Builders vs. Brickies (Bonding)

7 Sep 2009
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United Kingdom
Builders vs. Brickies.....Theoretically, I have heard it argued today that there is no real need to consider having a continuous blockwork bond above and below DPC? Since a house virtually 'sits on itself' on top of DPC (it could effectively slide off in one go. but unlikely). I would ask for you comments on this since I have today seen a wall built with no bond above and below dpc, perps lining up and all. The builder suggests that since the ground floor (internal)/subbase, and, the footings and subbase to pavement outside (all around the building) are effectively 'retaining' the walls in situ, then, the bond above is not relevant to bond below DPC. There is apparently going to be 6 inches of bond (external) showing above theoretical pavement level externally. This is a 4" block, cavity wall with ties. I understand his theory, but in this common? :?:[/img]
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It is common, but it is not right

One course of straight joints is not a structural issue, but it does demonstrate poor skill from the brickies, and poor quality/management from the builders.

They have not set the bond out properly allowing for different sized bricks above/below DPC. Or the designer has selected inappropriate combination of bricks
We are currently building a first floor extension on steels supported by 3 individual pillars.

We painstakingly chased the bond down from the first lintel return and at a point where the first brick toothed into the existing. This was then chased all around the property and the bond worked out on each pier.

Now that the pillars are up and all the steels are on, the first course ringed round works in bond with the existing building and with the pillars below.

As woods has said, an experienced builder will check the brick lengths and work the job in so that all masonry is half boded where applicable.
bonding in theory should start in the footings and continue up until the job is complete, having straight joints between damp and footing is not correct.
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Where the foundation wall in question is almost completly (bar 150mm on external side) reinforced by solid mass i.e. floor slab and compacted subbase on inside and pavement slab (metre wide roughly) and subbase and retaining wall on outside....... where will my troubles likely occur? Will it be cracking in frost thereby affecting bond above and below DPC? In which case I should concentrate on surrounding external groundworks before winter proper sets in? Do you really think this build will be an issue? It is not a professional job by the way just an amateur project (for my Dad)....

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