Brick houses are a beautiful, time-tested type of housing. But when choosing such a facade, a number of subtleties and features should be taken into account. Let's try to understand some of the nuances of planning, construction and decoration of the facade of a red brick house.
Advantages and disadvantages
Brick, like concrete, wood or other materials, has its own unique advantages and disadvantages. From this moment we will begin. The pros are as follows:
- durability: the service life of a house built of red brick exceeds 100-125 years;
- low risk of cracking due to good deformation and stress values of the material;
- high level of strength, resistance to external influences: sunlight, wind, temperature changes;
- rather high heat resistance and fire resistance;
- moisture absorption is only 6-30%;
- significant level of sound insulation;
- no need for additional treatment against mold, fungus, insects;
- ease of maintenance, the possibility of spot repair work;
- aesthetics (brick is clear, laconic forms, a wide range of colors, and most importantly - space for the embodiment of your ideas and fantasies);
- environmental friendliness, safety for nature and humans.
But everything is far from being as perfect as it might seem. The brick has enough disadvantages:
- far from the best thermal insulation qualities, which is why the structure needs insulation;
- strict requirements for the foundation of the house;
- high cost of material and construction work;
- long process of building a building;
- the risk of chemical corrosion and the formation of whitish deposits;
- Inadequate material can be brittle and absorb moisture easily.
Now, having an idea of what you can face when building a brick house, let's move on to the material, more precisely, to its types.
Bricks are usually classified according to several criteria. The first is the destination.
Facing (facing) brick is used for finishing buildings. It has many formats and varieties, depending on the country of origin and the decorative effect that you want to achieve. Manufactured both serially and to order
Ordinary brick is the material from which the structure is erected directly. It does not have an attractive appearance, since other characteristics are important for it: reliability and strength
In most modern houses, ordinary bricks are hidden behind insulation and finishing materials.
The brick can also differ in the material of manufacture
Ceramic (red). Its characteristics are detailed in GOST 530-2012. It is made from clay or several types of clay by molding, drying, firing. It should have a rough, matte surface, light weight, and be homogeneous
Silicate. Consists of quartz sand and lime, it is made by steaming, not firing. If no special pigment is used in the manufacture, the final color will be white. Cheap material, heavy, absorbs moisture easily, not suitable for use at low temperatures. Can also be used for cladding
Concrete. This type is based on cement. A heavy and high cost material is used where particularly heavy loads are expected
Clinker. In most cases, it is used not as an ordinary brick, but as a facing brick. Made of special refractory clay, it looks very similar to ceramic, but is less porous and costs much more
Refractory. Resistant to high temperatures. It is used for decoration and laying of stoves, fireplaces. Has a recognizable sand color
If we talk about the design itself, then there are two types of material
- Hollow (slotted, perforated). Easily recognizable by through holes. It weighs less and retains heat better.
- Corpulent. The maximum allowable voidness is 13%.
According to Russian standards, there are three sizes of bricks:
- 2NF (double): 4.8-5 kg, 250x120x138 mm;
- thickened (one and a half): 3-3.2 kg, 250x120x88 mm;
- single row (single): 2-2.3 kg, 250x120x65 mm.
The load permitted by GOST 530-2012 (kg / cm2) shows the strength of the brick and is denoted as "M-x", where "x" is just the permissible load.
The development or selection of a private house project is an extremely responsible moment, therefore it is necessary to approach it with all attention. The easiest way is to choose a suitable plan from a variety of ready-made ones. Finding them online is not difficult. When choosing a project, consider the following.
- Brickwork takes up a lot of building space due to the thick outer walls and the load-bearing wall inside the cottage itself. The location of the load-bearing wall is strictly determined by design features; its position can only be slightly adjusted.
- The project must comply with all the features of your site: slope, position of groundwater, entrances to the territory. Some details can be adjusted, changed, but not all.
- When choosing, do not forget about the garage. Think over its size, location. Finding a typical project with a garage will not be a problem these days.
- To ensure maximum comfort, it is important to think in advance about the number of rooms, their size, and location. An equally important point is the number of floors.
