Walls above DPC

I did the walls up to the damp proof course myself, but I'm going to get the professionals in to do the rest of the brickwork. Of course I mean a team of professional bricklayers, not Bodie and Doyle, they'd probably be useless at it.

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Let's start this page with a stock check.

6,000 bricks, 800 blocks, 60 bags cement, and around 7 tons of sand... that should do.

Lucky we made a nice wide driveway.

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100 m2 of insulation.... and this stuff definitely is not cheap.

Then there's lintels, wall ties, insulation clips, cavity closers, and 'wall starters' for meeting the existing house.

All delivered and ready for the arrival of the bricklayers.

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The scaffolders have been and created a nice level platform for the bricklayers to work from at the DPC level.

It may seem strange to put scaffold only a couple of feet up, but by putting this first level in we should hopefully avoid the need to have two more scaffolds built and just one more 'lift' after this should do the job.

 

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Brick laying - day 1

Saturday morning and the brickies arrive and set to work. By the end of the day they had completed all the work you see in this and the next two pictures.

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The block work is up to 8 courses in most places at the rear.

It was a very windy weekend and so the walls have been braced to stop them falling over.

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The garage has been started with the brick outer leaf as the access is only from one side at the bottom part of the wall.

It is amazing how much two bricklayers and a labourer can get done in a single day.

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Brick laying - day 2

Sunday morning, bright and early and they get started again. Today they completed the block work to the garage up to 8 courses high.

One change was made to the opening to make it a little wider so as to give three whole bricks rather than 3 and a little bit at the returns. It means the lintel is definitely not long enough now, so I'll have to buy another one.

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Brick laying - day 3

A lack of scaffolding at their other job meant the brick layers came to me today. Progress today was to get some more blocks on and to start on the brick leaf to the rear extension.

The new lintel for the garage door means I have a 3.6m one spare, so the french doors opening was widened to make use of it (I'll put a glazed panel next to the doors to make up the gap). The 2.4m one that was going there will now be used above the kitchen window, so that was made wider too.

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They will be back on Saturday to finish the bricks on the end wall you see here and to complete the brick to the garage walls as high as they can go.

Once that is done the scaffold will need to be raised so I've got the scaffolders on standby to do that next week if it all goes to plan.

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Brick laying - day 4

And here's that section of wall completed up to the same level as the rest of the rear extension.

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The side wall of the garage was just done at the corners to get the front and rear ready for the scaffolding to be put in place. This wall won't need scaffolding until we start on the gable ends, so no panic at this stage as I need to get the trusses on site for that to happen.

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This is the other side of the garage opening brought up to height ready for the scaffold.

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Bright and early next morning the scaffolders were here to take down the current scaffold and put the next lift in place

Here's the scaffold around the rear extension.

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And this is the scaffold around the front of the garage.

Now I have a week to get all the materials together for the next steps while waiting for the bricklayers get here again on Saturday.

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Brick laying - day 5

More bricks and blocks laid on the rear extension and the lintels are put into place.

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The wall is then continued on top of the lintels and the wooden wall plate is bedded in on top. The roof joists will be attached to this, so this is as high as this bit of wall is going to get.

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The bricklayers weren't coming today so I got some of the finishing stuff done on the rear wall.

I've added insulation along the top of the lintels and brought it all up to just below the level of the wall plate.

Now the mortar has gone off I've also gone along the wall plate and fixed it into the top of the blockwork with some 100mm screws. It shouldn't go anywhere now.

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The final task is to add the cavity closers to the top.

These sit down into the cavity to meet the insulation and form an insulating and damp proofing cover between the top of the two wall leafs.

A few nails to attach it to the wall plate stop it coming loose.

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This is the outside of the rear wall of the extension.

There is the brick on edge along the top of the lintels to match the details on the existing building.

The detail at the bottom of the windows has not been matched and is plain brickwork. This saves a lot of messing about as I won't be doing tiled cills anyway.

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Brick laying - day 6

The side walls of the garage are completed and the wall plates added.

The lintel is in place but nothing else will be done above until the gable wall above is started, which will be after the roof trusses are added. The bricklayers would like to have added the brick on edge along the top, but the rain put paid to that.

