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nimblemotors 06-27-2008 04:02 PM

Brick veneer or Structural Brick?
I'm planning an extension to my house and plan to put a brick face on it and the rest of the existing frontal area of the house. I was thinking it would make more sense to build the new walls with structural bricks, and then use thin bricks to match on the rest of the exterial walls. I stopped by the brickyard today, and the counter guy wasn't too encouraging on doing the structural brick. I've tried to find what I can online, but haven't really found much on doing structural brick walls for a home.
Any input or suggestions?
Can I leave the interior the plain brick?
The plan is to use large tall windows and cathederal ceiling in the new space.

Termite 06-27-2008 04:20 PM

Bricks themselves aren't for structure. They're a veneer applied to a structural element, such as a bearing wall made of wood or block. The bricks themselves typically don't bear anything more than the weight of other bricks and trim pieces. Bricks must be tied to block, concrete, or wood walls with ties to keep them where they're supposed to be.

Even if this were an acceptible practice, there wouldn't be good ways to mount windows, trim, run wiring, etc.

I'd abandon this idea immediately.

concretemasonry 06-27-2008 04:50 PM

There are many, many buildings built with structural brick. The brick are used for structural walls and are usually 6" or 8" thick. They are designed so they can be grouted, if necessary.

You could also use 6" or 8" concrete block. So far the tallest 6" loadbearing block building is a 22 story apartment - 28 stories for 8" block.

The choice on the interior is up to you. You can paint the wall, plaster direct, fir out ant dry wall or just leave it as is.

nimblemotors 06-27-2008 05:24 PM

Brick blocks
They make brick blocks, which are 12" long x 4" tall, and 6" or 8" wide, so it is easy to build a structural brick wall, just like a concrete block wall, but with brick. And certainly you can cover the wall on the inside if desired. I'd like to leave at least the front window area as exposed brick.
I believe code requires outlets every so many feet, so might have to run some wiring there. It could be done many ways. What I'm concerned most about is the brick block insulation properties. Read that it retains heat, Sacramento can get very hot in the summer. But note the walls with have big windows at least the front wall.
This will be single story, a front-facing gable roof with the brick covering the entire area in the extension, so max height is about 17ft at the peak I'd guess. Still just planning.

Tscarborough 06-27-2008 06:26 PM

Using a structural masonry product faced with another adhered veneer masonry product is about the most expensive possible way to build a wall. If you want a full masonry wall, build it with 2 or 3 wythes of brick, using commons for the interior wythes and face brick for the exterior wythe. It will still be expensive compared to pretty much anything else, but at least you will gain value by doing it this way.

nimblemotors 06-27-2008 06:48 PM

Why would I put a veneer over the structural brick? The whole point is the structural brick block IS what you see on the outside and inside, build the wall and I'm done. Obviously I'm missing something, cuz everyone looks at me funny when I'm saying this..

Mike Swearingen 06-27-2008 07:23 PM

Listen to these pros.

concretemasonry 06-27-2008 07:37 PM

You can easily use the surface of structural brick exposed. If they are exposed, you will be slightly limited in choices if you want a specific appearance. Not all brick are available in the structural brick sizes and dimensions.

The structural brick and some concrete units (Spec Brick, Speed Brik. etc.) are available in slightly different dimensions and have a core configuration that permits reinforcement and grouting of some cores if they need to be reinforced. - For wind, seismic or tornado protection.

nimblemotors 06-27-2008 09:13 PM

These bricks are for sale at 46 cents each, which I'll buying at least to build
a couple sheds, but can I use them for the front extension house walls too? What is the insulating properties of them compared to wood frame with insulation?
Thanks, Jack

concretemasonry 06-27-2008 09:36 PM

Structural brick
You can get structural brick for $0.46?

What size (width, height and length)? Are they actually approved as structural brick?

Termite 06-27-2008 10:50 PM

Sorry, I thought you were considering conventional bricks for a structural application. I still say it is a bad idea, even with larger structural bricks.

Their insulative properties will be minimal. If you're getting a deal on them, great.

There's a multitude of reasons that you rarely see it done. True masonry wall bulding is an art, and isn't really for most weekend DIYers. It takes real talent to lay up a wall, create bond beams and lintels that work, and make it look good at the same time.

Tscarborough 06-28-2008 05:27 AM

"I was thinking it would make more sense to build the new walls with structural bricks, and then use thin bricks to match on the rest of the exterial walls."

That sounds like you plan on using an adhered veneer.

Those brick on CL are 8x2x10. I would find out where they got them and make sure more are available before you buy them.

nimblemotors 07-03-2008 03:32 AM

Brick Design
1 Attachment(s)
OK, so it looks like I can build the structural walls with just the structural brick block. The block is not cheap when new, the 12x4 6" wide is $2.59ea
and the 8" wide is $3.00 each. That is roughly $12 sq ft.
I did some math on wood stick frame with thin brick veneer, and that comes out to about $4 sq ft (drywall inside, no brick inside).
Using the surplus 12x3 8" wide block at .46 ea, that is $1.84 sq ft.
But I need about 300 sq ft of new exterior wall, and the surplus available is only 220 sq ft. So I need to buy 80 sq ft of new block. That would cost $960, plus the $400 for the surplus block, and we get roughly $1400 for the structural brick block wall, compared to $1200 for the wood frame and thin brick veneer, so it works out roughly similiar. I would think building the block wall would be less work than doing framing, drywall, and thin brick. Anyone experience doing both?

One issue is the local brick yard doesn't have 12x3 block, only 12x4, so I'd have to mix them, which I took as a chance to make the walls more interesting, I've attached the design, let me know what you think.


bob22 07-03-2008 06:35 AM

A common 4" brick has an R value of 0.8.
Fiberglas has an R value of 3-4 per inch.

nimblemotors 07-03-2008 01:12 PM

Is this true? I live in Sacramento, it has mild weather, can get hot in summer, but this house has lots of trees, one huge pine tree in front
where the bricks will be. The structural brick is or can be filled with grout,
or possibly another substance. 8" thick walls are overkill I'd think.
Is this a "do it yourself" website, or "don't do it" website????

Concrete masonry homes are less expensive to heat and cool than insulated wood frame homes. Much of this energy efficiency is attributed to the mass of a concrete wall. In Florida, a concrete wall takes advantage of differences in night and day temperature by responding to changes very slowly. As a result, less energy is required to maintain a comfortable constant temperature inside your home. It may take 4 to 8 hours for a temperature change to migrate through the mass of an insulated concrete block wall and only about 1 hour for an insulated wood frame wall. For example, a wood frame construction in Tampa, FL must have three times the R-Value than is required for a masonry home.

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