Building, External, Structural

Day 10-11 Bricks to lockup

We have had a bit of a break with the bricklaying due to the weather. In some ways it was a bit of a blessing, giving everyone a much needed break. The house felt cramped with 6 of us here for over a week, so to get our house back helped to get some sort of normalcy again.

This weekend though, Anthony’s Dad has come down to help further with the bricklaying. With 2 walls down and 3 more to go, they have started on the most exposed wall and have bricked around the corner. It was a good idea starting this way as the weather has been unpredictable. At least if it does rain, Anthony is able to continue finishing off the bricklaying under the shelter of the patio roof.

Making mud

Bricking up the other side of the house

Now that we are close to lock up, we have to plan out tackling the next hurdle. Before we can render our house, we need to move 2 Windows. 1 window is a bedroom window and the other we want to upgrade our kitchen window while we can, to match the rest of the house (It is a thin brown window with no lock). We have decided that we will hire a builder to do this job as it could be a little too tricky for us.

When the windows are done, Anthony’s Dad will work on the electrical rough-in and so on and so on…

Building, External, Structural

Day 5-9 Bricks to lockup

It’s been a hive of activity the past few days. Amongst the brick laying, the plumber has come to site to rough in the plumbing for our 3 wet areas and we have had the delivery of our bathware & tapware.

Anthony and his Dad have now completed 2 of the largest walls of our extension. Though it has taken a painstaking 9 days to do it, they’ve got there. There are 3 more walls to complete, but these have large windows and a large door, which reduces the number of bricks to use. In taking their time, we noticed there’s been less wastage of bricks. 

The plan now is to have a bit of a break due to some wet weather to come, not to mention Anthony and his Dad needing a good break from all their physical work. Anth’s Dad is 65 after all! Anthony will then continue on the rest to finish off and we will call in a renderer to render the entire house.

Part of the back wall

Getting to the top

Working till late

Plumbing rough in for our main bathroom

Where the bathtub goes

One of our basin mixers. Caroma Artego

Our laundry mixer. Raymor gooseneck

Building, External, Structural

Day 3-4 Bricks to lockup

With only Anthony and his Dad working on the bricks, it has been a fairly slow start. But all things considering, they have done very well. The first wall they built looks straight and professional, and they are not professional bricklayers. 

The most difficult wall for them to build is just about done. They have added in th lintels above the 3 windows and are now working on the back wall.

I’ve been struck with what I believe is bronchitis and have (frustratingly) not been able to be of assistance. I’m hoping tomorrow I can help out and lay some bricks and do some labouring too.

My son laying his first brick with the help of his Pa. He’s not too sure about the dirty mud…

Building, External, Structural

Day 2 Bricks to lockup

This time I was able to help do some labouring for the 2 bricklayers. Managed to move almost 2 pallets of bricks today, so probably about 800 or so. I also layed a short course of bricks and was taught how to mix the mortar.

Bricklayers really do make it seem so easy, especially when you see the walls go up so quickly, but I will never underestimate the work they day now that I’ve had a go at it.

All things considering, Anthony and his Dad have done pretty well. They have now reached just under the windows. They are still working on the same way, but they’ve done really well so far.

Building, External, Structural

Day 1 Bricks to lockup

Today was the first day that Anthony and his Dad made a start on the bricklaying. We decided this time around that we would go at it alone and not rely on another trade. To be honest, Anthony has been pretty fed up with hiring people – maybe we just aren’t that great at finding them.

Last weekend we had a bit of a break from building while we focused on our son’s 7th birthday party celebrations. Although we have these renovations going on, life just doesn’t stop. I also spent part of the week packing boxes in preparation for our move to the new areas of the house. It felt good to sort out all the items to keep or throw. It’s amazing how much stuff we have no use for but still keep. All of this will help though when the internal walls are demolished and needing to protect our belongings from the fine dust that will, I am sure, get into everything.

In the background of last week, Anthony’s Dad continued to be industrious and made his own scaffolding for when the wall of bricks get taller. It has saved us a lot of money as scaffold hire can set you back a few thousand. The great thing about the scaffold he has built is that it can be used inside the house too, for painting and wiring etc. A very handy and talented man is Anthony’s Dad, I can definitely see where he gets his skills from.

My first day as a “brickies labourer” was not a great start…called in sick due to a cold, so Anthony and his Dad made a start without me. They did spend half the day planning their courses, but this stage is equally if not more important than laying the bricks themselves. It turns out that the bricks on the strip footing weren’t level, so it looks like there will be around 8 courses of bricks before they get to level. Luckily we are rendering the entire house, so this won’t be noticeable.

So for Day 1, roughly 100 or so bricks have been laid on the left side of the house. Only 2900 bricks to go! I hope I am well enough tomorrow to give the men a hand.

Borrowing Garry’s cement mixer. We have a 5:1 sand & cement mix with some additives

Making a start on the wall