Federation architecture refers to the architectural style of Australian homes built around the decades before and after 1900 AD. This site is a backup to Federation-House.wikispaces.com, which closed down in 2018. The new Federation-House.com site links to these blogs, but many old links to the Wikispaces site are unfortunately still present.
[previous page: Federation Verandahs next page: Federation Awnings]
“In the Victorian period, brick ornament was generally confined to a few string courses or cornices, but in the 1890s brickwork now began to spread into richer lintels, spandrels and columns.
Sometimes the colour of these brickwork details was enhanced by rubbing or gauging them. Occasionally they were washed with a coat of red ochre, and the jointing over-painted in white. (Tuckpointing).
A greater variety of special bricks allowed more complex mouldings to be specified in cornices and door surrounds. Conventional chimneys gave way to taller and more elaborate forms as bricklayers showed off their new skills.”
“Bricks were now the cheapest building material available, delivered on the site.
The usefulness of brick had also been extended by the adoption in the late 1890s of the cavity wall – actually two parallel brick walls with a thin air gap between them – which removed the lingering problems of insulation and watertightness experienced by nineteenth century brick walls exposed to the weather.” – Early Bricks and Brickworks in South Australia
“The Federation front (usually) features red face brick masonry with roughcast in the gable decorative finial panel.
Federation Houses were usually built of tuckpointed brick with cement joinery in Sydney and other major cities, and in weatherboard where brick was not easily available. –Source, Manly Council
Tuckpointing is a decorative finish applied to the bric
kwork joints. The final effect is that of thin mortar joints in a colour contrasting with the brickwork. It is most commonly associated with period architectural styles including Victorian, Federation, Queen Anne and Art Nouveau.
Old brickwork becomes discoloured and soiled from applied finishes and the effects of airborne debris over time. The original mortar can deteriorate and the orginal tuckpointing may be damaged or simply falling away.
Tuckpointing is a specialised craft. It is performed when all brickwork is complete.
The structural mortar joints are raked out (excavated) to an even depth. A coloured mortar matching the brickwork colour is placed and struck flush with the surface of the wall. The thin ruled mortar lines in contrasting (white) colour are then applied to finish the job. The final effect is eye-catching and spectacular when well-done. – A&KA Brickwork Restorations
In Perth, it is recorded that front walls were built with limestone footings, and using white tuck-pointed red stretcher-bond brickwork, with stucco string-courses and sills. – Source (town of Vincent)
Early construction methods in Sydney:
“When renovating buildings of this age, a check should be made on the condition of the mortar, rising damp and condition of roof tiles as well as electrical wiring and ceilings. In some suburbs the buildings can be affected by soil movement cracks.” – Source – Early Construction 1900-1930
While we recognize that traditional mortars consisted of mainly lime putties and sand which we can duplicate if required, Brickwork Restoration have developed a Mortar Extrusion System of Repointing and Tuck Pointing mortar joints using modern materials and techniques. The superior bonding capabilities of our modified mortar, while still allowing the required water vapour transparency, allows for a full 20 year warranty providing that there are no ongoing dampness issues.
Note that in the Aust. Standards 3700 M1 (heritage) mortars are recognized as unsuitable for any external work. The reason that they are specified in the restoration of Heritage brickwork is purely to maintain the same appearance as the mortar that was originally used. We have achieved that with the use of modern and far more durable and longer lasting products.
Heritage Listed House Repair by Brickwork Restoration
Incorrect bricks were used on the addition, (so) we colored the brickwork, then Tuck Pointed the whole. As shown you would never know there was a different brick used.