Have you been putting off projects like building your dream outdoor BBQ area or repairing your fence? Why wait for a tradie when you can tackle small home DIY projects with basic bricklaying skills you can learn with ease? With the right tools, techniques and a free Saturday, you could save time and money repairing brickwork, tiles or pavers while learning a new skill! Here are our top tips for basic bricklaying projects at home.
Step 1: Planning and preparation
Before you start, you’ll need to get the right equipment for the job you’re undertaking. For bricklaying, you’ll need the basic bricklaying tools such as trowels, a bricklayer’s cutting tool and bricklaying trestles—height-adjustable steel trestles designed specifically for managing bricks and tools. You’ll also need a spirit level, a soft brush for cleanups, and lines and pins to keep your bricks even when laying.
Once you’ve sorted the tools, you’ll need sand and cement to make mortar—for general purposes, mix six parts of sand to one part cement. For heavy-duty projects, try three parts sand to one part cement. You’ll also need bricks, and the type will depend on their purpose and their look if they’ll be visible on completion.
If you’re contemplating a big project like replacing an entire fence or structural elements of your home, ask around to find out how much is a bricklayer per day in your local area. For riskier or more expensive jobs, it’s always smart to engage professional brickies, tilers and tradies.
Step 2: Getting to work
Safety first. Make sure your work environment is tidy and everything you need is within easy reach. Also, check the weather to make sure you’ll be able to finish your project before any adverse conditions set in. Wear safety equipment like gloves and a mask when mixing cement or cutting bricks.
Once you’re ready to start, there are four main steps to any bricklaying effort:
- Spread the MortarUsing your trowel, spread a generous layer of mortar along the area where you intend to lay your bricks.
- Create a Trench in the MortarAngle your brick trowel so that the tip is pointing downwards and make a trench in the mortar by pressing the trowel into the mortar.
- Lay Down the First Course of Bricks Pick up your brick and lay it onto one end of the spread mortar. Push it down evenly until you get the desired joint width, add mortar to the end of the brick to create a vertical joint, and position the next brick so that you have a tidy and uniform joint.
- Check that everything is plumb and levelTo make sure your structure is level vertically, place the spirit level along the face and top of your brick course and make sure the bubble is in the middle.
Repeat the steps with each new course of bricks until your desired structure is finished.
Now that you’ve mastered basic bricklaying skills, it’s time to move onto other home DIY projects that have been on the backburner. We’ve got all the landscaping supplies you need for your backyard makeover or kitchen kits for your home renovation.