Housing affordability is a hot topic at the moment as Australians struggle to keep the great Australian dream alive.

Families are looking for good deals on home designs as well as home finance to achieve their ideal home.

Factors such as interest rates, land prices and taxes and charges are out of the control of home buyers.

But according to Eve Castle, Marketing Manager Austral Bricks QLD, when families are looking at housing affordability they can make decisions on the materials used in the construction of their chosen home that will affect the price of the home and its ongoing maintenance costs.

“The ability to service mortgage payments can be affected by bills for maintenance of the home, so the choice of building materials is quite important.

“One way to reduce maintenance costs is to choose bricks for the exterior walls of the home. The Austral Bricks range includes a beautiful, natural selection of bold or subtle colours and textures, including larger bricks for special effects, to give a fresh perspective. There are many new bricks including Colourbrick which create stunning architectural elements.

“The point is that this avoids the costs of rendering which can add thousands of dollars to the cost of a new home, depending on its size. Render will also require ongoing maintenance whereas bricks are virtually maintenance free. Austral Bricks Colourbrick is a great alternative to render.

“The same applies to other materials such as timber and lightweight products which will require repainting and possibly repairing at some time in the future,” said Eve Castle.

Eve Castle says brick is a highly durable building product which is hard to damage. “Bricks are also recyclable extending their life cycle which is good for the environment.

“The thermal mass benefits of bricks can be maximised by having internal walls built with bricks. The thermal mass of bricks, in a passively designed home, can moderate internal temperatures in times of weather extremes reducing the need for artificial cooling and heating, saving on energy bills.

“The need to reduce greenhouse emissions and make our homes more sustainable, quieter and more comfortable, is making the idea of building a full brick home more attractive,” Eve Castle added.

“By lowering the maintenance costs of the family home greenhouse gas emissions are also reduced as the there is no need to use the products required for repainting, rendering or repairing and their transportation.

“So although there may be costs you can’t avoid when building a new home families choosing unrendered bricks can reduce the price of the home and its ongoing running costs,” Eve Castle continued.

Austral Bricks display centres are at Rochedale, Riverview, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Toowoomba Ballina, and Townsville.