Sunday, June 1, 2014

Brick base under timber houses

Welcome to our blog, Menfranco general blog
and this post, Brick base under a timber house

There are many sorts of brick base that could be used to build a timber house on top, this photo shows a long and narrow brick base.

Brick based houses

Brick base under timber houses
As we have already mentioned before, there were many type of houses being built in those times and some of them had a brick base or just the front wall under the house built in bricks. So, this was another job that we did with our small team of workers.
In order to be efficient and competitive a small team that lays bricks needs to be made of two bricklayers and a labour, of course there can be any sort of teams and larger teams that can work well with a different number of people, but anyhow this is what was like then and as I said our team had two bricklayer and a labour as myself.
Now that we have explained my position let us start working, so that I can describe how things work out and who does what and how it should be done. It is usually the leader of the bricklayer team that decides from where to start. But if he is not there then it is up to whoever is there to start getting ready where the bricklayers have to start. This is not hard to know because to lay bricks you need to start from the lowest part of the foundation, So when I was working as a labour I would get ready the bricks and the compo boards, at the lowest point of the foundation, so that when the bricklayer had to start all I had to do to start them going was to give them fresh mixed mortar on these combo boards, and then continue to supply them with brick and mortar as required, I suppose that it is hard work for the labour and also for the bricklayer, because at the end of the day one has to handle so many bricks, since in a day a good bricklayer on a normal wall is supposed to lay up to 500 face bricks, or up to a thousand common bricks, of course most times we didn’t but we had to try to get there, but we had to try to do our best. This is how the team usually works, but now let me break it down and describe to you what the labour does and then what the bricklayers have to do, you see, I know all this because I became a bricklayer and worked as a bricklayer for decades myself, but for the moment let us talk what I would do when I was working as a bricklayer labour.

Working as a bricklayer labour

What do you do when you are working as a brickies labour
The brickies labour job is hard work as I have said above and it is also a semi-skilled work, since he has got to know how to go about to supply mortar and bricks to the bricklayer at the right time in the right place. It is obvious that he has to have at his disposition a mixer to mix mortar and two wheelbarrows and sometimes other small devises to help him achieve that.
Here I need to point out that to start a new job it is very hard, as the ground on the site is not flat and generally there are hips of dirt around the foundations where the brick or block walls are going to be built, so, the labour needs first of all to flatten the ground a bit so that the mortar boards and the bricks can be positioned at the right distance from the foundation, usually this is about 60 centimetre plus from the walls that are being built, so that the bricklayers have enough room to move and at the same time they can reach the bricks and the mortar boards without walking; in order to achieve that there needs to be one mortar boards and then one stack of bricks and again one mortar board and another stack of brick and so on for the whole length of the wall being built. Now that we have made it ready and the bricklayers are going to start to lay bricks soon, let me prepare the mortar, which some people may call cement or combo.
Preparing or mixing the mortar
Here again there are rules to follow how to mix good mortar, so, one has to keep in mind first of all what sort of material is available and can be delivered on the local site, because quantity and quality may vary a bit with the locality. Anyhow let us assume that for this job a load of brickies loam has been delivered on the site; in this case this brickies loam has some lumps in it, so it needs to be screened before or after mixing the mortar, as I have already screened some of it I am ready to mix it now.
So I start the mixer and put in some clean water, and a small measure of mortar mix (this is a chemical that helps the mortar to be more workable) then I put in say a shovel full of Portland cement and four shovels full of brickies loam, this is how we usually mix mortar to lay bricks, it is one part of cement to four parts of loam by volume, therefore for bigger batches you can have say; three shovels full of cement and twelve shovelful of loam and so on. Of course sometimes these quantities can vary, if for instance it is written in the specifications that the mortar has to be made with different amount of materials.
Anyhow let me go back to this batch of mortar that I have just mixed to the right consistency; Now, I take the wheelbarrow near the mixer and tip the mortar in the wheelbarrow, and then take the wheelbarrow with the mortar near the mortar boards, here I wet the mortar boards before I place the mortar on them and finally I am ready for the bricklayers to get started. From now on I have to make sure that the bricklayers have always enough mortar and bricks, otherwise the bricklayers will we shouting at me Bricks! Or combo! (or mortar!)
Dear readers if I have missed a few things you just have to use your own common sense to get everything going the right way, you see most things on the building site is just plain common sense.
I believe that I have said enough in this post and although there is a lot to be said about the bricklayer, how they are going to lay the bricks for this brick base, I am going to leave it for next post. See you soon.

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Brick base under a timber house
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