Brick Houses Or Timber Houses: Which Kind Of House Should You Buy?

What’s important to you as a home owner? You may be surprised to find out there are more differences between timber and brick houses than you first thought!

Brick Houses Or Timber Houses: Which One Is Best?

Your intentions for the property, as well as your lifestyle choices and preferences, will ultimately determine which is the better choice for your situation. However, there are some considerations to be made when it comes to what you MIGHT be getting yourself in for.

How much truth to the old adage, “Live in timber, invest in brick”?

Ask anyone for their opinion (and if you’re buying a house – you’ll get it!) and you’re going to get mixed reactions on the question of timber or brick houses. Everyone’s response will come from their own preferences and experience, which leaves you, the prospective purchaser, at a bit of a loss.

So which is better? Timber houses or brick houses?

The little house on the hill

You’ve driven past it millions of times – dreaming about what it looks like inside. It goes up for sale and you walk through the open house, your heart in your mouth, imagining the possibilities. In your desperation to secure the deal you rush through pre-purchase inspections to get your name on that line and those keys in your hand.

The door closes behind you as you bring in your last box from the truck. You sit down on the couch, breathe a sigh of relief and look around. You REALLY look around. Properly. For the first time.

Little bumps and niggles start to betray themselves and you’re left thinking… In your rush to secure what you thought was the deal of a lifetime, have you gotten more than you bargained for?

Buying a home is a very personal experience. You’re pouring your hopes and dreams into a block of land. You might be looking for somewhere to raise a family, renovate or to build your investment portfolio.

Whether it’s timber or brick, a pre-purchase inspection is going to make all the difference when it comes to signing on that dotted line. Avoid getting ahead of yourself and get the professionals in the door to check what might just be lying underneath the floorboards!

Ever wondered what hidden horrors building inspectors come up against? Be warned before following this link – you may never look at some timber or brick houses the same way!

What can go wrong in timber houses?

This may sound fairly obvious but so many first home owners have thought, “It’ll never happen to me!”. Their houses have then, quite literally, fallen down around them.

We’re talking, of course, about termites and other pests. These conniving critters are far more likely to be found within the walls and floorboards of that beautiful timber home you’ve had your eye on. However, they are still capable of causing damage within a brick-based structure. If the termites have gone untreated and undetected you’re looking at severe structural damage to a home and your ‘perfect home’ dream being over before it began.

Timber houses are, by nature of their materials, sometimes more likely to present fire hazards. This means a thorough checking of any electrical wiring, the identification and removal of potentially catastrophic flammable situations and careful consideration of the surrounding area. A pre-purchase inspection will also identify if the timber has been appropriately treated with weather-resistant retardant.

The presence of mould and other dangerous carcinogens is also amplified in timber houses, as there is just more opportunity for mould to breed, breathe and grow. Water damage may have occurred at some point in the property’s history and have been merely painted over – undetectable without an appropriate pre-purchase property inspection.

There are many positive aspects to owning and living in a timber home; they’re quite timeless in design (particularly in Queensland) and can offer effective cooling solutions that won’t impact energy bills. Timber homes have a pleasing aesthetic quality that will only increase in value over time so can be a savvy investment if appropriate checks have been made.

What can go wrong in brick homes?

Don’t be fooled by the sturdy look of brick houses. Quite often there can be a wealth of issues hiding behind those thick brick frontages that only a building and pest inspection will be able to identify.

Pests are still an issue in brick houses. Wooden floors, wooden stud frames and window frames can hide termites. There are a million and one places for nefarious insects to build their nests. Rodents, too, may appreciate the solid structure and create a den in any nooks and crannies.

Structural concerns such as concrete cancer, hidden asbestos, plumbing issues and electrical stability are significant concerns in brick houses. Depending on the age of the structure, the original materials used and the professionalism applied in the first build, you could be unknowingly dealing with the little house from hell.

The presence of mould, hidden water damage and issues with draughts, heating and cooling could lurk in your brick home without you being aware of them until it’s too late.

Timber or brick houses require the same due diligence

The checks and balance that Action Property Inspection put in place are designed to provide you with peace of mind and a sense of stability.

Regardless of the kind of structure you’re interested in, it’s vital to protect your investment, your family and your future by ensuring you know what you’re dealing with.

Choosing a timber home because it looks charming, or being interested in brick houses because they look safe, could ultimately end up costing you a lot more in the long run. An appropriate pre-purchase inspection may be an upfront expense but it’s one that’s designed to save you in the future. You deserve a quality inspection that looks for absolutely everything – not the casual walk-through that some companies think they can get away with.

Debating the pros and cons of timber and brick houses? Get expert advice before you sign. Contact Action Property Inspections today!


About Andrew

Andrew Mackintosh has been answering home inspection questions in the greater Brisbane area since 1995. He has personally carried out over 20,000 building inspections and is a licensed builder and licensed building inspector, Member of Queensland Master Builders Association & Institute of Building Consultants. Being the business owner and the inspector, Andrew is passionate about providing clients with excellent customer service, value for money, honest, unbiased, thorough inspection and reporting in a professional and timely manner to allow clients to make informed decisions when purchasing property.