Often one-story projects are chosen for reasons of economy: the construction of such a house will cost significantly less than a two-story one. This house is well suited for small families and lovers of open spaces. In a one-story brick house, it is better to keep the number of rooms to a minimum, since each wall takes up a significant chunk of living space. You can, for example, combine the kitchen with the living room. An attic, veranda or basement can help to increase the number of rooms. Consider their availability.
Here are some popular options:
6x9 m with an extension: living room, 2-3 bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom
10x12 m, without an attic, with a division into two delimited zones: residential and utility
12x16, with a basement; has a high roof for the attic, which can play the role of another bedroom or study
A more expensive option, which, however, fully pays off with the space for the implementation of your ideas. Well suited for those cases when you need to place a large amount of living space on a small plot. A good solution for families with several children.
The first floor is usually occupied by utility rooms, as well as common areas: kitchen, living room, dining room, utility rooms, sometimes a guest bedroom. The second floor is the most personal space, given over to bedrooms, nurseries and, for example, an office.
A balcony will be a good addition to a two-story house, but the presence of an attic is worth questioning: it will complicate the work with the roof and communications, which means it will increase the cost of work.
Brick only seems boring and very monotonous material. But even if you do not like the basic, classic look of red brick masonry, then you yourself or with the help of a designer can create a facade that will delight you specifically. Even simple white seams that accentuate all the nuances of the masonry can transform the look of the walls.
This is not only about the color of the facades. The color of windows and roofs can also significantly affect the look. White frames or brown ones, green roofs or red: such little things can change the whole look of the house, let alone the color of the walls themselves. You can choose the natural color of the brick, as well as the material, painted using special technologies (glazing, engobing).
You should be more careful only with painting. Improper staining can compromise breathability, and removing paint from bricks is a long, laborious process. If in any case you want to use paint, then choose it carefully, and also carefully prepare the surface of the walls for painting. But still, this is an option that is more suitable for updating the appearance of an old structure.
You can achieve a relief effect by applying mineral chips to the brick, but remember that this will add problems with maintenance and cleaning, as dirt will accumulate on uneven areas.
It is best to use embossed brick in the design of individual zones: arches, spaces near windows, doors.
Using bricks of different colors, you can give the house a unique look with different borders and rapports.
Masonry options and construction technology
The appearance of the decor will also depend on the type of masonry. However, we will not start with it, but with some general technological points, which are important not to forget:
- the foundation of a brick house should be as reliable and powerful as possible;
- if you settled on a two-story project, decide in advance on the material of the interfloor floors: reinforced concrete or wood;
- think about what the roof will be.
Regardless of the type of masonry, several fundamental rules must be observed:
- the brick should not experience pressure at an angle, therefore, the rows should run parallel;
- longitudinal and transverse vertical seams must be parallel to each other;
- the brick lying on top should be at the seam between the lower bricks: this way the weight is distributed more evenly;
- if the walls will not be lined in the future, spoon (along the wall) and butt (across the wall) rows should be alternated;
- in the case of wall cladding, the masonry should consist of several walls in a half-brick wide (after 6 spoon rows, a butt row is allowed).
The masonry can be different
- Solid. It is a single structure in a half-brick width, where bricks are laid along the outer side of the wall.
- Reinforced masonry. It is used in case of expected high load.
- Decorative geometric masonry.
- Lightweight well. This is a masonry consisting of 2 parallel walls, the gaps between which are filled with thermal insulation. It is permissible to use only on small sections of the wall.
- With cladding. The cladding takes place simultaneously with the construction of the wall. At the height of the butt row, the lining and the main masonry are bandaged.
- Bavarian. Based on a mix of brown and red bricks.
The choice of the project and design of the house is impossible without first studying the already existing examples. You can pay attention to the old buildings. See Edwardian or Victorian English houses, classic Bavarian houses. Compiling such a selection will not only inspire you, but also help builders better understand what you want to get in the end.
Be careful, carefully select materials and craftsmen, specify your desires, and then your house will delight not only you, but also your children and grandchildren.