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The Look of the House: Bricklaying

Home IQ continues to follow the Obergs' home construction. The brick has arrived safely at the jobsite, but unfortunately, the mortar that was sent with it is the wrong color. Without the right mortar the bricklaying can't begin.

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bricks are laid in random pattern

In this segment the brick arrives safely at the jobsite, but unfortunately, the mortar that was sent with it is the wrong color, and without the right mortar the bricklaying can't begin.

Greg Allen, the site supervisor, and Brad Oberg (homeowner) hopped in a truck and went to the brick company to see if there was a brick mortar in stock that could be delivered to the site as soon as possible so the bricklaying could begin. If not, there could be some significant delays — up to a few weeks, in fact. And if the bricklayer has another project lined up that takes a long time, the delay could be indefinite.

Fortunately the brick company had the exact Mortar that Brad had picked in stock, and the guys were able to haul several bags back to the site immediately so the bricklayers could get started.

Bricklaying

  • This is a methodical, extremely calculated skill. The same three-man team that laid the foundation also worked with the bricks and mortar.

  • One man mixes the mortar and keeps the bricks piled up and ready for the other two bricklayers.

  • A generous layer of mortar is put down first, and then each brick is buttered (mortar is applied) and placed.

  • Once a few rows are complete the mason will strike the mortar between the bricks to pack it in and smooth it out.

  • Finally, the wall is brushed to remove any excess mortar.

  • Brick work can add unique architectural detail to a home, and doors and windows can add decorative touches. For example, in the Oberg home over the front door the masons created an arch with bricks.

  • And under each window bullnose bricks were used as a finishing detail. These finishing details are what give a house its character and style.

  • Originally the homeowners wanted the house exterior to be all stone, but once they realized the exorbitant cost they reconsidered and went with a cultured stone. This man-made stone is lightweight and can be used anywhere regular stone can be utilized.

  • The stones are carefully selected for each row to create a random pattern. Much like icing on a cake, the mortar is placed carefully between each stone and brushed for a nice finish.

"This is the type of thing where you take a leap of faith until you actually see it up," Lynn Oberg said, talking about the cultured stone used for the entrance of the house. "You hope you made the right decision," she added.

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Resources

  • Bricks from PF Cook Brick Co. Inc.