Bricks out of alignment - Is this acceptable

Bricks out of alignment - Is this acceptable

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Four Litre

Original Poster:

1,588 posts

159 months

Friday 16th September 2016
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All - I believe this is completely wrong and Ive told the firm doing it in no uncertain terms. However, they seem to believe Im making a fuss about nothing and that there is no way in the world they can align their bricks to my existing bricks as "yours are all over the place, its impossible!"

Ive ended up with this (mine on left, new extension on right).



Its where the new extension joins my house.



I fully understand that houses are usually slightly off but surely this is something that could of been sorted with a bit of thought. Ive spend a lot of money with this company and asked them to sort it before going any further (before roof was on etc) and they said "nothing we can do" and carried on, hopin that I will forget about it!!!

I keep leaving vmails with the supposed manager who wont return my calls. Ive got a few thousand to pay at the end which is something I can use to negotiate. They mentioned rendering it, however I paid extra to get the extension in brick to match the house, therefore not really an option.

Having spoken to a couple of good friends in the building trade, after they stopped laughing, they catagorically said "its pure laziness and nothing else" and pointed out that it should always 100% align.

Anyone with experience in brick laying have any ideas? Am I being fussy???


Piersman2

6,209 posts

166 months

Friday 16th September 2016
quotequote all
That is laughably crap! laugh

When I had mine done a few years back the brickie purposedly used a slightly thicker layer of mortar than normal to make up for the difference in old vs new bricks...

... and started with them at the same level. Have yours got any brick actually aligned with the one next to it, even at the bottom?

And how is rendering going to solve that? There's not a patch of render on the house! smile

Panthro

599 posts

185 months

Friday 16th September 2016
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Wow, that's terrible. My extension is slightly misaligned with the house but that's because the brickwork on the house (1970's) is so bad that I told the builders to just make sure there brick work is perfect and if there's slight misalignment then so be it, but that is shocking.

Venom

1,747 posts

226 months

Friday 16th September 2016
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Whilst it looks untidy, so long as the two walls are bonded together properly, there won't be any structural implications. It just looks crap.

Origins in laziness definitely. When setting out the foundation height, first course of bricks I would guess. Problem is, to sort that now is a heck of a lot of work I suspect, hence why you're getting ignored.

I wouldn't fancy your chances of legally withholding payment on the basis of that kind of workmanship, as annoying as it is to look at.

Perik Omo

1,372 posts

115 months

Friday 16th September 2016
quotequote all
Piersman2 said:
That is laughably crap! laugh

When I had mine done a few years back the brickie purposedly used a slightly thicker layer of mortar than normal to make up for the difference in old vs new bricks...

... and started with them at the same level. Have yours got any brick actually aligned with the one next to it, even at the bottom?

And how is rendering going to solve that? There's not a patch of render on the house! smile
This. When our extension was built back in UK in the mid 80's the builders couldn't source the exact same brick but did get some the same colour but a few mm thinner so they just adjusted the bed as they went up and because it was only a few mm each course you couldn't really tell they were diffrent bricks.

Little Lofty

2,860 posts

118 months

Friday 16th September 2016
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It's a pity the courses don't follow as the bricks look like a decent match.

Blackpuddin

12,219 posts

172 months

Friday 16th September 2016
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Wondering how it got to that stage before anyone noticed.

V8RX7

21,909 posts

230 months

Friday 16th September 2016
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It isn't to me that's why I check with each trade before they start how they intend to do the job.

I'm constantly surprised what some "Tradesmen" deem acceptable however the vast majority of customers don't care / question them so they may think it's entirely acceptable.

Did you question it as soon as you could, presumably at the end of Day 1 of the brickwork ?

I'd have knocked it down to salvage the bricks that night.


wolfracesonic

4,880 posts

94 months

Friday 16th September 2016
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Little Lofty said:
It's a pity the courses don't follow as the bricks look like a decent match.
I thought that, the existing brickwork joints look consistent. It's usually easier to run the courses through as well, you don't have to set up your own bricks, just knock your line pins into the existing joints and away you go(assuming they're plumb). However if the new bricks are slightly shallower, I'm with your builder and rather than have a thick mortar bed, which I hate, I'd make the new brickwork separate and have a normal 10mm bed.


ETA If the bricks are slightly smaller maybe they should have told you and asked you which option you wanted.

