Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Masonry Complete

I posted a little sneak peek on Facebook Tuesday, that said I thought our mason job was two days away from completion. Guess what? They finished today! Two days exactly.

We started installing brick on May 22nd. I was told this would be a two-week job.. EASY!

We did not finish until June 17th!

It was not all the mason's fault. We did run out of brick. And when we ordered more, not all of it was from the same run and we risked it not matching. We then had to wait to locate more from the same run.

We lost a couple days because those deliveries of brick were late in the day and not 5:30AM. Other jobs had priority I guess.

It was fun to see the pattern the "brickers" worked in because their was no logic!

I would come home and be surprised at what was done. I couldn't predict it.

I learned so much during this process, like I do with each process. Those brick ties that are on the wall help the brick not ever lean in or away from the wall. There is also a gap to cover up the imperfections of walls.

Now, the brick pictures differently. Up close, it looks like it should. Some dark, some light, some red. But from the street, it looks brown. I like it. It's pretty neat how it is like a chameleon.

A couple of days the crew stayed late. One of those nights I was so surprised! They had started building the patio!

I had been working so hard to make sure this was not forgotten. The footer was not poured at the same time as the house. This was mainly because the surveyor did not draw it on the lot layout as elevated. It was drawn at the same height as the driveway. There would be no need for footers. However, I did not want steps immediately off the exterior door down to a patio level with the ground. The footers were dug and poured in one day. Then they got to moving on laying the block.

The front of the house was last to get to.

One reason we ran out of brick was because the porches had brick all the way down. It's wasteful to have brick to the footer and then have concrete come fill the porch and you don't see it.

We bought 4-inch block to use, but the crew only used it on the back patio.

Now we have leftover block!

While we were waiting on locating brick from the same run, we had our stone delivered and we started working on that. I was bummed it was in boxes that I couldn't peek in to.

Our stone would be on the back screened-in porch and the "tower."

The back porch might seem silly because no one sees it but us and our guests, But I think that is special for our guests to be the only ones to see it.

When it came to the stone, I had special instructions. The stone would not be dry stacked. I wanted to have wide joints. I found a picture in a magazine for a local store's add. I took that picture with me to choose the type of stone. 

I picked out a man-made stone, Horizon Stone. The stone shape is 19th Century. The color is Shenandoah. I was so nervous the color would not coordinate with the brick. Turns out, it was perfect!

The back porch took two days and the front tower took two days. It was funny to see the masons using cake decorator tools to put the mortar between the stones.

I love the front tower so much that I am redoing my landscape plan so that I do not block the details all around it.

Our Architectural Committee approved us not having a crawlspace but told us we had to make it appear as if we were a cralwspace by having foundation vents.

I spray-painted the blocks black and the masons left spaces to put vents. Instead of buying $75 irons vents, I made vents out of brick.

I saw it done on a townhouse already in our neighborhood and liked it!

The last of the brick to get finished was over the garage. We had to get special "speed arches" to hold the brick.

Most door and window openings have straight lentils that hold the brick up.

I was so excited to see the garage doors get finished.

Now that the brick is complete, it's time to pressure wash it clean.

I now can't say we are the "blue" house when people ask. The brick has covered up all the ICF framing so that it looks like a normal house.


  1. it is perfection. I love it all. so very exciting
    thank for sharing all these parts of your building process with us

  2. Thank you for sharing the process- it helps me to see someone else go through it for when I do! And you sound so patient about it all :)


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