June 4, 2010

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How to Build a Brick Wall

     Have you ever wanted to build a brick wall on your home or or your yard and don’t know where to begin.  In today’s discussion I am going to go over all the supplies you need and how to build a brick wall and complete your project.

     Once you have picked out your project you need to figure out how many brick your are going to need.  There are two different standard brick types which are used for most jobs, there are many more but the most common are modular brick and Over sized or Jumbo brick.  To figure how many you need measure your wall length and height.  After You have determined your dimensions if you are using modular take your square foot times seven and this will give you how many brick you need.  If you are using Jumbo’s then take your square foot times five and one half.  So if your wall is 100 sq ft you would need 700 modular brick and if using Jumbo’s you would need 550 brick.  Also figure about a 5% scrap rate also on top of your count for cut bricks that you will need.

     After you have your brick figured out you need to get all your tools gathered.  You are going to need a masons trowel, tuck pointer, striking iron, masons brush, mason’s hammer, brick chisel, masons line, line blocks, line trigs, line bars, wheel barrow, mortar boards and cement mixer and possible a masons saw if you have alot of cuts to make.

     Next get your job area set up with your brick and mortar boards.  Place the brick about three feet back from your wall and a mortar board about every four foot apart with the brick in between them.  Next Check your bond of your brick, this is a very important step in the brick wall set up.  Place one row of brick down on your footer or brick ledge that are evenly spaced with a 3/8 or 1/2 of an inch gap between each brick unit.  Try to adjust them so they are all equal and that you end up with a half or a whole brick at each end, this is not always possible but most generally you can adjust your gaping to make the work.  Now that you have you bond figure out you need to mark where you bond points are with a pencil.  You can either mark the wall you are covering or the footer, just put them somewhere where you can see them.

     The next step in the process is to get your mortar mixed and start laying brick.  You need to first build your leads, you do this by laying 5 brick out in a row and be sure that they are on bond, level and straight and with about 5/8 of an inch gap between the wall and the brick.  Then proceed to the next course, this time start with a half brick at the begining and lay he brick out till you are left with a half of a brick stepped out on the course below, continue this process till you can’t step up any more and then repeat the process at the opposite end of the wall over again.

     Once your leads are up it is time to fill the brick in that go in between the leads.  Put the line up from lead to lead on the same course, you can use the line blocks with the trigs or use brick line bars to accomplish this step.  After the line is in place spread your mortar down the wall and start laying in your brick, be sure to stay on your bond marks or the brick will not fit right.  Stay about an 1/8 of an inch off the line when laying in brick and be sure no brick are touching it.  Your brick must also be level with the top of the line as well so there are a few things going on that you have to keep an eye on to ensure a good brick installation.

      When you have a few courses in you need to strike or rake the wall, it all really depends on how fast your mortar is setting up.  If you are striking you will need to keep a close eye on previously layed courses and strike frequently.  If you are raking your joints you need to wait until the joints are a bit more set before finishing the joints.  Be sure to brush down wall after you finish joints it will make a huge improvement on the cosmetics of it.  And if you are striking be sure to strike it one more time after brushing the brick wall down.

     Just follow these steps and you will have your wall in place in no time.  If you are unsure on how to accomplish any of the above steps you should hire a qualified mason contractor to handle the project for you.

Brick Wall Installation

How to Build a Brick Wall


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