Residential Brick Wall Construction

A brick wall is a popular and sturdy structure. It’s made from bricks, which are laid in mortar to create a strong, sturdy surface that looks good and can last for decades. Brick walls are generally considered exterior walls, which means they must be able to withstand the elements. They also need foundations that can resist moisture penetration and other problems associated with the ground below them.

A brick wall is a popular and sturdy structure.

Brick walls are a popular choice for building exterior walls. Brick comes in many colors, patterns and sizes, making it a versatile material that can be used to create a variety of looks. A brick wall is not only beautiful but also durable and sturdy. In addition to these benefits, brick is less expensive than other materials such as concrete or stone. If you want an accent wall or an entire exterior wall covered in brick, there are many options available to you at varying price points depending on how much money you want to spend on your project.

Bricklaying is considered one of the more approachable construction skills, so many self-builders want to give it a go. But it isn’t a task to be taken on lightly, especially if you’re building structural walls.

The easiest route to great results is enlisting a good brickie. Using an experienced tradesperson may be cost-effective, too, as it’s likely to speed up the build and minimize mistakes.

Of course, if you do want to tackle an involved bricklaying project, it makes sense to practice. Even the most confident DIYer will need to get to grips with the process first.

Overview of Brick Wall Construction

Typically, a brick wall is a vertical element of construction made of bricks and mortar and is used to form the external walls of buildings, parapets, internal partitions, freestanding walls, retaining walls, and so on.

The first walls were made from mud bricks held together by a thin mud slurry, some of which have proved to be surprisingly resilient. A contemporary brick wall is typically made of clay, concrete, or calcium-silicate bricks. The most common brick size is 215mm (L) x 102.5mm (W) x 65mm (H). Bricks are bound together by a cementitious or lime mortar, usually 10mm thick for the horizontal (bedding) joints and 10mm wide for the vertical (perpend) joints.

In modern construction, brick walls (sometimes referred to as brickwork) tend to be used for housing as the external component of cavity wall construction in which they are tied to an inner masonry leaf which can also be brick but is more often blockwork. The cavity will often contain insulation to reduce thermal transmission through the wall.

In contrast, Victorian brick walls were mainly solid brickwork ie, either one-brick-thick (9-inches or 225mm) or one-and-a-half-brick-thick (13 inches or 330mm). However, in some instances, they could be thicker depending on the application.

brick wall usually requires a foundation which can be either a concrete strip or a traditional ‘footing’. In the latter, the base of the brickwork is stepped out either side, usually by a third of a brick width at a time, for three or four courses in order to increase the width and so spread the load over a wider area.

Because clay brickwork undergoes a degree of thermal expansion when temperatures rise, movement joints must be installed, otherwise cracking might occur, possibly leading to instability. Movement joints in clay brickwork are usually placed every 10m-12m around the building perimeter. However, parapets and free-standing walls are less restrained (ie, they are freer to move at their uppermost ends) and so the spacing is usually reduced to 6m-8m. Detailed information is available from The Brick Development Association.

A brick wall is considered an exterior wall, which means that it must be able to withstand the elements.

A brick wall is considered an exterior wall, which means that it must be able to withstand the elements. Exterior walls are subjected to harsher weather conditions and will need to stand up to these changes in temperature and precipitation. This makes them more important than interior walls, which don’t need to last as long because they’re not exposed directly to outside elements.

An exterior brick wall consists of brick laid on top of one another with mortar filling in between the gaps between the bricks. While this was initially done using clay, today most masons use concrete for its structural strength and less amount of maintenance required over time compared with clay bricks (which need more frequent cleaning due to their porous nature).

Brick is a porous material, so moisture can infiltrate the wall in the form of water vapor and liquid water. Brick can absorb moisture from the air, from puddles on the ground, or even from snow.

A typical vertical brick veneer wall has two layers: the backup wall system and the facing or veneer.

