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Is this acceptable Brickwork above a window?

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    Post Is this acceptable Brickwork above a window?

    Could somebody please tell me if this is an acceptable way to finish off brickwork above a window.

    I'm building a new home with Porter Davis and this is the quality of their window finish on once of their display homes. When I quizzed my sales advisor about this they said that this is perfectly acceptable and quite common.

    I think this looks totally rubbish and very messy.

    If this is acceptable - can anyway suggest a way of tidying this up once the house is built so I don't have to stare at holes and rogue cement.

    Many thanks for your replies in advance.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pd-customer View Post
    can anyway suggest a way of tidying this up once the house is built so I don't have to stare at holes and rogue cement.
    urgh.

    replace those aluminium-framed windows with some nice hardwood ones?

    add some wood beading around the window frame?

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    Is it acceptable to me? No, and I wouldn't accept it.
    I'm no expert, but know enough to be dangerous...
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    You have to ask yourself, if this is the quality they've accepted on a display home then what would you be expecting when it comes to building your house?

    Do builders pay more / less / the same attention to detail on a commissioned home over a display home?

    There is no way I'd accept that!

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    I wonder how else they would (should?) finish it? The lintel is very probably to spec, but a deeper one would have helped the finish here. I'd probably just finish it off with some nice beading to suit. Would depend if there were many other things that weren't up to my expectations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pd-customer View Post
    Could somebody please tell me if this is an acceptable way to finish off brickwork above a window.

    I'm building a new home with Porter Davis and this is the quality of their window finish on once of their display homes. When I quizzed my sales advisor about this they said that this is perfectly acceptable and quite common.

    I think this looks totally rubbish and very messy.

    If this is acceptable - can anyway suggest a way of tidying this up once the house is built so I don't have to stare at holes and rogue cement.

    Many thanks for your replies in advance.
    The extrusion holes would normally have been filled with mortar for a neater finish, the lintel is a standard width so thats it, I would be more concerned with what looks like no weep holes above window for head flashing, which may mean there is no head flashing, any more than 2 courses above an opening requires a flashing & weep holes @ 1.2m centres max
    regards inter

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    doesn't look like that window is sealed up the reveal either
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    Lintels come as 100mm wide, bricks are 115mm wide.
    There never used to be this problem when the bricks had 3 large holes in them rather than the 10 small holes they have now.

    Talk to the steel or brick manufacturers and see if they can sort things out for you.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by intertd6 View Post
    I would be more concerned with what looks like no weep holes above window for head flashing, which may mean there is no head flashing, any more than 2 courses above an opening requires a flashing & weep holes @ 1.2m centres max
    regards inter
    Ya dont need weep holes over openings if the openings are under cover ,ie, eaves as in this case or a verandah.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brickie View Post
    Ya dont need weep holes over openings if the openings are under cover ,ie, eaves as in this case or a verandah.
    Thats not what the standard says.
    regards inter

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    can anyway suggest a way of tidying this up once the house is built so I don't have to stare at holes and rogue cement

    Solids are quite often different colour and size variations which looks awful I think. A strip of painted PGI stuck to the underside of the brickwork just to cover the holes would be an option?


    "Ya dont need weep holes over openings if the openings are under cover ,ie, eaves as in this case or a verandah."


    "Thats not what the standard says.
    regards inter"


    The standard is like the bible. It tells a story but you need the Pope to interpret it for you.

    Its going to depend on how big the eaves overhang is.
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    When I quizzed my sales advisor about this they said that this is perfectly acceptable and quite common.

    Did his teeth sparkle when he said it?Pulling it down would make it look worse.
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    You can see if they would lay them in a header course, either half or full bricks
    more work for brickies but you might be able to work something out with them on site

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    Quote Originally Posted by intertd6 View Post
    Thats not what the standard says.
    regards inter
    Please point me to the standards in question so I may learn, standard number and page.

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    The standards tell you to tie in your brickwork every course too. The only problem is with 3rd bond internal in houses is you end up with a straight joint. There is no standard for modular bricks in the manner some manufacturers recommend they be laid.
    That's why I left the industry. The ambiguity is left to be tested in court and frankly, the income doesn't match the risk and liability.

    Id love to follow the standard but if I did it on your house I don't think anyone would like the cracks. Some standards are so irrelevant its ridiculous.

