How To Landscaping - Brick Laying





  1. This guide is for low level, non structural walls, You should always use a professional for tall or structural walls.
  2. Prepare your site (see Site Prep guide)
  3. Lay a suitable foundation (this depends on the width and height of your wall as well as the soil in your garden, as a rule of thumb a 15cm (6") deep concrete foundation 1.5 times the width of your wall should be sufficient).
  4. When your foundation has set begin by positioning a stake either end of your wall. The stakes should be positioned flush with the proposed position of the front face of the wall and perfectly vertical (use a spirit level).
  5. Run a string line between the stakes at the height the first course of bricks will run (brick height + joint (1cm min)).
  6. You can now lay the first course using the string line as a guide to both the front face and height of the wall, regularly check your bricks with a spirit level.
  7. Laying the bricks. Using a trowel slap a line of mortar onto the ground as a bedding for the brick, using the tip of the trowel roughly adjust the mortar to fill the area on to which the brick will be laid. Lay the brick onto the bedding and tap it down into position with the handle of the trowel (see the MIXING guide).
  8. Repeat the bedding mortar for the next brick, but before laying you need to "butter" the edge of the brick that will butt up against the first brick, to do this slap mortar directly onto the brick edge and adjust the quantity with the trowel. This takes some practise and will only work if the mortar is mixed properly. With time you will be able to butter the brick so that once laid just the right amount of mortar is poking through the gap  between the bricks to allow a single stroke with a pointing tool to finish the joint.
  9. Repeat this process until the first course is complete.
  10. You can now move the string line up the stakes to represent the next course of bricks and repeat the process until the wall is complete.
  11. Every now and then, stop what you are doing and look at the wall you have made, check that everything is in the right place and level. Strike all joints to smooth the mortar, fill any gaps and re strike.
  12. When you've finished your days work cover the wall with a plastic sheet to protect it from rain, frost and accidental damage.



Notes

 

Make sure you strike the joints as you build the wall, it is much easier than having to remove hard mortar and re-filling the joints at a later time.

Building up the ends of the wall first can make sense, especially if two people are working on the wall at once, the centre can be filled in using the outer edges as a guide.

Constantly check your wall with a spirit level and your eye for vertical as well as horizontal continuity.



Tools

 

  • Spade
  • Trowel
  • Mixer
  • Wheel barrow
  • Spirit level
  • Stakes
  • String line
  • Tape measure



Materials

 

  • Sand
  • Cement
  • Plasticiser
  • Water
  • Bricks / Blocks