Welcome to our Questions & Answers Blog Page.
We share opinions and recommendations made between our Customers and our Organization. We have been in the Chicago brick specialty business for decades.
Listening and sharing the opinions and recommendations from our Customers have become part of our culture, tradition and learning experience.
Below are common questions and recommendations available to everyone.
Please e-mail your questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
There is no such thing as new Chicago brick. The brick is acquired only from the demolition and the restoration process in Chicago, IL.
The brick was manufactured between 1855-1974.
Although the brick can be centuries old the vast majority of them are in impeccable conditions. The beauty in the brick considered by most is the natural distinctive physical qualities acquired by time, weather factors and history.
Buildings in Chicago are being demolitioned and replaced with new high-rise buildings and more modern construction materials. The new construction has redefined Chicago’s famous skyline.
#1 HISTORICAL BRICK IN AMERICA
One pallet of Chicago brick carries 495 - 510 bricks, the pallet weighs approx 2,200 lbs. A pallet of Select Chicago brick covers between 110-115 sq/ft of installation when the application is on Driveways, Walkways and Pool Decks.
When the installation application is for Walls, Fireplaces, Chimneys, Columns or BBQs one pallet will cover between 60-70 sq/ft. Always add 12% additional sq/ft of brick to compensate for the waste generated.
The Chicago bricks derives from the demolition and the restoration process in Chicago. The pallets are built with the bricks while at the demolition site. The bricks suffer physically when it goes through the demolition process.
Select Chicago bricks stands in a class of its own. The bricks is considered by distributors and installers the best in quality and appearance. The quality of an installation depends a lot on the quality of the product, particularly when used on driveway installations.
The difference between Regular Chicago bricks and Select Chicago bricks is the quality of the bricks. The quality of the bricks makes a substantial difference on the final outlook of the installations.
A pallet of Select Chicago bricks will cover between 110-115 sq/ft of installation. A pallet of regular Chicago bricks covers between 70-80 sq/ft.
We highly recommend when purchasing Chicago brick make the effort in buying it from a reliable source. There is such thing as imitation Chicago brick, however the Authentic Chicago Brick is impossible to duplicate.
We do not recommend sealers on the Chicago brick particularly on Driveways. The Chicago brick is a natural clay product. The brick absorbs the rain water therefore allowing it to drain. The moment that the brick is sealed the absorbency characteristic is interrupted.
Some of our Customers complain about car tire marks on the Chicago bricks after sealing their brick driveway.
Progressive and preventive maintenance is the best advise. The brick can be maintained and cleaned with a simple light solution of bleach and water. Or just a simple solution of water and Formula 88 brush and rinse. We highly recommend our Customers to stay away from harsh chemicals such as Muriatic Acid.
There are products like "Wet & Forget" sold in stores that removes Mold, Mildew and Algae stains. It is a non-acid, non-chlorine and eco friendly product.
Pressure Cleaning your Chicago brick Driveway, Pool Deck or Walkways is recommendable however the process requires the correct type of Pressure Cleaner and Turbo Tip. Providing that the correct equipment is used, the process must be followed with the re-grouting application. Failure to re-grout will result in the bricks shifting due to a lack of grout.
Always hire a professional when there is a lack of knowledge and proper equipment.
We welcome all of our Customers to our store to choose the Chicago bricks of their choice. If you have a repair that needs replacement or if you are trying to match an existing blend of Chicago brick, we recommend to bring a sample of the existing brick so that we can help you match your product.
Matching Chicago bricks is not an exact science. Although the bricks are all from Chicago, not all blends are identical. Making an exact match is very difficult.
Our Customers are welcome to pass by our Store and purchase the amount of bricks needed.
We provide next day delivery to all of our Customers.
The cost of labor and materials of a Chicago brick driveway or any project requiring Chicago brick depends on the size and specifics of the scope of the work.
No two driveway projects are alike. Every driveway has their own unique characteristics and property setbacks. Every project is designed different by either the property owner or the architect in charge of the project.
There are multiple contributing factors that impact the cost of a project, the best advice is to schedule an assessment with one of our team members or a Contractor of your choice.
In Florida the salt content in the air is very concentrated. When the atmospheric conditions are present with the combinations of high humidity and a strong ocean breeze a phenomenon named "efflorescence" takes place.
"Efflorescence" is the migration of salt to the surface of a porous material, where it forms a coating. The essential process involves the dissolving of an internally held salt in water, or occasionally in another solvent.
This is a temporary condition that gathers on the brick surface due to atmospheric conditions and we advise our Customers not to concern themselves. It eventually goes away.
Brick Wall Ties play a vital role in ensuring the stability of building a Chicago Brick Wall. They are used to join the two leaves of a cavity wall together allowing the two parts to support each other, provide a connection and transfer lateral loads.
Brick Wall Ties should be spaced every 16" vertically and every 16" or 24" horizontally depending on stud spacing.
Failure to use Brick Wall Ties can result in the Brick Wall to collapse and possible inflict human physical injury.
Driveway permit approvals can range between 3-4 weeks depending on the municipality and/or Building Department.
The following documents are required for a driveway permit. Some requirements may vary on each Municipality.
Some Building Departments or Municipalities require more or different documentation than others. You can go online and inquire with each Building Department.
