Too Much Choice? (aka Pick A Brick)

When we got the list of inclusive bricks from Wisdom Homes I was thrilled to see a list of 55 bricks to pick from.  Surely out of 55 there would be one that just sung out to us that it was “the one” right?!

55 dropped to 44 once we took away all the non-exposure grade bricks.  Building in an area with high salinity, exposure bricks are an essential requirement. Still thats a lot of bricks to pick from.  From there it was time to narrow down the colours so I took screenshots of all the included bricks from the supplier websites and dumped them in a spreadsheet.


Narrowing down the colours here – we could take out anything cream or light coloured.  A retaining wall at the back of our apartment looks like this after 6 years of no sunlight (weeds, algae and moss thrive in the conditions but not much else).  We also have a covenant in our development – no textured bricks, they must be one colour – no blends and nothing mottled.



On the other hand, I absolutely love the red/brown bricks on the side of our building, especially paired with the white render.  They look most like Austral Gertrudis Brown to me which is outside our included choices and our budget.

The closest matches looking online seemed to be PGH Gibson or Gravel.  I loved that PGH built all their sample walls with natural and off white mortar.



Brick yards will give you addresses of recent deliveries so you can go and see them “in real life”…with PGH this is quite hit and miss as most are in new developments, sometimes the whole street isn’t even on google maps and you might only have the lot number which disappears as soon as the build is complete.  Lots of research and patience is required!

TIP: Google Maps has a function called “Your Places” where you can create a custom map and drop as many pins as you like.  I did this for all the houses we wanted to view (and the street was on google maps) from our address lists then loaded it up on my phone while we went out to look at them.  It made it much easier to find the quickest route around them all.  You can add custom labels to include the brick name, and even colours if you wanted to have each brick in a different coloured pin.   If you’re taking photos try to write down the the order you saw them so you can identify the brick in the photo again later.


Here are some of the homes we saw with PGH Gibson and Gravel (hover over them to see which brick they are).  It’s weird and awkward looking at other people’s houses, I won’t lie.

We came away from our brown brick recce disappointed.  They just looked a little bland and dull without the variation in brick colour we have on our apartment building.  The house with the grey Mazda did give us good perspective on our planned colours though, we will have similar rendered and weatherboarded areas, plus we want dark window frames.  Most places paired it with lots of creamy yellow shades which we didn’t like at all.


We did however also see this house which we liked.  We had originally said no to slurry bricks that are painted because of the risk of chipping but it was clear that an included non-slurry brick was pretty uninspiring to us and we have no money to pay for more expensive bricks. A quick bit of rummaging in that pile of stuff turned up some Austral packaging so we went back to their brickyard.


We’re almost certain the house was either Blackberry (middle) or Rosewood (Left).  I had originally picked Blackberry as my favourite before we had our “no slurry bricks” discussion but my husband wasn’t so sold because its a bit patchy with some of the base brick colour showing through.  I thought that would hide any chipping better.

Austral Blackberry

So we got some more addresses to take a look at these.  Happy days – Austral include homes in the local area near the brick yard, not just in the new developments out west!

First was Rosewood – the guy who owned the house was working outside so I chatted with him briefly.  He was really happy with how they came out, and his overall build with Clarendon for anyone considering them!  He said their bricklayer was really careful and they had zero issues with chipping.  They looked much greyer than the brickyard wall and quite uniform.


Austral Rosewood – Close Up

Then we went to check out the house built in Blackberry in our local area.

Austral Blackberry
Austral Blackberry – Close Up

Blackberry was more mottled and the bricks looked much warmer than Rosewood but that could be the direct sunlight.  Either way the husband “was happy with either of those” so it looks like I win and will be getting my way with Austral Blackberry.


2 thoughts on “Too Much Choice? (aka Pick A Brick)

  1. Hi Jennifer
    I love your custom facade. We are thinking of building a Majestic (knockdown rebuild) and keen to understand how much to budget for a facade as yours? Also I do love your spreadsheet of all the changes etc, is this something you could share so I can keep abreast of my upgrades in a sensible way. 😊


    1. Our facade costs ended up being $19,500 – that includes the base Avanti facade, then the customisation and render. I would expect the costs to be slightly higher now as this was all priced up back in late 2016.

      My forecast spreadsheet has a lot of personal finances in it so it’s not something that I share. It has ended up with a forecast of all our expenditure and saving over the life of the build so we could budget for all our post build costs, all our different types of upgrades so we could play around with the budget and where to spend/save, and now it has all our post build costs such as fencing, furniture, blinds etc to make sure we don’t spend money twice (as we have a lot of deposits on items that we wont pay the remainder on until after the build is done).


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