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Architecture/Brick on Angle Iron and Sakrete


Hi Steve,

Earlier this summer I wrote you about a 28' by 28' wooden pole building with OSB sides. You recommended going with the Morton finger joints. I found a local builder who follows that idea by putting 3 pressure treated laminated 2x6's in the ground till they rise up out of the ground. Then puts I think yellow pine laminated wood connected to the pressure treated wood. He will stagger the heights of each of the laminated pressure treated poles in the ground which I liked.

Here is what I am wondering about though. The builder says he prefers to put tamped dry sakrete into the bottom of each hole rather than drop a "concrete pill" into the hole. I asked why he does this and his response was this. When you drop that "pill" into the hole, how do you know for sure its setting securely flat on the ground and nothing dropped under the pill like a rock or something and making a firm surface contact across the entire surface area. What are your thoughts on this Sakrete plan?

I thought of putting brick on the front of the garage to match the house. The one builder wants to use the Perma-Columns and attach a large angle iron to the concrete part of each perma-columns across the front of the garage. The weight of all 8 feet of height of real brick will be resting on this angle iron. My concern is that the perma-columns that the angle iron is attached two will be stationary but the frost will work on the actual angle iron pushing it up even if slightly but maybe enough to work on the mortar joints maybe even working on the hole through wish a bolt secures the angle iron??  The owner of the company says they started doing this angle iron brick support 20 years ago and have not had any issues. What are your thoughts on this brick on angle iron idea?

Many Thanks Steve!




As long as the post has a concrete footing at the base, it should be OK.  Some builders use a dry mix to save labor (it will eventually harden from absorbed moisture, but results are inconsistent); I prefer to mix with water, get it level, and sort of firm, then set the post.  Secure the post so it does not move and backfill carefully and evenly.  

The angle iron is a standard method of adding a brick ledge to a building which does not have a concrete or masonry foundation with integral brick ledge.  It should be OK as long as the posts are installed below the frost line.  The angle iron should be slightly above the soil surface, or it can be in contact with WELL-drained gravel around the perimeter of the building.  Galvanized or otherwise rust-resistant angle is best.


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Stephen Major


I can answer questions in the following categories: architectural design, architectural woodwork, structural design, building construction, kitchen and bath design. PLEASE indicate your state or region, so I can provide the best possible answer. PLEASE provide photos whenever possible.


30 years in the building design and construction field, with emphasis on residential and light commercial projects. This includes over 10 years performing property condition assessments on commercial and industrial properties.

Author of "Architectural Woodwork - Details for Construction" published by Van Nostrand Reinhold (now Wiley).

BS Cornell University.

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