Much of the UK’s housing stock is built using solid wall construction techniques. Only after about 1930 did cavity walls become commonplace, and even then their use was not widespread – indeed, some builders at the time thought they were building a cavity wall property but the distance between the inner and outer skins was far too narrow to provide any form of thermal efficiency.

Today, Building Regulations are in place, so all new-build properties must have cavity walls and these must be filled with an insulating material, such as Earthwool. Any property built after (approximately) 1955 is likely to have cavity walls that can be retro-filled with Cavity Wall Insulation.

But that only accounts for around 50% of the nation’s housing stock.

There’s an easy and quick (but not ‘surefire’) way to tell if your home has solid brick walls – and that’s the brick pattern. Typically, although not in every case, solid brick properties will have been built using a ‘flemish bond’ pattern.

To identify the difference, see the images below.

Cavity Wall

Cavity wall construction

Solid Wall

Solid wall construction

The right-hand image shows solid wall construction clearly – the bricks are not laid one after another, but rather, one brick is laid and then another is laid at right-angles to it.

Looking at a wall face-on, this means you’ll see a wide brick, followed by a half brick, followed by a wide brick, and so on…

Solid wall properties are far less efficient than cavity wall properties – the cavity provides an ‘air gap’ which keeps the heat in, and if filled this gap makes the home even more efficient. Solid brick properties are far less efficient, and transmit internal heat through the walls far more quickly.

If you live in a solid wall property, the best way to make it efficient by modern standards is to install External Wall Insulation – sometimes called EWI. Click on this link to find out more.

RenderRight Ltd. are specialists in both Internal and External Wall Insulation, as well as contract construction, plastering and rendering. Please call us on (02477) 240 245 to find out more. Alternatively, please click here to obtain a completely free, no-obligation quote.


How do I tell if my home has solid walls?