    I've had a building inspector tell me I can go to 5 courses without weep holes under a 600 eave. Id still flash it, any moisture, if any is carried off either side of the window or is imported by the external leaf which its supposed to.

    Ask roof carpenters about the standards. Some are so under engineered its a joke.

    If you want to follow standards to the letter go for it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brickie View Post
    Please point me to the standards in question so I may learn, standard number and page.
    ASA3700 page 12, 3.2.2 & 3.2.3 & 3.2.4 b, d. Some external openings may never see rain but thats not to say in the life of a building they won't experience moisture penetration like the windows or face being hosed. So thats why flashings should be put in where every they are required, it's not possible to put a flashing over an external opening in less than 2 courses, so when It does leak from some goose hosing the extenal face your not at fault & have complied with the standard.

    Quote Originally Posted by autogenous View Post
    The standards tell you to tie in your brickwork every course too.
    No it doesn't 3.9.2 (b) (ii) (that would be bonding not tieing which would be 600mm in each direction)
    standards are referred to in most contracts & specifications so they are a fact of life.
    regards inter

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    Quote Originally Posted by intertd6 View Post
    ASA3700 page 12, 3.2.2 & 3.2.3 & 3.2.4 b, d.
    You must have a different book to the one Ive got?
    I know there is a newer updated version but it only change a few words, not pages.
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    No it doesn't 3.9.2 (b) (ii) (that would be bonding not tieing which would be 600mm in each direction)

    There is pretty much no bonding in WA anymore. The specification is all wire ties to connect interesecting brickwork. Is that in your book of standards?

    standards are referred to in most contracts & specifications so they are a fact of life.
    regards inter

    Yep, rather than be sued like two mates which cost them $8000 for a court case that was thrown out I left.
    The product was within the "standard" but 6 months after the job was completed the owner decided to complain. A consultant wrote a report, the builders rego board said the tiles were lipping, never mind the porcelain was bent 2 mm.
    It was all go for the tradie beat up until the Judge said it was far from the tradies fault and why it had got to court.
    The tradies ended 10 years aged overnight, went back to sleeping at night and $8000 down in lawyers fees, lost 3 weeks income in lost work time,, all because some rubbish materials the owner supplied and tried to weasel out of it. The consultant was told he could potentially be sued for defamation. That is still on the cards and the owner will be sued for costs at a later date.

    And people wonder why they cant get good tradies. Anyone with half a brain would get out at the first opportunity so they arent sued even when they spend the time to fix rubbish materials.
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    Quote Originally Posted by autogenous View Post

    And people wonder why they cant get good tradies. Anyone with half a brain would get out at the first opportunity so they arent sued even when they spend the time to fix rubbish materials.
    Sounds familiar.....

    I have had a builder chasing me for $7700 through a debt collecting agency for 2 years.

    The "problem" stemmed from an over zealous brick cleaner who blew the face of the brick off with his pressure washer.
    The owner rightly complained about it so the builder rendered the front of the house and wants me to pay for it.
    The bricks used to have a black slurry face before cleaning.
    So how its my fault?

    I was served with court papers 3 weeks ago.
    Its was thrown out of court even before it began because they realised its not down to me.
    Im now going to sue the builder for harassment.

    I now work on wages for another brickie and look after his blokes, less stress.
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    The "problem" stemmed from an over zealous brick cleaner who blew the face of the brick off with his pressure washer.

    This method of cleaning is not allowed in WA anymore. Basically its weathering the brickwork a decade or so.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pd-customer View Post
    can anyway suggest a way of tidying this up once the house is built so I don't have to stare at holes and rogue cement.
    If the house is not built yet, I would ask the builder to get some gal iron folded over double, to sit on top of the lintel, wide enough to hide the holes in the bricks.
    Posted by John2b, And no, BEVs are not going to save the planet, which doesn't need saving anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by autogenous View Post
    This method of cleaning is not allowed in WA anymore. Basically its weathering the brickwork a decade or so.
    Good, hopefully theyll ban it here too.

    Ive spent hours and days round joint brickwork only to see it ending up as raked after the pressure washing..

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    Quote Originally Posted by cherub65 View Post
    You can see if they would lay them in a header course, either half or full bricks
    more work for brickies but you might be able to work something out with them on site
    soldiers above a window is a pretty typical detail and a nothing job for a skilled brickie so I'm surprised they didn't do this anyway, leaving it like that is just poor workmanship tbh, unless they are told by the builder to do it that way.
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    soldiers above a window is a pretty typical detail and a nothing job for a skilled brickie so I'm surprised they didn't do this anyway, leaving it like that is just poor workmanship tbh, unless they are told by the builder to do it that way.

