So you’re living in one of Sydney’s federation brick homes? Well, count yourself lucky because these beautiful and unique homes are a significant part of Australia’s architectural history. The name itself, “federation” stems from our federation as the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901.

Your federation house represents the development of our unique architectural style. Overlapping influences from America, France and Britain’s Edwardian period – creating our very own Aussie identity. This ‘coming of age’ identity built homes that were better suited to our climate and displayed a more laid back, yet elegant design.

During this time, brick really experienced it’s peak in Australian home design, not just because of its availability but due to its charm and historic glamour. A great federation brick home represents strength, heritage and beauty.

If you’re a proud owner of one these charming homes, we’d thought we’d share a little homeowners guide on federation design and brickwork. So you can ensure you’re an informed homeowner.

Built throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, federation homes come in various forms and styles. As a homeowner, you’ll want to identify the style of your house in order to ensure you maintain it’s characteristics.

The most common style of federation homes in Sydney are,

The Queen Anne

Recognised as the most elaborate, theatrical and visually fussy, the Queen Anne truly encompassed the budding outdoor Aussie lifestyle with key features such as,

  • Front verandahs
  • Decorative timber posts
  • Tiled patios/entry ways
  • Elaborate roof lines


Usually a deep red or dark brown colour, which matches painted timber work and window displays.

As these homes were predominantly built in the19th-20th century, the mortar between the bricks primarily consisted of lime and sand. It’s crucial that your repointer understands the formula of the original mortar and restores joints using an appropriate match. Failing to do so could lead to more problems in the future, such as fretting.

Arts and Craft

The Arts and Craft movement brought innovation and homelike design to Australia’s federation homes. It emphasises natural materials and domestic design with informality. Key features include,

  • Natural/earthy tones
  • Plenty of windows
  • Archways


Deep red, earthy colours. Joints are often tuckpointed – a decorative white or black line added to the joint. You’ll want to ensure your tuckpointer/ repointer colour matches the new mortar to the original, ensuring you preserve the historical integrity.


Federation Bungalow

The federation bungalows are often recognised for their honest and simplistic design. These homes are usually single-story with a prominent front verandah.


Front facades are most often tuckpointed. You’ll want to keep an eye on your brick facade, as mortar can deteriorate over time. Spotting troublesome areas early, could allow you to save a little extra cash in the future.

Black brick staining 2

Sydney is filled with beautiful federation homes. These houses are the foundation of our architectural history, therefore as an owner it’s important that you recognise your federation’s historical features.

Keep in mind that you’ll want a craftsman who is dedicated to maintaining historical integrity and has a deep understanding of the requirements of your home.

Remember, your Premier Pointing team posses more than 17 years experience restoring federation homes all over NSW. So, if you’d prefer to work with a highly experienced and qualified team, call us today on 0450 942 080 or request a free quote.