Saturday, 19 January 2013

Bricklaying Basics

When you create with bricks you are producing one thing that can be appreciated for generations. It is not uncommon to locate structures in comprehensive ruin except for the masonry such as a brick chimney or wall.

The causes for do-it-oneself bricklaying differ, however the principal purpose appears to be expense. Other folks contain studying a beneficial ability for beginning a new enterprise, or merely understanding a new hobby. Preparing a bricklaying project begins with gathering concepts and envisioning the finish outcome. Do not overlook this step. Masonry is permanent so be cautious and recall you will need to do it ideal - the final results of your efforts will be on public display for a extended, extended time.

If you are the proud owner of a home with a slate roof, a good thing to do is clean it regularly. Do what you can to keep it in good condition and it can last 75-200 years. It is not nicknamed 'the hundred year roof' for nothing.

As you begin your Preparing It really is valuable to think about size and scale, place, material choice, drainage and look. Develop deatiled drawings of the planned project so to get rid of style flaws and help in estimating making expenses.

Go to your nearby house improvement center or hardware shop and gather samples of the material you've in thoughts and evaluate the way they blend with your existing landscaping. Depending on whether or not you plan on pouring a little slab or generating a brick archway, estimate the dimensions of your project as accurately as feasible. This eliminates additional shopping trips. Due to the fact your working with brick the nearby brickyard is exactly where you are going to come across the finest provide of bricklayers material. They too carry the tools you happen to be going to have to have.

A very quick walk around your home once a month, will indicate small and effective home improvements that you can make easily. Such an example would be, identifying air leaks. Once you detect the leaks, you can insulate and correct the problem, which will then save you money on your energy bills.
TIP! To cut down your home's energy costs, replace your current thermostat with one that can be programmed. Many families save close to $200 yearly through programmable thermostat use.

Speaking of the tools, and to work proficiently you happen to be going to have to obtain or rent some specific reason tools. I recommend that if this is a one particular-time project then by all signifies rent the tools. What follows is a recommended list of tools for undertaking brickwork:

Mortar hawk - for holding mortar

If you are renovating a small room, replace carpeting with hard flooring, such as hardwood, laminate, or tile. Carpet in a small room will congest the visual field and make the room feel even smaller. The right arrangement of floor tiles or planks, conversely, can make the room feel larger.

Wide pointing tool - for putting mortar on brick

Jointer - for finishing joints

If you need a power tool for a short-term project, consider renting one from a home improvement store rather than purchasing it yourself. You will not only save room in your garage or workshop, but you will not be saddled with the maintenance of a tool that you use very infrequently.

Brick tongs - for carrying many bricks

Narrow tuck pointer - for putting mortar on bricks

After a painting project it is important to clean and store your paintbrushes properly. Wash your paintbrushes, comb the bristles with a stiff comb and place them in the original packaging so they keep the right shape. If you take the time to do this then your paintbrushes will be in great shape the next time that you need them.

Mason's trowel - for employing mortar

Masonry chisels - for splitting brick

Going green with your flooring can lead to more green in your pocket when selling your home. Consider a home improvement with environmentally friendly bamboo. Bamboo has become the hot trend in flooring. Not only is it easy to keep clean, but it gives the home an upscale look and lasts for a very long time.

Mason's hammers - for chipping brick

Maul - for driving stakes

If it is at all practical, do repair-type home improvement projects as soon as you notice a problem. Much of the damage that occurs to your home is the sort that you can live with and soon forget. You must resist this impulse! The different systems of your home are closely connected and damage can spread with shocking speed. A small problem can become a big one faster than you can imagine.

Joint chisel - for removing dry mortar

Store broom - for maintaining the work region clean

If you do run into complications when trying to remodel a section of your house alone ask for help. There is no shame in asking for help when you come across an obstacle. A home that is properly remodeled looks better than a home that was remodeled poorly and not done properly.

Bucket and scrub brush

Stiff bristle brush - for removing loose material

When tackling a home improvement venture on your own, you need to have a reliable place that you go to get advice. If you find random information on the internet from some John Doe, you could be headed towards disaster! Large scale home improvement stores are never a bad place to start.

