To build a brick wall is not difficult, but, to build it well is rather more challenging, and really requires practice. If you are just building the odd brick wall and it is going to be covered by render or plaster then you needn't worry so much about the gaps between the bricks being equal and being neatly filled.
You will still however, need to make sure you have solid and level foundations to build on. For a wall over two metres high you may need local council consent. Planning permission is rarely refused for internal walls, but can be more difficult to obtain for an extension unless careful consideration is given to how it will look and how it might affect neighbouring properties
A single brick wall is the simplest to build, and is done with a "stretcher bond" system, meaning that each course of bricks is offset to the one below by half a brick. This makes it easy for corners but the ends of a wall need to include half bricks.
You will need cement, sand, lime for the mortar (or plasticizer if working in cold weather to keep the mortar free-flowing), the bricks, a bucket and a trowel
You need to mix your mortar, remembering it's only good for about two hours, and then you can begin to lay your first course. You will need a straight edge to work to, so place a brick at each end and next to each brick insert a pin or stake into the ground. A line stretched from one to the other stake gives you a straight edge.
Next you lay mortar along the footing where your bricks will go. Try to gauge the thickness of mortar so that it will compress down to about 10 mm once a brick is laid. Put your first brick into place and push down to the right level. Then you "butter" your second brick by applying mortar to its vertical face, and press that up against the first while also pushing it down into the footings.
Use the end of your trowel to scrape off the excess mortar from the front and top of the join. It is important to remove excess mortar from the surface of the bricks to avoid discolouration and get the best and neatest appearance.
You carry on in this manner, laying the bricks and tapping to get them level. You should check every three or four bricks with a spirit level. As the wall builds in height you also need to check that it is vertical all along its length, and not leaning.
Take your time, and try to keep the joints looking neat, and you can build a wall to be proud of, even if it's only for the barbecue.
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