Is brick veneer the real deal?

By
Home Inspector with Elliott Home Inspection
 

Is my brick house real brick?

A good alternative title might be what is brick veneer ?

Back in the good old days when homes were built with brick it served as the structure for the home.

In today's home brick is still used, but not for   Structure so much as for appearance.  In other words, you can think of it more as a siding. The actual structure of a home built with brick veneer is normally that of a wood frame. So basically what this means is that the brick does not support the house, but the House supports the brick.

Another good question might be why do they do it this way and not just build the whole house with brick? Like with most things nowadays cheaper and faster.

There is one benefit to all of this however, and it is the third reason for building this way, which is the fact that they are easily insulated and thus more energy efficient than a simple brick structure.  Yet another good question may be how long will it last? The answer is that depends on how well it is constructed.  See the diagram below for an example of how a brick veneer wall is constructed.  Keep in mind when constructing brick veneer,  Only one layer of brick is used

Brick Veneer

As you can see above the one layer brick wall is tied to the structure and supported with its weight right on top of the foundation which has been planned ahead of time.  The architect has to plan for the approximately 4 inch width of the brick plus a one-inch space behind which will allow the wall to  drain moisture that gets behind the brick. As you can also see from the diagram above, the wall behind the brick has a moisture barrier, allowing the water to drain onto the bottom and away from the structure.

The water drains to a series of weep holes that are placed along the bottom row of brick, and also above windows and doors which also have a series of weep holes while sitting on steel lentils, which help prevent deflection and thus cracking of the mortar.one problem that is common is for bricklayers is to drop mortar into the one-inch cavity.  Thus blocking easy exit of moisture through the weep holes.  The dropped mortar retains the water longer, thus possibly allowing the possibility of mold to enter the home via mold spores, which can rise up and into.

  Most homes will have weep holes, approximately every 24 to 36 inches max. Another important part of the brick veneer is having the brick ties appropriately spaced. The brick ties are important and seek not only to keep the wall from moving yet allow slight movement. The reason for allowing slight movement is due to the fact that the wood frame expands and contracts at a different rate.

  Break ties are embedded in the mortar between bricks and nailed into the wood studs.  Normally they are placed approximately every six or seven courses of brick on a vertical plane.  Horizontal, they should be embedded into every stud.

Hopefully this information will help you understand little bit about brick veneer walls and is not meant to be technical so much as informational.

(diagram done with serif draw plus four and photo scape by Bob Elliott)

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Rainer
64,699
Steven Turetsky
Comprehensive Building Inspections & Consultants - Staten Island, NY
Building Moisture Analyst

Dom,

I may not be using the right terminology, but I would like my client to look through the whole report forst. After that, there may be areas that he/she would like to keep coming back to. Say there were some electrical issue, a plumbing issue and a roofing issue. It would be nice if they could go straightto those area without have to scroll through the entire report. Especially if they want to bounce back and forth.

That would be great on each page.

Now, if within the Table of Contents, lets say Electrical is Section 4 or Chapter 4 or whatever you wish to call it, just click on it and zoom (zoom = fast), you are there. Now if you want to really get fancy... perhaps 4.3 might be GFI's or panels, or whatever... click/zoom would be out of this world.

As the person writing the report, It would sure be alot easier to write if I also had the ability to click/zoom and go right to where I wanted to be, and not have to constantly scroll and search for everything.

I thionk your sample report is about 30 or so pages, thats alot of scrolling.

click/zoom = easier, easier for me, easier for my client.

I wonder if anyone else feels the same way as I do, or am I making a big deal out of nothing?

Oct 20, 2007 06:04 AM #66
Rainer
6,860
Dominic Maricic
Home Inspector Pro - Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Hi Steve,

  When you are writing the report you can jump around with one click. I can definitely see the advantage to creating a more interactive pdf. I've honestly only had a few inspectors ever request such a feature, but it can be implemented. It's just a matter of keeping track internally of where all the sections go and linking everything together. I have a few features I have to finish up right now, as well as finish updating the sample reports on the website. I'll look at it later tonight or have my partner look at it.

Dominic
Http://www.HomeInspectorPro.com

Oct 20, 2007 06:13 AM #67
Rainer
64,699
Steven Turetsky
Comprehensive Building Inspections & Consultants - Staten Island, NY
Building Moisture Analyst

Also,

You mentioned weekly updates. Will updates be included?

