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Stainless Sam

Some Signs Of Weakness In Building?

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I'm working up the materials list for a (very) small extension behind my garage. The most important ingredient is obviously bricks. I've given up trying to find a brick to match my 16 year old house and instead looked at every possible brick that might look vaguely similar on a dark night, made by UK brick manufacturers large and small.

After finding that I couldn't get any of the likely candidates for love nor money, I dug a bit deeper and found that one of (if not the) largest brick makers in the country isn't accepting any orders before the new year. Stocks have run dry and even when I contacted them, they could only tell me who gobbled up the last few items in July. My local builders' merchant reckons that they've been waiting for bricks for yonks with no sign of order fulfilment.

Now call me a cynic, but a growing economy plus a boom in house prices supported by Boy George and "right to buy" should have the furnaces going full tilt night and day and all weekend. Maybe they've just got a clear view of what's coming down the track.

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Surely merchants could import bricks, but then I guess it's mainly the UK who builds from brick for some reason?

Case concrete might be a better and cheaper solution? Quite a few of the 70's builds around here have concrete panel garages which are standing the test of time.

I have seen hundreds of cheap shoebox and social housing thrown up around here and cornwall. Most of them are timber framed with a brick skin. I have seen a few that are using a 'tile-like' skin rather than go to the expense and trouble of bricks.

Some of the social housing has a rendered finish so I guess they're steel framed with some kind of ready made panels.

Can't really see the point of building from bricks in 2014.

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In Whittlesey, near Peterborough where I live there's a Hanson (IIRC) site where they produce bricks. Been there for a very long time. Whenever I drive past there's a lot of bricks piled up. Perhaps they are pre-sold and the building coys leave them there for ease of storage and delivery, if not, then there's certainly capacity.

Perhaps others know more about how the brick stockpiling works?

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