Learn how to get started with casual bricklaying for your home. Whether that’s building a wall for your back garden or building a wall at the front of the house. Big or small, in this article you will find out how to correctly size up and get started for your project.
Whether you have some experience or not, learn how to begin with the equipment you will need in order to start building a wall. We’ll look at how many tools and bricks you’ll need to get started.
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Beginners in brick laying and structure will need to avoid the following;
- Insufficient amounts of bricks ordered – You wouldn’t want to stop and start halfway through the build to realise you need to order more. Especially when it can be cheaper to buy in bulk pallets, rather than ordering individual orders.
- Avoiding ordering an overloaded amount of bricks – When the job is finished you wouldn’t want a pallet of bricks left unused.
If you’re a complete beginner, then what would be most recommended is to practice building your first few blocks together as more of a run through test. Order a few blocks of bricks and learn with less pressure before you start on your own home. This will prepare you for the feel for the structure, and will ultimately limit further mistakes moving forward with your main project.
Also important to note is having all the correct tools right in front of you for the wall. Last thing you need is getting half way through and being without tools that are required.
Measure and plan out where the wall will take place in your garden. Once you know where the build will start and end, the general rule for most types of walls is to:
Multiply the wall height (in metres) X wall length (metres) X bricks per square metre.
Now we need to find out the correct numbers needed for bricks per square metre.
Each different type of wall build per square metre will be different from one another. See below the different figures and how you can multiply the bricks per square metre. This will grant you how many bricks you will need for the type of wall build you will choose.
Half brick walls –
- The area will be multiplied by 60 in this case. So, for half brick walls, 60 bricks for every per square metre is required.
- Taking what we learnt above – Multiply the length of the wall, x the height and then multiply that area by 60.
- This will tell you the number of bricks needed in total.
One brick wall –
- The area will be multiplied by 120 in this case. So, for a one brick wall, 120 bricks for every per square metre is required.
- Taking what we learnt above – Multiply the length of the wall, x the height and then multiply that area by 120.
- This will tell you the number of bricks needed in total.
Single brick piers in half brick walls –
- Single brick piers are built into a half brick wall, each pier requires an additional 14 bricks per vertical metre.
- We calculate this by: Number of piers x wall height (metres) x 14 = number of bricks
One and a half brick piers in a half brick wall
- One and a half brick piers are built into a half brick wall, each pier needs an additional 34 bricks per vertical metre.
- We calculate this by: Number of piers x wall height (metres) x 34 = number of bricks
Calculating the number of blocks
- A single block wall requires 10 blocks per square metre.
- UK standard metric blocks are roughly 450 x 215 x 100mm.
- Worthy to note – You can get some thicker metric blocks but this will not affect the required per square metre of wall. The mortar joints used are typically 10mm horizontally and vertically.
- Multiply the Wall height (metres) x wall length (metres) x 10 = number of blocks
Please note – The figures mentioned above, do not include allowances for cuts and wastages. You may need to give yourself an extra order of bricks to support these numbers.
Most jobs whether they’re big or small, will require the essential tools to get started and finished. With project builds as such, there’s always further tools out there that will better enhance and help you out along the way.
So we’ll go through those tools that are completely essential for building a wall and those tools that are more extra support. Listed below are two categories from essential tools and extra tools.
Below are the essential tools you will need to do the job, we’ve also added in our top picks from Amazon so you can easily buy the tools you need.
- Brick trowel – Ragni R280PSG-10 10″ Philadelphia Pattern Brick Trowel
- Shovel – Spear & Jackson 4190NB Elements Digging Spade, Brown
- Spirit level – Silverline 119688 Builders Level, 400, 600 and 1000 mm – Set of 3
- Speed Square – Stanley STA46011-TB STA46011 Dual Quick Square 300mm (12in) 12″ Bi, Multi-Colour
- Brick/string line – RAGNI RBL76Y High Visibility Nylon Brick Line
- Tape measure – STANLEY Tylon Tape, 5m/16ft
- Club hammer – OX Club Hammer – Sledgehammer with Fibreglass Handle – Forged and Induction Hardened Hammerhead – 2.5 lb / 1.1 kg
- Bolster – OX Tools OX-T090904 OX Trade Brick Bolster-4″
- Chisel – Stanley 418298 Cold Chisel Kit (3 Pieces)
- Chalk Line – Stanley STHT0-47147 Compact Chalk Line, Multi
Helpful/extra tools (Non-essential)
- Steel Tape – Helpful and used by most bricklayers for accurate measures.
- Jointing Tools – Similar to brick pointing trowels. (GAUDER Metal Tape Self Adhesive
- Framing Hammer – Holds the same purpose as club hammer but has more precision for smaller jobs and areas. (OX – Straight Claw Framing Hammer with Smooth Face
- Joint raker – Hardened masonry nail. (OX Brick Jointer – Pro Industrial Grade Brick Joint Raker
- Setting tool – Wall anchor setting. (Agger Wall Anchor Setting Tool
What are the different types of brick walls that I can choose for building a wall?
- Stretcher Bond – By far the most commonly used brick.
- English Garden Wall
- English Bond
- English Cross Bond
- Stack Bond
- Monk Bond
- Sussex Bond (or also known Flemish Garden Wall)
- Header Bond
- Flemish Bond
- Dutch Bond
- Common Bond
- Facing Bond
- Diagonal Bond
Wear and tear in all types of walls, discovering deterioration in your wall will consist of:
- Broken bricks with chips/cracks.
- Loose bricks.
- Missing mortar.
- Spalling when moisture is trapped inside of the brick.