Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Brick base continues

Welcome to our blog, Menfranco general blog
and this post, Brick base continues

To start laying face bricks on a stepped foundation is very demanding for the bricklayer, because everything should be started at the right level and alignment and there is no space to hide any imperfections.
A stepped concrete foundation ready to lay bricks. When laying bricks on a foundation that is below ground, the bricklayers have the option to fix any mistake before the walls are above ground.

Brick base continues
In our previous posts we have promised our readers that we are going to explain step by step how to build a brick base, so that any D I Y people that would like to try and build themselves their own brick base, or anything built with bricks can have an idea what they should do to built it right the first time around. So far in our last post we have started to describe how to build a brick base on a sloping building site, in this post we will continue to describe how to complete this house brick base.
Now in our last post we had reached the stage where the bricklayers had set and built the southern wall high enough to lay some brick reinforcement and the damp course in this lower part of the house base, now just to keep our descriptions as simple as possible and as accurate as possible, we have to assume that they are going to leave an opening for a door, and then continue to build this wall as high as the first brick on the concrete foundation at the highest corner to start with, they want to do that, so that they can check and make sure that all the walls are level and there is no mistake, and therefore no pig in their brickwork, once that has been done it starts to be a bit easier for everyone to work on this brick base, since the whole house dimensions have been set and everything is level.
For this reason the bricklayers continue to check and recheck everything before they lay more bricks, because this is when a mistake can be picked up easily, they are also checking that everything is at the right alignment and also that they have laid the brick walls level, so, they keep checking this from the lines that they have set above with their level and the gauge rod, or any other way that they usually use; this making sure that everything is set right is very important to do, specially on a sloping site and stepped foundations, since the foundations may not be exactly level, because of the extra difficulty that the concreter can encounter when laying the foundations, and also that an exact gauge rod has not been made yet for that particular job, therefore the concreters are guessing the possible gauge.
Now let me make it clear, when building every tradesman should rely only on themselves and their skills, they should always make sure that what they are doing is the right thing to do, they cannot blame somebody else for their own mistakes, therefore, when they find a mistake from the previous tradesman, whether they are concreters or other trades, whenever possible they should try to fix whatever there is to fix if they can fix it themselves, when that cannot be done, their foreman could recall the previous tradesman to fix their mistakes before they go ahead and make the first mistake bigger and more costly to fix later on.
That is why the bricklayer cannot trust blindly the concreters and they have to rely on themselves. Anyhow the bricklayer that are building this base are doing the right thing, so they has succeeded in building for a start the lower part of the brick base level and they have made the first full course of bricks all around the house base. Now they can relax a bit, as everything is in the right place at the right level and there is no pig in the brickwork, as the last course of bricks makes a full circle of the house and ends up level, so there is no pig in the brickwork, so let us explain what is meant by a pig in the brickwork.

Pig in the brickwork

Let me explain how a pig in the brickwork can happen.
Okay we have been talking about a pig in the brick work; now, let me try to explain how it can happen sometimes, and how you can create a pig in the brickwork easily, if the bricklayers are not very careful when starting the walls. This can happen easily on a sloping site like the sloping site we are supposedly be working on now, you see, it could happen when the brick-walls are not exactly level.
Therefore, let us go back to build our brick base, and let us assume that the bricklayer that is setting the wall on the eastern side is having some difficulty in setting the wall exactly level, because the concreter made a mistake and the concrete foundation is not level, so the bricklayer believe that he can get it level soon enough by making the bed joint thicker before the walls are higher than the ground; therefore he lets his northern corner be a couple of centimetre lower than his southern corner on the same course of bricks, you see this is a long wall and if you only use the spirit level, you can hardly see that it is not level, but with the proper level or water level it soon shows the difference.
At the same time the bricklayer that is setting the western wall is having some difficulties too and for the same reason is starting his wall and letting his northern corner be a couple of centimetre higher that his southern corner on the same course of bricks, he also believes that he can set everything right by making very small joint before ground level is reached.
Now, I suppose that you have already worked out that there is a difference of four centimetres at the northern wall, this will give anyone a headache to say the least, and also the problem of what to do to set it right again; you see four centimetres is more than half a brick, and therefore one can easily tie the line on the wrong course; this is how a pig in the brickwork is created easily, if you tie the line on the wrong course of bricks a pig in the brickwork is created. In order to make one hundred per cent sure that there is no pig in it, the bricklayer needs to make sure that the walls are started level from the start, and then run a full course all around the building and make sure everything ends up level, this is the only way, so it is better to spend extra time at the start and get it perfectly level the first time around. I hope I have explained it properly and clearly. And now let us go back to talk about how to complete the brick base.

Building the rest of the brick-base

Let us assume that everything has been set properly and there is no pig in the brickwork, so all the brickwork around is level and at the right alignment we believe. But anyhow just to make sure, we double check everything again by running a type measure and seeing that it agrees with the plans measurement, this now is a very simple job, because everything is set in hard cement and everything is level, so if there is any mistake in the measurements it will show up easily.
Having checked everything and found that everything is right, we can now proceed to complete the brick base. But let us go over once again how far we have built the base and what else we have done, so that our readers can keep the whole brick base picture in their minds; we have built the lower part of the base one brick higher than the highest corner of the concrete foundations; in this case because it is sloping site the lower part is about half way the finished height, so what would be the best way to proceed now?
Since the whole base has been set, perhaps the best way is to build the northern wall, which at the moment is the lowest wall, we want to build it at least to above ground level, so that the trances can be back filled and then it would become easier for everybody to walk around the building site, this is an easier job now since everything is in the right place at the right level. So from now on everything is going to move a bit faster, and soon this wall is built above ground level. Having built the northern wall above ground level, now we have to choose which wall to build next. But at the same time let us see what the bricklayer can use to speed up the brickwork, like the bricklayer’s profiles, these are devises that can be attached to the brick walls that is being built and they help the bricklayers, because they can speed up the job. So what are the bricklayer profiles?  Anyhow this post is becoming too long, so we will talk about the bricklayer’s profile in our next post
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Menfranco general blog
Brick base continues
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