In the Perth metropolitan area, a large majority of all new homes are double brick structure. However in many regional areas of WA, framed construction is very popular.
One of the main reasons why double brick is so popular is because of our sandy soil. The soil type is very stable with very little ground movement. Many visitors to Perth cannot believe that we build houses on a sand pad! In the hills area of Perth with its more clay based soils and in the regions where soils are more reactive, frame construction is more noticeable.
You will probably find much to your surprise that building costs for brick and brick veneer are very similar in Perth. This is very different to NSW or Victoria where double brick can be twice the cost of a brick veneer house.
Part of the reason for the cost similarity in Perth is the scale economies of the major brick manufacturers and the reluctance of building contractors to “depart from the norm”. Anything different (like a brick veneer home) will add to building costs substantially.
You must also consider the future saleability of your home. Perth homebuyers prefer double brick. Brick is seen to be a sound and attractive building product, providing thermal insulation in summer and winter, sound proofing and fire resistance.
Rising damp (not necessarily containing soluble salts) is an issue that can arise in Perth. It can damage the face of brickwork or external plaster finishes up to a height of around 600mm. Increased use of external plastering systems and high porosity face brick has led to more problems with damaged building fabric.
Damp proof courses must be located in accordance with the Building Code of Australia to form a continuous damp proofing barrier around the building. They must also be sufficiently wide enough to extend the entire width of the masonry leaves.