A Bricklaying Breakdown:
Bricklaying might seem like something that is best left to the professionals. However it is good to know that the necessary skills are learnable. Whether you are carrying out a bit of DIY or you’re looking to get involved in the business, this post can be taken as guidance.
What will you need?
Firstly, the tools that you will need will depend on what you plan to create using bricks. However, there are some basic tools that tend to be used during every job.
- Mortar (inc. storage e.g. mixer or wheel barrow)
- Trowels (pointing, brick, finishing)
- Spirit level
- Rubber mallet
- Brick hammer
- String line and line pins
(See our blog post to find further information on these tools)
Step 1: Permission
- Check with local government authorities that planning permission is granted for your plans.
Step 2: Preparation
- Regardless of what you are building, you will need to create a foundation for your brickwork. You can do this by digging the shape of your project into the ground, ensuring it is level and about 2-4 inches deep. You can measure the surface using the spirit level.
- Mix the cement and pour it into the foundation until you reach grass level.
- Allow your foundation to set for 24 hours minimum.
- After determining how many bricks you need, soak them with water to ensure they will not alter the mortar when assembling. You should do this 1-2 hours before you begin bricklaying.
Step 3: The build
- Mix the mortar and spread a 0.5 inches deep layer on top of your previously created foundation.
- Lay your first layer of brick, ensuring that you follow your pattern and leave a 0.5 inches gap between each brick.
- Next, using your rubber mallet, hit the laid bricks to ensure accuracy and stability. You can now fill in the gaps between each brick using a pointer trowel.
- Ensure that your spirit level is in reaching distance. You will need to check that each brick is laid flat to provide strength to your project.
Step 4: Finishing
- Remove any excess mortar using a pointer or finishing trowel to neaten the surface.
- Using a brick jointer, finish the mortar between each brick. By doing this step you will improve the life-span and the aesthetic of your project.
- After you have left your project for 3-4 hours, clean the surface using water and a cloth or brush. In doing so, you will further improve the appearance.
- Leave the mortar to harden fully before continuing or using your final project.