A typical vertical brick veneer wall has two layers: the backup wall system and the facing or veneer. The backup wall system is a structural backstop that provides support for both the brick veneer and its mortar bed joint. It can be constructed of concrete blocks or structural brick. The facing layer is made up of one or more rows of brick laid in a running bond pattern to match your design preference, but they are not structurally connected to each other by mortar joints as they would be in an exterior masonry wall application.

The first step in building a residential veneer wall is to prepare your foundation walls for laying bricks on their finished side so that you can achieve consistent spacing between them. Next, you’ll build a backing structure using either concrete block or structural brick units depending on what type of finish look you’re going after: If you want stacked horizontal courses with no grout lines showing through between each course (a more traditional look), use concrete blocks; if you prefer vertical courses with grout lines showing through (a modernistic appearance), use structural bricks instead.

An air space exists between the air cavity of the backup wall and the mortar joints of the veneer.

The air space is important for drying. When water vapor comes in contact with the surface of the wall, it can escape through the air cavity. This prevents moisture from building up and seeping into your house.

The air space also acts as an insulating barrier between the backup wall and veneer, which helps to keep heat in during winter and cold out during summer.

Finally, an air space allows for drainage away from your home in case of flooding or heavy rainfalls.

The flashing is built out of metal, concrete, or other materials that are impervious to moisture.

Imagine that you’re constructing a brick wall. You’ve already laid the bricks and mortared them together, but now you need to install flashing.

The flashing is built out of metal, concrete, or other materials that are impervious to moisture. The flashing may be installed before or after the brick walls are built—it doesn’t matter as long as it’s done before applying any waterproofing material on top of your new home’s exterior walls. The most common place for flashing installation is at the top where it meets your roof system because this area is often exposed to wet conditions during rainy days or snow melt when it rains heavily during winter season months in cold climates like ours here in Edmonton Canada where we live so there’s always going t o b e some sort o f moisture coming down from above (from our own roofs) onto our house facades resulting i n damage over time so having good quality material here will help prevent deterioration due t o exposure which could make repairs more expensive if left unchecked over time

The steel lintels above windows and doors are also installed before building up the backup wall system with concrete blocks or structural bricks.

Steel lintels are often used above windows and doors to support the weight of brick veneer. They are more efficient than wood lintels, as they require less labor to install. They are also more durable than wood lintels because they do not rot or splinter over time, which can make them an attractive option when compared with traditional wooden lintels. Steel lintels can be made to look like wood, giving your project a more traditional appearance while still providing long-term durability.

Builders use a variety of methods for retaining water at joint bases by providing through-wall flashing or by using weep holes, capillary breaks, or drains.

There are many ways to cope with the accumulation of water at joint bases. In some cases, a combination of methods may be used.

  • Through-wall flashing: When bricklayers install a wall, they cut out a section for the window or doorframe and then cover the opening with preformed metal flashing that extends past both sides of the opening by at least 3 inches (7.6 cm). The top edge is sealed with caulking around the face of the bricks; this seals any gaps between them so that moisture cannot get through and condense on cold surfaces inside your house.
  • Weep holes: Builders can drill holes into mortar joints in new construction so that water can drain through them when it rains; these are called weep holes because they allow moisture to drain away from masonry walls instead of being trapped inside them where it could cause problems later on down the road if left unchecked like leakage due to rotting wood members within structures supporting those same structures.

Steps Involved in Brick Wall Construction

There are 11 steps in this guide to building a brick wall.

Firstly, lay out the bricks at both ends of your wall where the pillars will start. This should be done after any necessary foundations have been prepared. Using your string line, make a straight guideline at a brick height between the two outside bricks.

Step 2: Mix the mortar

Following this, heap five shovels full of sand and one of cement on an old board. Turn the shovel to mix to a consistent color. Form a central hollow, pour in water, and mix. Repeat for a smooth, creamy texture that’s wet but not too loose.

