The porch is the hallmark of the house, it is its integral part and the main element of the entrance group. But it does not always correspond to its purpose, does not decorate the house, but spoils its appearance. In many buildings, even recently built ones, you can see a porch with peeling cladding, cracks at the joints with the facade walls.
The photo shows the consequences of improper manufacturing of the foundation
Another sad surprise - the doors touch the surface of the porch when opening. They have to be cut (if they are made of wood) or completely reinstalled (if they are metal).
All these negative phenomena are the result of one mistake - an inattentive attitude to the foundation. It is generally accepted that a brick porch is not a construction that requires special attention, everyone can make it. This is a deep misconception, if you do this, then you cannot do without unpleasant surprises.
The porch is built on a solid foundation and decorates the house
What stages of construction should be followed so that there are no problems with the porch during operation?
Remember, that not only the house itself, but also all the buildings depends on the quality of the foundation. A brick porch is one of these buildings, in addition, it has a lot of weight, is operated in the most difficult conditions, under the constant negative influence of climatic features, and this increases the requirements for foundations.
In some articles, there are recommendations to make a reinforced concrete platform under the porch and complete the foundation work on this. This is a deep misconception.
What should be the foundation for a brick porch?
The depth is the same as for the main tape.
Bunch of the foundation of the porch and the house - scheme
Why? The task of the foundation is to take on the load of the house and distribute it evenly around the entire perimeter. If the porch foundation is attached to it, then the load is distributed skewed, the porch has less weight than the house, and the foundation is common. The pressure on the strip foundation from the side of the porch and the opposite side will be different, which can cause unequal shrinkage rates.
As a result, there is a possibility of cracking of the main tape with very negative consequences. Of course, only if the dressing is done correctly and firmly connects the two elements, or the foundation under the porch is poured simultaneously with the tape under the house.Although there are recommendations from architects to pour the foundation under the porch at the same time as the tape under the house.
Binding the foundation of the porch and the house - scheme
How to do it right? Consider the physical characteristics of the soil, the amount of precipitation and the weight of the structures. In winter, during the freezing of the ground, the porch is subjected to greater heaving forces than the foundation of the house: freezing is more significant due to the lack of a warm underground, the moisture of the ground around the porch is higher (there is no drainage system), the mass is less than at the wall of the house.
As a result, the heaving forces can lift the porch, and the house itself remains motionless.
Conclusion. If the house is relatively light, and the soils are sandy, then the foundation under the porch and the house should be cast at the same time and tied with a reinforcing belt. If the house is heavy, and the earth is clay, then the foundations must be made separately, but the depth is necessarily the same.
Monolithic strip foundation for a house with a porch
Another problem is that ceramic tiles are falling off the porch.
Tiles on the steps of the porch
This is due to improper waterproofing between the concrete and the brick or the top slab under the porch landing. Concrete draws in moisture from the ground, then it gets on the bricks and accumulates under the ceramic tiles. In winter, the water freezes; as a result of the expansion of the ice, the tiles detach. To avoid such phenomena, you need to be very careful about waterproofing, depending on the architectural characteristics of the structure, isolate all junction points of various materials, exclude the possibility of moisture from the ground under the ceramic tiles.
You can't do without waterproofing during the construction of the porch
With the foundations sorted out, now you can start laying bricks.
The first option is simpler, the steps will be straight. The front porch has steps, the side surface is solid vertical with a parapet. First, you should calculate the number of steps, such work is performed even before laying the foundation. The distance of the foundation tape under the porch to the main foundation and the dimensions of the horizontal platform, if any, depend on the obtained values. The parameters of the steps are governed by the current building codes and regulations.
It is convenient to climb the porch if the double height in total with the step width is equal to the step length of an average person. The length of the step is about 60-64 cm, the width and rise are determined by the ratio 2a + b = 60-64 cm, where a is the height of the riser, b is the width of the step itself.
Calculation of the optimal tread width
The width of the step should provide an emphasis on the entire leg area, the parameter ranges from 20-32 cm. Optimal height is allowed within 15-18 cm, tilt angle 23 ° -37 °. Having these initial data, we calculate the steps of the porch.
For an example of calculation, we take the distance of the doorway to the ground level of 1 meter; a horizontal platform with a length of one meter is provided on the porch.
Now we calculate the final height of each of the six steps. 100: 6 = 16.6 cm. The parameter fits into the values regulated by the standards; for easier marking, it can be rounded up to 17 cm. A few millimeters are eliminated when tiling the porch with ceramic tiles.
