The UK’s brick industry has evolved with many faces over the decades, with numerous brick manufacturers having consolidated or closed and alongside this, new facing bricks have been deleted, replaced or brought in.
As a result when your client is considering a home extension, it is important to make the homeowner or building owner aware that they must not overlook their choice of bricks. No builder or tradesman wants to see mismatching brickwork breaking the look of their work with the amount of money, labour and time being spent on the structure as this will only lead to dissatisfied customers.
It is likely with any building that when the owner chooses to extend their property, the facing bricks of their original building will be unavailable or a lot more difficult to track down and identify than anticipated.
While it may prove more expensive for you or your client to track down the right brick it is important to maintain that the additional cost of sourcing the right bricks is likely to be completely offset by the added value that an extension could bring to their home or building.
Why is brick matching so important to emphasise?
Not only will your new extension blend in with the existing structure you are working on but it will make the extension look more appealing and in turn add value to the property.
Finding the right matches also ensure that old and new brick courses are better aligned due to the same brick dimensions meaning that there will be an even, more smooth finish without room for moisture or water to enter the building.
Why shouldn’t you choose the cheapest?
While many builders get a bad reputation for wanting to source the cheapest and most readily available materials, it can prove more cost efficient for business if you are sympathetic to the existing building you are working on.
It is likely a surveyor or architect will have stipulated requirements following consultations with your client so be patient. Bricks can be found to match just about any colour, style and texture. Browse our range of building bricks and blocks here.
What is the best method of choosing the right building materials?
It is likely the homeowner will look to you as a builder or ‘bricky’ to choose the right type of brick to match their existing structure, however it is up to you to work with them to ensure that both parties are happy.
Encourage them to research the best types of bricks and take them to visit a building supplier – while there may be pressure to begin work, don’t let this overshadow the choice of the right brick. Take photographs and samples to make sure that building materials match.
Remember that any new brickwork has to weather in and is likely to change colour or pigment over time, so bear in mind the weathering process and don’t go too dark.
...what about brick pointing?
If you’re an experienced builder you will know that brick matching while critical to the aesthetics of an extension is not the complete solution and that brick pointing has a role to play in the matching of the two separately built structures.
Gauging your mix each time you work on the extension will avoid inconsistency – although this won’t show until all work has been completed it is vital to bear in mind the various types of pointing, including; Concave, Weather struck, Recessed and Flush Joint.
How can we help?
At SJS Building supplies we have more than 36 years’ of experience working with trade and DIY industries and this experience has extended to our varied collections of building products which you will find throughout our website.
Our online stock of bricks ranges include Hanson, Ibstock and the world’s largest brick manufacturer Wienerberger.
These are highly sustainable brick products that have gained BES 6001 Responsible Sourcing of Materials certification, making Hanson one of the most environmentally friendly stock brick ranges in the UK.
The UK’s largest brick manufacturer and market leader in clay facing bricks, Ibstock, and is heavily involved in bringing bricks back into the construction market. You will find an extensive selection of bricks from this brand on our website.
This brand has a clear focus on aesthetics for clay facing bricks and making them sustainable in production. As the world’s leading brick manufacturer you will find some of the broadest selections of shades and textures from them.
Alongside our range of products our knowledgeable members of staff are happy to advise and answer any questions you or your clients may have about any of the bricks that we stock.
Points to consider
- Consider mixing different bricks for a more random pattern.
- Bricks of the same type may vary between consignments so buy enough.
- Remember brick bonds will also need matching (period and modern properties vary.)
- Don’t use mortar that is too strong.
- Original features should be retained to keep to the character of the existing building.
If you are undertaking building work in or around Staffordshire and require further information on matching your brickwork to our range of bricks, please contact SJS today.