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Posted by Teresa in Rogers, TX on 10/11/2008

We chose the Vernon King Size brick from Texas Premier Brick using a dark mortar.  The mortar is called 80H light chocolate.  Depending on the color of mortar the brick can look lighter or darker.  With the darker mortar we have more of a contrast between the brick and the rock.  The brick goes around the bottom 3 ft parimeter with rock the rest of the way up.  The rock is also used as the primary stone on both the front and back patios.  The brick is also used to outline the windows across the front of the house which is called a rowlock.  We are using a double rowlock of bricks around the windows.

Lee and Wes Lundy are providing the resources to set the brick and the rock.  We got the rock from Apache Stone which is a quarry just west of Salado.  We chose a 4, 6, 8 sized brick for a random pattern.  We had 48 tons delivered as a starting point until we could determine if we needed more.  Although they were very reasonable on their prices for the rock which I got delivered for $65 / ton, there are about four tons the masons are avoiding and calling "crappy".  They are basically odd shaped pieces that would take forever to shape into a square or rectangular piece to match the pattern.  And we still have some walls on the inside of the house that will need rock, so I'll need to order some more for that.  Too bad that last 4 tons isn't worth using or I would have had enough.

I was also able to get the masons to make the keystones (trapezoid shaped rock above front arched windows) out of some of the rock we had delivered as opposed to purchasing those pre-made which saved me about $100.


Bricks all line up and ready to go.
Brick on east side.
They used brushes to keep the brick clean as they were putting it up.
East wall brick finished.
Brick around front side.
Getting started on the rock.
East side rocked.
Rock around garage windows.
Brick and keystone around transom window.
Brick and keystone around garage window.
Garage wall and window finished.
Putting in an attic vent just for style. It's not functional because we don't need it since we're using the ridge row vents on the roof.
Garage doors with a single rowlock.
Office window.
Back patio rock around living room windows.
Jose carving the rock to fit the pattern.
Attic vent finished. Just needs to have the mortar cleaned up a bit.
Finally getting the steel posts set on the back patio to support the patio roof.
Steel posts set on front patio to support the entry gable.
Starting the brick around the steel post on the back patio.
Brick finished around steel post on back patio.
Getting started on the adding the rock to the steel post.
Brick around steel posts on front patio.
Finishing up the rock on the steel post on the back patio.
Jose made an arch template to use to brick around the front entry. We'll remove the template once the mortar is set.
Jose putting brick around the arch template.
Front entry brick making progress.
Another angle of the arched entry.
Entry gable brick finished.
Side view of entry gable.
Dining room wall and window finished.
Steel posts on back patio finished.
Finishing up with the brick and rock on the outside.

Posted by Jeff in Hartland, WI on 10/12/2008
2009, 2010 Merit Award Winner

Jeff's Forum Posts: 74
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Great house, and the exterior looks fantastic!  I just wanted to let you know that you're an inspiration. Just two months into the process, your roof is on already, and masonry is going up. Looks like your making good progress on the interior, too. We're about six weeks behind you, but I'll be happy if we can get things done half as fast.
Posted by Teresa in Rogers, TX on 10/12/2008

Teresa's Forum Posts: 0
Journal Entries: 33
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Thank you so much for the wonderful comments.  Perhaps it is going fast because I'm not doing any of the work!  The main thing that I am staying on top of is having the bids and subs chosen at least a few weeks before I need them and then I call them about once a week to let them know where we are with the construction and they let me know where they are with their schedule.  It is taking a lot of effort, but I have not had any downtime yet.  Another advantage I have is watching the subs work from inside my existing house.  If I see something I'm not sure about, I'll walk out and take a closer look and ask questions.  Also, I go out about 3 or 4 times a day to take pictures and ask them if they need anything, which takes about 5 minutes.  I also chose my subs not only by their bid price but by their reputation.  I've turned down some really low bids after going to look at some work they did on other houses (brick/rock work specifically).

Along the way, I am learning when certain things need to be available/done and I'm trying to stay ahead of the game.  For example, garage doors take three to four weeks to order so I ordered them six weeks in advance just to make sure.  They are ready and waiting now to be hung as soon as the garage is painted.

There is one thing that I'm disappointed in which is the cost of materials.  It has gone up several thousand dollars since I got a take-off from the lumber yard back in July.  And, nearly every sub that has worked on the house has run out of materials that the lumber yard estimated in quantity.  You can count on at least a 10% increase in cost each month you get into this right now because of things going on in the economy.

Good luck with your home!

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