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10 myths about masonry homes

Rebecca Foster takes an in-depth look at the pros and cons of brick and block construction to assess whether it’s suitable for your scheme
The deep scarlet hue of the bespoke Hunsingore blend, supplied by York Handmade, infuses this striking modern scheme with extra character

Despite the advent of many modern construction systems, masonry remains a relevant, tried-and-tested route to building houses and a popular choice amongst the nation’s self builders. Whether you’re creating a heritage-style home or a super-modern dwelling, this building method offers a straightforward and cost-effective path to a bespoke home. Most of us are familiar with cavity wall construction, but there are some common misconceptions associated with masonry. This month, I’m getting to the bottom of these to reveal the essential information you need to know in order to decide whether it’s the right system for your scheme.

1 Myth: masonry homes are the traditional option

Brick-built properties have certainly played a key role in the UK’s architectural heritage, as masonry has been used to build houses – on and off – since Roman times. “It’s therefore only natural that it should continue to be popular today,” says Mike Faloona, regional sales manager at manufacturer Northcot Brick.

However, if you’re not keen on the traditional pattern of exterior brickwork, don’t rule out masonry: it’s absolutely possible to create a chic, contemporary home. “With cavity wall construction, we can build houses in blockwork with timber cladding, render or a brick external skin, so any look can be achieved,” says Andrew Edwards, managing director at Revolution Homes. Features such as swathes of architectural glazing, open plans and vaulted spaces can also be realised at relatively little extra cost.

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About Build It

Build It magazine’s January issue is packed with detailed practical advice & inspiring projects to help you create your dream home. Here’s a taster of what’s inside: • Stunning contemporary oak frame home (page 22) • Revealed: your new right to self build (page 62) • The best low-maintenance cladding options (page 69) • Running an air source heat pump (page 80) • Expert guide to gaining planning permission (page 94) • Designing the perfect extension (page 106) … and more!