For many homeowners who are demolishing and rebuilding their home, it is a goal to try and retain as much of the heritage appearance and history of the home as possible during the rebuild by reusing the building materials. Unfortunately, the quantity of usable bricks after a demolition can vary a lot depending on the condition of the home and the original quality of the bricks.
Here are 3 ideas on reusing bricks from your home, depending on the quality of bricks you retrieve.
Reasonable quantity of building grade bricks
If you retrieve a reasonable quantity of bricks in good condition, you can use these for a feature wall including for a kitchen bench island or feature display in a family room. As the bricks may not be the same size as modern bricks it can be hard to use them in the same structure as the main home bricks, but by creating a feature you can scale the feature to the bricks you have, and if necessary, supplement the strength of the structure with hidden beams and rebar (if the bricks are not a matching quality to the rest of the build).
Reasonable quality of whole bricks which aren't building quality
In some home demolitions, you may produce a lot of whole bricks, but these may be dry or crumbly (especially in the case of old clay bricks if the property has not been well maintained). These bricks can be great for non weight-bearing applications, such as using them in the garden as feature paving or garden bed edgers. These can be especially good when you are matching brickwork in the garden to the home in the case of a partial demolition and extensions.
In some cases, you may not generate many full bricks, particularly if the house has been in very poor condition for some years. In that case, you may have to be a little more creative with how you use your recycled bricks. Some options include crushing bricks to use as a feature in poured aggregate (in place of paving) or chipping bricks for use in garden beds. Using bricks in the garden can provide a warm pop of colour as well as help to preserve water usage and minimise the growth of weeds.
If you are looking for ways to reuse your old bricks in your new project you should speak to your demolition company or a brick recycler. No matter what condition the bricks are in, there will be some way that you can use them in your new home.