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http://manneedsgod.co.uk,http://frankmenchise.com,http://diybrickwork.com,
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Friday, March 5, 2021

Link Block walls and garden rock retaining walls, part three

Dear readers, we are writing these posts, because we want to write some D.I.Y. Brickwork and building retaining walls and other things, so that you can learn something about how to built something yourself, at least in theory. But in these blogs we are also trying to get you interested to become a tradesman. So, keep reading please. This blog is about D.I.Y  Link Block Retaining Walls, and garden rock walls.   
You are here, http://oldman-lifeworks.blogspot.com

My other sites; http://frankmenchise.com,http://diybrickwork.com,http://manneedsgod.co.uk  

Anyhow, you can also see more at this addresses, DIY brickwork  

 and,  http://diybrickwork.com

DEAR READERS, LET ME EXPLAIN, THIS BLOG WILL BE LONGER THAT OUR PREVIOUS BLOGS, BECAUSE I WANT TO SHOW BLOGGER, THAT MY BLOGS HAVE SOME TEXT CONTENT, I HOPE IT WORKS, AND SOMEBODY READS THIS PARAGRAPH.  

 

Welcome to our blog, DIY Retaining wallspart three

Link Block Mortar-less Walls 

Link Block Mortar-less Retaining Wall Blocks

This is a different type of retaining walls made with dry blocks, the mortar is not required, it is a low wall easy to build, so, most people can do it themselves. Now let me tell you this, on the internet I have found this local supplier who has placed a few short videos how to build these walls; please use the link that I have pasted here-under, I know it is worth to watch them, if you want to build any retaining walls. As I have said this is only a local supplier in Brisbane Australia, therefore, the same materials may not be available where you are living, but by watching these videos you are going to learn something useful anyhow. 

No need for Mortar

http://centenarylandscaping.com.au/product-guides/retaining-walls/firstqualityretainingwallblocks/?gclid=CPOE9-

So, I hope you have used the link above and you have been able to see the videos. Anyhow, whatever you have learned can be helpful one day.

Anyhow now let us built a garden rock wall. 



 Building a garden rock retaining wall

To build a garden rock wall as shown in the picture is a lot harder than you think, and you need to know how to go about it, you see, you need to have a good eye to see how the rocks that you have can fit together to make a wall. There are a few ways how to do this depending how tall the wall is going to be and lots of other things.

You see, if you have only a very low wall you can just lay one single rock one after another, or two rocks one on top of another making sure that you choose the best face to show at the top and at the front, the other part of the rock can be hidden in the ground, or at the back since you are back-filling behind the wall; in this case it is not necessary to use any concrete, as the stones can be laid dry, but if you want you can use concrete.

Before you start the wall, you must dig all the grass and loose soil, even if your wall is going to be low. If the wall is going to be low and in a place where the ground is slopping down, make sure that you dig at least a few inches into the solid natural ground, so that the wall you are building can sit on firm natural ground, so, your wall is not going to slope down the first heavy rain you have after building it.

Now, in this example, we are building a low stone wall and we are not going to use anything to bind the wall together, so, there is no cement or anything else between the stones, in this case because there is nothing to stop the rain water to run between the stones you don’t need to worry about drainage. You see, one of the greatest problems with retaining walls is the water that can build behind them, the water and wet soil puts pressure on the wall and if the water cannot get out the wall is going to fail.

Now it is helpful to have a look at some stone retaining wall, and for this reason in mind I have found this link in the Internet; so, have a look at the pictures in this link; www.australianrockwalls.com.au/  there are several types of stone walls, now you can start thinking how and why they have been built that way.

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Things that happen during our life

You have your own house, but needed more space, because you wanted to build a car port, and put a trampoline for the kids. So, you have been digging in the backyard, and finally you are satisfied that they can fit them in the space you have made. But now you have this bank that stands almost vertical in the backyard, it looks ugly, and you know that when the first heavy rain comes it is going to start washing it down, and worse still it may collapse. So, you want to do something about it, you think of building a retaining wall, perhaps a rock wall is good enough.   

