Gemmill - Built with Bricks

The majority of homes in Perth are double brick – a classic, durable material considered by many to be a premier choice for home building. Today, sunny Perth is the only Australian city still building mostly double brick homes. So what is it about this building material that’s enchanted Perth’s population? We’ll take a look at the enormously popular double brick culture in Perth and explore what it is about this building material that’s made it so popular.

Understanding double brick

Typically, double brick houses feature double-brick walls, timber windows, and time-framed floors on stumps. The walls have two skins of brickwork with an air gap in between, and this gap reduces the likelihood of moisture penetrating the property.

Double brick construction

In terms of construction of double brick, the two walls are joined with ties, which can be made of steel or other materials. In some cases, the internal wall might be plasterboard-lined concrete blockwork or lined using a lining board.

Double brick wall thickness

Double brick walls might be around 240mm to 250mm in thickness with a cavity of around 30mm to 50mm. The outer-facing wall might be around 105mm, whilst the inner wall could be around 85mm or up to 105mm or 110mm as well.

Double brick vs brick veneer

Brick veneer properties typically have a wooden or steel frame concealed with a single layer of bricks as the exterior layer. While brick veneer gives you the same look as double brick, there’s an important distinction: the bricks aren’t holding up the brick veneer property. Also, double brick tends to be much more durable and resistant than brick veneer, especially against things like fire, strong winds, and pests.

Why is double brick still popular in Perth?

So, why has Perth specifically had this love affair with double brick homes?

1. Classic, trusted material that withstands the test of time

Perth’s fascination with double brick goes back to the 1920s, when Federation houses and Californian bungalows utilised bricks as the main construction material. Later, in the 1960s and 1970s double brick houses featuring brick fences and fireplaces grew popular in the suburbs. Today, these houses still stand as testament to double brick’s durability and status as a classic, trusted material. Additionally, Perth’s sandy soil offer a stable foundation with little ground movement, which makes it ideal for double brick.

2. Durability and strength

Double brick homes come with a highly stable structure, capable of withstanding natural disasters, violent storms, fire, and exposure to the elements. Double brick homes tend to be less prone to damage by pests and termites, and the inside walls are usually able to support heavy fixtures. Double brick homes might also be less likely to have wall-bending problems.

3. Ingrained in Perth’s culture

Brick houses offer a lot of character and visual appeal, and using brick remains popular in Perth thanks to generations of advertising. From its energy efficiency benefits to its durability, brick is ingrained in Perth’s culture as the superior, premium building material. Finally, since Perth’s homebuyers often prefer double brick, choosing double brick supports better saleability and market value.

4. Insulation and thermal transmission

One of the benefits of brick is how its cavity and two-wall design give it thermal mass properties. This lets double brick homes absorb heat from the sun and gradually release it into the interiors overnight. This can boost comfort in summer because the walls absorb the heat and slowly cool off during the night. In winter, this is also advantageous when the nights are colder. The thickness of double brick also helps insulate homes from outdoor noise.

5. Similar cost as brick veneer

Perth’s brick manufacturing industry offers scale economies so building costs for double brick and brick veneer are very similar in the city, unlike in other major Aussie capitals.

Double brick alternatives

Other than brick veneer, double brick’s major alternative is timber frame. Timber frame is a strong, viable option, offering sound insulation as well as flexibility in design and aesthetics. Its benefits include not needing huge concrete footings, thinner walls for more efficient use of limited land, and a quick and easy building process. Timber frames also retain heat and insulate well for cooler summers and warmer winters.

With timber frames, you can use energy-efficient and cost-effective wall construction materials like brick veneer, high-grade polystyrene, or aerated concrete blocks. You can also use insulating concrete forms or cladding, which can be made from timber, fibre cement, aluminium, stone, or PVC.

Build your dream home in Perth

Double brick offers thermal insulation, sound proofing, and extreme durability for homes. As a trusted material that brings character and aesthetic appeal, brick has a vibrant manufacturing sector in Perth, allowing it to be a cost-competitive alternative to other options like brick veneer. In addition, thanks to its long history and established culture, double brick looks like it’s here to stay as the most preferred building material for Perth’s homes.

Are you thinking of building a home in Perth? Build your dream home with Gemmill Homes, a multi-award-winning home builder with more than 15 years of experience in creating beautiful homes for happy customers in Perth.

Whether your dream home is a double brick or timber frame property, we can build it for you. Call us today on (08) 9263 4444 to find out more about how we can help you create a perfect home for your land, budget, and lifestyle.