When I first wrote about our new home project, I explained that we had originally planned on using white brick but it turned out that it wasn’t available and we had decided to go in a different direction. We looked at different natural stones and eventually decided to go with limestone. Because the limestone we were going to use was thin, we didn’t need to pour our foundation with a brick ledge, so we didn’t. And then one day, right as we needed to make our final commitment on the masonry, our mason got a call by a brick maker saying that they found enough white clay in their clay pit for our project and they could make our bricks in time to work for our construction schedule.
With this new development, we had the possibility of the white brick I had always wanted but now we didn't have the brick ledge. Luckily a solution existed, which is angle iron that is secured to the foundation and takes the place of the concrete brick ledge. After talking it through with our builder and mason, we decided to go this route. We're getting the white brick after all!
The entire house (front, back, and sides) will all be brick and the garage will be cement siding. On the picture below, you can see the cement siding will begin on the inside wall that the garage doors are on.
Looking at the garage straight-on, the brick will end on the far right wall of the room with the three high windows, to the left of the garage doors.
It turns out there are a lot of decisions to be made with brick when it's being specially made for your project. What size bricks do you want? There are a lot of choices! Do you want a consistent texture? Rough texture? Smooth texture? Do you want the bricks to be pure white or with some natural flecks? (I chose the classic and traditional brick size with a smooth texture and as white as possible).
The mortar is another decision to be made. Dark? Pure white? White with flecks? And what finish will the mortar joints have? Surprisingly, there are about eight different choices for the mortar joint finishes and you guessed it, I wanted the classic concave joint finish. If you're curious, google "brick mortar joint finish" and you'll see what's out there.
The other big decision is the brick detailing and trust me, the choices are to infinity and beyond. Luckily, I had a design in mind when we had originally planned on using brick so it was easy for me to explain my choices to our mason. They're pretty simple really, but will add just the soft touch I want to see. Basically, these are the brick details that will be used:
- A simple band of brick that runs along the center-ish of the house between the upper and lower windows.
- Protruding ledges under all the windows.
- Simple flush detail above all the windows.
- Dentil detail at the roofline.
Brick can be tricky style-wise when you're going for a very specific look. For example, there are a lot of brick details that look very "art deco" and can completely change the look of your home. And if you're not going for an "art deco" look, that wouldn't be ideal. This is where it's really important to make your ideas clear to your mason to ensure you're both on the same page.
The first thing our mason is doing when he gets under way this week is to do a test patch area to make sure he gets the brick design just the way we want it and then he'll get rolling. It's going to be a fun week!
Note: This house update is part of a long series of posts on the progress of our new home we're building in Spokane. You can find the first post here, the second post here, the third post here, the fourth post here, the fifth post here, the sixth post here, and my guest posts on selecting door hardware here on The Hardware Hut blog and narrowing down the choices for our cabinet hardware with The Hardware Hut here.
I'll be sharing more about the brick as we go along. If you have specific questions regarding our build, please leave them in the comments below so when I respond and post, I'm able to answer and share with anyone else who is following along and may want the same information. Thanks!
Stay-at-home mom, Serena Thompson, dreamed of creating a fun and happy little event to sell her vintage and handmade goods. In 2002, she and some friends held the first event in her neighbor’s barn. The sale became wildly popular and began attracting visitors from across the country and recognition in national magazines. Today the event fills the Spokane County Fairgrounds and features hundreds of creatively and carefully curated spaces filled with vintage and handmade goods. Many describe it as a bucket list event, magical, inspirational, and the best vintage & handmade fair in the country. Serena describes it as the happiest on earth.