• How To Build A Wall

    | by Holly Wood

    Building a brick wall is a rewarding and practical project that adds both beauty and functionality to any space.

    Whether it’s a free standing garden wall, retaining wall, or an interior wall, constructing it with precision and care ensures its strength and longevity.

    In this comprehensive guide, we will take you through a step-by-step process on how to build a brick wall ensuring a successful and satisfying outcome.

    Choosing Suitable Bricks

    Engineering Bricks: Engineering bricks, renowned for their exceptional resistance to water and frost damage, are a popular choice for constructing retaining walls. Their remarkable ability to endure soil pressure makes them a reliable and preferred option in such projects.

    To create a reliable defence against rising damp without compromising the structural integrity of the wall, a minimum of two courses of Engineering bricks or creasing tiles in M12 category mortar should be used at the wall’s base.

    Facing Bricks: With their diverse range of colours and textures, facing bricks stand out as the top choice for constructing captivating garden walls. Here, at Materials Market, we stock the following facing bricks.

    For more brick options, navigate our designated bricks and blocks homepage.

    Step 1: Gather Your Tools and Materials

    Before you start, gather all the necessary tools and materials, including bricks, a brick jointer, a club hammer, wooden stakes, a spirit level, a chalk line, a string line, a tape measure, a plumb bob, a bolster chisel, and a mortar mix. Ensure you have enough room to work comfortably and organise the bricks nearby for easy access.

    Step 2: Create a Solid Foundation

    A solid foundation is crucial for a sturdy wall.

    Dig a trench for the footing and pour concrete into it. Place wooden stakes at either end of the trench, ensuring they are level and aligned.

    This serves as a guide for building your wall in a straight line.

    Step 3: Lay the First Course of Bricks

    Begin laying the bricks along the trench, starting with the first brick. Use a spirit level to ensure the brick is level, both vertically and horizontally.

    Add mortar mix between each brick and remove excess mortar to create a neat and smooth finish.

    Step 4: Build the Second Course and Beyond

    For the second course and subsequent rows, stagger the bricks using a stretcher bond pattern.

    Place the second brick beside the first, ensuring it overlaps halfway with the previous brick.

    Repeat this pattern of offsetting the second course of bricks by half a brick for the entire wall, checking alignment with the string line and using a plumb bob to ensure verticality.

    Step 5: Cut Bricks as Needed

    When you encounter the need for smaller bricks, such as half bricks, soldier courses, or end bricks, use a bolster chisel and club hammer to make smooth cuts. Measure and mark the bricks accurately for precise cuts.

    Step 6: Secure the Wall with Wall Ties

    To enhance the stability of the wall, insert wall ties between courses. These ties securely anchor the bricks together, preventing any movement.

    Step 7: Check for Plumb and Level

    Throughout the construction, frequently use the spirit level and plumb bob to ensure the wall remains straight and level.

    Step 8: Finish the Wall

    As you build upwards, continue to lay bricks, row by row, until you reach the desired height. For a professional touch, create a soldier course or a decorative finish on the top course of the wall.

    Step 9: Allow the Wall to Drip Dry

    After completing the wall, allow it to drip dry naturally, ensuring the mortar sets correctly.

    Building A Double Brick Wall

    Building a double brick wall requires careful planning and precise execution to create a strong and durable structure. In this overview, we will provide an outline of the key steps involved in constructing a double brick wall.

    Step 1: Preparing the Foundation

    Before beginning construction, ensure you have a solid and level foundation. Excavate the area and lay a concrete footing to provide a stable base for the wall.

    Step 2: Laying the First Course

    Start by laying the first course of bricks on the concrete footing. Apply mortar to the footing and place the bricks, ensuring they are level and aligned properly.

    Step 3: Adding Wall Ties

    To enhance the strength and stability of the double brick wall, insert wall ties between the first and second courses of bricks. These ties securely anchor the two layers of bricks together.

    Step 4: Building the Second Course

    Once the wall ties are in place, proceed to build the second course of bricks on top of the first. Stagger the bricks to create a strong bond and ensure stability.

    Step 5: Continuing the Construction

    Repeat the process of adding wall ties and building additional courses of bricks until the double brick wall reaches the desired height. Remember to check for plumb and level regularly to maintain accuracy.

    Step 6: Creating Openings

    If your double brick wall requires openings for doors or windows, carefully plan and build lintels or arches to support the structure above.

    Step 7: Finishing the Wall

    Once the desired height is reached, add a capping or coping to the top of the double brick wall for a finished look and added protection.

    Step 8: Pointing and Finishing Touches

    Complete the construction by pointing the joints between the bricks with mortar to seal and protect the wall. Check for any loose bricks or excess mortar and make necessary adjustments.

    Building Against An Existing Wall

    Step 1: Assess the Existing Wall

    Before starting, thoroughly examine the existing wall to ensure it is structurally sound and capable of supporting the new wall.

    Look for any signs of damage, cracks, or weakness that may need to be addressed before proceeding.

    Step 2: Obtain Necessary Permits

    Depending on your location and the size of the project, you may need to obtain building permits or approvals from local authorities.

    Check with your local building department to ensure compliance with regulations.

    Step 3: Mark the Layout

    Using a chalk line or string line, mark the layout of the new wall on the floor. This will serve as a guide for the construction process.

    Step 4: Prepare the Foundation

    Create a solid and level foundation for the new wall. This may involve digging a trench and pouring concrete for the footing, ensuring it is level and properly aligned with the existing wall.

    Step 5: Lay the First Course

    Begin laying the first course of bricks or blocks for the new wall. Apply mortar to the foundation and carefully place each brick, ensuring it is level and aligned with the chalk line or string line.

    Step 6: Connect to the Existing Wall

    As you build the new wall, ensure it is securely connected to the existing wall. Use wall ties or masonry anchors to fasten the two walls together at regular intervals.

    Step 7: Continue Building

    Continue building the new wall, course by course, ensuring each layer is level and plumb. Use a spirit level and plumb line to maintain accuracy.

    Step 8: Create Openings

    If your new wall requires openings for doors or windows, plan and build lintels or arches as needed to support the structure above.

    Step 9: Finishing Touches

    Once the new wall reaches the desired height, finish the top with capping or coping to provide a clean and polished look.

    Step 10: Pointing and Final Checks

    After completing the construction, point the joints between the bricks or blocks with mortar to seal and protect the wall. Check for any loose bricks, and make any necessary adjustments to ensure the new wall is secure and well-built.


    Constructing a brick wall may seem like a complex undertaking, but by following this step-by-step guide, you can achieve excellent results.

    Throughout, it is essential to maintain accuracy in measurements, keep the wall level and plumb, and use sturdy materials for a long-lasting structure.

    Just remember that the key is in the foundation, and a strong base will keep your wall standing for years.

    We stock a range of brickwork accessories and bricks and blocks to assist you in the process.

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