For this reason, you have had a couple of quotes and had a good talk to the contractors as you did not want to spend more money that was strictly necessary, they did their best but still you cannot afford to pay the full price, beside that you found that if you lay a dry stone wall, ether you have to use stones that have been cut at the quarry and they cost a lot, or you have to have a rock wall with a wider base and this is going to take away some of the space you created when you dug, so really you need to think about it.

So, you have decided to build the stone retaining wall yourself, what you have decided is that you are going to build an hybrid stone wall, which you believe can do the job without costing too much; therefore, you have found a rock supplier and ask for prices of the different materials you may need, because you think that you can afford it, if you do the job yourself.

By pure chance you have learned from the blokes that have given you the prices, how many cubic meters of rocks you need and another things that you were not sure before; well done sometimes in the building game things work out this way, you learn a bit from here a bit from there and then you can decide what to do with the information you have collected. There is nothing wrong for doing this, unless you do it purposely to learn something, but if it does not work out, then it is okay to use what you have learned from them.

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Building the hybrid rock wall 

This hybrid wall that we are going to build is a big job, it starts at the same level, as we have dug the ground approximately level, but because we are building the wall only to the height of the natural ground level, it is going to start from almost nothing and at the highest point will be 1.8 meter, it is really two walls that meet and forms a square at the highest point.

Here we must say that today some people think that this should not be done, as this is neither a rock wall nor a concrete masonry wall, as it mixes about everything, but so what, if it is convenient, why not do it? I must say that in my life time I have built walls like this with whatever was available on the site; and I mean everything in fact I was using stones that were laying in this small creek bed and pieces of concrete that we had broken to do some alterations and old bricks, some concrete and some mortar, this has happened a few year ago and last time I have seen the owner he said that the wall is still there. So, most things can be done if you know that it has got a good chance to last a long time.

Let us go back to build our hybrid rock wall. Now, to build this wall you need a few cubic meter of rocks, because you want the wall to look as a rock wall, you don’t need very big rocks or special size rocks, because you can use the cement wherever necessary to fill the gaps and this is good, since the cement is less costly, you need a mixer, you need some gravel, sand and cement; and of course, you must have the tools to do the job.

You got all this on site, and you can start to build. First of all, drive a couple of pegs in the ground, exactly where you want the face of the wall to be, tie and stretch a line on these pegs and see any adjustment that you need to do before you start laying the first stone. What you are looking for here is that the bank you are going to build the wall against has been dug straight, it is almost vertical or a few degrees sloping, you have dug a shallow foundation, because you want the wall to be strong and last for a long time, so, you are satisfied that the foundation is going to be solid enough, since it is well below the original natural ground, therefore, it can hold a lot of weight and pressure, because the ground is very compact. 

You have done all this, you have set the pegs again so that your wall is set to be at least 10” thick overall, you have chosen this thickness because most of the large rocks seem to be that thick, so now you are ready to lay the first course of stones, mix a few batches of concrete and lay it in the foundation and then before this concrete sets lay the first course of stones on this concrete making sure that the bottom of the stones are below ground level, so that the entire stone wall seems to start from below the ground; once you have done that you can fill the back of the stone with concrete a bit above ground level but below the full height of the stones, because you want to leave enough room to lay next course of stone easily. Now the wall is all set to go, but we need to reset how we must continue and complete the hybrid rock wall, the right way with the right lean against the bank. You need to lean the wall against the bank, so that the weight of your wall by itself adds strength to the wall.

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Completing the hybrid rock wall 

So, before we build this retaining wall, we must work out how much lean against the bank we want, here we must keep in mind, how tall and how thick is the wall, we don’t want the wall to lean too much and rely only on the dirt behind it to hold it back, but at the same time we want to lean it against the bank so that the weight of the wall is used to hold the dirt back.

Here we must go back to look at what happens if you leans a monolithic object to the point it is going to fall; what happens here is that the monolithic object is going to fall, only after its center of gravity falls outside the area of the base. Now we don’t want to go this far and we don’t want to use the center of gravity to decide that, but we are going to lean the wall about two third of the thickness, so that the very top layer is still vertically one third of its thickness above the base; we believe that it is very safe to go this far and the wall would stand up even if we don’t back-fill it. Anyhow, in our case we are not going to back-fill it, because we have cut the bank exactly as the wall is going to be, you see we are going to use the bank as a template, so, we believe that we are not going to back-fill it at all.

