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Why use reclaimed bricks and other building materials!

If you are you building a new property or possibly even refurbishing an old property, you may have considered using reclaimed bricks. This is particularly appealing since the reclaimed bricks often display weathering and a nice patina that a new brick may struggle to feature. Having said that, ET Clay Products Ltd have some wonderful bricks that look as good as some very rustic and weathered looking reclaimed bricks. This is because we have a tumbling process that gives the brick a beautiful worn and weathered appearance that makes them ideal for extensions to the older type property.

Some people may be looking to save money or to cut their construction emissions while adding instant character to their finished project. Using reclaimed bricks and other building materials may be just the way to achieve that weathered look that so many find appealing.

Building a new property or even refurbishing an existing one can be very frustrating and stressful, it can also be expensive and quite harmful to the environment. Recent studies have shown that about 44% of the United Kingdoms annual carbon emissions are generated from building and construction work. The UK also uses approximately 420 million tonnes of materials each year.

However, there is a way to make your home building project much cheaper and far more eco-friendly without having to compromise on the aesthetics you were seeking. To achieve the type of look that will match the period of your property, you could seek out reclaimed bricks and other building materials by visiting reclaimation yards or asking ET Clay Products Ltd about our range of weathered looking bricks. It has also been suggested that when trying to be environmentally sensible, people immediately think about putting in renewable technology like solar panels, whereas the cheapest way to make your home eco-friendly is to reuse items nobody wants anymore. You don't even have to have an 18th century property for reclaimed bricks and materials to look good, one of the beauties of architecture is the mix of the old and new.

So what are reclaimed materials?

Reclaimed materials are those bricks and other materials that are taken from one building project and reused as they are, or possibly even slightly modified, in a new building project.

At present only about 1% of available reclaimed materials are being used in building projects in the United Kingdom. This is quite a staggering fact when you consider that construction materials make up around 122 million tonnes of waste per year. So why do we miss such a great opportunity to reuse these bricks and other materials?

What kinds of materials can be reclaimed?

  • Bricks or blocks
  • Slate roof tiles
  • Wooden beams
  • Taps, sound pipework and bathroom fixtures
  • Window and door lintels
  • Window frames
  • Glass
  • Staircases
  • Lighting
  • Radiators
  • Fencing of wood and metal construction
  • Doors
  • Flooring materials
  • Concrete tiles
  • Steel columns
  • Beams

Reclaimed v. Recycled

Recycled materials, whether they are bricks or other building materials are completely reconfigured, for example, crushed, melted down, composted or shredded, to create new products. Recycling materials is far more time consuming and much less eco-friendly than simply using reclaimed materials.

What are the benefits of using reclaimed building materials?

The main reason for using reclaimed bricks and other building materials is that it is eco-friendly. You can also save carbon emissions by using reclaimed bricks and other materials rather than brand new ones as you have done away with the manufacturing process.

Is reclaimed always better?

In a word, no! Reclaimed bricks and other building materials may well save you some money as reclaimed bricks and other materials can often be cheaper than brand new items, but this isn't always the case. Occasionally the person who insists on matching the extension with the weathered look of the bricks on their property, will pay a lot more for that character. For this reason, ET Clay Products Ltd offers a brick matching service which our customers have come to find an invaluable resource. The current recession has meant that more and more people are looking to source their building materials from salvage yards to keep their costs down. Also using reclaimed materials can add character or even some historical value but beware of going all out for a completely reclaimed home as you may be left wanting for some of the materials

ET Clay Products Ltd have had quite a few customers call who have started a building project using reclaimed bricks, but have run out at some point of the construction process. Fortunately, our expertise is bricks and we were able to match the weathered look they desired and they were able to achieve a seamless end result thanks to our brick matching service.


t: 01708 200 304

t: 01708 200 304