RIBA CPD Providers Network
Bricks made the traditional way

Blog

New or old: which bricks are right for your project?

3" Reclamation Handmade bricks by Imperial Bricks were used on this development

Specifying the right brick is one of the most important elements of a development, whether it’s new build or refurbishment.

Bricks offer durability, weather-resistance and minimal maintenance, but they’re also a major visual feature. The texture, size and finish of brickwork – and how it’s made – can change the style of a building significantly.

The bricks you choose can be one of the main factors that determines whether a property has a traditional or modern look. For example, metric bricks are used in everyday construction, with many different types available. Imperial-sized bricks are generally slightly larger and also offer a more traditional look (especially imperial handmade bricks) for instant kerb appeal, character and charm.

Imperial-sized bricks are usually a ‘must’ for renovating properties built before 1965 – or recreating that look. But imperial sizes vary across the UK. We found that in the North and Midlands in particular, there was a gap for 3” bricks due to the lack of quality, genuine reclaims so we developed several new handmade versions.

Olde Reclamation Clamp handmade bricks by Imperial Bricks were used on this barn extension

Restorations and extensions of period buildings will usually require sensitively matched imperial-sized bricks

The colour of bricks can also vary enormously depending on where you are in the UK. From London yellows, rich oranges in the Midlands, to reds in the South, there’s a specific shade for each and every region. This was down to the colouring of the local clay, where chemical variations in local soil resulted in differences in hue.

If you don’t have access to a reliable source of reclaimed bricks to match or complement the surrounding environment (and genuine reclaims of good quality are scarce), there is a growing market for new handmade bricks that can be customised, right down to the level of weathering.

The appeal of handmade bricks is extending further than for renovations or extensions of older properties. Designers and specifiers can let their creativity run free with all the options available and new builds can either blend in with existing properties, or stand out for the right reasons. With the Government having pledged £5bn for SME housebuilders, custom builders and developers by 2021, handmade bricks present an exciting opportunity for contemporary projects.

Reclamation Yellow Stock handmade bricks by Imperial Bricks were used to build this development at Moray Mews in London

This contemporary development at Moray Mews in London features Reclamation Yellow Stock handmade bricks which offer a traditional twist

Brick slips, or brick tiles, can also be used internally to create a ‘Manhattan penthouse’ exposed interior for residential or commercial buildings, as well as external cladding. Traditional handmade brick slips create an instantly aged appearance without the need for labour-intensive bricklaying and the ‘authentic exposed brick wall’ is a highly sought-after look.

Victorian Warehouse Handmade Brick Tiles by Imperial Bricks were used to create these attractive exposed brick feature walls

Handmade Brick Tiles are popular for creating these attractive exposed brick feature walls

Imperial Bricks specialises in offering the right bricks for the right projects, from manufacture through to planning advice and support. Architects and specifiers, merchants, housebuilders, developers and self-builders also benefit from over 50 regionally-matched, traditional handmade, waterstruck, wirecut and pressed bricks.


To find out more and request free samples, get in touch on 01952 750 816 or email sales@imperialbricks.co.uk.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,