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Author: Subject: Building Brick Columns - Advice Please
John P

posted on 12/4/17 at 02:54 PM Reply With Quote
Building Brick Columns - Advice Please

Iím about to build a raised deck on or bungalow which is on a sloping site so the deck will actually be around 1.8 metres above ground level.

I canít tie it back to the building so itís going to be supported on four columns which I plan to build either from facing bricks or possibly concrete blocks which would have to be rendered.

Iíve got planning and have been told by building control that it doesnít need building regs approval because itís not structurally attached to the bungalow. They also suggested the footings for the columns should be 600 x 600 x 225 deep which is somewhat shallower than Iíd expected.

I would like to build the columns 1 Ĺ bricks by 1 Ĺ bricks which Iím confident will have enough compressive strength but I am actually concerned about the ability to restrain any side loadings although I will tie the deck back to the bungalow wall even though itís not strictly structural.

So do you think the columns will be OK or should I make them larger? (I really want them to be a slender as possible so as not to dominate the small garden).

Should I fill the hollow central void of the column with concrete and re-bar? If so should the re-bar be fixed to re-bar set in the footings?

Will I need some form of cap stone on the top to spread the load of the timber beam which will sit on top and carry the flooring joists?

Any advice would be appreciated,
John.

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v8kid

posted on 12/4/17 at 03:39 PM Reply With Quote
You're over engineering things. Simple 4x4 timber struts (or 6x6 if you are of a nervous disposition ) concreted into holes with fastcrete are adequate. Put diagonals between struts and it will be rigid.

Interim supports enable cheaper , shallower, joists to be used and all you need to do is foot them on a rough mortar mix with a slate on top to stop rot.

Done this on 4 decks the largest of which is freestanding 20m x 10m with height tapering from 0.3m to 2m. been standing 12 years and as rigid and strong as the day it was built. I drive my lawn tractor over it when I'm using the trailer to transport party stull to the deck and no worries.

Cheers!





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nick205

posted on 12/4/17 at 04:18 PM Reply With Quote
Have to say I agree with v8kid and would opt for timber columns to support the deck. Easy to do and quicker than messing about with brick/block columns. Use some diagonal timbers if you're still concerned over lateral stability.
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John P

posted on 12/4/17 at 05:07 PM Reply With Quote
My main structural concern was lateral stability but the reason for using brick columns was primarily for appearance.

We want the deck because we have fantastic sea views from the back of the bungalow but down at garden level you can't see anything. However the garden is very small and the deck will certainly dominate it when you're at garden level so I want to keep the supporting structure as minimal and visually pleasings as possible.

With bricks I hoped to have slim columns (though not as slim as timber posts I suppose) which would not require any diagonals for stability, would match the walls of the bungalow and also not require any maintenance.

I can see timber would be easier to use and cheaper. Guess I'll have to have a think about it. I find it hard to visualize what it will look like from below.

John.

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r1_pete

posted on 12/4/17 at 06:01 PM Reply With Quote
Usual practice when building brick or stone gate pillars is to set a steel centre, square tube or I section, with the gate eyes welded to it, then brick around it.

You could do similar, obviously you wont need the eyes, but the set steels would give you all the side stability you are looking for.

[Edited on 12/4/17 by r1_pete]

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mcerd1

posted on 12/4/17 at 08:22 PM Reply With Quote
Steel is answer if you want skinny, with a bit of imagination you could make it look really good without having to bother clading it with anything.....





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v8kid

posted on 12/4/17 at 10:07 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mcerd1
Steel is answer if you want skinny, with a bit of imagination you could make it look really good without having to bother clading it with anything.....


Especially if you get it galvanised first





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geoff shep

posted on 13/4/17 at 09:13 AM Reply With Quote
A brick pillar would have lots of compressive strength but would have very little lateral/bending strength unless reinforced with steel. ie - if you simply built a 1 1/2 brick pillar, 6 feet high, you could easily push it over. It wouldn't take much lateral deck movement to crack one or more of the mortar joints.

You could build it structurally with wood, or steel, and then build a brick facade round the verticals for appearance.

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mcerd1

posted on 13/4/17 at 09:22 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by v8kid
quote:
Originally posted by mcerd1
Steel is answer if you want skinny, with a bit of imagination you could make it look really good without having to bother clading it with anything.....


Especially if you get it galvanised first


I guess that depend on how much you like galvanised steel

personally I always liked the old Victorian iron lattice girders like this:



just a pair of angles at the top and another pair at the bottom and lots of flat bars & bolts - all pretty cheap stuff
and could look really good if the proportions are right and you paint it a nice colour.

using beams like them between the tops of some light UB or UC columns would be more than strong enough

in fact it could easily be made strong enough that the deck could sit on the beams just as happily as it would on the column tops, so you could use fewer columns

and if Victorian lattice work isn't your thing then a single UB beam would do the job and look a bit more modern

[Edited on 13/4/2017 by mcerd1]





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v8kid

posted on 13/4/17 at 09:41 AM Reply With Quote
That is just lattice porn





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