Category: Bricklaying

DIY Bricklaying For Beginners - The Basics

  • By Householders Guide
  • 31st July, 2012
Basic Bricklaying

Whether you want to keep the cost of a home renovation down or if you are serious about learning basic bricklaying as a trade, bear in mind that it is an art form and not something to be taken lightly.

If you want your structure to stand permanently, you need to pay careful attention to what you are doing, and in most cases, it is best to seek professional advice.

Learning The Basics
There are three parts to a brick: the face or front, the bottom or top and the ends. Brick sizes are generally standardized, and there are seven standard bricks in one square foot. Bricks are laid in patterns called bonds. Each row of bricks that is laid out is called a course. When the face shows in the brick structure, it is called a header and when the bottom shows it is known as a stretcher.

When purchasing your bricks, you should get advice from the masonry supplier on what will work best for your structure.

Before you go out shopping, make sure you have worked out how many bricks you will need. The easiest way to do this is to multiply the length of your wall or project by the height of the structure. This figure will be the amount of square feet you need to cover. Then multiply this number by seven (the number of bricks in a square foot) and you will be left with the number of bricks required for your project.

Make sure you store your bricks out of wet weather, as rain can damage them; this is one of the fundamental rules of basic bricklaying and can ruin your project.

You need mortar to make the bricks stick together. Whilst small projects may get away with a premixed kind, most times it is more cost effective to make your own. Be sure to make as much as you require and not the entire bucket load, otherwise you will be left with a cemented mess.

Mortar is made of masonry cement, aggregate or mason sand and water, and there are usually three parts sand to every part masonry cement with enough water to get it to the right consistency (it should resemble custard at the end).

If time allows, try and build your structure without the mortar first. You can then decide if you like the final product, and make sure you get your technique correct before you make the results permanent.

Learning the art of basic bricklaying can take some time, so stay patient whilst you are starting out, and remember to get advice to help you along.

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