01 Nov Bricklaying for Beginners: Important Things You Need to Know
Whether you want to lay bricks for your personal project or aspire to learn it to get a job, this bricklaying for beginners is for you.
Bricklaying is considered the art of building using bricks and mortar. If you’ve never laid bricks before, make sure to build a small wall first as a sample.
This is essential to ensure the quality of your work. Never rush anything, and make sure to be thorough and careful with your sample task.
Furthermore, we’ve laid out this bricklaying guide for beginners to ensure you’ll have a guide you can use for your DIY project. This will also serve as a stepping stone to learn about bricklaying and become a good bricklayer in the future.
Bricklaying for Beginner: The Ultimate Steps
Before jumping right into building a brick wall, it’s essential to practice constructing a small brick wall first. It could be four rows of bricks, being three bricks high.
The bricks you’ll use in your practice can still be cleaned and reused after. So, don’t hesitate to do a brick-building exercise and put your heart into doing it.
Only do your DIY wall project once you’re satisfied with the result of your sample wall.
Prepare the Working Site
Preparing the working site beforehand is an essential part of bricklaying. This gives you an advantage and opportunity to get things right the first time.
Consider doing the following to ensure that you can concentrate on your brick-building work:
- Make a work zone around the site you’re doing your building job.
- Bring the bricks you need for the entire job and put them into proximity. Make sure not to stack them too high to avoid falling incidents that could damage your bricks.
- Consider putting your stack of bricks on boards and not directly on the ground. Putting them straight on the ground will likely damage them due to the ground’s dampness or any other conditions.
Furthermore, before laying your first brick, make sure to create a level concrete foundation. This will serve as the support of your wall, which is also known as footing.
Remember: the size of your footing should be based on the wall size you’re building, as well as the surrounding soil.
Focus on the Foundations
The foundation plays a critical part in your brick wall or any construction type, so it’s vital to focus on it first. This will guarantee the sturdiness of your wall bricks, serving their purpose for a long time.
Before laying your first row of bricks, make sure you have already established a strong concrete foundation. To do this, kindly refer to the given guide below:
To have a solid foundation for your brick wall, you’ve got to dig a trench. This is also known as a footer or concrete foundation.
- Dig a square trench, ideally 150mm deep by 350mm wide if you’re doing a small garden brick wall. Furthermore, ensure the footer has optimal water drainage with some distance from the wall. This is to prevent water collection near the footer, causing wall failure.
- After that, get at least three wooden stakes (pegs) and put them on the ground to ensure the top is level. Utilise a bubble level (level) to ensure the stake’s tops are level.
- The foundations have to be at least three times the wall width of the half brick wall. The foundations for pliers require at least half a brick of a margin on all sides.
Mix the Mortar
- Using a shovel, scoop four parts of sand and one part of cement.
- Mix the sand and cement thoroughly using the shovel and make a crate at the centre.
- After that, pour some water and add a suitable amount of lime or mortar additive. Then, mix thoroughly from bottom to top by shovelling. Repeat as needed.
- Make sure not to let it become too wet or too dry. You can do this by applying at least 1 litre of water first or doing it gradually.
- The mix should be damp enough to slide off the trowel without any difficulty.
Make sure to mix only the right amount to prevent the mix from drying out before they’re applied. Mix only at least an hour worth of the mix.
- Spot board
- Bricklaying trowel
- 600mm-1000mm spirit level
- Plumb line
- Brick jointer
- Lump hammer
- Bolster chisel
- Tape measure
- Soft hand brush
How to Lay Bricks for Beginner
When you start laying brick, make sure the vertical joint is staggered. For example, the second course of the brick must start half a brick into the first and so on. This is known as running bond or stretcher bond—the most popular bond type in bricklaying.
- Put the ‘buttered’ brick and lightly push it up to the vertical joint. After that, wipe off the excess mortar using your trowel. You may put the excess mortar on the succeeding brick or add it back.
- When you put the mortar on the foundation or your next brick course, create a V-shaped trough along the mortar using your trowel. This permits the bricks to be tapped into position easily.
- Moreover, spread mortar at the end of each brick when laying them for the vertical joint. After you’ve laid the first course of bricks, make sure to examine the level along the course’s top or the outside edge.
- Tap the level of each brick using your bubble level or spirit bubble that’s positioned on the brickwork. You may use your hand or trowel in this process.
Finishing the Brickwork
Make sure not to forget to strike the seams on every course before mortar sets. After that, brush the brickwork with a soft brush, removing the excess mortar from the brickwork face.
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