Why Are Beach Houses Not Made Of Brick?

Searching for the perfect piece of vacant land in your favorite beachside town or city with the idea of building a beach house may be the fulfillment of a life-long dream. This dream, however, can turn into a nightmare if not enough time is set apart for planning and designing, especially on what materials to use when building a beach house.

Brick houses cannot withstand the constant changes and conditions of the soil and weather prevalent on beaches. These extreme and corroding conditions cause premature deterioration of the bricks and mortar that holds the building together. Wood is the perfect solution to this problem.

Countries like the USA have stringent building requirements when erecting buildings on beaches. Therefore, it is vital to adhere to all building regulations and requirements for safety when building on the beach. One such restriction is using bricks to build houses on the beach.

Reasons Why Bricks Should Not Be Used To Build Beach Houses

Brick and mortar do not stand the test of time when exposed to the ever-changing conditions that living on the beach presents. The following conditions have the most significant negative impact on brick structures built on beaches.

  • Movement of the foundation. Houses built on the beach should be able to move along with any shift in the sand upon which it stands. Unfortunately, brick houses have no “give,” causing structural, plumbing, and electrical problems over a period.
  • Deterioration of mortar. Builders use mortar to bond bricks. Although the bricks may withstand most conditions for extended periods, the mortar may start to perish and crumble when exposed to natural elements such as saltwater and dampness.
  • Changes in temperature cause materials to shrink or expand, and bricks do not have this ability. Therefore, other building materials may be more suitable for building on beaches. However, this occurrence can hasten the deterioration of the mortar that holds the bricks, making the house unstable and unsafe.
  • Hurricanes cause high winds and rain that challenge any structure. Well-built wooden and concrete houses can withstand storms better than brick houses. Brick houses are just not up for the challenges of hurricanes, and fierce winds can cause their demise or severe damage to the structure. Brick houses are also more expensive to repair compared to concrete or wood.
  • Brick houses do not do well in terms of handling earthquakes. Brick houses are very stable, which is part of the challenge when facing an earthquake. Since the brick structure does not “give,” an earthquake can cause considerable damage to the building and add danger due to falling bricks and mortar causing injuries and death.

Regulations For Building Beach Houses

Authorities tend to amend regulations for building houses from time to time. One such occurrence was the rules’ changes when hurricane Hugo spread vast destruction through seaside towns in North and South Carolina, USA.

The new regulations stipulate that all houses must be on tall piling. The rules also say that builders must securely bolt floors together. All must then connect to the pilling, which is impossible with a brick house. A brick house will not survive in areas where prevalent storm surges.

Building Materials That Can Be Used To Build Beach Houses

Fortunately, there are more options to choose from when building a house on the beach other than bricks. These options are often more affordable and offer more creative freedom when planning the structure. In addition, these materials are often easier to work with and save on the time it takes to erect a house. As a result, less time building saves on overall costs.

Wood is an excellent material choice when building houses on the beach.

Wood is light, hardy, flexible, and more affordable than bricks.

  • The timber flexibility ensures a bit of a “give” when the house’s foundation shifts slightly. Brick houses have no flexibility. The mortar will crack and crumble if there are shifts in the foundation.
  • Seeing wood is much lighter to work with than bricks make for more accessible building and shorter building times, saving construction time and costs.
  • Wood also tends to manage extreme weather conditions and changes in tides much better than houses built from brick.
  • It is quicker and cheaper to replace or repair damages done to a wood structure after damage caused by, say, a hurricane than it is with a brick building.
  • In modern times, wood trumps brick and mortar as a building material, seeing it is environmentally friendly and esthetically more pleasing.
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Essential Things To Remember When Building A Beach House

Following are the most important things to keep in mind when building a house on the beach and the upkeep of the said property.

  • Beach house foundations needed meticulous designing and built to withstand the accelerated erosion of soil and shoreline due to the constant movement of the waves. Beach house foundations move, which can cause them to deteriorate over the years, making frequent inspections thereof necessary to keep them safe.
  • Salt deposits, erosion, and rust have detrimental effects on beach houses. Although wood seems to manage these situations better than most other materials, it is impossible to stay completely clear of materials that the salt may damage. Windows, for instance, can get stuck due to salt deposits which makes maintenance of these areas a frequent affair.
  • Mold and mildew infestation may result from the high humidity levels near the ocean. Therefore, properties need an inspection for the infestation at regular intervals. In addition, mold and mildew cause deterioration and rot of building materials and, thus, weaken the beach house’s integrity.


There is an abundance of materials to choose from to build and decorate a beach house. Undoubtedly, one needs to do enough research to decide what materials one should use for a beach house. In addition, it is also vital that all building regulations stipulating the rules are adhered to when building. Adhering to the rules and regulations will ensure your beach house’s satisfactory and successful completion.

Research and planning will go a long way in realizing the dream of owning and living in a beach house. Fun and happy times spent with family and friends can turn into cherished memories in this special place.