Wood & brick column construction

Written by billy mccarley
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Wood & brick column construction
(Photos.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Wood and brick column construction has become quite common in the home construction market. It is for those who love the strength and beauty of brick construction but choose to implement the traditional appeal of wood. Basically, the brick part of the column begins at the base and serves as a sort of foundation for the rest of the column. Then, the wood is set and attached to complete the column structure.

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Materials

A wooden and brick column consists of two main components–brick and rot-resistant wood. The brick can be purchased in various sizes, from regular to king size, and must be installed using some type of brick mortar. The interior core of the column may be built from 8-inch blocks and veneered with brick, or the core may simply be filled with concrete after an outer surround of brick veneer is installed. The wood part of the post will usually be 4-by-4, 6-by-6 or 8-by-8 in width and thickness and will be made of either treated wood or some type of rot-resistant wood such as cypress or cedar.

Column Sizes

Generally, the size of the columns is up to the customer, who must take his needs into consideration. If you are going to build the structure of the column–with the bottom half that will eventually be brick–out of concrete blocks, then wrap them with brick, consider the overall size of the column. Blocks are 16 inches long and 8 inches wide, so you could have a column that is 8-by-16–not including the brick size–or 16-by-16–stacking two blocks side by side. When you add in the brick size, which will need to be veneered to the blocks, then you will add another 3 or 4 inches of thickness to the overall masonry part of the column.

You can choose not to build the core of the brick part of the column out of blocks. In that case, you would simply lay a square column using just brick–which would have an empty space in the centre of the column that would need to be filled with concrete after the column has dried.

Generally, the height of the brick part of the column should be about half of the total of the entire column. If your total height is 8 feet, then the masonry part of the column would be 4 feet.

Wood Connection

After the lower half of the brick part of the column has been installed and dried, then the wood post will need to be installed and attached. You can cut the post to size and attach it to the brick part of the column using metal brackets. Or you can lay down a bead of construction on the base of the post where it meets the brick column cap and glue the post to the brick section of the column.

As an alternative, the top section–where the wood will be attached–can have metal posts installed as the structural component and wrapped with 1-by wood material to resemble a solid wood post. The connection points would be directly through the metal post and into the brick bottom and the top of the post where it attached to the roof structure.

Trim

The brick part of the column can be trimmed with all sorts of products, from prefabbed limestone masonry caps to carefully cut and mitred brick corners and caps made from the brick itself.

As for the wood section of the column, 1-by lumber is usually ripped down into 1-inch strips to trim the transitions between the wood and brick and the top of the wood posts and the roof of the structure that the posts will be supporting.

Tools for the Project

Generally, for building a brick and wood post, a mason's trowel and level are the two main tools for constructing the masonry part. However, for the wood part, a circular saw, mitre saw, nail gun and tape measure are essential to completing this section.

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