Gemmill - Built with Bricks

The majority of homes in Perth are made of double brick, as it has long been considered the ultimate home building material. In fact, Perth is the only state in Australia still mostly building double brick homes. Talk about a love affair with double brick! But what exactly is it about this building material that has captured the hearts of almost every person in Perth?

To explore the double brick culture in Perth, we’ll look at what double brick is and why it’s so popular. We’ll also discuss alternatives to double brick.

What is double brick?

The walls of homes that are made of double brick are built with two layers of masonry (bricks). And there’s an air gap in between the two layers for wall insulation. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, this trend caught on about a century ago.

Brick is said to have thermal mass properties, which means it can store heat from the sun and release it slowly into your home at night. This is great for comfort in summer, especially when the house warms up during the day and cools off at night. It’s especially beneficial in winter when the nights are colder.

As you can see, double brick homes can provide superior thermal comfort all year round.

Why is double brick still popular in Perth?

The undying popularity of double brick in Perth is due to the following four reasons:

1. It stands the test of time

In the 1920s, Federation houses and Californian bungalows built in Perth were made of bricks. Then in the 1960s and 1970s, double brick houses with brick fences and fireplaces began sprouting throughout the suburbs. These houses still stand today, proving that double brick is durable and long lasting. So if a house isn’t made of brick, then it’s not considered to be structurally sound by some.

2. Its strength provides other benefits

With double brick homes being solid and firm, not only are they unlikely to have wall bending problems, they’re also unlikely to suffer from noise carrying issues due to the thickness of the walls. What’s more, you may be able to add a second storey to a double brick house and homes made of double brick have a far better chance of surviving a cyclone. A strong and sturdy home, especially one made of double brick, is also more likely to have a higher resale value.

3. Advertising says it’s the best

Despite evidence pointing to the benefits of other building alternatives, using brick has been ingrained in Perth culture thanks to generations of advertising. Brick manufacturers will tell you that a heavyweight construction material with high thermal mass such as double brick increases your home’s energy efficiency, offers superior thermal comfort (warm in winter and cool in summer), and reduces your total heating and cooling requirements. So anything other than double brick is generally considered to be a cheap and inferior product.

Double brick alternatives

You can use timber frame as an alternative to double brick. Here are the benefits of timber frame:

  • Building a house made of timber frames doesn’t require huge concrete footings, and with the use of efficient building methods and materials it’s also quick and easy to erect.
  • Timber frame walls are slim, which means you’ll have more space to enjoy your home.
  • With a timber frame home, you can have the ideal balance of heat retention and insulation. You’ll get to enjoy a warm winter and a cool summer.
  • Timber frame lets you do more in terms of design and aesthetics. You can render it to achieve any look you want.
  • Timber frame also provides strength and sound insulation
  • Finally, timber frame homes can be faster to build compared to other methods.

Other energy-efficient and cost-effective wall construction materials that you can use with a lightweight timber frame are:

  • Brick veneer
  • High-grade polystyrene
  • Aerated concrete blocks
  • Insulating concrete forms
  • Cladding (timber, fibre cement, aluminium, stone, PVC).

Thinking of building a home in Perth?

You can build your dream home with Gemmill Homes, Perth’s multi-award-winning builder. Whether you want a double brick home or a timber frame home, we can build it for you. Call us today on (08) 9263 4444 and let us create a perfect home for you that suits your land, budget, and lifestyle.