Wetherby Building Systems has seen its brick slip sales increase by 55% in the last six months following the widely reported brick shortage and lack of skilled bricklayers, which has led to specifiers, contractors and end clients looking for alternative solutions.
With brick manufacturers unable to keep up with demand following the upturn in the house building market, and new reports confirming skilled bricklayers are in short supply, enquiries regarding Wetherby’s brick slip systems have doubled in recent months. The external wall insulation manufacturer has supplied more than 1.5m of its new EpsiBrick-7 brick slips alone to both new build and refurbishment housing projects across the UK over the last three months.
With industry bodies and government parties stating that the UK needs at least 200,000 new homes a year, house builders are under pressure to complete new housing projects on time and cannot afford delays as a result of the lengthy waits for brick currently being experienced. However, the traditional, familiar feel of brick is still the preferred finish for many house builders, with others bound by planning constraints that stipulate a brick finish.
Using a brick slip finish, such as Wetherby’s BBA approved EpsiBrick-7, means it is possible to achieve a traditional brick appearance, while benefitting from the time savings associated with alternative construction methods.
Applied to a masonry property, EpsiBrick-7 is significantly quicker to install, compared with completing an outer layer of brickwork, but the end result will provide the same traditional, familiar look and feel. Unlike alternative brick slip systems available, which often comprise an acrylic brick finish, the EpsiBrick-7 product is manufactured and fired in exactly the same way as traditional clay bricks, providing a genuine brick finish. Currently available in 10 different colour finishes, the EpsiBrick-7 system ensures there is a product option to meet almost any design criteria and effectively complement surrounding properties.
Commenting on its latest brick slip sales figures, Wetherby Sales Director, Paul Kirby, said: “Sales of our EpsiBrick-7 brick slip system have exceeded our expectations; we are being inundated with enquiries for both new build and refurbishment housing projects.
“When we developed the product, it was important for us that it looked like a genuine brick finish and not just an acrylic imitation. We always want to add value with all of our product offerings and with EpsiBrick-7 we can provide an authentic brick finish for a property, while reducing build time”.