Now that we know how much we are going to lean the wall; we are setting a leaning profile on every corner leaning approximately 10 to 12 centimetres per metre and we are ready to resume building our hybrid rock wall. But there is still another important thing to work out; we need to make sure that when it rains the water that seeps behind the wall can run out, so, we must leave a way to drain this water out and at this level is the right place to do that, so, we choose a few spots about a meter apart and mark them, then when you lay next course of stones make sure that you leave a space between the stones that the water can run out, you must also leave the back free of abstractions for a course or two around this space, so, in this space after laying the front stone, just lay some smaller stones dry against the bank to stop the concrete blocking the drain, then you can resume to concrete the lot. Alternatively, you can lay a few short pieces of pipe across the wall for drainage, but you have still to make sure that they are clear of any obstruction at the back near the bank.  

So, now you can go back to mix some cement to lay your stones, you can mix a batch of river sand four to one that you can lay between the rocks to give them a bit of grip, you are laying the rocks in a straight line that you have tied on the profiles, when you do that make sure that this cement does not come too far forward, because you still want the rock wall to look like a rock wall, at the same time do not forget that you have to leave these spaces with no cement at all for the seepage where you have marked, after you have used the batch of river sand and cement and laid say a course of rocks, you can mix one or two batch of concrete to fill the back of the stones, then you repeat this procedure until you build the entire wall.

At the top of the wall, because the wall in not going to be level, you may have to do some adjustment to follow the height of the ground, here you have to use common sense the best way you can, if you happen to have enough wide and long rocks that can be used for a coping, use them to finish your wall, if not, just use your common sense and use anything that is available, even if it is going to be a strip of concrete in the back of the wall, so that all the wall is tied up.

I hope I have explained well enough for you to follow my way of building this hybrid rock wall. Here I want to add that this is just one way out of several other ways that can be used. A lot depends how the bank has been cut and if it follows very closely the shape of the wall, so, you can use it as if it is form-work, but if there is going to be some back filling to be done, you may have to consider some temporary form-work that can be easily removed before you back-fill. All these things can vary from job to job, and if you see that it is hard to build your hybrid rock wall, then you must consider other ways to build your retaining wall.     

I believe that this blog is long enough, and can count for some contend in my blogs, since blogger has said my blogs have no contend. Anyhow see you in our next blog, where we are going to talk about Besser-block retaining walls. see you soon. 

Thursday, February 25, 2021

D.I.Y Timber sleeper retaining walls, part two

Dear readers, we are writing these posts, because we want to write some D.I.Y. Brickwork and building retaining walls and other things, so that you can learn something about how to built something yourself, at least in theory. But in these blogs we are also trying to get you interested to become a tradesman. So, keep reading please. This blog is about D.I.Y Timber retaining walls.  
You are here, http://oldman-lifeworks.blogspot.com

My other sites; http://frankmenchise.com,http://diybrickwork.com,http://manneedsgod.co.uk  

Anyhow, you can see our entire articles at this addresses, DIY brickwork  

 and,  http://diybrickwork.com


You can build retaining walls with timber. This retaining walls above is better if tradesmen build it, because it is complex, especially if you build the steps as shown above. But there are other simple retaining walls that you can do it yourself, as we will explain.  

Timber sleeper retaining walls. 

Welcome to our blog, D.I.Y Timber sleeper retaining walls, from our article,  DIY Retaining walls 

 Building a low timber sleeper retaining wall is easy, just about everybody can do it, you can do it yourself, if you follow our explanation in this text here, all you need is a crowbar, a post hole shovel, a hammer a few long nails or screws, a saw, a type-measure and a few treated pine sleeper that today are easily available at most timber yards.

If you are in Brisbane Australia, these are a couple of addresses of local timber merchants and hardware to get what you want. If you are somewhere else, you need to find your own.  

