Saturday, April 25, 2009

Yet another brick update!

There is a little bit of catching up to do with photos, as bricking continues at a steady pace. As of yesterday (Friday), they have pretty much finished bricking up to 40 courses around the entire perimeter, and as high as they will go without sturdier scaffolding.

Here is a close up of my lovely matching fixed windows!

Thursdays efforts included bricking up to 40 courses along the south wall...

....and on some rather interesting looking scaffolding supported by bricks, framing and cement sheeting. Do not try this at home!

Looking good! Although if I was going to be really picky (more than what I have been...if that is possible), then there are far more orange bricks on the ground floor than the second storey. This 'should' be covered by a hedge, or perhaps roses, so in a few years I will hardly notice it. ;-)

Friday saw the window sills installed around most of the windows. I have another niggly issue with these too (Oh not another one, I can hear you all saying!!). If you remember the first window sills that went in below the ensuite windows here:

Well, these are the latest ones. Again, it's a case of 'spot the difference':

See it? The line of half bricks under the titled sill bricks in the above photo, but not the ensuite windows?

Apparently, it is pretty standard practice amongst builders, and I have seen it numerous times. You would think, though, that windows would be made to a specific size that would match a certain number of brick courses, allowing for mortar joins, and eliminating the need for the 'half' brick. But no, that would be too sensible, wouldn't it?

The above photo is on the front facade, and all window sills except for the ensuite ones are exactly the same. Not a lot I can do about it without ripping out the windows, changing them to slightly smaller or bigger, re framing around the windows, ripping out all the sills and re bricking those. Arghhhhh....why don't things just match up in the first place? And why don't builders just provide the windows that will match up in the original plans? It's a no brainer, if you ask me...

This issue also applies to door frames.

There is a small gap above what will be our lovely shiny black 'cricket bat' doors. Why? Because the size of the door frame does not match with a number of brick courses and mortar joins. It was impossible to install the lintel in the brick course below, as the door frame is in the way, so they have to put it in the next course, and leave a whopping great big gap above the door frame. This will be filled in with cement sheeting (or similar), and will be painted. What colour, I have no idea, as the brickwork surrounding the front door and on the portico will be rendered. I'm hoping the cement sheet infill will sit flush with the brickwork and be covered in render, so it will be completely unnoticeable. I guess I'll find out!!

Bricking completed all the way around up to 40 courses. Next comes the serious scaffolding!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

More progress inside and out.

I am still 'sitting' on my decision about the bricks, and I have had mixed comments about what to do about it. Part of me wants that section of the wall pulled down, and the brick in question replaced. Another part of me believes I am being far too pedantic and should just live with it, and not delay the build any longer than is absolutely necessary. I will certainly let my CSA and SS know that I have issues, but possibly willing to overlook it.

Yesterday, the chippies were back to fix up a couple of things. I had noticed a huge pile of saw dust in the rubbish cage. Parts of the frame have been planed, and others have had 5mm packing stapled to it....all to make it even for the plaster board to go on. Hopefully, it's all standard practice, but will check with the SS at our 'lock-up' meeting. Sections of particle board have also been attached to parts of the frame to make a nice even surface for the plaster board (or maybe it's instead of the gyprock, and the wood will be painted...). These areas include the opening to the entrance hall where a bulk head will be, the opening to the lounge and the dining (no doors), and also the opening to the family/meals/kitchen from the hallway. We are having doors here, though!

The chippies also did a wonderful job of sweeping the floors! They are lovely and grit free now!

The bricking continued along the long wall, the front facade, into the garage and they began work on the alfresco roof supports.

First of the window sills go in:

They have even installed the vent (spider entrance point...) for the powder room exhaust fan above the laundry door. I must remember to spray surface spray here periodically:

They've bricked all the way around now! This is on the south wall:

We arrived late at the house this evening, and the sun had all but set (bring back day light savings for the sake of house photo taking opportunities!), so the pics aren't terribly good...but you get the idea!

This is the part that MUST be perfect. It is the front, and the section that will not be rendered:

I took a trip up stairs tonight, as I didn't yesterday, and we have a bath frame!!

This is in the kids bathroom. We deleted the bath in our ensuite to make the WIR and shower larger. We could have changed it over to a spa, but we wouldn't use it for what we would have to have paid for it. We thought about re-sale value...but we plan on staying here for at least 25 years, so re-sale value does not enter the equation at all. I'd much rather have stone benches and gorgeous bricks than a spa in the ensuite that overlooks our neighbours kitchen!

So, here she is tonight in the dark with the sun setting behind her. Notice anything different??

Compare with this picture:

HINT: Look at the 2 windows above the 'not yet built' garage...They match!! Whoo Hoo!!! Would you believe I was so focused on the bricks I didn't even notice as I was standing looking up at her. I only realised once I had the photos open on my computer...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Am I being too picky??

On second, much closer inspection on the brickwork, it really doesn't seem that bad, and will probably only ever be noticed by me...and maybe the neighbours who will look directly at it...

I've done a up a few photos with lines (very badly drawn ones with the mouse!), to outline the problems.

This is the circled brick in question. The mortar joins line up neatly on the right side of the brick, but it is smaller than the rest of the bricks, so the left mortar join is not in line with the rest of the wall.

