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Discussion Starter #1
Dear builders,

Last year I redid our garden and in the process, got rid of a lot of old bricks. I couldn't get myself to throw them away and one day, got the idea to build something with them. I had never used bricks or mortar ever, but loved it and try to learn as I go along.

Now I have a question! The project I'm making is a castle for my two young boys (please don't laugh at my attempt, it's a sturdy construction but my first and not pretty at all ;)) The boys would love a floor/platform in the building that they can climb on with a ladder, but I'm wondering: would this be a good idea? And if yes, how could I best approach this? My main concern is safety of course, because I don't want a floor that will collapse on the kids' heads.

Any advise or ideas would be really welcome so thank you so so much in advance!

Kind greetings,
Suzy
 

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Naildriver
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Since brick are usually used as a veneer over framing, I would be reluctant to build another floor over them without such framing. You have done an excellent job, however. Really looks good. Err for safety.
 
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Kudos for your efforts. As noted, bricks are veneer, a skin. Also it is on a wood floor. As such, the joints will begin to crack and separate soon. It is not a wall that I would lean on. But you could add a structure for climbing separate from the brick wall that is more structural. A frame over left side wall, example. But ladder or platform could take up too much space inside.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Wow, thank you so very much for all your replies and kind words! I'm really learning I see, I didn't know that bricks weren't that sturdy on their own! 😶

But now I'm eager to learn more about framework, maybe for a little platform, but also to make this construction a bit safer in itself. There might not be much room inside the castle, but maybe I could place something outside the longest wall (facing the fence). I haven't build much with wood however (except for the windows and doors in this castle) but I'll try to look things up. Thank you so very much!
 

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since you have never mixed mortar before,
I would be very concerned about your boys playing
in, on or near that brick wall . . .
reason being if the mortar was not mixed precisely to incorporate
all the ingredients, you have a poor bond - which could lead to failure.
figure out how you can construct a secure and safe P/T framework
inside the brick wall. when cracks start to appear, it is time to tear it down.
your boys will love it - no matter what you do !!! just be safe about it.

[my first brick project fell apart within weeks - so I learned after that].

.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Don't worry, you don't dampen my enthusiasm at all! I came here exactly for that reason: to inquire if my idea could work from a safety point of view. And I have decided that maybe in this project, it's better to give the climbing platform a miss 🙂 I don't worry too much about the wood it is build on (it was made by the previous owner of the house who was a builder himself, so it has been standing here for quite a couple of years and the wood still looks excellent), but you are all right about the "bricks are just the outer skin". I can just focus on the fun finishing details of this project and make it safe as it is and not try to cram all my ideas in this one building 😉 There will definitely be more!
 

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retired framer
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@Johnny_inFL ,@carpdad,@chandler48
What do you guys think.
Just to make this more stable I was thinking @SuzyQuid could maybe stand 2x4s upright on the flat inside and tapcon them into the brick and maybe something like a top plate like a 2x6 that would span over top of the wall and could be screwed into the top brick too.
Then she could still build platform above with the legs outside
 

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It's a small,short structure. Probably kids are just as tall. Don't think there's room inside for additions.

OP: The walls will not support other structures sitting on them for long, such as a platform. But I don't think the whole thing will collapse at once like in the imploding building videos. You will begin to see cracks in the joints and probably that is about the time to take it down. You could try to glue fence pickets outside (fort instead of a castle) and stabilize the brick pieces but not sure what glue would "guarantee" adhesion. I want to be careful with words as not to over worry you, but even if the wall fell, it is not tall enough to give the kids a permanent injury. But broken toe, example, is still a lot of hassel and medical cost. Will be a beautiful memory when they are grown but for now, more risks are there.:smile:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It's indeed a short and sturdy structure! (The walls you see now are about 80 cm high).

I used a pre-mix mortar that I got recommended and so far, it doesn't show any cracks (the first half of the building has been standing there for half a year now and I can't see any cracks or weak points). Our Dutch climate has been a great mix of sunny and rainy days, which really worked well for the stones and mortar I think!

I was thinking of at least supporting the long wall (facing the fence) on the outside and the towerpart on the inside. The part with the door/drawbridge has a wooden structure that I screwed into the wood, so that part's quite okay I think.
 
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