    Its definitely not a nothing job. For starters the bricks have to be cut.It takes 4 times longer to the lay the bricks as well.The gauging has to be right also.

    People are always saying that word, "just" do this

    The holes could be pointed up with some brown cement. It would look ten times better than slightly different colour solids, thats if they make them for that brick.

    They could megapoxy a 20mm x 8mm steel flat bar there too.

    At the end of the day a 105mm lintel would have prevented the issue. Its the little things that add to the price of the house though. Its human nature to go for the cheaper house.
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    Everyone buys a budget product but expect a Rolls Royce finish, its not going to happen.
    The builders screw all the trades down to rock bottom price then inflate house prices to make more profit for themselves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by autogenous View Post
    Its definitely not a nothing job. For starters the bricks have to be cut.It takes 4 times longer to the lay the bricks as well.The gauging has to be right also.

    People are always saying that word, "just" do this
    a skilled brickie would eat that without any fuss, bricklaying gangs leaving poor details like that are only interested in time and money.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scruffydoo View Post
    a skilled brickie
    Where do you find one of them?

    Dont worry, when all the Indians and Chinese who are coming through trade school at the moment come on line youll see "real" quality brickwork.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brickie View Post
    Dont worry, when all the Indians and Chinese who are coming through trade school at the moment come on line youll see "real" quality brickwork.....
    always did like weatherboard
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    Quote Originally Posted by scruffydoo View Post
    always did like weatherboard
    Same here.

    There is no way Id buy a house built in the modern way by modern tradies as the work is atrocious to say the least, but having said that the builders pay to a price not a standard so you really cant blame the tradies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brickie View Post
    There is no way Id buy a house built in the modern way by modern tradies as the work is atrocious to say the least, but having said that the builders pay to a price not a standard so you really cant blame the tradies.
    been watching em put 4 lowsets up opposite me for the last couple of months, no site supervision whatsoever from the (sizeable) building company, just various tradies and the odd gang of 'cash in hand labourers' left to there own devices, that's the problem.
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    a skilled brickie would eat that without any fuss, bricklaying gangs leaving poor details like that are only interested in time and money.

    Its all extra work. Its like saying while your there chuck me in a couple of extra power points will you. Do you think the electrician does it for nothin?
    Not everyone wants soldiers over their windows either.
    With InterTD6 2 course standard weephole theres going to be 3 course under that eave to take the water.
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    Brickie, My standard is a few years old now & probably has quite a few minor amendments since 1995, the page numbers might be different but the clause numbers would be the same, by the way where does it say in the standard that you dont have to have flashings as you stated.

    autogenous, the standard covers wire bonding also.
    If brick cleaners dont use a pressure spray how do they clean the masonry? The only reason it stops over here is if there are water restrictions.

    I could fill a book with the horror stories of contractural & legal fights in the building industry & while there are tradies out there not educated enough in the contractural & legal side of building doing work for near nothing trying to save a buck wherever they can it wont stop. Lenders are the main culprit for squeezing the $ out of the building industry, they have gradually herded all the building industry together & will only lend X amount of $ per m2 of building, so gradually the building industry trades are being forced to the bottom of the food chain & no one can afford to train appprentices, You know what will come next , boat loads of labour coming from places less fortunate than here.
    regards inter

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    Quote Originally Posted by intertd6 View Post
    ASA3700 page 12, 3.2.2 & 3.2.3 & 3.2.4 b, d.
    Quote Originally Posted by intertd6 View Post
    Brickie, My standard is a few years old now & probably has quite a few minor amendments since 1995, the page numbers might be different but the clause numbers would be the same,

    Everyone is a bricklaying expert.
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    Quote Originally Posted by intertd6 View Post
    by the way where does it say in the standard that you dont have to have flashings as you stated.
    Common sense tells you brickwork undercover wont get the same weather issues as exposed brickwork.


    Quote Originally Posted by intertd6 View Post
    If brick cleaners dont use a pressure spray how do they clean the masonry?
    With a brush like they used to do, the results from brush washing are far superior, pressure washers save time only.

