Building a custom home is difficult. There are many moving parts and pieces. From the style of home to what brick and mortar color, trim, roofing, and windows. It can be overwhelming. People often times go for a look: the French Provisional, Colonial, Craftsman, Cottage, or Modern. Often times people will look for that “Old Chicago” brick look. Sure you can buy relcaimend brick, but you will pay a premium for reclaimed brick. Reclaimed brick is expensive because it has to be salvaged from a demolition, cleaned and repackaged for shipping, often long distances. The aged and weathered look is in style, and brick is one of the most durable forms of home cladding material. Brick is also the driest of all wall systems.
Buying newly manufactured brick that looks aged is considerably more cost-efficient.
This is the reason the Old Brick House line was introduced last year. The brick is manufactured to appear as if it was made by hand one at a time. Even though the science of brick making is still similar to the way they were hundreds of years ago, major advances have been made in brickmaking technology.
Our goal was to get as close as possible to the look of artisanal brick that you would have seen being handmade in the 18th and 19th century. That means lots of markings and textures from early brick molds. The same kind of imperfections people seek with reclaimed brick.
The photos here show a run of Kennon House brick at our Madison, North Carolina plant. Kennon House is a rich blend of deep red brick with a hint of blue burgundy and dark brick for an impeccable traditional home. Shale Clay is utilized from a nearby mine site, and are able to achieve a rich blend of deep red with hints of burgundy and darks that would resemble the origins of one of America’s oldest brick homes.
The clay is extruded through the auger and then gets an automated texturizing process applied to the soft surface. Sand is applied on the line to add some color and texture. Then they’re sent up the ramp and through a tumbler to add additional texture and that aged look. Then it’s time to cool off in our humidity-controlled drying areas for 24-48 hours before they are fired. Why dry brick, you might ask? It’s to pull out the moisture in the clay so it will not explode when we put it through our 2,500-degree kiln.
The end product yields a classic old style brick, but one that still exceeds ASTM c-216 specifications for facing brick.
Old Brick House is a popular choice among builders and homeowners who understand the antique look is entirely possible without having to ship in costly reclaimed brick.