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bunnings_Warehouse

Now, let us assume that you have visited your local supply, and you have got all you need, so, you are ready to start, you have also worked out where you want your sleeper wall to go; So, start digging the first hole where the wall starts, you need to dig this hole about 600 mm or more in the natural ground for the post to be strong enough to hold the pressure of the retaining wall when the wall is back filled; you may have to concrete around the post for extra strength, but this is not a must do, if the retaining wall is low, because you can replace this with, packing the soil tightly around the posts and if you have some rocks, wedge them between the top of the hole you have dug and the post at ground level, because the rocks will exercise their pressure on a larger surface of the natural soil than the post, they will be able to hold back the soil pressure of the wall more easily, now that you have done the first post, you can repeat the same procedure for next post and so on.

The posts can be made from the same material of the sleepers; you can saw them to the right length and fix them in the ground as we have said above. Now, to make it easy let us say that your wall is going to be the length of a sleeper plank, and you have dug the two holes and fixed the two posts. So, now you can just place the first sleeper against the posts at the required level; the levels of the sleepers is better if you work it out from the top down, because it is easier to change the bottom than the top, you see, in this case you can always dig a bit or add a bit of soil at the bottom to fit the bottom sleeper. So, mark on the posts the level you want to reach with your last sleeper, and then mark down from this level the number of sleeper you are fixing on these posts, once you have done that you are ready to fix your sleepers on the posts.

 


This is the type of retaining wall we are talking about, in our text, except that our wall is shorter and we are using the same sleeper to make our posts. 

Fixing your sleeper to the post

To fix the sleepers to the post now is simple, but still you need to do a few things right, if you want your wall to last a long time, with the materials you are using now; it is useful to know that in this case it is highly advisable that you use galvanized nails or screws to fix the planks to the posts, because the retaining wall is in contact with the wet or humid ground constantly, therefore, normal nails or screws will rust easily.

You have bought some 75 mm and 100 mm galvanized nails to do the job, so, you hope that you can drive these nails into the sleepers and posts just by using a hammer, because it is the fastest way to get the job done. 

Okay, if you are good with your hammer and can drive nail easily it is the best way to go, provided that the timber is soft enough to do that, and if you have used treated pine sleeper it can be done, as all you need to do now is to place the sleepers where you have marked on the posts and nail them in, and then you can back-fill behind the retaining wall and the job is done.

But what about if you are using hardwood or old dry hardwood, because you got it very cheap from a second hand timber yard, because they were overstocked they sold this timber at a very special price, which was less than half the price of the treated pine sleepers; so, you were happy to buy it because it was cheap and the timber being hardwood lasts for a very long time, but now you may have a problem to fix the sleepers to the posts, because it is near impossible to drive nails into this old dry hardwood timber, unless you drill a hole for every single nail, and even then the nails can bend even if you are an expert with the hammer.

If this is the situation and it is hard to nail this timber together, you can overcome the problem by using couch screws or bolts, so, you use a drill and drill a hole for your galvanized couch screws or bolts and tighten the screws or the bolt nuts with a spanner. But if you don’t want to do this extra work and you want to use the galvanized nails that you have already bought, then you can do the following: drill a hole as deep as you can just use a bit a fraction smaller than the diameter of your nails, then try first with the 75 mm nails how you go, if it works and you believe that the nail go deep enough into the supporting post and hold well then your problem is solved, but if the nail bends or don’t go deep enough then you can try the following, and this is one of the last tricks of the old trade, which not many people know or use, this trick is not a trick at all and once you know it, you can feel even stupid for not thinking about it yourself; so what is it? Okay, when you pick up your nail to nail in the hole you have drilled, dip the point of the nail a couple of centimetre into a bit of Vaseline or mechanical grease, if this is not available just wet a bar of soap and rub the point of the nail on the wet soap, this greasing of the end of the nail will make it easier to drive it into any wood including dry old hardwood. 

