Do It Yourself: How To Lay Brick Walls

Build a flower bed. Lay a retaining wall. With practice you can learn how to lay a brick wall.

Even if you are not a brick layer, you can learn how to lay a brick wall. A freestanding wall is the easiest pattern there is to learn. To start laying a wall, you will basically need bricks, mortar mix, concrete mix, a mortarboard, a garden hose, a wheelbarrow, a shovel, stakes, two by fours, nails, a roll of string, chalkline, a trowel, a hammer, a tape measure, and a level. Of course, for safety's sake, you should also have a pair of safety goggles and a heavy pair of gloves.

Before you start to build a brick wall, you will need to select the spot where you want to build it. The best spot will be relatively level; the soil will be hard, not loose and sandy, and the spot will offer good water drainage.

A good foundation is the key to everything you build, and that's where you will start on this project as well. You will need to measure and stake out the size and width that you want your brick wall to be. Then, stake the measurements out and attach string around the perimeter of the stakes. Use a shovel to dig out the area about six inches down; set the dirt aside for now. Now, you will need to measure and cut some of the two by fours in order to build a frame. The frame will, of course, be the same measurements that your brick wall is going to be. Nail the two by fours together and set the frame in place.

Mix up a wheelbarrow full of concrete by following the manufacturer's directions on the bag. Then, pour the concrete into the frame and level it out with a trowel. It's going to take at least forty - eight hours for the concrete to set. Allow it to thoroughly set, according to the manufacturer's directions, before you proceed on. Then, remove the frame and start the next step.

Now, in order to keep the wall centered, and to find the outer edge of the wall, use a tape measure to measure in from the edge of the cement foundation at each end. Then, use a chalk line between the two measurements to make a guiding line.

It's now time to start laying the actual brick wall. You will first need to use the wheelbarrow, the mortar mix, garden hose, and a hoe to mix up some mortar. Follow the manufacturer's directions on the bag in order to achieve the best results. Only mix up enough mortar that you can use in about thirty minutes.

Trowel some mortar out onto the mortarboard. Then, trowel some mortar on the bottom of the first brick, and lay it inside the marked frame. Tap it down firmly so the mortar is squeezed out a bit on all of the sides. Repeat this process with more bricks""troweling mortar on the ends too - until you have the first layer laid. Use the level to make sure the bricks are plumb and even. Use the tip of the trowel to scrape off any excess mortar.

Start the second row beside the first with a half of a brick so the rows will end up being staggered. This will help to make the wall strong. Use the level to make sure the bricks are plumb and even with the first row. Trowel some mortar on the side of the bricks in order to cement them together to the first row.

Repeat this process until the wall is the size that you want it to be. You can build it up to three feet tall without adding steel reinforcements. If you want to lay a brick wall that is higher than three feet tall, you will need to consult your local building codes office for detailed advice.

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