  35. #35
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    Thats an odd business model the banks governing the housing construction cost.
    Sounds like price fixing. The banks dont tell the owner how much their allowed to spend per square metre on their house.

    There's plenty of migrants already here, its a continuum quantity. They don't last long though as the Australia has one of the highest standards in the world. New arrivals cant compete mostly on standard let alone run a PTY LTD and exodus for other jobs.

    Things were doable when the prices are higher but when prices decline, work becomes intermittent and a payment is knocked back for a couple of jobs a run for high water happens.

    It all seems wonderous for a migrant until the cost of living is realised demonstrating no real difference in earnings along with the high rent charged to temporary visa entrants people run off with their tail between their legs.

    Its not like the 60s anymore. The trade operating business model has changed. You arent handed an envelope of cash each week. Theres a company to run and its associated infrastructure. Thats a little more complicted than most country entrants are used to.

    Australian Standards are a fact of life but Im buggered if Im going to be one of the poor buggers to test and admendmant in court for some rule maker. Theres just not the company revenue for that especially if the trade is engineering based influeneced by numerous variables that can cause a failure in the structural integrity fo a building.

    Imagine a non-english migrant interpeting Australian standards, hello, "What do you mean I pay, im just worker"

    In this case the lintel doesnt cover the holes, but has it broken a standard? Layin soldiers on a 75mm angle is a nightmare as they tend to roll over on the angle being top heavy. You have to set up a support while they're laid.

    Scruffdoo is typical of the voyerism spectators that belch out the comments like a "Skilled bricklayer would do it as fast as laying stretcher". Theyre alter ego precedes them but give em a trowel and put a thousand bucks on a trowel at the other end and they soil their proverbial as they have the mouth but fail in reality. Theyre what has seperated reality and the tripe that results.

    The unfortunate thing with providing a through cavity flashing above that window is that it sets up a slip joint which very easily results in a horizontal crack because it doesnt have the downward compression via weight.
    Its an Australian standard which will cause failure.

    Whos going to pay for that? Oh, lets take the brickie to court. Its bollocks
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    Here we have a typical example of an Australian Standard cavity through flashing, a lintel with a 150mm spine and Australian Standard for wire ties.

    What do you suggest the solution is?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brickie View Post
    Common sense tells you brickwork undercover wont get the same weather issues as exposed brickwork.



    With a brush like they used to do, the results from brush washing are far superior, pressure washers save time only.
    What you have stated about the exemption of flashings & weep holes doesn't come from the standard, I have given you an example of how those areas can & are subjected to moisture ingress & under the standard you have to protect them with adequate flashings (which is 3.2.1 etc in my old standard), also there are numerous trade drawings with acceptable standards of contruction showing sections of exterior head openings in masonry, of which nowhere do they mention or show the exemption of flashings.

    I'm sure it is but those days are gone on the average housing project, thats why pressure washers are used to save time & $. And in the hands of an unskilled person can be disasterous but usually only with strong acid concentrations & poorly cleaned down brickwork left by bricklayers

    Quote Originally Posted by Brickie View Post
    Everyone is a bricklaying expert.
    You know your an expert when you make up your own rules

    Quote Originally Posted by autogenous View Post
    Here we have a typical example of an Australian Standard cavity through flashing, a lintel with a 150mm spine and Australian Standard for wire ties.

    What do you suggest the solution is?
    Stick to the specifications, standard & acceptable standards of contruction & don't forget brick reinforcing where required.
    regards inter

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    Can one of the experts here post a picture of what it should look like.

    I can't picture what a 'good' finish should look like.
    Remember the 7 p's.
    Proper prior planning prevents piss poor performance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by intertd6 View Post
    ...thats why pressure washers are used to save time & $. And in the hands of an unskilled person can be disasterous but usually only with strong acid concentrations & poorly cleaned down brickwork left by bricklayers...
    A guy at work has recently reached a financial settlement with his builder to render his whole house due to such a cleaning disaster. He had chosen to spend thousands more on premium bricks and coloured mortar only to have the brick face 'destroyed' and mortar blown out by the cleaner. Very stressful time for all concerned.

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    Quote Originally Posted by autogenous View Post
    Scruffdoo is typical of the voyerism spectators that belch out the comments like a "Skilled bricklayer would do it as fast as laying stretcher". Theyre alter ego precedes them but give em a trowel and put a thousand bucks on a trowel at the other end and they soil their proverbial as they have the mouth but fail in reality. Theyre what has seperated reality and the tripe that results.
    actually I said it because I am highly experienced, extremely well qualified and know it's true.