By the way, I'm sorry if my input sounds too heavy, I really like what you are building and your computer knowledge  is awesome. Its just that this was said to be the best available and had all of the finest features. The things that I speak of would really make it great and not just another program that has this but not that, so we end up having, once again to decide which features we like better and with limitations we have to deal with.

I would like it all.

PS, We spoke of the spell check, you said it had it but it was limited and could be added to. I there any way of douwnloading a dictionary to the program? I may not know I am splelling a word wrong, so how do I know I need to add it?

And  what about uploading my pictures fro the inspection? or do I have to upload one at a  time... which sucks.

Oct 20, 2007 06:14 AM #68
Rainer
6,860
Dominic Maricic
Home Inspector Pro - Rancho Cucamonga, CA
I forgot to add. If you want the client to look at the whole report first you can choose to have the report summary printed at the end of the report.
Oct 20, 2007 06:14 AM #69
Rainer
64,699
Steven Turetsky
Comprehensive Building Inspections & Consultants - Staten Island, NY
Building Moisture Analyst

I'm surprised that only a few have requested click, zoom. It is a great feature. I bet anyone that has ever used Horizon requests it.

By the way, I really appreciate that you are willing to get so involved and listen... even if it is not possible to do... the desires of the inspectors that are using the system.

As far as few requests, I told you I was special... a special pain in the ... hahahahah

I know what I want, I want it all. If you build it, they will come. You will leave no doubt as to who's is the best. You will make it and easy choice.

 

What about a web session? Hey guys, if he sets up a web session to show us how his system works, who will attend?

Oct 20, 2007 06:20 AM #70
Rainer
6,860
Dominic Maricic
Home Inspector Pro - Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Hi Steve,

 Don't worry, I love comments, good or bad, regarding the program. The only way to improve is to recognize our shortcomings.

  You're not uploading pictures to the internet like you do with Horizon as the program is on your actual computer. You just click on Add Picture and select the picture from your memory stick. It takes about 1 second per picture. Plus you have the ability to edit the photos, add arrows, rectangles, adjust brightness, etc. We are working on a drag & drop features but have to really optimize it before release as it would slow down on older machines.

 We are definitely trying to create the best programs out there, but since we've only been around for a few years, programs like HomeGauge and InspectVue(which are great programs) have had a lot more time to get ahead. I do feel we have a lot of unique features and the simplicity is unmatched. Everyone I've talked to who has purchased the program is happy.

  We release updates approximately every 3 weeks (sometimes more often).  If you purchased the program right now you'd get version 2.5 and all updates until 3.0 came out for free. If we upgrade to 3.0 within 6 months of purchase you get the 3.0 line for free too (I don't think anyone else has an offer like that). Updating to 3.0 will probably be $250. We've been on version 2.x for about 18 months. If you purchase the $50 a month plan (we have a few different payment options) you get the report upload service ($20 by itself) and all updates as long as you're subscribed even if we update to a major version.

  Currently spell check is limited to the areas of the program where you can add your own documents and to the contract section. We had integrated it into the entire program a few months back but it slowed down the program quite a bit. My partner is rewriting the code to work it in without slowing down the program. 

Oct 20, 2007 06:35 AM #71
Rainer
64,699
Steven Turetsky
Comprehensive Building Inspections & Consultants - Staten Island, NY
Building Moisture Analyst

Thank you for accepting my comments as you did. The only reason I'm making them is because I like what you are doing and feel there is hope. I have given up on the others. What it is , is what it is. Take it or leave it.

I love the special effects  that you have made available for the pictures. And I understand what you mean about including the pictures in the report.

When do you see 3.0 coming out?

That's great that you have different payment options, it makes it alot easier to afford. My girlfriend is very expensive and I need all the money I can get my hands on.

Oct 20, 2007 06:47 AM #72
Rainer
6,860
Dominic Maricic
Home Inspector Pro - Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Hahaha, yes girlfriends are very expensive, especially if you still have a wife. 

3.0 is still quite a ways off. I'd guess 6 months to a year. We don't just jump up a version to force everyone to upgrade like some other companies do. Like I said, its been 18-20 months since we hit 2.0 and we're only on 2.5. There are a few big ideas we have for 3.0 but we might just end up working them into the 2.x line and then 3.0 would just be a continuation without any huge new features. It's hard for me to withhold a feature to make a big entrance with a new version. I don't know if that makes good business sense or not, we will see.

