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Brickies' aid to smooth laying

MATERIALS Cutting Edge

A COUNTY Durham-based businessman has developed a new bricklaying aid that he claims will help slash build time and improve quality.

Former conservatory supplier Kevin Hewson is so convinced his new Brikmat tool will be a success he has sold his glazing and conservatory business in order to fund his new venture.

Mr Hewson's new company, Willington-based Brikmat Ltd, will manufacture the tool, which has been developed to help apprentice and inexperienced bricklayers ensure minimum mortar-bed depth.

The sacrificial plastic strips are placed on top of the course below and mortar levelled on top of them. Nodes either side of the strip stand 5 mm proud and the form is covered with mortar and levelled, ensuring a constant 10 mm bed depth.

Mr Hewson said site trials had proved successful. He said: 'For the first time contractors will be able to guarantee a 10 mm mortar bed and can be sure they will meet design and quality specifications.Feedback from bricklayers, contractors and quality control experts has been excellent.'

Production began at the Willington centre at the beginning of June after Mr Hewson won aid from local business development agency One North East.