September 13, 2009

Half a million bricks and a fence

Another weekend has screamed by, and it is starting to feel like fall with the temperature 40 degrees cooler than it was 4 days ago. That is all fine and wonderful, but rain? I know that the vineyards are probably all in a panic and all I can say is "get in line!" Our 140 year old house is 4 feet in the air, no roof to speak of, its the middle of September, and its raining! Yesterday we arrived at the house to find a fence being erected between our property and the tiny lot behind us that we did not purchase, basically cutting off any thought of access to the back of our project for trucks, backhoes, and any other equipment that might be necessary to complete our mission.
There is so much more to this story that I could say, but being a gentleman, and knowing that I should not write it here for fear of repercussions, I shall leave it at that. Suffice it to say that it was most ironic to find the power tools being used to build said fence plugged into our electric service. All I can say is that I am a firm believer in that old saying... "what goes around, comes around!" and with that... enough said!
We have arrived at Sunday and in the pouring rain we attempted to begin the monumental task of cleaning brick. Every single piece of brick that was removed from the old foundation has to be picked up, looked at, sorted, and if deemed worthy, cleaned and sanded against another brick. Chip off the old mortar, and and rub two bricks together to clean off any residue. Seems simple enough, and it is... but I swear there are five hundred thousand bricks, or pieces of brick in a huge mountain, that must be dealt with. But homes are not built with whining and complaining, they are built with one cleaned brick after another, and so we clean. The rain however did us in and we gave up. Old, disintegrated mortar, vibrant red brick dust, and a fresh dosing of rain water only makes for two options, ridiculously expensive designer clothes, that you paid way to much for, so you to could look like you had been cleaning brick in the rain for years.... or two little pigs that dare not climb into the car for fear of destroying it. Me thinks it was the latter. Beaten and deflated we made our way back to the Shack down by the River, to regroup, strengthen, and live to fight the battle another day!


  1. Yes - what goes around comes around. I live by that principle.

    Of course, being Irish, I would just drive straight through the fence :-)

  2. Use a wire brush on the bricks. Thats what I do. Also, a power washer works wonders. You can clean several hundred bricks at a time. Don't worry about the calcium deposits on the bricks. You can choose to either remove them or leave them there after construction.

  3. Half a million bricks and a fence

    Thanks for sharing


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