    Quote Originally Posted by autogenous View Post
    "Skilled bricklayer would do it as fast as laying stretcher".
    I didn't say that, I said they would do it without any fuss, or certainly a lot less than you made.
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    I have found this thread very interesting. Autogenous, I particularly enjoy your common-sense and practical comments on this matter, and I know from your many threads over the years that you have a wealth of real-world brick-laying experience.

    Although I'm not a professional, I have built my own house, and I laid every brick myself without any help. I can certainly verify that laying soldier bricks is a LOT more time-consuming!

    In the area I live, in the west of Melbourne, I would say that the example in the photo is totally standard. I find it un-attractive. I particularly hate brick fences where the top course is laid on it's side and you see the holes at the end of the fences! I would never do that!

    However, there is no doubt in my mind that the method in the photo is `normal' practice from the thousands of houses I've looked at over the years. And I have seen the same approach in brand new buildings, as well as homes up to 50 years old. It's not a wealthy area and you don't see the beautiful brickwork like in the Eastern suburbs, but the houses are what I would call `normal'.

    That's all I have to add.

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    It may meet the 'Standards' but it is not a finish I would accept on any work done at my place. Find another project-home builder, or specify in the contract how you want it finished. With mortar oozing out of those holes and not scraped off, it will be hard to find a permanent, and aesthetically acceptable solution once the work is done.

    Good luck with the project - the fun has just begun

    ETA - what is the wasp population like in your area? Or native bee situation? Holes left improperly plugged are an open invitation to insect problems

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    Back to the problem, if thats the standard of finish on the display home then thats all you can expect on your project, if there is no flashing above the window & the brick layer has decided that its not needed then all you can do is point a hose at it for a while & see what happens, if it leaks inside & ruins the carpet & plasterboard then the builder is at fault for not ensuring that the bricklayer did his job properly & it can be expected that external washing down of soffits, windows & brickwork will happen during the maintenance & upkeep of a building as well as gale force winds with driving rain which will blow moisture into the most protected of areas, if it doesn't leak I would be very suprised.
    On full masonry jobs I always set up hoses to wet external walls to check for defects before interior painting starts, 1/2 an hour & any problems will show up as a wet patch on the render inside because of any faulty flashings, dags etc
    regards inter

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    Quote Originally Posted by intertd6 View Post
    On full masonry jobs I always set up hoses to wet external walls to check for defects before interior painting starts, 1/2 an hour & any problems will show up as a wet patch on the render inside because of any faulty flashings, dags etc
    regards inter
    Do you do that because you are a wanker? or do you have special needs?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brickie View Post
    Do you do that because you are a wanker? or do you have special needs?

    Your firing on all cylinders again AL, nice call.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brickie View Post
    Do you do that because you are a wanker? or do you have special needs?
    Been called all sorts of names on jobs, when it comes to getting the required standard of quality, from sub standard tradespeople, its part of the job, but when it comes to release final / progress payments for defective subcontractors work it doesn't happen untill the defects are fixed & if defects are not rectified the're off down the track to try it on with some other person, (you might know exactly what I'm talking about here)
    I was first instructed to test brickwork this way about 15 years ago & have done it ever since, it upsets some bricklayers occasionally ..... but who cares when they obviously don't.
    regards inter

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    Quote Originally Posted by intertd6 View Post
    any problems will show up as a wet patch
    You've been doing my laundry....

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    :d

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    ..

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    Quote Originally Posted by zacnelson View Post
    Although I'm not a professional, I have built my own house, and I laid every brick myself without any help. I can certainly verify that laying soldier bricks is a LOT more time-consuming!
    Naturally non standard or even any brickwork would take a while for amateurs but I should clarify I was talking about pro brickies where decorative or feature brickwork is a standard daily practice, bands, corbels, arches etc. etc. Facework is exactly that, its aesthetic so you should see the stretcher or header face from all angles not the guts of a brick or partially filled holes.

    Clearly in this case the quickest solution would have been a wider lintel, the OP's question is 'was is it acceptable', well ...... it does the job but its pretty rough and speaks volumes about both the tradesmen and the Building company, if that's the best they can produce on a show house, god help the production stock.
    www.scrooz.com.au

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