New Homes

A Double Brick vs Timber Frame House

Double Brick Wall

When it comes to building a new home, two popular construction choices are a double brick house and a timber frame home.

Which you choose will depend largely on a combination of personal preference, heating and cooling ability, expense, build time and flexibility.

Brick veneer is also an option to consider if you prefer the construction characteristics of a timber frame home, whilst still maintaining the outer appearance of a brick house facade.

Double Brick Wall House

A double brick wall home consists of two vertical layers of brick separated by a wall space of around 30 to 50mm. The two panels are connected, for structural rigidity, with steel brick ties. The cavity between the two panels helps to stop moisture from wicking from the outside of the house into the internal surface. It can also help to dampen the transmission of sound to a degree.

The cost of bricks in Perth has come down significantly in recent times which can make a double brick home construction more affordable than even some timber frame homes. However, the haulage cost of heavy bricks also needs to be factored in, particularly for remote or country builders.

Double Brick House

Advantages of a double brick construction include:

  • heavy, solid construction
  • high thermal mass which can keep the house cool on hot days and warm on cold days by evening out indoor and outdoor extremes of temperature
  • low maintenance
  • resistant to damage from the elements
  • resistant to insects and termites
  • fire resistance
  • dampens sound transmission, both within rooms and from outside to inside and vice versa
  • potentially better property saleability, particularly in Perth, where double brick construction is particularly popular

Disadvantages include:

  • limitations to design, with brick homes usually limited to linear surfaces, rectangles or squares
  • cost, although this has been declining in Perth in recent years
  • more difficult to work with due to weight and number of bricks
  • requirement for a better foundational slab to support the weight
  • longer build times
  • occasionally cracks can develop over time depending on the build quality and type of land and soil

Timber Frame Homes

A timber frame home is usually made with a timber skeleton, cladded with materials internally and externally. Timber frame homes have the benefit of a lighter weight building material that is often easier to work with, more flexible in design, but also strong and durable.

For rural or remote builds, timber is often idea because of the decreased weight, and therefore cost, of haulage over long distances compared to bricks.

Timber Frame Home

Advantages of timber frame homes include:

  • allow for flexible home designs as they can be cut and shaped in different dimensions more easily than bricks
  • can often be cheaper than bricks depending on the location
  • lighter weight makes haulage over long distances less costly. It’s therefore often a good choice for rural or remote country builds
  • low thermal mass results in quicker time to heat up or cool down
  • a large wall cavity that can be filled efficient insulation
  • wider variety of external cladding options
  • faster construction times and easier to work with
  • easier to renovate or add house extensions and interior walls to at a later date
  • easier to add additional power points, antenna sockets, wiring and plumbing to than brick walls

Disadvantages of timber frame homes include:

  • not as heavy duty and sturdy as double brick
  • can be prone to rot, termites and other vermin if not treated and maintained properly
  • more prone to catch fire, however fire resistant products are now available
  • not as resistant to noise transmission as double brick

The Verdict

So there you have it. Brick homes can be more sturdy and resistant to fire and insects, but they are slower to heat up and cool down, take longer to build and aren’t great for remote areas due to freight costs.

Timber frames on the other hand are lighter, cool and heat quicker, are easier to build, cheaper to freight materials to remote areas, however they are not as sturdy and can be more prone to weather, insects and fire.

In terms of cost, with the economies of scale with bricks in Perth in recent times, the cost between the two options is usually fairly even nowadays.

Bushewood Building Company

No matter which option you choose, if you live in Western Australia then Bushewood Building Company can help with your build. We create custom built new homes, extensions, renovations, restorations and conversions both in Perth and all across WA. No matter where you live in this great state we are prepared to come to you.

Contact us today for an free, no-obligation quote for your next double brick or timber frame home project.