I believe that I have said enough about simple timber retaining walls, for you to have some idea how to build them. I also believe that this blog is already long enough. Therefore, in our next blog, we will talk about another type of retaining wall that can be easy to build, it is a type of concrete wall that the blocks are laid dry, so, anyone can have a go; and if you don't get it right the first time it is easy to fix. So see you soon in our next blog, Link Block Mortar-less walls. Part three.  See you soon. 

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This blog-site is; old man-lifeworks

This blog is, D.I.Y Timber sleeper retaining walls, part two  

IS TO BE CONTINUED WITH

D.I.Y Link blocks mortar-less walls, part three.     

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It is  helpful if we keep our personal links handy. These links hereunder are my links, feel free to visit them. 

http://diybrickwork.com  

 http://manneedsgod.co.uk

http://frankmenchise.com

https://sites.google.com/site/menfrancoreconciliation/

https://sites.google.com/site/prayersofreconciliation/

https://sites.google.com/site/godintheuniverse/

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Saturday, February 20, 2021

D.I.Y Retaining walls, part one

Dear readers, we are writing these posts, because we want to write some D.I.Y. Brickwork and building retaining walls and other things, so that you can learn something about how to built something yourself, at least in theory. But in this blog we are also trying to get you interested to become a tradesman. So, keep reading please. 
You are here, http://oldman-lifeworks.blogspot.com

My other sites; http://frankmenchise.com,http://diybrickwork.com,http://manneedsgod.co.uk  

Anyhow, you can see our entire articles at this addresses, DIY brickwork  

 and,  http://diybrickwork.com




Garden retaining wall. There are many types of retaining walls, this one above is a masonry stone retaining wall, these types of retaining walls last a long time, when they are well built, like the one here above, but they may cost a lot more than other types of retaining walls. 

Welcome to our blog, DIY Retaining walls

Let us talk about a well-built stone retaining wall

Dear readers, let me explain what is happening now, in our previous articles, we have talked about how to D.I.Y brickwork and how to build a brick veneer house, now, let us talk about retaining walls. Because I believe that most people that own a standalone house, want to improve their property by doing a few things in the yard, where they can stay outside and have a garden, or have a barbecue with their family and friends. But there are times when it is not easy to stay outside, because the yard is not level and, in some places, it is hard even to stand up straight. So, when that is the case, something needs to be done to improve the situation. In this case retaining walls can help solve that problem. But how do we build retaining walls one may ask?

Before we answer that question, let us talk about the retaining stone wall shown above in this article, I believe that it is a well-built stone wall, but a wall like that is very costly and hard to build, unless you are an expert and know what needs to be done.

So, let us see what we can learn from this stone wall picture, just by looking at it and trying to imagine how this wall has been built. What we can note from the picture is that the retaining wall has been built leaning towards the bank it is holding up, we can see this better, if you look at the right end of the wall where the wall goes around the corner,  the stones are laid dry as there is no sign of any mortar around, the stones are not all the same size, and they are longer and shorter stones, but they are all the same thickness and they are laid the same way as we lay a course of bricks, but at the same time the mason has made sure that the vertical join are not setting one above the other, and this is a hard thing to do with stones all different size, everything is so tidy, the wall thickness is not shown anywhere, but because there is a very low wall started near, it seems that the wall has been built like a double brick wall, we can also guess that perhaps some of the short stones are not really short, but they have been laid like a header brick to tie the front with the back of the wall, at the top the last course of stone, the stones are longer and as wide as the whole wall itself, so that they would tie everything together. These are the main features that we can learn from looking at this stonewall picture.

Now that we have explained that, let us write how to do it yourself retaining walls. You know, there are many types of retaining walls, some are easy to build others are hard to build, and there are many reasons for building them. So, this article is going to be a long article, so, we are going to break it up and make several blogs from our original article in Hub Pages, DIY Retaining walls, because we want to tell you about them, as much as we can.   

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This is another type of stone retaining wall, as you can see, it has been built leaning against the bank, so, you can say that retaining wall are built leaning towards the bank for extra strength. 

