How do I build a brick wall

brick wall

In order to have a well-built brick wall, you must first have a footing size for the proper support. Each course should be level, the corners and faces must be square, and the mortar joints neat and evenly spaced. There are so many brick patterns or bonds to choose from. But the most common pattern is called the American bond.

To begin start by clearing the area. Next you want to pour the concrete for you footing. Make sure to let your footing set up for two days or more so that it is nice and hard. You want to mark a story pole to indicate the top of each course or row. When figuring the height and markings for your story pole for proper vertical spacing, you want to add one joint thickness per layer. It is about 20 cubic feet of motar for every 100 square feet of double-brick wall.

Once your concrete footing has had the proper time to harden up, you want to wet the footing and a good quantity of bricks thoroghly so that they will not draw any water from the mortar. While the surface of the footings and bricks are drying, you want to mix up a batch of mortar. Next you want to measure and mark your base course on the footing with a chalkline.

To begin the building process of your brick wall you want to start at one corner and make sure you put enough mortar inside your front chalkline for a row of three bricks. You want to set the first brick in place be getting it absolutely square in the corner. You may want to tap it with the heel of a trowel to place it firmly in place.

Next you want to butter the end of your second brick and set it in place along your chalkline right against the first. Do the same procedure with the third brick. Make sure that the joints are equal and are the proper thickness and always make sure your bricks are level. Next put a line of mortar for your back row and set the first three bricks. Then go to the opposite end of the wall and set three bricks in each row there.

Now stretch a cord between the two corner bricks of the front row, using a mason’s block at each end, which will put the cord about 1/8 of an inch from the front of the bricks. Put the bricks all the same distance from the cord. Check frequently with a level, it is very important that the base rows be square and level. Butter both ends of the last brick before setting it firmly in place. Shift the cord to the rear row and complete it in the same manner.

At one end, do four or five layers in both rows, extending three or four bricks. Check your vertical spacing with the story pole, and use a level to make sure the corners are square. This partial construction is called a lead. Repeat the same procedure at the other end of the wall.

When the leads are complete, stretch a cord at the second layer and lay all the bricks in it. Shift the cord to the third layer and complete it. Use both the story pole and a level to check your work for every layer. Do the front row first, then the back row.

When you reach the top of the leads, build them up a few more rows, then lay the bricks between. Cap the wall with rowblock headers. Position the last eight or nine bricks dry, adjust for equal joint spacing for a clean appearance.

Once the mortar has set up but not hardened, tool the joints to get the mortar compact and smooth. The finished joints should be the same in-depth and profile.

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