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Mike Lamb

Brick on top of wood framing

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I found this very odd. The lower wall on this hundred plus-year-old house was wood studs. But brick was installed about 6 foot above the foundation. Has anyone seen this before?

There were other houses in the neighborhood just like this one with the fake stone in front but the masonry walls extend all the way down to the foundation. ??

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Those unstruck mortar joints are also a style statement.  In such narrow spaces who would appreciate it?  Maybe it was offered as a cost cut.

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When they place the unit and the mortar gets mashed out they don't cut away the excess from the surface.  After it sets a little it might be "struck" to give the brick face just a little relief. 

I might have a pic I will post of a house near me where the mason was instructed to over butter each brick so that it runs down a little.  Around here we call it "the castle".

Looks like something the Munsters would live in.

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aka "weeping mortar", "slobber joint" etc, depending on where you are in the country.

 

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8 hours ago, Jim Katen said:

They don't look unstruck to me. It looks like it was deliberately pointed with a beading tool. 

After applying zoom I stand corrected.  So it greater begs that question of why go to this trouble for almost no viewers.

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I suspect that this building was raised many years ago and the wood frame part was built underneath the original masonry structure.  Chicago has a long history of raising buildings, even some very big ones.  This city has long struggled with how high it wants its streets to be above the swamp and which direction it wants its river to flow.

Also, that mortar joint is done that way so that they didn't have to grind out any old mortar.  Probably the mortar was fine but not great and the homeowner wanted to tuck point, for visual reasons as much as anything.  I see lots of tuck pointing that's just basically painting a very thin layer of new mortar.  This way at least they get a thicker bed of mortar so that it's not so likely to flake off after just a couple of years.

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