How to build retaining walls

Okay, there are several ways how to build a retaining wall, and there are several types of retaining walls that we can build. Therefore, first we must see what we gain by building this type of retaining wall, or that type of retaining wall, and above all how much it could cost, before we can decide what type of retaining wall to build. Now we want to build our retaining walls with building materials that are easily available, to avoid extra cost. So, look what local materials are available, where you are. You see, if you are in a place where stones or rocks are plentiful, and you may even have some of them in your yard, then it is cheaper to build your retaining wall with these materials, and even if you have to buy the lot they are cheap anyhow; but if you are in a place where there are plenty of trees and there is even a sawmill nearby, then it is more appropriate to build it with timber.    

Having said that, it is obvious that for you to decide, what is the best retaining wall to build; we need to explain to you what could be done and how can it be done. Therefore, hereunder we will try to do that. Let us start with a very easy and cheap retaining wall that most people can do themselves, even if they don’t know much about building, as long as they have a few tools and know how to use them; here we are saying that anyone of us can dig a few holes in the ground to place a few short posts and place a couple of sleeper timber planks against those posts, then secure them by nailing or screwing them to the posts. It sounds and is simple, isn’t it? But this is not the only retaining wall that we want to show you, so, keep reading this article, while we add more descriptions, because you can even learn how to build them.   

I believe that I have written most thing that can be written in D.I.Y brickwork and started D.I.Y retaining walls. So, in our next post, we will continue talking about, D.I.Y Retaining walls.

See you soon. 

----------------------------------------------------- 

This blog-site is; old man-lifeworks

This blog is, D.I.Y Retaining walls, part one  

IS TO BE CONTINUED WITH

D.I.Y Retaining walls, part two    

---------------------------

It is  helpful if we keep our personal links handy. These links hereunder are my links, feel free to visit them. 

http://diybrickwork.com  

 http://manneedsgod.co.uk

http://frankmenchise.com

https://sites.google.com/site/menfrancoreconciliation/

https://sites.google.com/site/prayersofreconciliation/

https://sites.google.com/site/godintheuniverse/

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Sunday, February 14, 2021

Building a brick veneer house

Dear readers, we are writing these posts, because we want to write some D.I.Y. Brickwork and building posts, so that you can learn something about how to built something yourself, at least in
theory. But in this blog we are also trying to get you interested to become a tradesman. So, keep reading please. 
You are here, http://oldman-lifeworks.blogspot.com

My other sites; http://frankmenchise.com,http://diybrickwork.com,http://manneedsgod.co.uk  

Anyhow, you can see our entire articles at this addresses, DIY brickwork  

 and,  http://diybrickwork.com

Most houses that we built in seventies looked like this house, and most of them were brick veneer houses. So, in this post we are explaining how we did it.  

Welcome to our article, Building a veneer house 

Building a brick-veneer house

Dear readers, this article cannot be a D.I.Y article, since what we are describing here is more advanced. However, it is the continuation of our article, Completing the house brick base, since we do not want to describe that part again, and a few types of houses, can be built on those type of brick-bases. So, let be describe how we built them.

Anyhow, the following descriptions is how we were building houses during the seventies here in Australia. We must say here, that most houses were built using plain common sense, of course, we are still building them today in the same way, and they will be built for a long time, in some part of the world, where blocks of land are subdivided to build standalone houses, but today even this way of building is becoming old fashion, especially if you are building in a city, where building anything is becoming very specialized, so, if you build anything that needs approval from the local authorities you need a builder an architect and an engineer, or at least you must be a good tradesman  and know how to read their plans, then you might be able to build a small house, by yourself. 

Anyhow, this article is for those people that want to know what sort of problems they may encounter, while building a brick-veneer house or even a solid cavity brick house, and how to avoid these building problems, in other words this article can help the owner-builder that wants to know a bit more, because he is going to build his own house.  

So, now that we have built this imaginary brick base in the previous article, House brick base continues, we have the option of using this same style of brick base in a few ways, because this base can be used to build a timber house on the top of it, or it can be used to build a brick veneer house as well, what this means is that we can build brick around the timber frame of the house, so that the house looks like a brick house, but in reality it is both, so, let us see what is the difference and if it affects anything.

