Week 9


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taken from the fireplace in the living room
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taken from the south west corner of the house
looking all across the back of the house

This test panel of bricks is a complicated affair:

  • the dry mortar is bucket handle joint with a normal mix of lime, cement and sand as per the specification
  • two courses above that is the West O sand mix with a slight recessed or raked mortar joint
  • the top three courses above that is the Betchworth sand mix with a 5- 6 mm recessed joint.

As the top courses dry, they’ll end up lighter than the bottom half of the panel. You may remember that last week, we were concerned it was too dark so we got in a couple of different sands. One of them has more aggregate in as well. We like the deeper recess, but we’ll have to wait until the panel dries to make a decision on the mortar.

test panel Mark II

We’re also now reconsidering the brick. I know this is extremely poor timing, but it’s such an enormous part of the project we want to be sure to get it right. So off I went taking Toothless for a massive journey into deepest Sussex to check out the bricks below. Ours is the furthest to the right. We quite like the Tumbled Multi, but at some point we’ve got to adhere to the conservative system that is what we like vs what we have to spend! A project for the weekend is to reassure ourselves that this is the right brick for the right price.




the theme for the day

The brick layers have been in and have laid up to the reds in the living room. They put lintels across gaps where the pipework will exit the building.  Check out the red laser sight on the tripod in the middle of the room.


Lee and his crew will dig the last trench tomorrow; 8+ square metres of concrete arrives around 2:00 pm. Next week it’s laying the ground floor and pouring the garage floor. The crane is scheduled to spend the day with us on Tuesday, and Nic will have to post around a note to the 11 neighbours saying that the lane will be blocked for most of the morning. That is,…. if the brick layers have a dry enough time of it to lay on the foundations. The crane will lift the huge T sections onto the reds, then the blocks will fit in between. The final bit for Lee is to set these blocks into a loose concrete muck which is poured on top. I don’t know if he’s responsible for the DPC membrane, or if it’s another crowd.

taken at the end of the day
where did the foundations go?  Ahh.. under all that mud
external (left) and internal (right with reds) walls
olde worlde kit

Apparently one of the bricklayers kept hitting this exact spot and getting all religious about it. At volume. It’s pretty deep!

Midway between ankle and knee deep
sinking Dizzy
there must be a witty caption about this but I’m struggling
artsy muddy wheel
some of the drivers need to watch the bend at the top of the lane

One of those nice shots of the lane; this one with the new blossom getting shot off the tree by torrential rain onto the tarmac.

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And on the way back, randomly in front of the temporary digs….



In the meantime, we’re looking at the oak subframe in detail.

St Annes 2.1.png
rear gable
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front gable

Check out the meerkat next door (1:28)….


Lovely day if you’re a duck. Here’s driving to the site….



It’s a lovely bank holiday today with stormy winds out of the East and torrential rain forecast for tomorrow morning:

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Thankfully, we spent some of the weekend making a nice little shelter for the camera. So fingers crossed, there won’t be any more water accumulating in the housing and creating a foggy picture, and we’ll have lovely clear timelapses going forward.

Lots of other bits of the weekend were spent reading contracts, checking out local completed house projects like ours and investigating Arts and Crafts style points (including the bio of local architect transplanted from Scotland, George Blair Imrie who designed the Wisley labs–a long favourite of ours).

It’s meant to be a busy day onsite tomorrow with the brickies arriving first thing. Hope they bring their flippers and snorkels.

2 thoughts on “Week 9

  1. Great to see the upward progress!! The time-lapse brick-laying is super cool to watch… And yes, that is some serious muck. Very serious. Oh, and I not only stopped the vid to see the meerkat next door but also to see you taking the pictures. 🙂


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