Calculating the size and number of steps
We hope that a practical calculation example will facilitate your work during the construction of the foundation under the porch. Now you can start laying bricks. The standard dimensions of a single solid brick are 250 * 120 * 65 mm.
Dimensions of single, one and a half and double bricks
We have a step height of 170 mm, one will need two bricks, the exact height will have to be adjust the seam thickness. The thickness of the bottom seam can be increased to 3 cm, the seam between the bricks will be 1 cm, such parameters fully meet the requirements of the standards.
The length of the step is adjustable when tying the rows. To fill non-basic masonry, you can use various waste: broken concrete blocks, hollow bricks, etc. The main condition is to level the upper surface under the masonry steps.
Step 1. Waterproof the porch foundation from bricks.
It is better to use roofing material, if it is not there, a thick plastic film will do. If you have a horizontal platform, then it has its own characteristics of waterproofing, we will tell about them in the course of the article.
Base for the construction of the porch
Step 2. If one side of the porch is adjacent to the front wall - mark each step on it, this will facilitate the masonry process. If not, then each step will have to be measured during the laying process.
Step 3. Put a layer of mortar on the waterproofing and make the opposite corner of the porch, constantly check the position of the bricks with a level, use a tape measure to control the height and length.
Step 4. When the opposite ends of the porch are ready, pull the thread between them and continue to make steps along the entire length.If the steps are not wide, then it is not necessary to use the rope, a flat rail is enough.
Step 5. Fill the backing masonry under the steps with various building materials. Simultaneously with the steps, lay the side surface of the porch, a parapet will be installed on it.
In the photo, the first step and filling the free space with blocks
Bricklaying over blocks
Brick laying is carried out along a stretched cord
Place broken blocks or bricks as tightly as possible
Laying the top step at level
Step 6. all the steps, you should have a place for a horizontal platform.
On the left side, the laying of steps, and inside the free space sand and concrete will be poured
Step 7. Fill the space under the pad with sand.
Important. Be sure to pour sand on the waterproofing, "tear" it off the ground. We have already written above why it is necessary to do this, do not forget about it.
If waterproofing is not done, then problems will arise during operation.
Step 8. Prepare materials for pouring concrete under the horizontal platform. Concrete thickness is within 5-10 cm. Be sure to use structural reinforcement of a periodic profile.
It should connect the slab to the front wall of the house and the steps. In this case, the sand plays the role of a permanent formwork, over time it will certainly give natural shrinkage. To prevent the stove from starting up with it, it should be securely fastened, focusing on the wall and steps.
This ends the laying. The last stage is the finishing of the structure with ceramic tiles, more on that later.
Facing solid bricks
Photo of a semicircular porch of a country house
Calculation of a semicircular porch
More beautiful, but difficult option. The calculation of the height and length of the steps is no different from the above, the masonry technology itself changes. We recommend using a solid facing brick for such a porch, put it on the edge with a poke outward. In size, the bricks make it possible to make steps of normalized values, the work is greatly simplified and accelerated. Facing semicircular steps with ceramic tiles is much more difficult than rectangular ones.
Work can only be done by professional tilers who have not only great practical experience, but also a full set of special tools and devices.
Why is it better to put bricks on the edge? Due to this method, the circle is smoother, the degree of adhesion of individual bricks increases, the steps become more durable and beautiful.If in the future it is planned to decorate the porch with ceramic tiles, then the bricks can be put in the usual position, but be sure to poke outward.
Example of brick laying in a semicircle
You need to learn how to control the turning radius of each step. How is this done?
It is recommended that its dimensions exceed the dimensions of the doors by at least half a meter, this will make it possible for two people to disperse without problems. This parameter is taken as the initial one, all others are calculated from it.
Fix the element with dowels and clamps to the wall or foundation of the house. Check its position carefully. If the rack deviates from the vertical, then the width of the steps will be unequal around the circumference, and this is a direct marriage.
Draw a circle for the bottom step on the porch foundation.
Step 1. Start laying the first step. For a guarantee, you can first put bricks without mortar, this will help you approximately estimate the thickness of the joints.
First stage laying
Always start laying in the middle and work in both directions. If the brick is not intact in the corners, then it will have to be cut, and in the corners the cut is less noticeable. The masonry technology is no different from the usual one.