Of course, we must start building the house knowing what it is going to be from the start, and this is the reason why we need a plan, you see, we need a plan because we need to know the measurement from the start, because anything we change, changes the measurement, but anyhow the ways of building it is almost the same, accept that the bricks take more space than if the house outside is finished with timber cladding, therefore, this affect the remaining floor space in the house, but apart from that there is no much difference in building the brick base.

Now, there are at least three types of houses being built these days, the timber house, the brick veneer house and the solid brick house. These types of houses can vary as it is possible to mix all these materials together in various amounts. But in this article, we want to write first about a brick veneer house that can be built on a similar brick base that we have completed in the previous post, House brick base continues. So, let us describe, how this is done. 

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Building a brick veneer 

As we have said, the difference in the construction of the base between a timber house and a brick veneer house is not that much, as it affects only the outside of the house and the floor space of the house, if the extra space needed for the bricks is not taken into account at the start. But how we proceed to build these two types of building on a similar brick base is this: If the outside of the house is going to be timber, the outside of the timber bears and the entire timber frame is placed right at the outside edge of the brickwork, but before we do that on top of the brick walls a galvanized ants capping will be fixed, then the timber bears and the house frame. But if it is going to be brick veneer then the reverse happens and the timber bears and frame is set back about 6 inches (150 mm) this is to give space for the bricks and leave a cavity between the timber frame and the bricks, the ants capping goes inside or at least under the timber bears.         

Now because we are building a brick veneer house, the carpenters have placed the house frame back to allow for the bricks to be laid outside, in this case the carpenter’s foreman should have instructed his carpenter team to try to work with the bricklayers and set the opening of doors and windows in such a way that helps the bricklayers. Now, let me explain here what are the problems that the bricklayer can encounter if both teams don’t work together. For example, there is a short wall that has a door opening in the center, if the door opening is placed exactly in the center, then the bricklayers might have to cut the bricks on both sides of the door to make them fit the length of the remaining wall beside the door opening, this not only will add extra work for the bricklayer, but it can be an eye sore, and therefore, these sort of things should be avoided, wherever they can be avoided. 

So, what can be done one may ask? Well, the door opening can be moved a bit to one side, so that at least one side works to the bricklayer advantage, and if he is lucky both sides can work with a full brick, therefore, no bricks need to be cut shorter to fit in the wall between the door and the corners? This same principle applies in other parts of the brick wall, when there are two openings, the carpenter should move the openings of the windows and door to help the bricklayers, when they can be moved.

The bricklayer working part 

Now that we have explained what the variations for the carpenter are, when he sets up the timber frame for the brick veneer, we come to the bricklayer part and what he does when he works on a brick veneer house, because there are many other demanding things to do in between while he is laying bricks; these other things need to be done as well, if the house is going to be well built.   

Apart laying bricks as usual, the fist other job that the bricklayer may encounter is that he has to place lintels over the opening of doors and windows of the brick base, if they happen to be at that level and most time they are, these lintels for brickwork can be steel angles that span over the openings, they come in various size and they are used according to the span they have to bridge. So, when there are openings in the base, the bricklayer places this steel angle over the openings and then lays the bricks over them making sure that everything looks and is okay, he has also to lay some brick reinforcement in next course of bricks above the openings, or even all around the brick base, this reinforcement is in the form of a light galvanized mesh as we have explained in our previous articles.

But this is not all, because in some cases when it is specified he may have to nail the rat-proof wire (this is a wire mesh with holes too small for a rat to go through), so, the bricklayer first of all nails one side to the timber frame and the other side is laid in the joint of the bricks, thus a barrier is formed and no rat can enter into the cavity between the bricks and the timber frame. But that is not all, because there can be the need to lay a damp-course, this again is like the rat-proof wire, one end is nailed to the timber frame and the other end is laid in the brick joints. 

