Despite being a united country, the preferences of Australians are influenced by what state they live in. Bathers or togs? AFL or rugby league? While some of these are minor (like sausage sizzle or sausage sandwich), one particular topic that has drawn a fierce debate is whether double brick or steel/timbers frames are a better option in your house.
It’s no secret that Perth has a love for double brick homes, but more West Australians are interested in using steel frames when building. Both methods have their merits, so let’s find out more about each building material so you can make the right decision for your new home!
Houses that use double brick construction typically have two layers of external bricks with a cavity in between them. Bricks are also used for the internal walls before being plastered and painted.
It is common for double course bricks to be used throughout a new home in Perth. This is because they are cheaper than using single course bricks which were the normal practice.
Majority of Perth residents are familiar with a double brick home (and we tend to stick with what we know)
The cost of using double bricks is a similar price to steel frames in Perth (unlike the rest of Australia)
Steel frame homes have a single layer of bricks on the outside which is next to a layer of steel framing (which is why these homes are known as brick veneer). On the inside, the plasterboard then covers the steel frames. Some local Perth builders like Move Homes install sarking and insulation batts in between the two layers to better insulate your home.
A steel frame house is quicker to build than double brick homes
Tight sealing around frames and insulations batts reduce your heating and cooling needs
Steel frames have better acoustic properties for sound reduction
Steel frames are computer designed, engineered and manufactured to a tolerance of less than 1mm (so they’re very precise!)
Perth’s sandy soil provides a stable foundation so our slabs don’t need extra thickening when we use double brick construction. In comparison, places like Melbourne or the Perth hills have more clay-based soil, so using double bricks would require a very thick slab.
The cost of using double bricks is very similar to frames in Perth. This is because our large brick manufacturing industry creates scales of economy. In comparison, the cost of double brick can be twice the cost of a framed home in New South Wales and Victoria.
It’s the standard, and it’s hard to change our mind. It takes a while for anything to change in Perth (the Elizabeth Quay development took 26 years to approve), so changing our standard practice is going to take a while.
Both framing materials perform the same function but have their own merits. Timber is the preferred option on the East Coast due to being readily available and easily sourced. It also has a quicker build time than steel frames and there is less heavy lifting on site. Steel frame homes are more preferred in Perth than timber since steel frame does not twist or warp. The sturdy material is more akin to bricks, so it’s much easier to get Perth home buyers on board.
Absolutely! There is a growing demand for framed homes thanks in large to the quality of TrueCore steel as seen on the TV show The Block. As more home owners become aware of TrueCore’s unique benefits, the popularity of the product will increase. Plus, the huge shortage of bricklayers caused by the Government Grants building boom is speeding up interest.
Steel framed homes (aka brick veneer) won’t have as long a delay because fewer bricks are used. For example, approximately 3,000 bricks are used for an average-sized steel frame home. In contrast, 10,000 bricks are used for a double brick home.
Sure will! We use the same window frames, door frames and cornices with both construction methods, meaning they will look identical. The garage will be built exclusively with bricks and will look the same as a double brick garage.
Yep, we’ve already handed over brick veneer homes to our clients like this home in Byford. You can also check out the progress photos of another brick veneer home in Ellenbrook.
At Move Homes, we give you the option to choose the building materials to construct and design your property. We also have existing home plans and house designs that can be mixed and matched to help you create the design that’s perfect for your lifestyle. Otherwise, we’re more than happy to create a custom home design to suit you.
Want to find out more about what’s included in our homes? Send us a message below and one of our team members will get back to you.
Over the last 50 years we have proudly built over 15,000 homes for Australian families. We have the same values today as we did in 1969 when we built our first home in Light Street Dianella.
Our commitment is to provide you with complete transparency and give you a real understanding of all aspects of your home loan.