Rubber mallet

Pipe clamp - for scoring big quantities of brick

When thinking about home improvements, think green! It's a great way to add value as well as to be environmentally friendly. Putting in an energy efficient furnace or air conditioning will not only make your living space more comfortable, but also save you money and keep the earth cleaner longer.

Circular saw (with a masinry blade) - for cutting brick

Hammer drill with masonry bit

If you are thinking about repainting the exterior of your home and the existing paint is in good shape, pressure wash the outside of the home prior to putting on new primer. This will get any dirt and debris off the old paint and give the primer a good surface to bond with.

Wheelbarrow - for mixing mortar


Choose flat or matte paint for wall imperfections. If you use a flat or matte paint on a less than perfect wall, it will hide the little imperfections. This type of paint is useful for ceilings, bedrooms, and living room walls, too. Just remember that while it is easy to touch up, this kind of paint is quite difficult to clean.

Cement - for mixing mortar

Particle mask, gloves and protective eyewear

If your radiator has gone cold, you may need to bleed it. Simply switch off the boiler and locate the bleed key. Turn the key counterclockwise and air will begin to escape and make a hissing sound. When the sound stops and a little water leaks, turn the bleed key clockwise to close it.

A useful hint is to construct your project, if feasible with out making use of mortar. This enables you to see the completed project, construct corrections along the way and determine if the finish outcome is seriously what you wanted.

The final point I will cover is selecting, mixing and throwing the suitable mortar. Masonry mortar is a mixture of Portland cement, sand and water. Other ingredients contain lime and gypsum to improve workability and manage setup time. Think it or not the strongest mortar mixture is not generally the greatest for the job. Gone thankfully are the days when do-it-yourselfers had to mix mortar fom scratch, generally with disastrous final results. Currently mortar comes premixed in 50 - 100 lb bags. Currently you just select the correct mix for the job at hand.


Variety N mortar is always named for Due to the fact it gives a fantastic blend of strength and durability. It really is normally applied in non-load-bearing projects such as freestanding walls, BBQ grills and chimneys.

Kind S mortar is a high strength mixture for exterior use in foundations, brick and block reatining walls, driveways, walks and patios,

Form M mortar is a extremely high strength mortar for load-bearing exterior stone walls.

There are other kinds mixes for unique cause however fo the sake of simplicity I left them out o this article.


Mixing mortar is easy Today. I dump one particular to 2 bags of mix into a massive wheelbarrow, push it to 1 side and gradually add water till I purchase the appropriate texture I want. If It really is too thick , it will fall off the trowel in a heap and not in the smooth line you want. Add to a lot water and It really is messy and weak. Merely follow the producers directions and you ought to be fine. If you have never ever mixed mortar just before experiment in little batches till you come across the mixture that operates. Preserve note of your mixture ratios to use later.

Do not mix mortar in substantial batches unless you happen to be prepared to use it all in a single application. Additional than a single do-it-yourslf bricklayer has ended up with a wheelbarrow filled with 200 lbs of dried mortar for this cause. It is greatest to mix mortar as necessary. You can not foresee delays such as negative climate, operating out of daylight or worse but injuring your self.


Watching a expert bricklayer at work is an impressive sight. I try to remember as a compact kid living with my grandparents and watching their new house becoming built. The mortar virtually flew off the workers trowels and the walls seemed to rise out of the ground in minutes. "Mortar throwing" is an acquired ability that takes years to master, however you can use the simple methods proficiently with simply a compact practice.

Throwing mortar is a fast, smooth method. Load the trowel with mortar (how significantly depends on you comfort level), then position the trowel a couple of inches above the beginning point. In 1 motion, begin turning your wrist over and rapidly move the trowel across the surface to spread mortar regularly. Ideally you want ot finish up with a line of mortar about two 1/two " wide and about two ' lengthy.


These are the really fundamentals. There are many books and how-to videos on numerous masonry projects. Basically don't forget to plan accordingly, take your time and above all ... be protected.

Chuck Lunsford is a prosperous Webmaster and publisher of do it oneself B.B.Q. plans. You can extra dwelling improvements on his web page.

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