At least this is how it was done when we were building brick veneer houses or apartments in the sixties and seventies; so, we had this problem there to solve while we were laying bricks, I guess that at this point of time one can even ask, but if the bricklayer has to do all these extra small jobs, how and when he is going to lay bricks? These jobs should really be done from somebody else and let the bricklayer do his job and lay his bricks. Having said that we have to agree that those small jobs should be done from a different person, but there is a problem there also; those jobs need to be done when the wall reaches a certain height, so, it is very hard to have somebody there that would do that job for us bricklayers. So, we were forced to do it ourselves whether at the end we were compensated or not. You see, this is one of the main reasons why when we work on a brick veneer the bricklayer lays a lot less bricks per day than he usually does on a normal wall. 

Other things that the bricklayer does

We have mentioned many things but there is more to say here, sometimes before we even start to lay bricks in the veneer part of the house, we bricklayers need to nail a special building paper, this paper is another layer of insulating material that is nailed on the outside of the timber studs that form the external timber frame; in reality it is the carpenters that should do this work, and if they are around, once we have built the scaffolding to lay our bricks, the carpenters are very likely to jump in and nail this insulation paper for us, but it is likely that the bricklayers have to do it themselves.

Other things that we need to do while laying bricks on the brick veneer, we need to nail to the timber studs brick veneer ties every three or four courses of bricks; These are L shaped brackets that attach the timber frame to the brick wall, we have to lay this wire reinforcement every so often, we have to nail the damp course under and above openings and other things that need to be done before we lay bricks.

Once we finish building our veneer walls, most likely the last job is to lay these bricks for the windowsills. The windowsills take a lot of time and patience, usually we need to cut every brick in a special way and then lay them making sure that the joints are all even; in order to achieve that we use a gauge rod. Sometimes we are lucky and the same gauge rod that we have used to build the entire house works for some windowsills; if it does not, then we have to work it out how to make this windowsill, we can make smaller joints or larger joints, as long as the outcome looks acceptable.

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The cavity brick house

The difference between the brick veneer and the cavity brick house is this: the brick veneer house all the walls are made of timber, and the timber frame is just like the complete timber house with the exception that the outside is veneered with bricks, so that the building looks as if it is made of bricks, but in reality, the timber walls are the load bearing walls and they can stand on their own, if you cover them with something else other than bricks. But the cavity bricks is different, all the outside walls in the cavity bricks are made of bricks or blocks, at least the external walls are made of two brick-walls one beside the other with a cavity between them, these two external walls are tied together with cavity ties, in a way it is very much like the brick veneer where the timber external walls are tied together with ties to the veneer brick wall.

For the bricklayers the cavity brick house is easier to build, because he can set everything to suite his face brick walls, so, this is an advantage for him. But in this case if there is no builder of foreman around the bricklayer needs to work out where the opening of doors and windows are and put them in place; this needs to be done because the door frames and the window frames need to be tied permanently to the brickwork while the work is in progress. So, we must admit that this is not for the beginners, as it takes a good tradesman to do that.

There are a lot of other things that need to be done, some of them are just like what we have described for the brick veneer, but one thing in particular is different here; because the brick walls are load bearing walls and whatever goes above them need to be tied the wall, the bricklayers has to make sure that there are ties that are able to tie down the roof of the house permanently; this could be achieved by steel rods that start from the concrete floor or from the foundations. In some cases where there are not enough steel rods from the concrete below, the bricklayer can add some special made brackets several courses of bricks below the top, this is also good, but not as good as the steel rods that start from the foundations.

I believe that I have covered the most important things in building this imaginary house, so I hope that this article can help someone that is building his own house. 

I must also say that, in this blog I cannot paste photos that I have pasted in my original Hub Pages article. So, to see what was in this article you need to click on this link. Building a veneer house

I believe that I have written most thing that can be easily written in D.I.Y brickwork. So, in our next post, we will start talking about, D.I.Y Retaining walls.

See you soon. 

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This blog-site is; old man-lifeworks

This blog is, Building a brick veneer house  

IS TO BE CONTINUED WITH

D.I.Y Retaining walls    

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http://diybrickwork.com  

 http://manneedsgod.co.uk

http://frankmenchise.com

https://sites.google.com/site/menfrancoreconciliation/

https://sites.google.com/site/prayersofreconciliation/

https://sites.google.com/site/godintheuniverse/

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Link Block walls and garden rock retaining walls, part three

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