Brick is one of the most popular building materials in Australia due to its energy efficiency, durability and ability to withstand fire, termites and harsh weather conditions. It is widely used in the construction of exterior walls, cladding, flooring, partition walls and architectural features. If you're sourcing for this material for your project, it's vital to note that the process is quite complicated.
Beyond knowing the required material quantity, you also need to get quality bricks as well. This article will address four steps to follow to ensure you get quality bricks while sticking to your budget.
Know What to Look for in Quality Brick
What should you look for in quality masonry bricks for your project? Bricks come in various qualities depending on the production process. The highest quality features bricks that are properly burnt and have no salt deposits, sharp edges, uneven shapes or imperfections. There is a lower class of the material that comes in irregular sizes and shapes. There's another type that features bricks that aren't adequately burnt. These also come in odd shapes and sizes.
All these types are usable at different stages of construction. For example, the highest quality brick that's well burnt and in regular shapes and sizes is used in building cladding, exterior walls and architectural features. The other qualities are used in interior walls as the imperfections will be covered by plaster. Determine what grade you need for which stage in the project. Check that the physical characteristics of the material match the specifications. For example, bricks for exterior walls should be properly burnt and with a uniform colour.
Come Up With a Cost Management Plan
The cost of using brick in construction can be pretty high. According to research, bricklayers charge around $1,500 to lay 1000 standard bricks. Since you can't do much to cut down on labour costs, it's best to think of ways to manage and lower the cost of the material. As you come up with a plan, focus on the following aspects:
Acquisition of Masonry Bricks
Different brick manufacturers have varying prices for their materials. Before settling for one, look around and get quotes from various firms. Visit their facilities and examine the quality of the brick against your needs. You're bound to get a slightly lower price by comparing suppliers. Also, don't shy away from negotiating for a discount, especially since you will buy in bulk.
Brick is manufactured all over Australia; therefore, it's easy to find the material locally. Avoid shopping in different cities or states as this will tremendously increase the shipping costs. Shop locally to reduce the cost of transporting the materials to the site. The closer the manufacturer is to the site, the lower the cost of transporting the material.
Brick is a heavy material, and you will need help to load and offload it. This translates into increased handling costs. Thus, make a plan to keep the prices low. For example, if buying locally, you can use your builders, who are already getting paid by the hour, to load and offload the material. Thus, you don't have to worry about paying other workers who may charge more by the hour than your construction crew.
Examine Quality and Quantity Post-Shipping
It's essential to conduct a post-shipping inspection of your bricks to make sure that the quality and quantity are as ordered. If some of the bricks weren't checked properly, you might end up with poor quality ones which may not be usable for your project. Thus, during offloading, inspect the materials for quality issues such as size, shape and colour. Count the individual pieces as well to make sure you're paying for the exact quantity you ordered.
Shopping for masonry brick for your project allows you to look for quality materials at excellent prices. However, the process can be challenging if you're not construction-savvy. Follow the above tips to ensure you have a seamless experience when buying bricks for residential construction.