Here you can see the brick in question looking up the wall, and clearly seeing how much shorter it is than the others.

This is further along the wall, and you can see the whole course has been pushed out of alignment because of this one brick.

Now, I know these bricks are not absolutely perfect anyway, which is part of the beauty of them. But, to me, this particular brick must have missed being picked out by quality control, as it is about 2.5cm shorter than all the others.

As the brick course is 5 down from the top of where they stopped, and the 'brick in question' is right at the start of the course, it would require a fair amount of ripping down to replace that one brick and fix the problem.

What would you do??

On a nicer note, bricking continued along the garage/dining wall today, and around the supports to the alfresco roof! They have erected the scaffolding ready to brick up above the laundry door and continue along the long wall where the 'problem' is. Uh oh...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Bricking continues with some niggly issues...

It's been a few days since I have had a chance to update the blog, so I will do a quick day to day rundown of what has been happening!


On Wednesday, they bricked around a small section of the front facade, which I was most excited to see!!

Niggly issue #1...I think they have used more orangy bricks than purply bricks on this part of the front facade. Comparing it to the back of the house which has a lot more purply bricks, and the ones I adore. I have been rest assured that no one else can see it, and once it's all bricked and blended, it will be fine...

They also enclosed the meter box:

The have also fixed the dent in the runner of the stacker door out to the Alfresco, so it now opens and closes properly:

I had to laugh at the foreign rubbish again in the rubbish cage! This time it's boxes for a kettle and a portable stereo!:

Still a long way to go, but making steady progress!


Thursday saw the brickies move higher up the 'long' wall, working on scaffolding, and also installing the first lintel above the lounge room window:

Niggly issue #2: I had a little walk around inside and actually looked in the powder room toilet outlet, which had been moved to the right. I noticed quite a large bend and 'shelf' in it. I'm just hoping that 'nothing' gets 'trapped' on that shelf and possibly cause blockages down the track. Being the downstairs toilet, it will most likely be the one that is used the most often:

I had to laugh again at the rubbish cage! It looks as though a cow had visited the site...2 nice neat mortar pats! ;-) Sick? Yes, but you have to keep up the humour when house building...

They installed their straight edges and string line along the garage in preparation of the next days work:


Today they continued above the meals area window, installing the lintel, and around the corner into the alfresco:

As anticipated, bricking began on the other side of the front doors and into the garage:

Niggly issue #3: A complete oversight on our behalf. With so many other things to check and re check with the plans, we didn't realise there was no lintel and brickwork above the stacker door and windows from the meals into the alfresco. It will consist of a painted cement sheet infill. "Too late!" she cried...

Niggly issue #4: A delivery of more brickies sand for the a completely different colour to what was used previously. Now before I jump the gun too much, it may be that the new pile of sand is 'wetter' than the existing, and the existing has 'weathered' more after being in the rain for a few weeks. I'm not sure, but as I paid for 'off white' mortar, I expect to have consistent off white mortar. As the mortar is flush with the brickwork, any colour discrepancies will be clearly visible, and I will not be very happy if this is the case!! I'm hoping it's nothing to worry about...

Niggly issue #5: The mortar joins between several courses of bricks and along most of the long wall (that I can remember) do not line up! See for yourself:

Further investigation and photograph taking tomorrow, and we'll decide what course of action we will be taking. I'll definitely be mentioning it to the SS on Monday. I am now looking at every house I know in the area that has Daniel Robertson bricks to see if their mortar lines are crooked. So far...nope.

I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

They're Back!!


After 3 weeks we have some action again! We drove past this morning to see the brickies just setting up their string lines. I also noticed that the Large window in the Master Bedroom had been installed! I didn't stop for any photos, but we made a return journey later this afternoon for a snoop around!

The brickies worked on the long wall of the house, and even around the corner to the front...only 1 course, but it's progress! ;-) I can't wait to see how the facade will look all bricked up. I'm getting a little tired of looking at a green house! The steel lintels for above the windows have also arrived.

Where old meets new...

I couldn't resist...brickies art!!

The window to the Master Bedroom has now been installed:

The plumbers have been back, and moved the outlet for the powder room toilet across to the right a little. I hadn't even noticed that it may be off centre with the frame, and would only possibly realise once the toilet was installed, or the tiling done. Great to have it picked up now, though.

I can't wait to see what happens tomorrow!!

Monday, April 13, 2009

X Fingers Crossed X

The brickies are due back tomorrow, and I'm keeping my fingers firmly crossed that they will be back on site when we go and visit. Having been away over the Easter break, we did drop in this afternoon, and noticed that some more scaffolding had been delivered. It's always a good sign, so hopefully, after 3 weeks of nothingness, they will resume tomorrow bright and early!

Having been a week ahead of schedule, they are now 2 weeks behind.

The contract clock is ticking...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Happy Easter!

(Image courtesy

Happy Easter, everyone!

The brickies are on holidays, and so am I! I'll look forward to Tuesday when they are scheduled to return, and hopefully, I can update the blog a little more often with some progress. I'm certainly looking forward to seeing the bricking completed, especially the front facade. Then the fun of the fixtures begins!!