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Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Gercarson, Oct 10, 2005.
Does anyone build "real" brick homes anymore? Are they all veneer now?
The local brick place here is promoting an oversized brick that makes a solid wall like the old days, but with foam insulation inside it.
But the majority are veneer, due to cost and energy savings.....a solid wall is pretty low in R value.
Even veneer is gone in the 150K and down houses here......they lay cinderblock for the foundations, run a coat of mortar over the block, then a colored mortar coat over that and "scratch" out joint lines to look like brick....about 1/2 the price of veneer......then vinyl siding on any wood above the foundation line.
Quite A few new homes here in the Rio Grande Valley are built of Brick. But you need to remember prices here are lower for building components than other parts of the country. So if you want brick move to the southern most point of the continenal U S Thats S Texas.
A builders opinion. From the way you worded your question I am assuming you mean monolitic brick walls. It can still be done but it is more expensive and not as energy efficient. to be structurally sound for one story walls the brick would have to be around 8 inches minimum thick. This is where the old flemish bond pattern came from in using the brick in a perpendicular direction to tie the two wall faces together. The problem is you pay the mason for around 2.5 times as much wall face as compared to a single veneer. You will also not have any insulation and water proofing is a problem. If you were to consider Drayton hall plantation house in Charleston a true brick house, it is a brick structure veneered with wood on the inside which gave it a finished look and some insulation. For most applications the veener over structural wall is cheaper and a better system. By the way what you are describing is still done here in Iraq. The Iraqis lay up a rough brick structure and parge it with plaster. Very rough and you would not like the quality.
Jeffreyc: You are in Iraq? Now? It is really interesting to hear what things are like there. How do people live with that terrible heat? Since they do not have electricity for periods of time, what methods do they use? How about washing clothes? OR what do they use for lighting?
When Ken Sharabrock (sp?) was in Croatia, he posted some really interesting information about how the locals cut the hay and stored it on their roofs for the winter. It insulated the roofs very well and was space efficient storage. By spring, when the insulation was no longer needed, the hay had been used for the animals all winter. People kept cows in their little backyards and a village shepherd drove them out each day to shared (?) open land outside the village. He talked about their low tech ways of, for instance, making butter and cheese. What they ate.
IF you have time, I think it would be wonderful to hear your observations.