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One of the front corners of the garage showing the corbelling that has been added to match the details on the existing building.

I can't say the bricklayers really enjoyed doing these, they were somewhat fiddly and long winded to do. They needed to have mesh in the mortar layers, which I didn't have, but the old chicken house came in to play as the mesh in that was perfect once it had been cut to size. Two of the three went fine, the third one wanted to drop off and so had to be propped until the mortar had gone off.

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No more bricklayers due now until the roof trusses are on, so time to get some other stuff done while waiting for that to happen. With the new scaffolding in place I was able to safely deal with the remains of the old toilet roof and get rid of the overhanging concrete.

I also cut back the outer leaf of the section of wall that is to be replaced to where the side of the new doorway will be. There's nothing being supported by this and the inner leaf has two walls connected to it so no need for any props as the inner leaf and walls are fine. I was concerned to see that when the house was originally built they didn't continue the wall plate to the end, I'll have to sort that out.

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I decided that I'd move the doorway over a little to move it away from the wall internally which will mean closing the hole back up a bit.

I cut back the wall a little further to give me a staggered join that I could tooth the new bit into, including where the window was, and will build it back to the planned doorway to get a nice plumb opening.

The lintel above the window was not particularly large, but it was rather heavy.

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Having built the brickwork up the side of the doorway to the lintel level it was time to sort out the other side. This would involve removing the wall which was supporting the corner of the roof and the lintel above the side door which in turn was holding up the corner of the gable end wall.

Acrow props were put in place to take the roof load and then the wall was removed. The prop under the concrete lintel was on the edge of the floor slab and this was already cracked and was overhanging the garage floor a little. There was a danger that it would move and the prop would lower, so I wanted to get the wall up under the lintel quickly to help support it if it did crack further. (and I had an extra prop up under the brickwork of the gable to help) I actually lifted the lintel slightly when propping to allow for the wall to settle when the weight was transferred onto it or to allow for the drop if the slab did crack.

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Here's how things looked at the end of a long hard day. The back wall of the garage has been extended to under the concrete lintel so that now has more support than just the prop. The lower part of the wall is in progress, but now has the joist hangers in position for the floor.

The floor slab did indeed crack again, about an hour after I had the wall built up to under the lintel. This caused the lintel to drop slightly, but that's why I wanted to get the wall up to that point first as I had anticipated that may happen. Because of the shape of the bottom of the lintel and with the mortar not having time to go off before the extra weight was added the top two courses of blockwork have moved over around 10mm at the top. It is only the blocks directly under the lintel that are affected so is tolerable.

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Having made the temporary scaffold bridge a little safer by adding a handrail, I continued the blockwork on this section of wall.

The lintel is now in place above the doorway and the props have been removed as the wall is now taking the roof load again. You can also see that I have added the missing section of wall plate that the house's original builders forgot about.

This section is now just a couple of blocks short of being completed.

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At the other end of the rear extension the lintel above the other external door has been placed and the blockwork added above.

The first three rows of tiles and the bottom edge of the roof have been removed ready for the wall to be prepared to take the flat roof. I'll cover that work on the 'flat roof' page.

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The brickwork to the outside needs to be completed, but you can see here how I've cut out the brickwork in the existing wall to sit the lintel into it.

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Whilst working out the details for the fascias on the flat roof I decided to add a further course of bricks to the outside of the wall. This means I'll have a slimmer roof profile and only need a 225mm fascia rather than 300mm, which should look neater.

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At the front corner of the house was a corbelled brickwork detail that would end up inside the garage. It wasn't really going to be practical to leave it there so before the roof trusses went on I removed it.

This will be re-built as a square corner.

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The bricklayers were due to return and so the scaffold was extended at the front to allow them to get up to the front gable wall. For the side gable I didn't want to have scaffold in place for a couple of reasons; 1. It's expensive, and 2. It would be on my neighbours drive for some time while I got around to finishing the roof and I wanted to inconvenience him as little as possible.

Instead I had purchased a scaffold tower and so I used that to build a structure for the bricklayers. It also means that I can put it up when I need it and clear it away between jobs.

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This is the front gable now that the bricklayers have finished.

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And this is the end gable.