Over the past 6 months, my partner and I have been spending a large part of our spare time laying bricks. We are in the process of owner-building a house, which generally means that we organise a range of tradespeople to come and do the various tasks associated with constructing a house.
But having done all the bricklaying for one of our previous homes, we decided that this would be a good activity to do ourselves this time too. We started towards the end of August last year and were keen to get the bulk of the north facing walls completed before the summer got seriously hot.
In terms of progress, it would also have made a difference if we had not had to limit most of our bricklaying to weekends! However the Christmas break has helped immensely in this regard as we both managed to get few weeks of leave at the same time.
As neither of us are bricklayers by trade, our rate of progress has been a lot slower than is normally the case when a skilled bricklayer is on the job. Doing these sorts of tasks yourself is not the norm in Australia, but we are both from families of builders and we have learnt many of the skills from skilled siblings and parents.
The ‘type’ of brick we selected was rumbled and also a mix from three different sorts. So we had added challenges in that the bricks varied enormously in size, weight, shape, length and character! Some were simply too ‘character filled’ to be able to be used! These we set aside to build into a ‘feature’ wall near the front door of the house! That wall will be done last and will be a real challenge as we fit the more twisted and unusually fired stones into place! But I really do like the result and I think the ‘rumbled-cottagy’ look is lovely.
The seriously hot weather did finally catch up with us (as anyone who has been following the weather and fire information from Australia will know). We have just come through a week of blistering hot days and the rate of progress slowed a bit more! But now we are within just a few days of completing all the brickwork on the house.
Ailsa, from Where’s my backpack has set a challenge this week to find things that represent “Multiple”. Given that in Australia, we are quite a few hours ahead of the US, I am hoping this post will get in, just in time before the challenge closes My reply to her challenge is….. Multiple bricks! About 7200 (so far!) of them. With about 1000 to go!
If I don’t make it on time…. well, we all know where I have been in the past week – laying bricks! I really do enjoy bricklaying and am toying with plans for the leftover bricks….. a super potting shed in the new garden perhaps? I will have to get organised while my legs, arms and wrists are still ‘bricklaying fit’!