Brick Assessment

I am set to close on my new home (new construction) next week. I am concerned with the brick work, which I reported to the builder on multiple occasions. However, they simply say that the masonry work is within their “standards”. Just looking for some honest feedback. If you are interested in this post, please view the pics at and reply with thoughts. What are your impressions of the issues I identified in the pics? Should I be concerned from a structural perspective? Are these fairly normal issues that every home builder experiences?

Thanks in advance for any input. Have a great day!

Industry standard is 3/8" gap at mortar joint for most brick. Same with the window perimeter to brick. Find out what the manufacturer recommendation is for that brand and you have your information. Looks like a sub par install. Good luck.

Thank you very much for the input.

This is the definitive site for brickwork Your install is amateur at best. Window sill courses should slope 15 deg. to prevent water intrusion.

Very sloppy work in some areas and unfortunately, some of it is aesthetics and will most likely stay as is.
When they say it is up to their standard, that differs somewhat in area from the industry standard.
You need to talk to the GC about some of these items.

As a guy who has laid brick in my early years I would not have laid brick that sloppy even on my very first job. Of course I had my dad, grandfather and uncles hovering over me in the beginning.

I’ll say this about that brickwork: They sure didn’t waste any leftover cuts.

Yes Paul, very sloppy. You probably noticed in some of the pictures the returns at the windows are pretty screwed up also.

What we have here is what you would call a 1/3 bond. Typically with 1/3 bond, the non modular brick units are nominally 3" deep, 9" long, and 3" high.
The brick units are turned 90 degrees so hat the end of the brick is exposed. This will determine the bond pattern. The one-third bond gives a different appearance to the brick wall.

In the photos you can see that the bond is all over the place and not much in a plumb lineup. The brick at the windows should have been returned with a full brick showing a head brick for the 1/3rd bond and eliminate that vertical joint as you see in the photos.

The non modular bricks are 5/8" to 3/4" less than standard modular units. This normally allows more space in the cavity when required and a light wall.
Some of the brick sill are flat and should be a minimum of 15 degrees from horizontal.
The corbelling is nasty and needs cleaning. An acid wash will definitely be required to remove some of the mortar on the face of the brick.

I was a Masonry Foreman in the mid 70’s for a few years. But was all commercial buildings.

I noticed the curve on the privacy wall as being kind of off also. Curves are fairly easy to construct and even built by eye can be visually pleasing.

Brick is both simple and artistic and doing a good job takes the same amount of time (maybe even less) as just throwing the brick in place. What we have here is someone who didn’t care about aesthetics.

And it is getting worse. It is all about the buck.