Building Materials

If you’re thinking about a new home or an extension to an existing home you may well have ideas about how the internal space will look and flow; it is understandable that we’ll imagine the new rooms decorated and finished. That is the end goal and that is likely to be the vision that you see. Consideration also, naturally, needs to be given to the choice of construction materials.

Brick or natural stone are the two most commonly used building materials. For home extensions the choice is likely to be decided by the materials the existing house is built from (brick to brick or stone to stone). For a complete new build, the choices open up and multiply. Brick or stone? What type of window frame and door material? Roof tiles, guttering and all the other elements of the project come in a range of different types and styles and all need to be decided upon and planned into the overall build project.

Occasionally, choice of material will be restricted due to where you are hoping to build. Conservation areas, National Parks (such as Northumberland National Park) and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (the North Pennines) each have their own guidelines in order to ensure that any new project fits in with the existing, protected local environment. As the Northumberland National Park’s Local Development Framework states, ‘The design quality of new development is of the highest importance in all planning decisions and emphasis should be given to developments which embrace all aspects of  design, including siting, massing, scale, proportion, rhythm, materials, and colour…’

3D Printed House

Bricks, stones and mortar have provided the walls for our houses for centuries and have, with appropriate maintenance, stood the test of time. But as with all aspects of our lives, new developments are continuing at a pace. You may be aware of 3D printers which, as the name suggests, print physical objects from heated plastic polymers. But how about the 3D printed house?

Remarkably, this is no mere fantasy. In June, Inhabitat ( reported how the HuaShang Tenda Company in China had constructed a huge 3D printer and had printed out an entire concrete-walled house in 45 days. It is, the report states, capable of withstanding an earthquake measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale.

Clearly this is a novel and interesting story but for now, we here at John Conroy and Son will continue to build houses and extensions with brick and stone. If you would like our help with your project, do give us a call on 0845 6893050 and we’ll be happy to discuss your ideas with you.