Edited by wolfracesonic on Friday 16th September 17:10

motco

14,021 posts

213 months

Friday 16th September 2016
quotequote all
Perik Omo said:
Piersman2 said:
That is laughably crap! laugh

When I had mine done a few years back the brickie purposedly used a slightly thicker layer of mortar than normal to make up for the difference in old vs new bricks...

... and started with them at the same level. Have yours got any brick actually aligned with the one next to it, even at the bottom?

And how is rendering going to solve that? There's not a patch of render on the house! smile
This. When our extension was built back in UK in the mid 80's the builders couldn't source the exact same brick but did get some the same colour but a few mm thinner so they just adjusted the bed as they went up and because it was only a few mm each course you couldn't really tell they were diffrent bricks.
Mine too. A 1938 house and a 1986 extension. Hard to get exact equivalent finish of brick (original ones were hand made) but they keyed in the new ones and matched course height by mortar adjustment.

ClaphamGT3

9,238 posts

210 months

Friday 16th September 2016
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That really is lamentably bad

How soon did you flag it?

Where a client has courses that are 'slightly' out, I usually advise running a down pipe in front of the joint, which visually 'softens' the misalignment to a surprising degree but I don't think that would solve it here

MDMA .

6,503 posts

68 months

Friday 16th September 2016
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Why have they not cut out the half brick on the house and tied it in that way. Looks too far gone now. I'd fk them off now and cut your losses. Bit bodged IMO.

wolfracesonic

4,880 posts

94 months

Friday 16th September 2016
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Thought the suggestion to render it was a bit cheeky though! Were they being serious?

Busa mav

2,376 posts

121 months

Friday 16th September 2016
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It pisses me off when new and existing aren't properly bonded, that was wrong from the first course.

Best you can do with that is run a false rainwater pipe down the joint.

KTF

8,845 posts

117 months

Friday 16th September 2016
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What do you do in a situation like this though (aside from live with it)?

Tell the existing builder to leave site then you knock it down and start again with someone else? Or get the existing builders to knock it down and start again?

I really cant see any other way of fixing it other than starting from scratch?

pim

2,344 posts

91 months

Friday 16th September 2016
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My neighbour just had some tiles replaced on his roof.different colour to the original ones.It looks daft.

I must admit I had to laugh when yours came up.You learn something everyday.


Mandat

3,324 posts

205 months

Friday 16th September 2016
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MDMA . said:
Why have they not cut out the half brick on the house and tied it in that way. Looks too far gone now. I'd fk them off now and cut your losses. Bit bodged IMO.
Simply due to the risk of differential settlement.

The new extension will invariably have deeper and more solid foundations than the original house (due to building reg requirements) therefore the extension won't be affected by ground movement to the same extent as the main house.

If the two parts of the building were tooth bonded together, you would potentially get cracking and damage at the joint.

paulwirral

2,248 posts

102 months

Friday 16th September 2016
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They have used a stainless steel wall starter kit , bolted to existing , to join the extension on . It looks crap but is common practice and quicker than cutting out for either a toothed or block bond joint .
It looks a little late to get them correct it now .

magooagain

6,197 posts

137 months

Friday 16th September 2016
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Mandat said:
MDMA . said:
Why have they not cut out the half brick on the house and tied it in that way. Looks too far gone now. I'd fk them off now and cut your losses. Bit bodged IMO.
Simply due to the risk of differential settlement.

The new extension will invariably have deeper and more solid foundations than the original house (due to building reg requirements) therefore the extension won't be affected by ground movement to the same extent as the main house.

If the two parts of the building were tooth bonded together, you would potentially get cracking and damage at the joint.
While I can't really disagree with the above post,the house has been there a fair time and I would have gone for it being toothed out to make the bond.
The new bricks look like the same size from the pics.

Poor lazy work. Good luck with it op but you should have pulled them up when it was coming out of the ground.

ATTAK Z

7,026 posts

156 months

Friday 16th September 2016
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Alignment is not acceptable ... the only way to rectify is to start again from below ground level ...

Check if the finished floor levels will match before you confront the builder ... then tell the builder to stop work whilst you get a chartered surveyor to check the work that has already been done ...

Do not pay anything further until you have negotiated an acceptable solution and then withhold a large percentage retention until the work is satisfactorily completed ...

you need to negotiate from a position of strength and that means following the advice above ...

GOOD LUCK