So it’s time for one of the most “exciting” parts of your build. The brickwork and blockwork start to go up and we start to see the shape and size of your extension. This is one of the more labour intensive jobs and you will see quick progress if you have hired the right team.




First things first we have to find the right brick to match up with your home. Sometimes due to the age of a house, the original type of brick will have been discontinued. Luckily there are many different types of brick to choose from. Even if you cannot find the exact match there is a brick matching service that can tint the brick to the almost exact colour and age that your home is.

Brick tinting example


Of course, this can up the price of the build but it is at the discretion of the homeowner as to the quality of the finish of the extension. Similarly, with stone built homes many different types can be found and matched to your existing materials.

Imperial and Metric Sized Bricks

It must also be noted that on, older brick built homes brick tend to be larger in size (Length 230mm x Width 110mm x Depth 73mm) than the typical modern sizes (Length 215mm x Width 102mm x Depth 65mm) Also to be considered is the different sizes of mortar joint which can differ due to the area the house is in, the quality of trades that built the existing house, and any decorative features on the house.

Brickwork Tip.

We have a good bricklayers trick that we use to ensure that the extended part of the house will match perfectly gauge for gauge, to the existing brickwork. Using a roof lat or long piece of timber, we will mark the mortar joints from the brickwork of the house onto the lat using a pencil. The lat the will be transferred across to the opposite corner of the footing which will be level up to DPC. The timber will be used each time a brick is laid to start a new course of brickwork to make sure that any irregularities in the existing brickwork are matched. This will guarantee the brickwork will match perfectly across any openings on that elevation where lintels need to be set. It needs to be said that most older houses, 100 years or so tend to have some minor subsidence, which will make the house out of level in one direction or the other. Being experienced in these types of projects we know how to match the buildings together without any glaring imperfections.

Stone-Built Extensions

As mentioned above stone built homes can come in a variety of materials usually dependent on age. Materials to match the existing building can in most cases be sourced to match satisfactorily.  Stone can come in various varieties even in natural or reconstituted types used on more modern houses. Again the different styles of stone can vary in price but should be accepted, to achieve the best match and finish to the extension.


Different Types of  Stone

Natural Stone can vary depending on region and age and type and how it has weathered. Different types including sandstone limestone and granite. If it is stone that is being reused from a demolished building it could be shot blasted along with the stone of the existing house to give a uniform look. There are a lot of different factors to consider if you are matching to a natural stone house. Shapes and sizes for instance and also the punch on the stone. “Punched” or Punched Finish is a term that describes the finish used to flatten the stone when only hand tools were available. The “punch” can come in different styles depending on the tools used.  New stone can be “punched” at the stone yard to match the pattern we are after but must be said that lead times to source this may be longer.

Reconstituted Stone as it is commonly known as is made using natural aggregates and cement products and cast to resemble a natural stone product. Usually easier to source and match and is common on most new build houses. again prices may vary but will be restricted to the type of stone you already have on your house.

Brickwork Bonds and Modern Bricklaying Procedures

There are many types of different bonds. Which are probably out of the scope of this article as most new houses are built using stretcher bond. This is because it is the fastest and most economical way to build and is used on single skinned brickwork when forming a cavity. Stonework can be a more randomised bond due to the different lengths and sometimes height of the stone. Stretcher bond or half bond is as the name suggests where a brick covers half of the two bricks on the course below.

Buying/Sourcing Materials

Most builds will use readily available bricks. However, as mentioned above some bricks may have been discontinued and the nearest match may have to be used. Again colouring services can be used to get an even better match. Older bricks can be of different sizes and shapes so as mentioned, lead times must be considered when ordering bricks so as not to disrupt and delay the build.


Labour/Bricklaying Team

If your project is a self-build and you are project managing yourself selecting a good quality bricklaying team is a must. References and proof of previous work can be obtained and having a face to face chat about availability, costs and timescales is a must.


Or you could cut all the hassle and hire a professional company to take all the stress away from you and get on with the job as required. Please give us a call on the above number if you would like to discuss your project.


Our next part of our extension guide is  fitting the roof and making new door openings to your hone




Please get in touch for a free quote.