Sunday, 27 November 2011

Day 56: Brickwork Begins

It's been a bit of a slow start to the brickwork, perhaps due to the narrow sides of the block they've spent considerable time of the last three days wheelbarrowing bricks to surround the house in neat little stacks.  In any case it's a start and enough to keep the excitement levels up!

So far they've bricked most of the garage wall that's on the fence line, so most of the effort isn't visible.  They've also done one side of the entrance.  When we arrived on Friday evening the mortar was still wet so it's hard to get a feel for the look of the bricks whilst there is little contrast between the brick and mortar colours.

Despite this, the bricks look a little too light in colour and lacking in much of the chocolate and blue variation we've seen on displays and in other builds.  Perhaps it's because every sample we've seen is with off-white mortar, whereas we've chosen natural (light grey), and also because the bricks haven't been cleaned yet, so are sporting a light covering of mortar cement.  The only real way to tell at this stage, is to take the sample brick we have from Austral and compare it to unlaid bricks onsite.  At least check the brown is the right depth of brown...

Here's some pics to illustrate what I mean.  Another flaw with comparing the pictures however, is that all the sample shots are taken on an iPhone, whereas the shots of our house are taken with a digital SLR.

Brickwork progress so far:

Brown looks very medium in colour and no streaks of bluey chocolate running through any of the bricks:

'Hawksburn' brick sample from Austral's website:

'Auburn' brick sample from Austral's website:
(to me our bricks look more like this in tone...)

Hawksburn display in Austral's Richmond display centre:

Austral Hawksburn at a sample address in SE Suburbs:

We plan to visit the site this afternoon with our sample brick.  The mortar should be dry now and I'll take a few iPhone pics for a better photo comparison.  This will hopefully lay my fears to rest!


  1. Hi Nat and Paul, wondering if you ever did the comparison between the sample brick and actual brickwork? We are starting a new build and making brick selections at the moment and considering the Hawksburn (because we can't find a closer match to the Austral Hawthorn we really like :( ) Did you end up being happy with the look of the Hawksburn? Thanks! V

    1. Hi,

      I have to say that I'm still lamenting that the Hawthorn brick was discontinued. The Hawksburn doesn't have the richness and variation of colour. Although I quite liked the sample Hawksburn on display at the Richmond store. I think the mortar colour and profile we chose is to blame. The display had flush mortar and with off white sand. We chose a raked mortar in the grey sand. I like the grey, it's light enough for my liking, but I wish someone had warned me against the raked profile on this brick. It's not the same colour throughout the brick so the raked profile shows the red on the top lip of the brick. I keep wondering if we can repoint it to make it flush and perhaps I'd like the brick better. Whenever I see a house in Hawthorn though, I still get that pang of jealousy! My advice is if you find a sample of brickwork you like, then copy the mortar colour and profile as well as the brick, or your house could look completely different to the sample!

      Good luck with your choice!

    2. Hi Nat

      Thanks so much for your reply, we are feeling the same way about the Hawthorn- we are currently having a brick obsession and looking at every brown brick we can find. Always drawn to the blue tones in the Hawthorn :) And the Daniel Robertson bricks we can't afford.

      Your house looks wonderful.

      Thanks for being so helpful.