I have heard contractors use the term “clipped headers.” What does this term mean and where are they used?

Clipped headers are used to give the appearance of a true brick header in veneer and cavity walls that are bonded using metal ties. A true header is a brick unit turned 90 degrees to bond two wythes of masonry together. In walls where the veneer wythe is tied to the backup using metal ties, brick headers – if used – interrupt the free movement between the wythes and, therefore, are not desirable.

To give the appearance of a header, but without bridging the cavity, the brick units can be clipped, which means that they are cut or broken in half. Headers can provide a subtle pattern that is often used to resemble nearby historic masonry structures.

In some cases, darker brick are often used for the clipped headers to change the appearance of the wall in a continuous horizontal line or as individual darker points within the masonry wall. This practice has been known historically as a flare header.