A plaster facade is very maintenance-intensive, which means that it is also more expensive to maintain. The original savings are then used up again within a few years. A clinker façade may cause higher construction costs, but clinker bricks not only look more valuable, but they also retain their value and substance. We will therefore show you what you should pay attention to if you want to retrofit the facade with bricks.
In order to increase the value of the house, the subsequent clinkering of the outer facade is a good solution. Effective insulation can also be installed behind the new brickwork. This is ideal for older houses in particular, where the rooms are quite small anyway. In these cases, the insulation of the interior walls is always associated with a painful loss of living space. The clinker is robust and requires little maintenance. If you have had enough of painting the facade or repairing cracks in the plaster, then we will show you here in the instructions how the facade is subsequently bricked.
What you need:
- joint trowel
- bricklaying board
- folding rule
- Angle grinder/flex
- Iron bending pliers
- Formwork panels / wooden panels
- paint brush
- special glue
- sealing membrane
- Reinforcement iron / welded wire mesh
- clinker bricks
- Insulating bricks/brick slips
- vapor barrier
Straps as an alternative
There is the possibility of designing the exterior facade in a clinker look without first learning the bricklayer’s trade. So-called straps are glued to the old facade. These brick slips are also available in a complete system as insulating clinker, which also includes the insulation of the outer shell. However, these glued-on brick slips age very quickly and can no longer be compared optically with a real clinker wall. In addition, house buyers are rather skeptical about these brick slips, so the value of the house is not increased by these brick slips.
development plan and building authority
Any structural change to a residential building is first subject to approval. Therefore, you should first go to the local building authority before you start work. There you can also view the development plan for your building area. Many new building areas have extremely narrow development plans, which may even specify the exact color of the stones or a facade on the house. You may not even be allowed to put bricks on the house in some building areas. In the case of older building areas, however, the provisions are rarely that narrow. The development plan could also state how wide the roof overhang must be. Also important information before you start bricking the house.
Cost of clinkering the house
We have listed some sample prices here so that you can roughly estimate the costs of clinker brickwork per m². If the manufacturer only quotes prices for 1,000 bricks at a time, you will need to convert the relevant side length of the brick and its height to determine approximately how many bricks per square meter you will need. After all, what use is the quantity of bricks if you want to brick your own house? For example, a stone that is 25 centimeters long and 4 centimeters high covers 100 square centimeters. There are 10,000 square centimeters in one square meter. So you need 100 stones per square meter.
Of course, that only fits in this example, the clinker bricks are very different in their dimensions. You’ll also need to include some trimmings. This depends on the number of corners in the house and the skill and experience of the mason. As a do-it-yourselfer, you naturally need a little more. Check whether it is possible to return leftovers to the manufacturer or builders’ merchant if you have bought too many bricks.
- Clinker stone in Frisian colors, extra smooth for around 35 euros per m²
- Clinker stone red-colored about 40 euros per m² expensive
- Clinker stone bronze-colored about 25 euros per m² expensive
- Clinker stone vintage (artificially aged) about 60 euros per m² expensive
Tip: If you have experience in bricklaying, it is of course relatively easy to brick the house yourself. However, anyone who has never laid bricks will have some difficulties with clinker bricks. Depending on which bricks you choose, they may be very rough on the top. Here the cement settles very easily, which then results in an unsightly gray haze from the cement after completion. Inexperienced do-it-yourselfers in particular make a lot of mess when building walls.
Hollow or solid clinker
The quality of the bricks is not only influenced by the firing process used to manufacture the bricks. Hard-fired bricks are almost indestructible. However, they are also much more difficult to cut later. In addition to these solid clinker bricks, there are also so-called hollow clinker bricks, which are inevitably lighter and less expensive. which e stones you prefer is to a large extent a matter of taste. However, the hollow bricks can be a bit more difficult to lay for a beginner, since the joints usually have to be much narrower here.
In addition to the main cost factor, the clinker bricks, you sometimes also need wall anchors and a vapor barrier, which must be placed between the masonry and the clinker. Neither are major cost factors. However, what will weigh on your budget is sand and cement. The sand delivery will cause regionally different costs.
- Sand sieved 10 m³ varies regionally between 100 and 200 euros
- Bag of cement with 25 kilos from about 8 euros
- Concrete for foundation depending on compressive strength per m³ from 75 euros
cost of a bricklayer
If you don’t quite trust yourself to build a beautiful house facade with the clinker bricks yourself, you can of course hire a professional bricklayer or a company to do it. Unfortunately, the costs vary greatly from region to region. In general, you should hire an experienced company and agree on an all-inclusive price if possible. In this way, any problems and delays later are not so much your responsibility. Even the weather can put a damper on your schedule. If you then have to pay hourly wages, the budget is quickly exhausted.
- Bricklayers regionally cost between 40 and 80 euros per square meter of facade
Instructions – clinker facade
Whether or not you need additional wall anchors that connect the old and new brickwork depends in large part on the strength of your bricks. But the height of the clinker wall to be built also plays a decisive role. You should therefore find out what is required for the stones you have selected and the height of the facade.
