| Final grade |
Soffit and fascia
and gas laterals | House
wrap | >>Masonry
| Stucco | Siding
| Exterior concrete
| Exterior paint
Brick has been used in construction for thousands
of years. Brick is made of fired clay. It has a
timeless look that adds value and distinction to
your home. Up until the early 1900's brick was used
as a structural component for walls. However, brick
is rarely used as a structural component in residential
construction today. Brick is used today as a veneer
and carries no structural load except for itself
(see graphic at right).
Brick comes in various colors, sizes, and finishes.
There is very little standardization in the industry.
Standard bricks are roughly 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 x 8 inches.
Choices for colors, textures and size vary by manufacturer.
Brick laying begins after the framing inspection.
Brick laying is very labor intensive. Brick is laid
on top of the foundation and bonded with mortar
joints. It is tied to the framed walls with masonry
ties. After the brick is laid the mortar joints
are struck (smoothed and formed) with a striking
tool. During cold weather it is important to protect
the mortar from freezing using tarps or blankets.
Brick can be laid in several patterns or a combination
of several patterns. The most simple and most common
is a running bond. Bricks can be laid on their ends
in a soldier or sailor pattern. There is almost
not limit to the types and combinations of patterns
that can be created. Remember that as the design
get more complicated the price for the job rises.
Besides the various patterns, Quoins and stone lintels
can be added to enhance the design.
Stone has been used for thousands of years as a
construction material. Like brick, stone was used
as a structural wall in buildings hundreds of years
ago. Today stone is used as a veneer and carries
no structural weight except itself.
There are basically two types of stone used in residential
construction; real stone and cultured stone. The
preparation is the same for real stone and cultured
stone, the wall is covered with building felt and
a wire lath attached to the exterior sheathing.
The main differences are that real stone must rest
on the foundation ledge and cultured stone because
of it's lighter weight can just adhere to the wall
without horizontal support. Many masons feel however,
that cultured stone looks much better and mimics
real stone when set on top of a foundation edge,
(see graphic above).
The other difference between real stone and cultured
stone is real stone must be wired to the wall during
installation. After the mortar around the stone
sets the wires are clipped. This is one of the factors
that makes real stone more labor intensive to install
and thus more expensive. Mortar must be protected
from freezing in cold weather using tarps or blankets.
Real Versus Cultured
Communication is the key to getting a good brick
job. If the plans don't specify the exact brick
design, you will either need to draw up a brick
plan or discuss the work in detail with the brick
mason. If the design is fairly simple it probably
won't need to be drawn.