Landscape Contractor / Design Build Maintain

MAR 2018

LC/DBM provides landscape contractors with Educational, Imaginative and Practical information about their business, their employees, their machines and their projects.

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40 LC DBM suitable for use in small walls that don't exceed 3 feet in height. Their Basic Brick Construction guide reads, "A wall that is built in two wythes or tiers can be safely built up to 3 feet; for a wall above 3 feet, steel reinforcement is required." Two options for reinforcing a small brick structure are supplied in the guide; either metal rods inserted into the grout after it has slightly stiffened, or using masonry ties that can be laid across two wythes. Brick Patterns When laying bricks for any project, the pattern is crucial. For walls and struc - tures, the aforementioned building mate- rials manufacturer relates that the most typical brick pattern is the common or American bond pattern. This pattern is made by staggering the bricks in a way that each brick has two bricks above and below it. Walton & Sons Masonry Inc. provides five other typical brick bond patterns for structures: running, English, Dutch, Flemish and stack bonds. They also men - tion, "vertically staggered bonds tend to be somewhat stronger and less prone to major cracking than a non-staggered bond." Shape In terms of shape, bricks have undoubt- edly evolved from the generic rectangu- lar cubes that were mass-produced in the 1800s. Today, clay bricks are available in dozens of different shapes and sizes. For instance, Ibstock plc, an English brick manufacturer, catalogs the following brick shapes: angle, cant, bonding, bullnose, arch, sill, capping, plinth, radial, shelf angle, soldier, spiral, and universal joint. Their website,, pro - vides dimensions, variations, real world applications and pictures for each shape of brick listed. In the instance that a brick needs to be cut in order to fit, it can easily be cut with a brick chisel and brick hammer. For a fin - er cut, use the brick chisel and gently tap it with a hammer until the brick breaks. For a rougher cut, just use the brick ham - mer and carefully strike the brick. Ma- sonry saws are perhaps the best option for cutting bricks, although they are more costly than hand tools. Even if none of these shapes can ac - commodate your task, a few manufactur- ers are able to hand shape one-of-a-kind specialty bricks that can suit a project's specific requirements. Mortar The BIA reports that when choosing a mortar, "Portland cement-lime mortars with an air content less than 12 per - Above The driveway of this private residence uses Belcrest 350 modular pink paving bricks, manufactured by the Belden Brick Company. A test report conducted by Clemson University showed that this specific type of clay brick is able to withstand compression pressures of 11,863 pounds per square inch, making it a fairly strong choice for a driveway. The texture is Sand Mold and each brick is 3-5/8"x2- 1/4"x7-5/8" – these dimensions are for the brick size called modular.

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