Matching existing brickwork for house extensions
The problem in sourcing the perfect matching brick
Many older houses are built using masonry units (bricks and stones) manufactured by companies that are no longer operating any more. Also, bricks are made from clay and the colours are often unique to the batch obtained from the clay pit it originate from which itself is highly likely to be exhaused by now. As such, it may turn out to be extremely hard finding the absolute perfect match with your existing building masonry units.
In the rare cases of this problem arising we strive to find a match that ensures that the finished building is both aesthetically pleasing and that the character of house is retained as best as possible according to your budget while taking into account any planning conditions that are in force. Planning permission for Listed Building and homes in the Conservation Areas stipulate that you find an exact matching masonry units.
While bricks that are often reclaimed are more environmentally friendly, your budget may not stretch to the extra cost involved when using reclaimed bricks. The additional costs are often down to purchasing more bricks than required because you end up discarding the occasional ones due to poor condition which are deemed unsuitable for a building. Other cost to consider is additional labour time are often needed for chipping away the occasional mortar attached to the reclaimed masonry units.
If all else fails, it is not unusual to commission a brick manufacturer to carry out one off tailor made brick to reasonably match your existing building. We say reasonably since you have to take into account the aging and weathering of existing brickwork and that of the brand new bricks. This however can often be the most expensive solution to solving the matching brick problem.
Sourcing masonry units made of natural stones
Finding a match for older building originally constructed using masonry unit cut from natural stone is often much more harder than finding a matching brick. This is because quarry/mines where the stone originated from are often no longer operating. It is possible for texture of the stone and/or colour to be unique to that particular quarry and so can't be sourced elsewhere. When faced with no alternatives then the price of reclaimed masonry units made from the same natural stone source are often at a premium.