During your Selection or Pre-Start meeting It isn’t just Picking a Brick. You also have to pick a mortar colour and a type of mortar joint.
If you have been to a Brick Display Centre check what colour mortar they use in the test wall of the brick you like. This will probably be the best colour for your house.
Below are the more common types of brick joints:
- The ‘Ironed’ or ‘Rounded’ joint is quite common and helps to keep the water out of the brickwork
- The ‘Weather’ joint, which is not so common in Australia, also helps to keep the wall dry.
- The raked joint does give an interesting texture to the wall, but is the least moisture resistant joint. It is unsuitable for bricks that only have a surface coating on the sides as the body colour will be exposed at the joints. Because the mortar is almost always in shade it will look darker than you expect.
- A flush joint is reasonable weather resistant but can look uneven. It is unsuitable for rustic or rounded edged bricks. Another issue is it is more likely to result in staining of the brick face.
My E book Guide to Selection/Pre-Start includes lots more information and checklists to help you choose the details that will make your new house a home.
Over a week I would probably visit between 150 – 200 homes.
That’s a lot of door bells pushed……..and if the bell doesn’t work it can be a lot of sore knuckles knocking.
The bell push in the picture above, seems to me, to be most often found at houses where the doorbell doesn’t work.
If you are looking for a doorbell push I couldn’t honestly recommend this one!
On a lighter note here is a different sort of door bell, that worked first time.
For more Unusual Houses and Fails see What the………………….?
Regular visitors to this blog will notice a few changes going on.
A logo has appeared next to the title at the top of the page, and some of the other parts of the blog are looking different.
My daughter, a professional web designer, has decided that dad has been muddling through for long enough and needs a re-branding and general upgrade of the look. I can’t disagree as my interest for this site has been more about the content, rather than the look.
Work on changing the look and feel of the site will continue over the next couple of weeks. It will include new covers for the two existing E books, and the new book “Choosing a Block”, to be released soon.
One thing that will remain the same is the actual content of the posts and books
Here are some details I would be using to build a retaining wall with galvanized steel posts up to 800mm high. This is not a guarantee that these details will be suitable for your application.
I would want to be building it in reasonable ground such as Hard Clay, Compacted Coarse Sand, or Gravel.
It is possible to build walls in poorer ground such as fine sand, soft clay and more loamy soil but specialist advice will be required.
A minimum diameter hole of 300mm dia holes at 1250 spacing (so sleepers cut in half will fit) between posts. Depth to be equivalent to wall height plus 100mm for a gravel layer at the bottom of the hole.
The minimum post lengths to be twice as long as the final height of the wall.
Aim to slope the post back at a gradient of 10-20mm for each sleeper height. Sometimes when a wall is loaded it does move slightly which compacts the ground. If you make the wall vertical and it then tilts a little after backfilling it really looks bad. When the wall is built with a back slope it just finishes up a bit more vertical.
Set the posts a minimum of 5mm below the planned finished height. It’s safer with the hard steel edges below the softer timber.
Spend some time making sure the tops of the posts are level as any mistakes really show up.
If I was using timber, rather than galvanised steel posts, I would have them on the front face of the wall so the whalings would press against the post.
Use an Aggi Pipe with a 100mm gravel surround, maximum stone size of 10mm. Continue the gravel up to the surface at least 100mm thick behind the wall.
Make sure the ground slopes away from the wall as it helps to keep the soil around the post holes from becoming waterlogged and softening.
Available now the latest edition of the E-book
PRE-START / SELECTION GUIDE
This major revision, and expansion, of the Guide means you now get:
- 90 pages of information and advice
- 8 pages of checklists
All aimed at making sure you think about all the details that need to be included in your new home.
- All those who bought the previous edition between 1st April and today should have already received a Free update by Email.
- If you have bought the E-book before this date and would like a Free Copy of this edition send an Email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a copy of the file for the 1st edition attached and I will send you a Free Copy.
Still only $4
Be prepared for your new house Selection / Pre-Start Meeting.
I was walking through one of the Western Suburbs the other day and came to a sudden stop when I saw this facade with stuck on decoration.
The owner must like it after all it would have cost them extra………… So what is wrong with it?
- These sort of decorative pieces are meant to provide a bit of interest to a rendered finish, or at least provide a dividing line between brickwork and and render. Definitely not to be put on plain brickwork
- The point of the arch shape is to match it with an arched window. Having a straight brickwork on a lintel below the ‘arch’ is absolutely out of character.
- If you are going to go along this route at least colour match it with the window cills.
- The joins between the pieces are clearly visible rather than smoothed out.
Am I just being a ratbag?…… or have I got it right?
For more fails and unusual houses go to What the………………….?
Want to get an usual print for the wall in your new house?……..or an unusual ornament for that display case?
Make a note in your diary to go to the Annual Hoppers Crossing Rotary Club Antiques and Collectables Fair 2013.
It will be held at the Wyndham Civic Centre, Old Geelong Road on the 19th 20th & 21st July 2012. There is an admission fee, which goes to help fund worthwhile Rotary community projects.
On display, you will see art works, porcelain, jewellery, lace, furniture, clocks, and much much more.
This link will tell you more about Rotary
Although most people refer to these as Sleeper Walls the Technical term is ‘Post’ and ‘Whaling’ * Walls.
The posts can be Galvanised Steel like the example on the right.
Other alternatives are timber sleepers, like the example below, or even round timber posts.
For Whalings the choices are:
- Timber Sleepers, Probably the most popular
- Concrete, Usually similar dimensions to Timber sleepers
- Round ‘Logs’, These are machined to be a consistent diameter.
Actual suitable railway sleepers aren’t that common now but most landscape suppliers will be able to supply new timber ‘sleepers’ with the following dimensions
- 2400 x 200 x 50mm – Suitable for Whalings in walls up to 800mm high**, and Posts, spaced at no more than 1200mm, for walls up to 600mm high.
- 2400 x 200 x 75mm – Suitable for Posts, spaced at no more than 1200mm, for walls up to 800mm high.
As the sleepers are going to be in contact with the ground make sure they are well treated with a preservative.
* Some references say ‘Wales’ but being a Pom I was always taught that they were ‘ Whales’.
** You will need specialist advice, and council permits, for walls taller than 4 sleepers (800mm).
See Understanding Retaining Walls for information on the sort of loads Walls have to carry