 

Oct 20, 2007 07:10 AM #73
Rainer
64,699
Steven Turetsky
Comprehensive Building Inspections & Consultants - Staten Island, NY
Building Moisture Analyst

Yeah, my wife's gone. Well she's really not gone, the house is still there, just I'm not in it.

Dom, I look forward to seeing the upgrades we've been tallking about. I'm also going  to play with the tutorials.

-Steve

Oct 20, 2007 07:16 AM #74
Rainer
6,860
Dominic Maricic
Home Inspector Pro - Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Hi Steven & Bob,

 I had about 10 people ask me today to create a way to add all the photos in a folder at once, so I'm working on it now! It's really strange sometimes how no one asks for a feature then all of a sudden a bunch of people do. Then again, maybe they all read this thread :)

  I'm about half way done and hope to have a beta tonight. Let me know if you'd like to try it out. 

Dominic
http://www.HomeInspectorPro.com

Oct 20, 2007 01:30 PM #75
Rainmaker
92,119
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Yes yes and more yes.

I just spent five hours on Horizon with a lot of my time on photos.

Pics are getting more important what with some guys including thermal images and all.

Oct 20, 2007 02:53 PM #76
Rainer
64,699
Steven Turetsky
Comprehensive Building Inspections & Consultants - Staten Island, NY
Building Moisture Analyst

Please send me a copy. I would love to try it out. If it's as good as I think it's going to be, I'll probably trash my Horizon credits.

Please try to do something about the table of contents and the tabs. It's all about saving motion. It will make everything easier and faster for the writer and the reader.

Ever watch a brick mason work. No wasted motion. If it takes 15 seconds to set a brick, and putting the morter tub a bit closer will knock off 3 seconds, by the end of the day, figure out how many more bricks he can lay and how much better his back will feel.

Oct 20, 2007 03:00 PM #77
Rainer
6,860
Dominic Maricic
Home Inspector Pro - Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Working on it.
Oct 20, 2007 03:07 PM #78
Rainer
64,699
Steven Turetsky
Comprehensive Building Inspections & Consultants - Staten Island, NY
Building Moisture Analyst

You're a good man Dominic,

I have a feeling that your system is going to end up as the UNDISPUTED champion!

Hey Bob, are you out there?

Oct 20, 2007 03:10 PM #79
Rainer
6,860
Dominic Maricic
Home Inspector Pro - Rancho Cucamonga, CA
I talked to him a few minutes ago. He said he was getting ready to go out and see his brother.
Oct 20, 2007 03:14 PM #80
Rainer
64,699
Steven Turetsky
Comprehensive Building Inspections & Consultants - Staten Island, NY
Building Moisture Analyst

Once you get this squared away, there is something else I will bring up. I don't want to burden you with too much at once. It has to do with templates.

I enjoy  giving you my input and happy that you are willing to hear it.

Some of the things may or may not be possible, but all of the little nuances that you put in, really do make a difference.

Oct 20, 2007 03:24 PM #81
Rainmaker
92,119
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Hey still here but leaving soon after a tiresome day.

Driving to the store then back here to catch a cab.

Oct 20, 2007 04:03 PM #82
Rainer
6,860
Dominic Maricic
Home Inspector Pro - Rancho Cucamonga, CA

I should probably start a new thread since I'm taking over the brick veneer thread here. So my next post will be elsewhere!

 

Bob, Steven, just to let you know I finished up the progress meters on the bulk photo add feature and am working on the bookmarks. Have you guys tested the bulk add some more? Any problems with it? I haven't run into any difficulties in my testing.

Oct 23, 2007 07:17 PM #83
Rainmaker
92,119
Bob Elliott
Elliott Home Inspection - Chicago, IL
Chicago Property Inspection

Dominic you may add your blog to ask the inspector as we can switch there on your blog from my Home systems forum.

Bulk is great.Bookmarks? I know the only thing I am having a problem with is setting font size as it likes to stay at 12.

Section font size control is all left on my personal wish list.

Oct 24, 2007 08:26 AM #84
Rainer
6,860
Dominic Maricic
Home Inspector Pro - Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Hopefully I'll get to adding the in the font size and color for the section titles tonight. I still haven't decided on whether it will be global or whether it should be possible for each section to have it's own color & style. What do you guys think?

I'll look into the font size resetting, I'm assuming your talking about for the damage and selection fonts? Does it reset right after setting it, or after reopening the program? Are you making sure to save the template?

I'll explain the bookmarks when I can show you an example, hopefully soon :) 

 

 

Oct 24, 2007 10:39 AM #85
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Bob Elliott

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