1. Make foundation
In contrast to the attachment of clinker brick slips, you absolutely need a foundation for a real clinker that is to be attached later. This must be founded frost-proof. This means that in this country it should be at least 80 centimeters deep. You should sprinkle the bottom of the foundation with some gravel before you insert the reinforcement made of iron mats or reinforcing iron into the pit. The fresh concrete from your mixing machine is then poured into the casing of the pit using the wheelbarrow. Poke around with a broomstick to make the concrete slide down every corner all the way down.
Tip: If you have enough free helpers to pour the foundation quickly, you can also do the pouring of the foundation yourself. With a delivery of ready-mixed concrete, however, you are not that much more expensive and you can be sure that the entire quantity can quickly run into the prepared foundation. In addition, the entire quantity of concrete is of the same quality, which of course cannot always be guaranteed when mixing in a small mixing machine.
2. Attach insulation
The clinker gives you the option of installing pre-wall insulation of the desired thickness. Most of these systems consist of thick blocks that are simply neatly glued together with a special adhesive. The various manufacturers provide instructions for their insulation systems, which you should study carefully before gluing.
Tip: Before you start such work or even choose an insulation system, you should check whether you can get a grant for it. The federal government and some regional programs sometimes offer quite high subsidies for subsequent thermal insulation. However, these must always be applied for before you start work. Also, the bill of materials must not have an earlier date if you want to receive funds – make sure!
Before choosing the insulation, you should look at the roof overhang. Due to the new brick wall in front of the facade, the overhang will often have to be extended anyway. You can see what it looks like if the roof overhang is not extended in many older houses that have been clad with clinker bricks. There is also a risk that some of the rainwater will seep into the clinker wall behind the gutter. This would then be quickly damaged by frost. If thick insulation is to be installed, this thickness must also be taken into account when extending the roof overhang.
3. Wall up clinker
The less experience you have with bricklaying, the smoother the selected clinker bricks should be. Otherwise, spilled cement would settle in the fine pores of the stone as an ugly gray film. The foundation must be completely dry before you can start building. Lay out a strip of sealing sheeting on the foundation before building the first row. If you have not chosen a specific complicated pattern for the facing, you should brick in combination. This means that the joint between the stones in the second row is in the middle of the clinker underneath.
Tip: Be very careful that you remain in this network. Slipping would later create an ugly uneven pattern on the wall. The course would be unsteady and you would also have bigger problems with the finish at the corners.
If you buy clinker bricks that are hollow on the inside, i.e. so-called hollow clinker, you should not only buy whole bricks, but also half ones. You cannot simply cut off these stones at the corners, as this will reveal the hollow chambers. However, you should not cut the solid clinker at the corners either, as the surface after cutting is different than after the clinker was burned. Try to include the necessary cuts in your pattern, for example by working the cut stone in every second row on the other side of your house wall.
Tip: Depending on the clinker, the transverse joints should be about one centimeter thick. If you get too much cement between the stones or something falls on the already finished wall, it must be washed away immediately with a brush and clear water. You should therefore always have a bucket of water and a brush with you when doing masonry work.
You don’t have to buy an expensive stone-cutting machine. You can achieve the same result with an angle grinder or a flex and a good diamond disc. But pay attention to the disc size, because you should be able to cut a clinker brick to length with just one cut. If you have to cut from all sides, the cutting image will be messy and crooked.
4. Grout the clinker
When laying bricks, the joint between the stones is never completely cleanly filled. That has to be done afterward. Allow your new masonry to dry out thoroughly for a few days so that the moisture can escape. If the grouting is carried out too early, the moisture can only escape into the old house wall and this is of course undesirable. The joints are filled with joint mortar using the narrow jointing trowel. However, the joint filling should jump back a few millimeters. Put a thick dab of mortar on the masonry board with the masonry trowel and hold it directly under the respective joint on the wall. Then use the narrow jointing trowel to push a little bit of mortar into the joint. You have to press the mortar in really hard with the jointing trowel and smooth it out.
Tip: In addition to the brush, you should also have a narrow brush ready for this job. Use the brush to clean excess mortar off the stones again, and use the brush to retighten the new mortar joint. In this way, the joint gets a uniform, smooth mortar pattern without offsets or protrusions.
Tips for speed readers
- Select options for linking
- possibly check the development plan with regard to the facade design
- Glue on brick slips after basic cleaning
- Create foundation around the house
- Excavate the ground and concrete frost-deep
- Check and apply for subsidy programs for insulation costs
- Install insulation on the house wall
- possibly install a vapor barrier on the house wall
- Lay out the sealing tape on the foundation
- Wall up and secure the clinker in the bond
- Cut clinker with an angle grinder and a diamond disc
- Remove cement residue quickly with a brush
- Then grout the clinker
- Wash off excess cement with a swab
- Trace joints in the clinker with a brush