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Old 07-14-2007, 06:27 PM   #1
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Brickwork problem


Ok I have a newly built (not yet complete) home with a brick veneer exterior. The roof and soffit was all completed prior to any brick being put up. The bricklayers clamped 2x4s to the trim pieces off the back of the soffit to set their line as far making the bricks plumb. So now the whole house has brick, but on some walls only half to 2/3 the depth of the brick is on the foundation. There is an over hang of 1/3 to 1/2 a brick over the edge of the poured slab. The brick layers smeared mortar on to the slab to try to "blend" it in. In other places they used cement to build out the slab. Is this allowed? Is there some code for where the bricks need to be located on the foundation? Is it different for different states? I am just outside of Houston Texas so city codes don't apply. Only county, and I have no idea what they are. Can anyone help?

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Old 07-16-2007, 08:41 AM   #2
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Brickwork problem


Sounds like a crappy job by either the bricklayers or the guy who did the foundation. If the foundation was bowed in or out the bricklayers would follow a straight line. The problem of the foundation should have been picked up by someone. Wasn't the foundation inspected? Around here on LI,NY they inspect the excavation for the foundation, the footing and the foundation itself.
It's easy to check the foundation, just span a string to the two corners, You should see any bow.
I'd be more then a little worried about the section that was only 1/2 on the ledge.
Ron

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Old 07-16-2007, 09:09 AM   #3
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Brickwork problem


Crappy foundation and/or framing. The bricklayers did what they could to fix it.
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Old 07-16-2007, 10:12 AM   #4
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Brickwork problem


I may not be explaining the problem well enough. Any given wall is consistent for the length of that wall. The bricks or foundation do not wave in and out. As near as I can tell, the Framers did not always allow enough space for the brickwork. The framing determines placement of the soffits and the soffits were used as a guide for the bricking. It is really jack up. There is a portion of the house that is a bay window all the way down including the slab. The bricks are set back from the slab about an inch on one side of the bay, flush at the back of the bay, and hang over the slab on the left side. Like someone just pushed everything to the left...yet it all lines up with the roof trim and soffits etc. Freakin day labor that can't speak English won't dare stop and ask if something is wrong. They just keep on working and typically the Contractor can never be found until it's too late. HeII, I want them to tear the house down and start over, but that won't happen. SO MANY problems.
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Old 07-16-2007, 11:35 AM   #5
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Brickwork problem


I think he's trying to say the framing is not square to the slab?


The brick is just veneer....throw in some landscaping to cover it up.
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Old 07-16-2007, 02:38 PM   #6
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Brickwork problem


I have no idea how they do brick work where you are. Here they incorpoate a brick ledge into the foundation when they pour it. It's wide enough for the brick and a 1" space behind for weeping and drainage if any water gets in behind.
To have the framing out so much that it pushes the brick out that much is nuts.
Contact the Building Dept. about this to see if it violates any rules.
It would also seem you need to take a more active part in this project. Someone with some oversight is needed here. It doesn't look like anybody who knows anything is looking after your interest. This should have been the General Contractor. As soon as the walls were framed and stood up, an alarm should have gone off. What does he say about this? What about the Architect? Is he involved? I don't understand why no one is being held accountable. What other items have been done incorrectly that you're not aware of.
Out of curiousity, what material did they use on the wet walls of the tub and/or shower? Sheetrock or cementboard?
Ron
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Old 07-16-2007, 03:13 PM   #7
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Brickwork problem


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Originally Posted by Ron6519 View Post
I have no idea how they do brick work where you are. Here they incorpoate a brick ledge into the foundation when they pour it. It's wide enough for the brick and a 1" space behind for weeping and drainage if any water gets in behind.
The same method is used here (should be)
Quote:
To have the framing out so much that it pushes the brick out that much is nuts.
Contact the Building Dept. about this to see if it violates any rules.
It would also seem you need to take a more active part in this project.
I have tried and tried and I have use the polite approach, I have used the "escalate to management" approach. I have used the screaming and yelling approach. Nothing works. They don't care.
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Someone with some oversight is needed here. It doesn't look like anybody who knows anything is looking after your interest. This should have been the General Contractor. As soon as the walls were framed and stood up, an alarm should have gone off. What does he say about this? What about the Architect? Is he involved? I don't understand why no one is being held accountable. What other items have been done incorrectly that you're not aware of.
I have a list of items that are screwed up. About 40 significant issues. the GC on the job now was just brought in after the first guy was moved out of the subdivision. I hoped things would get a lot better but he has had the whole subdivision dumped in his lap and it is too much for him to keep up with. I have crooked windows, missing insulation, roof leaks, fireplace leaks, granite tops that have steps where two pieces are bonded together. Tons of problems and all I hear is "We're not done yet". They installed boxes in the brickwork for the outdoor speakers and they put the right side 4 rows down and the left side only two rows down from the roof. The hallway sound system was sheetrocked over and the new GC didn't even know it was supposed to be there. he said they fish it all out later.
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Out of curiousity, what material did they use on the wet walls of the tub and/or shower? Sheetrock or cementboard?
Ron
They used green board with cement board over it. THIS they manged to get right, but the tile job is all out of alignment.
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Old 07-16-2007, 04:59 PM   #8
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Brickwork problem


Your brick overhang is certainly not good workmanship by the masonry contractor, but is actually close to many code provisions. This should have been brought up early in the completion process, so the builder could get on the masonry subcontractor.

Do you have any real structural or safety items or are they all in the finish category?

The first thing to do is find out if there is any building code that covers your area. You county can provide this.

If you are lucky, there will be some sort of a code in effect. The code is to protect you, you from yourself and to protect future owners.

This will provide you with some enforcement once the problems are are listed.

If you get no response, you will have to be a little heavy handed. Be advised that once you do this, you may not be able to communicate and solve the problem in an amicable way. You must remember the house is not finished yet and you should be offered an opportunity to have a walk through before closing.

If you do not have the luxury of a code, you will have to go to the general contractor/builder. Contact him with a written list. With 40 items, you will be into a nit-picking contest, so the major items should be listed and you may have to eat the small things.

Also, find out about his license (he will have to provide information if it exists). File a complaint with the licensing authority if he does not correct them before closing.

If you are financing the home, contact the financing company to point out some early construction deficiencies and ask how to get them corrected.

Take pictures and document.

Normally, big long shopping lists of small items are not taken too seriously, but major code, structural and safety items are usually addressed. Every new house has things that are not perfect. That is why some owners hire inspectors to be at the job and look out for major problems.
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Old 07-16-2007, 05:33 PM   #9
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Brickwork problem


Some of these walls are 25 feet tall. I do have a fear of them coming down on me.
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Old 07-16-2007, 06:50 PM   #10
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Brickwork problem


Did they use wall ties to attach the brick to the house?

Most importantly - Is there a code in effect where you are having the home built? - You should find this out before you go any further since this is your main salvation.
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Old 07-16-2007, 07:06 PM   #11
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Brickwork problem


Unless you are in a seismic zone, your walls have a zero of chance of falling OUT. If they used sufficent wall ties, you will have almost zero chance of them falling IN, which is the predominant issue. I would be more concerened about other defects than the fact that the brick were layed plumb and square in spite of the foundation/framing.
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Old 07-16-2007, 08:47 PM   #12
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Brickwork problem


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Did they use wall ties to attach the brick to the house?

Most importantly - Is there a code in effect where you are having the home built? - You should find this out before you go any further since this is your main salvation.
They used wall ties, but I have no idea if it was enough or not. Also, BRAND NEW windows with dents in the frames from the bricklayers and one broken pane. This house has been a nightmare.

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