Building Permit Applications are now subject to lengthy delays due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. For more information we recommend for you to inquire within your Municipality or Building Department.
Selecting the correct quality and best blend for your Chicago bricks project is very important. Knowing what to look for and where to find it requires experience.
We have been distributing and installing the Chicago bricks for two decades and this is the only product that we specialize in.
Selecting the correct quality of Chicago bricks is not the only important thing. In addition to selecting the bricks your installer must be experienced in blending the bricks during the installation process.
Failure to properly blend the bricks during the installation process will result in areas of patches. Installing Chicago bricks is not the same as installing regular concrete pavers.
The cost for Expeditor Fees for a Driveway Permit vary with each Expeditor Company. Every Building Department is different when it comes to building permit applications guidelines and requirements. The Expeditor Fees vary on the Municipality for which the permit is being applied for.
We highly recommend when hiring an Expeditor Company to process your Building Permits, hire one that is very well familiarized with the Municipality & Building Department where the building permit is being applied with. The best advise is to give that responsibility to the Contractor in charge of the project, this way you do not have to concern yourself with the logistics and delays.
The average Expeditor dedicates between 14-18 administrative hours at the Building Department for each Driveway Permit.
Expeditor Companies can charge between $1,500-$2,000 for Expeditor Fees for a Driveway Permit, the fee does not include the Building Permit fees requested by the Building Departments.
The Expeditor's responsibility is to process all required documentation and applications requested by the Building Department.
This is one of the key steps that most Customers fail to make. They do not verify or inquire if the Company or person who they are hiring is Licensed & Insured or not. This mistake can cause you a lot of money and setbacks. Hiring an Unlicensed and Uninsured person can cost you tens of thousands of dollars.
There are several ways to find out if the person who you are hiring is Licensed and Insured.
Below please find an example of CHICAGO BRICK inquiry search and results
If you think it is expensive by hiring a Licensed & Insured Contractor, wait until you see what the costs and damages can escalate to by hiring one who is Unlicensed & Uninsured.
The waste percentage is generated by the following:
Always add 12% additional bricks to compensate for waste.
The sole purpose of the Concrete Perimeter is to secure and reinforce the brick installation by acting as a reinforced frame border throughout the entire edge of the installation. The application will prevent bricks from shifting and therefore keeping the installation intact.
There are multiple applications for the Concrete Perimeter, however each building department municipality requires their own application.
The two most common Concrete Perimeter Applications consist of:
A. Exposed Concrete Perimeter.
Continuous concrete pour 8” Wide x 8” Deep with the edge cut in a 45 📐degrees. Reinforced with a continuous #5 Steel Rebar embedded in the concrete.
(This is the least desirable and popular application due to poor aesthetics.)
B. Concealed Concrete Perimeter.
Continuous concrete pour 8” Wide x 8” Deep Reinforced with a continuous #5 Steel Rebar embedded in the concrete. The concrete perimeter is concealed with a continuous brick installation along the entire top edge of the installation. The brick must be installed on top of the concrete perimeter with a Thin Set application.
This application is the most desirable, best looking and most effective. Although it requires more work and it is not required by most municipalities, it is mandatory with the Coral Gables Public Works Building Dept.
BELOW PLEASE OBSERVE THE CONCRETE PERIMETER ILLUSTRATIONS
We would like to share with our Customers that we are delayed scheduling projects until further notice. The Chicago bricks are now limited in availability due to a lack of demolitions in the city of Chicago. The demolitions are very limited in Chicago due to the COVID-19.
Building Permits are also taking delays due to the shortage of staff at the Building Departments.
The Chicago brick is an irregular brick, it derives from the demolition and the restoration process in Chicago IL. The brick is not perfect, some have dents and are broken due to the demolition, the restoration and the transportation process. The bricks come in different shades and color blends and some come with old mortar. The Chicago bricks have a distinctive industrial odor and scent. THE BRICKS ARE "SOLD AS IS" AND THE DISTRIBUTORS AND RETAILERS CARRY NO WARRANTIES OR GUARANTEES AGAINST THE MANUFACTURE'S DEFECTS, WORKMANSHIP OR BREAKAGE. THERE ARE NO WARRANTIES OR GUARANTEES OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED INCLUDED IN THE CHICAGO BRICKS PRODUCTS. It is very important to know that Distributors and Retailers carry a strict sales policy of All Sales Are Final, No Refunds, No Returns and No Exchanges Accepted. When purchasing Chicago bricks we highly recommend our Customers to make the effort in personally selecting the bricks in person. We welcome all Customers to our Store Facility so that they can choose and select their choice of Chicago bricks.
B R I C K E R A ®
C H I C A G O B R I C K S
CHICAGO BRICKS DISTRIBUTORS & INSTALLERS
7109 SW 43 Street Miami, Florida 33155
305-252-8000 or 1-800-974-5005
CHICAGO - MIAMI - NAPLES
BRICKERA® Brand Select Quality
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Any views or opinions represented in this blog are comments and recommendations made between our customers and our organization, they are not intended to malign any organization, company or individual.
"The Chicago Brick - Era 1855 - 1974"
CHICAGO BRICKS SELECT QUALITY
OUR SPECIALTY SINCE 2001