Step 2. After the first rung is ready, mark the second.
To do this, reduce the length of the rope by the width of the step and again draw a circle with chalk over the bricks of the first step. Check the dimensions, everything is normal - put the second one. Do all the steps in the same way.
Practical advice. In order not to later clean the surface of the bricks from the drawn lines, during laying, cover it with bricks for several millimeters.
Fill the seams completely, strictly adhere to the masonry technology. The loads on the bricks are large, if the recommendations are not followed, they may loosen over time or fall out completely. Don't forget about dressing. Use any waste of building materials for backfilling.
Filling the site and decorative finishing
Semicircular brick porch with decoration wild stone
Special anti-slip high-strength ceramic tiles are most often used as the finishing.
Clinker tiles for porch steps
Ordinary steps are easy to tile, and round ones can cause problems.
Important.If the whole tile does not fit on the step, then the pieces must be laid only on the side of the riser. Be sure to lay whole tiles on the ledge. The fact is that the adhesion strength of a whole tile is much greater than that of a piece, and during the ascent, the maximum load occurs just at the beginning of the step.
And further. Be sure to make a slope, the water should go away. If it remains, then in winter your porch will turn into a skating rink. These are the general rules for facing all steps and stairs without exception.
Clinker tiles for steps
Dust is swept from the porch
Spread the tiles without solution on steps, observe the distance for the seams. If the latter needs to be cut, then decide how best to do it. If you need to trim a few centimeters, then do it on both sides of the step. This arrangement of the trimmed tiles makes the difference in width invisible. If a narrow piece is missing, then you need to put it against the wall.
Step 2. Start at the top step and continue finishing one at a time. Draw a line for the first row. Remember that the tile should overhang by about a centimeter. This dimension includes the thickness of the adhesive and the tile on the riser.
Step 3. Strike a line, use a dry paint chop line.
Step 4 . Start styling the first upper degree. Once you've finished the horizontal part, move on to the vertical (riser).
The adhesive must be on the entire surface of the tile, do your best to ensure maximum bond strength. Use crosses to line up seams.
Mixing tile adhesive
Coating waterproofing layer
Marking and leveling tiles without mortar
Facing the steps of the porch
Step 5. The next day, trowel the seams.
This is the simplest staircase on the porch, with more semicircular work.
There are two ways: simplified and complex. Let's take a quick look at both.
A simple way
It looks a little worse, but on the other hand, beginners can also decorate it.
On all steps, the tiles must lie in one line, this is very important.
Available only for professionals , and even then they undertake such work without much desire: too much time is wasted. Even an increased rate is considered disadvantageous.
This method requires ideal parameters of the circumference of the steps; when problem areas are found, the bricks must be corrected, cut down or plastered.
Next, you need to make a template from cardboard. There are no calculations, everything will have to be done by an experienced method. The template should have the width of the whole tile, an arc is drawn on it, corresponding to the type of steps and taking into account the release. At what angle to cut the segments you need to recognize in practice, you will have to make several templates and constantly check them on the porch. How long it will take to make a template depends on experience and luck.
The template must be shifted along the arc of each step and mark the position.
Check the dimensional accuracy several times, you will have to cut all the tiles using one template. They can be prepared immediately or in turn. The second method is much slower, but allows you to notice and fix errors in a timely manner.
You can cut a tile in a semicircle in the following ways:
A proven and effective method. The disadvantage is very slow. If using a jigsaw, the string should be cooled frequently. Press down on the string with moderate pressure. Never worked with this tool - practice on pieces of tiles, select the cutting speed and pressing force;
The disc must be driven quickly and smoothly, the cutting depth is no more than 1/3 of the tile thickness. Further, on the reverse side, with a metal hammer, you need to tap on the cut point until the piece breaks off. The cut itself will have to be aligned again on the machine. The work done faster, but you need to have "stuffed" hand
Conveniently trim tile grinder
The cut is even, no additional processing is required. The surface next to the cut remains cold, the upper decorative coating of the ceramic tile is not damaged. The device is good for everyone, except for the price. Only the most highly skilled tilers have it.
It is recommended to wet the ceramic tiles before cutting, thereafter there is less dust and less risk of premature cracking.Be sure to wear goggles and a respirator.
Well, that's all. If you follow the advice exactly, study and not be lazy, then a brick porch made with your own hands will be not only a source of pride for loved ones, but also a real decoration of the entrance group of the house.
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