As restorers of historic masonry, we love discussing not only the historicity of ancient building techniques and materials but also how they can be utilized today. As we’ve documented in the past, the history of brick-building is an interesting one, manifesting as a sort of “unintentional cooperation” between different civilizations to make bricks the dominant building material of the ages by expounding on its uses and perfecting the practice.
Today, however, the use of bricks has largely fallen by the wayside. Where once the material could be seen on every façade, its only variation coming from the color it happened to be painted, today the material has been relegated more or less to an architectural throwback. Despite its waning popularity, brick still has much to give, and if used properly is still as beautiful as any other stone one could use.
Using Bricks Today
We are consistently impressed at Abstract Masonry at the sheer amount of ways brick has been incorporated into the Utah aesthetic. Whenever we begin a building restoration project, our expert teams must identify exactly which type of brick they’re dealing with before they start, so that there are no inconsistencies in the reconstruction. That level of variety gives beauty to the restoration of Salt Lake City and plenty of options for homeowners today who are looking to update their own exterior.
Benefits of Bricks
There are numerous benefits to incorporating brick into the building of your home — it’s not the granddaddy of building materials for nothing. Timelessly beautiful and environmentally sound, brick deserves to be brought back. Below are a few reasons we think why.
- Bricks Save the Planet: Bricks as a building block are kind of a wonder stone. They conserve energy (and save you money) as a product of their thermal mass. Brick takes a long time to heat up and a long time to cool down. This means that your house stays cooler during the day and warmer at night, while any air that escapes the interior through the insulation isn’t completely lost, but absorbed and released by the bricks.
- Bricks are Dynamic: In days past (as Salt Lake City restoration projects will show), pioneers used to build their buildings almost entirely out of brick. Today, builders can offer more options to homeowners by working either in solid brick or employing a brick veneer.
- Solid Brick: Built in multiple layers, solid brick offers incredible structural support with none of the hassle of major upkeep or insect infestation.
- Brick veneer: While the majority of the building is built with steel or wood, a brick veneer can consist of either actual brick or a brick-like pattern on linoleum siding. This is the more cost-effective option as well as the easiest to install.
- Bricks are Timeless: However you decide to incorporate bricks into your aesthetic, the simple fact is that bricks are timeless. Used almost exclusively in the pioneer and colonial style, bricks don’t just evoke a bygone era, they are practically part of our DNA, both as Utahns and as Americans. Historic masonry doesn’t get much more historic than brick.