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Reuse Victorian stock brick for extension vs buy new

Discussion in 'Building' started by NeedHelpDIY, 8 Jan 2019.

  1. NeedHelpDIY

    NeedHelpDIY

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    Hi All,

    I have around 5000 Victorian stock bricks that I need to remove during an extension and uam thinking of reusing as facing bricks on our extension.

    The question is would you reuse 170 year old bricks or would you buy new, I have my suspicions that most would buy new.

    Issues I foresee reusing are; 1) hassle of cleaning them up 2) will they meet the building control spec required 3) the lifespan of the brick after a second laying is likely to be impacted.

    Thoughts anyone? If we do reuse any advise as to how to use? I imagine they would need to be laid with a lime mix mortar.

    Many thanks all
     
  2. Notch7

    Notch7

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    If the brickwork is key to the look of the project and the bricks are an exact match - that would make them worth using. If the existing bricks are built with soft lime mortar that comes off easily then the bricks should clean up well.

    I did an orangery where the bricks were reused -you cant beat brickwork that matches perfectly, inlcuding brick size. It needs a good brickie to appreciate getting the mortar and pointing correct.

    If you are only using them because they are available, or a really good new brick is a really good match, then go for new.

    I dont know about strength or mortar......
     
  3. NeedHelpDIY

    NeedHelpDIY

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    Thanks Notch.. key thing from my perspective is the strength of the existing stock bricks and the relaying of them in the correct fashion.

    Having never relaid bricks before I don’t know if it is best to try and shift them and buy new as I can get 500 ibstock for £170
     
  4. Notch7

    Notch7

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    In which case, you might prefer sticking to new as the metric sizes will match block sizes.
     
  5. oldbutnotdead

    oldbutnotdead

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    As above- if they've been originally laid with lime mortar then they'll clean up without too much effort. As long as the face (exposed to the real world) hasn't deteriorated massively from air pollution or being sand blasted or whatever then they'll support standard domestic house loads for longer than we'll all be around. If your house is of that age then using the original bricks will help the extension blend in.
    Getting an exact gauge with them is tricky since the brick sizes vary considerably ( +- 20 mm sometimes) so you'll need to grade them before you start especially for height. If you're building a cavity wall then getting the courses to align for ties will be a pain.
    You don't have to use lime mortar with them (I've used standard mortar on several rebuilt walls in the House of Pain), the bonus with lime mortar is that any gradual seasonal movement of the walls won't tend to result in big cracks thanks to the flexibility of lime. If you're on good firm foundations you won't get any seasonal movement so not a problem.
    As an amateur brickie I found it much quicker and easier to build a straight plumb gauged wall with modern stock but I prefer the look of the not quite gauged walls I've done with older stock. And I'm much happier reusing them than chucking them in a skip
     
  6. domdee

    domdee

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    look of the price of reclaimed bricks online. they are quite expensive... this must tell you they are good to use otherwise people wouldnt buy them. aslong as they havent lost any integrity as mentioned above from weather or polution they will be good for 100+ years.
     
  7. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    The might last as long as the bricks in the house they will be attached to, and be as strong as them too!

    Nothing wrong with old stuff
     
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  8. stuart45

    stuart45

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    Reclaimed bricks are usually fine as long as they are exterior quality. Back in the 80's there was a fashion for reclaimed bricks on newbuilds, which often included a lot of ones from interior walls with mortar, paint etc on them. They looked OK in the walls, but were poorer quality bricks and started to fall apart outside. They then started making new ones with mortar and paint on them to continue the trend.
     
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  9. DIYnot Local

    DIYnot Local

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