Text by P. Gerbrandt
Based on an interview with John Klassen of JEK Brick and Tile of Steinbach, MB
Brick has been used in house construction for years, and even though trends mark certain decades, the appeal of stone has not waned. Tyndal stone was popular in the 70s, and reclaimed brick was particularly sought after in the 80s; now, cultured stone is gaining in popularity. The man-made stone, manufactured in California, looks natural but does not add weight to the house, so it is particularly suitable for application even above the first storey. Unlike brick, which needs steel lintel or concrete base, cultured stone does not need as much structural support and can be applied directly over stucco wire, scratch coat or even over existing stucco. The color range of this new product is almost endless. Earth tones work well with any color of roof or fascia.
Bricklayers will work with both exterior and interior projects of any size, and using ceramic or marble, quarry granite or tile. Brickwork and stonework is the choice for most commercial and residential applications.
The three little pigs discovered that the house built of bricks offered safety. Today, homeowners know that brick has many advantages over other exteriors. It requires virtually no maintenance. It does not fade or warp, and, even though one can notice trends in popular choice, brick does not really date a house. The only factor which may deter people from using brick is the cost. Residential buildings do not incur the expense for shop drawings that commercial codes require. Considering that brick gives good curb appeal and increases the value of property may help customers to make their choice of exterior finish. Reclaimed brick is gaining popularity again, partly because of its lower cost. Tyndal stone is waning somewhat, particularly for full fronts, but it is still used for windowsills, keystones and lintels.
If a customer does not know what will work, a bricklayer is often willing to take ideas and offer suggestions. A bricklayer’s knowledge of the product allows him to help achieve the result that people want. As long as the house is structurally sound, brick can be used, and no amount of huffing or puffing will destroy the work of a qualified bricklayer.