Why Aren’t Homes Made of Structural Brick Anymore?

Structural brick homes, once a staple in architectural design, have become increasingly rare in modern construction. At IGM Masonry Brick Repairs, we often get asked why this shift has occurred and what it means for current and future building practices. In this blog, we’ll explore the reasons behind the decline of structural brick homes and the alternatives that have taken their place.

1. Cost of Materials and Labor

Why It’s Changed: Constructing homes with structural brick requires a substantial amount of materials and highly skilled labor. Over the years, the cost of bricks and the specialized labor needed for bricklaying have increased significantly.

Economic Alternatives: Modern construction often favors less expensive and easier-to-work-with materials like wood framing and vinyl siding, which can reduce build times and costs.

More on Costs: For insights on how the costs of materials influence construction practices, visit our costs of brick repair blog.

2. Construction Speed

Why It’s Changed: Building with structural brick is a time-consuming process that requires meticulous work. In today’s fast-paced construction industry, there is a strong preference for methods and materials that can speed up the building process.

Efficient Alternatives: Pre-fabricated materials and modular construction techniques have become popular because they expedite the building process without compromising on quality.

Learn About Modern Techniques: Explore how modern construction techniques improve efficiency on our history of brick masonry blog.

3. Insulation and Energy Efficiency

Why It’s Changed: Although brick has excellent thermal mass properties, it doesn’t provide sufficient insulation by itself. Modern building codes require higher energy efficiency standards that structural brick alone cannot meet.

Energy-Efficient Solutions: Materials like insulated concrete forms (ICFs), structural insulated panels (SIPs), and advanced framing techniques incorporate better insulation, significantly improving energy efficiency.

4. Structural Advances and Regulations

Why It’s Changed: Modern building codes and regulations have evolved, emphasizing seismic performance, load-bearing capabilities, and fire resistance. Structural brick may not always meet these rigorous standards without additional support structures.

Preferred Alternatives: Steel and reinforced concrete are now often preferred for their superior strength and compliance with stringent building codes.

5. Maintenance Requirements

Why It’s Changed: Brick veneer and other similar applications offer the aesthetic benefits of brick without the extensive maintenance and potential longevity issues associated with structural brick homes.

Low-Maintenance Alternatives: Maintenance-friendly materials like fiber cement and engineered wood offer durability with less upkeep, aligning with today’s preference for low-maintenance living.

Modern Applications of Brick in Home Construction

Even though structural brick is less common, brick remains a preferred material for aesthetic and functional benefits. Modern homes often use brick veneer or brick in combination with other materials to balance aesthetics, cost, and performance.

Versatile Brick Applications:

  • Brick Veneer: Provides the look of traditional brick with less weight and easier installation.
  • Accent Walls and Features: Incorporate brick for accent walls, fireplaces, and exterior features to add character and value.


Specialized Services:
At IGM Masonry Brick Repairs, we specialize in brick veneer repairs, ensuring your home maintains its classic beauty and integrity.

Why Choose IGM Masonry Brick Repairs?

At IGM Masonry Brick Repairs, we understand the history and evolution of brick construction. Our expert team is dedicated to preserving the aesthetic appeal and structural integrity of your masonry works, offering tailored solutions for both traditional and modern construction needs.

Why Choose IGM Masonry?

At IGM Masonry, we specialize in a wide range of masonry and fireplace services to ensure your home is safe and beautiful. Our licensed and experienced professionals are dedicated to providing the highest quality craftsmanship and customer satisfaction.