How to build a wall?

Building a house or garden wall, using concrete blocks, bricks or stones, is a masonry work that requires expertise and suitable hardware. You will find advices and practical demonstrations in this article.

Our tips:

  • For an exterior wall building, a preliminary declaration of work is required by the town council.
  • The surface you will build the wall on has to be flat, smooth and solid.
  • The wall foundations will have to be proportional to wall height.
  • The first course of blocks is crucial for the robustness and the alignment of the entire wall.
  • Regularly check the level and alignment throughout the work.
  • Off-set the joints between the layers to ensure maximum strength.
  • Humidify the surface when working during hot and dry weather.
  • The mortar's setting time will depend on the temperature and moisture level.
  • Make the mortar as the work progresses so it doesn't solidify.
  • Using a trowel, put as more thin-bed mortar as possible between the wall's elements.

How to Build a Wall – Bradstone

Tools and materials:

  • Shovel
  • Trowel
  • Long spirit level
  • String line
  • Rubber mallet
  • Sand and gravel
  • Building sand
  • Cement
  • Water

Key steps:

  1. Mark out the area where you want to build your wall.
  2. Dig the foundations, their width being 200 mm larger than the blocks you will use.
  3. Prepare the concrete for the foundations, using a 6 to 1 mix (6 parts sand and gravel, 1 part cement).
  4. Pour the concrete in the trench footing.
  5. Spread it using a shovel then tamp it evenly.
  6. Check the level of the concrete.
  7. Let the concrete set overnight.
  8. Align the blocks to check where you will need to cut some of them.
  9. Use a string line to define the exact shape of your wall.
  10. Prepare the mortar, using 3 parts of building sand and 1 part cement.
  11. Place a line of mortar on the concrete foundation and ripple it with a trowel.
  12. Lay the first course of blocks following the string line, using mortar for the joints.
  13. Check the level.
  14. Cut blocks to fill the gaps if needed.
  15. Lay the following courses of blocks as the first one.

How To Build A Brick Wall

Tools and materials:

  • Bucket
  • Trowel
  • Spirit level
  • Bricks
  • Cement
  • Sand
  • Lime or plasticiser

Key steps:

  1. Lay the foundations.
  2. Mix the mortar.
  3. Lay the bricks, starting at one end of the wall.
  4. Use mortar between each brick.
  5. Remove excess mortar from the sides of the bricks.
  6. Regularly check the level.

How to Build a Small Retaining Wall

Tools and materials:

  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • String
  • Drainage aggregate
  • Rubber mallet
  • Spirit level
  • Gloves
  • Safety glasses

Key steps:

  1. Use the hammer and the chisel to remove the edges of the stone blocks.
  2. Place a first block in the trench.
  3. Check the level.
  4. Place all the base blocks side by side.
  5. Backfill each course with drainage aggregate.
  6. Repeat for the following courses of blocks until desired height.

This article to learn how to build a wall was written by Cécile Lessard

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