood house is $100 per square foot.
Limited design flexibility compared to other materials:
Brick houses have a fixed shape and size that cannot be easily modified or expanded. They also have a uniform color and texture that may not suit your personal preferences or match the surrounding landscape. If you want to change the appearance of your brick house, you may need to paint it or add other exterior features, such as siding, stone, or stucco, which can be costly and time-consuming.
Time-consuming construction process:
Brick houses take longer to build than other types of houses because they involve laying bricks one by one and applying mortar between them. They also need to dry and cure properly before they can be occupied. This can delay the completion date and increase the interest payments on your mortgage. According to The Balance Small Business, the average time to build a brick house is nine months, while the average time to build a wood house is seven months.
Should I Build a Brick House?
If you are thinking about building a brick house, you might be wondering if it is a good idea. Brick houses are known for their durability, beauty and sustainability, but they also have some drawbacks that you should be aware of. Here are some factors to consider when deciding whether to build a brick house or not.
Think about the climate and weather conditions where you live. Brick houses are ideal for areas with hot and dry summers, as they can keep the interior cool and comfortable. However, they are not very suitable for areas with cold and wet winters, as they can crack and deteriorate due to moisture and frost. You also need to consider the risk of natural disasters, such as earthquakes and hurricanes, as brick houses are not very flexible or resistant to strong winds and vibrations.
Think about your personal preferences and aesthetic appeal. Brick houses have a classic and timeless look that can match any style and design. They also come in different colors, shapes and sizes, so you can customize your house according to your taste. However, brick houses can also look dull and outdated if they are not well-maintained or painted. You also need to consider the maintenance costs and efforts involved in keeping your brick house clean and attractive.
Think about your budget and long-term investment. Brick houses are more expensive to build than other types of houses, as they require more materials, labor and time. However, they also have a higher resale value and lower energy costs, as they can provide better insulation and ventilation. You also need to consider the environmental impact of building a brick house, as bricks are made from natural and renewable resources that do not emit harmful gasses or pollutants.
Building a brick house is a big decision that requires careful planning and research. You should weigh the pros and cons of brick houses before making a final choice. Remember that your house is not only a place to live, but also a reflection of your personality and lifestyle.
What to Look for When Hiring a Masonry Contractor
If you’re interested in building a modern brick house, you’ll need to hire a masonry contractor who can do the job right. But how do you find the best one for your project? Here are some tips to help you choose a reliable and professional contractor who can deliver a sustainable and beautiful home.
- Make sure the contractor has the necessary licenses and certifications to work in your area. This will ensure that they follow the local codes and regulations, and that they have the skills and qualifications to handle your project. You can check their credentials online or ask them to show you proof of their licenses and certifications.
- Look at their portfolio and ask for references from previous clients. This will give you an idea of the quality and style of their work, and how satisfied their customers are. You can also visit some of their completed projects in person, if possible, to see how they look and feel. Ask the contractor about their experience with sustainable building practices, such as using recycled or natural materials, minimizing waste, and maximizing energy efficiency.
- Pay attention to how they communicate and interact with you. A good contractor should be clear and transparent about their pricing, timeline, and expectations. They should also listen to your needs and preferences, and offer suggestions and solutions that suit your vision. They should be responsive and easy to reach, and keep you updated on the progress of your project.
- Don’t rush into hiring the first contractor you find. Do some research and compare different options before making a decision. Get at least three quotes from different contractors, and evaluate them based on their quality, cost, and reputation. Choose the one that offers the best value for your money, and that you feel comfortable working with.
Hiring a masonry contractor is an important step in building a modern brick house. By following these tips, you can find a contractor who can create a sustainable and stunning home for you.
In conclusion, sustainable living with modern brick houses has many benefits, such as durability, energy efficiency, fire resistance, and aesthetic appeal. However, brick houses also have some drawbacks, such as high cost, maintenance, and environmental impact. Therefore, it is important to weigh the pros and cons before deciding to build a brick house. You should consider your budget, location, climate, design preferences, and long-term goals. Ultimately, the choice is yours, but remember that brick houses can be a great option for creating a more sustainable lifestyle.