Step 3: Lay the first course of bedding mortar

Next, you should lay a 1-2cm mortar bed along the string line. Starting at one end, lay the first brick and tap slightly to ‘bed in’. ‘Butter up’ one end of the next brick with mortar and about it to the first. Repeat using the string line as a guide.

Step 4: Create the brick pillars

At the point where you want your pillars to start, place a brick side-on to the end of the wall. As you build up the wall, each consecutive course of pillar bricks must be laid in the opposite direction.

Step 5: Cutting bricks

When building pillars, at certain courses you’ll need to lay half-bricks. To make a cut, place the brick on its side, locate the bolster at the split point and strike the head firmly with a club hammer. It should split cleanly the first time.

Step 6: Keep the pillars one course ahead

Always build at least a course higher on the pillars than the rest of the wall. Move the string line up as you build, bedding it into the mortar on the pillars. For a stretcher bond, the end of each brick should be over the center of the one beneath.

Step 7: Make sure you’re sticking to 10mm mortar joints

Horizontal and vertical mortar joints should be 10mm thick. With standard bricks, there should be 75mm from the top of each brick to the top of the one beneath. If your bricks soak up moisture fast, you may want to ‘joint up’ (step 10) as you go.

Step 8: Add a coping stone

You may want to add a coping stone to finish when you reach the top of the pillars. Alternatively, you could create a pleasant effect at less cost by bedding bricks into the mortar on their sides

Step 9: Decorative brick soldier course

Adding a ‘soldier course’ is an attractive option to top the main part of a garden wall. Turn your bricks vertically lengthways and lay along the full length. Use a second, higher string line to keep a uniform finish

Step 10: How to finish the mortar beds

To finish the beds, use the rounded edge of a brick jointer to scrape mortar into the joints. Start with the horizontal lines and follow with the vertical – it’s easier to remove any excess mortar this way

Step 11: Clean up

Lastly, give the finished wall a gentle brush over and clean up any mortar that has fallen onto the floor before it dries. You can use water to wash cement away from the floor, but be sure to keep it away from your newly-built wall.

What foundations do you need for a brick wall?

When you’re building a brick wall, the foundation should be the same as any other house. The foundation must be able to support the weight of the wall, withstand freezing and thawing temperatures, and provide adequate drainage for water that may come in contact with it.

The most common foundation used for brick walls is a concrete slab on grade or pier drains. A concrete slab on grade is poured at ground level then filled with gravel for drainage before placing brick in between layers of mortar (also known as “tuckpointing”). Pier drains are similar except they include holes cut into them at regular intervals so water can drain through them prior to tuck pointing being applied over top.

How thick is a residential brick wall?

To determine how thick a brick wall should be, you must first determine the size of the bricks you will use. The thicker your wall is, the heavier it will be and thus more expensive to build. For example, if you are building with large 2” x 6” bricks (typical for residential construction), then a 10″ thick brick wall would weigh approximately 120 lbs per square foot. This means that a 100 square foot section of brick would weigh over 12000 lbs.

In general, it’s advised that smaller homes have no more than 8 inches while larger homes can go up to 12 inches or more depending on budget and structural considerations such as load-bearing vs non-load bearing walls etc.

How deep should a footing be for a brick wall?

The footing must be deep enough to support the load. For example, if your footings are too shallow, they may not be able to support the weight of the bricks and mortar, which can cause significant damage to both your home and its foundation. Additionally, if you make them too deep (i.e., going beyond what is required by code), then you will waste money unnecessarily on excavation costs.

The footing must also be wide enough for stability purposes. If it’s not wide enough for stability purposes that is, if it’s narrow at certain points along its length then this could compromise its ability to distribute loads evenly throughout the soil surrounding it; this could lead to cracks forming in walls above ground level or even worse: failure altogether.

Finally: how long should a footing be? It should extend below grade into an adequate thickness of soil so that sufficient resistance against lateral pressures exists around all four sides of each individual unit.

Does a brick wall need a footing?

Yes, a footing is required. A footing is the base of your brick wall and it should be at least as deep as the height of your wall to provide sufficient support. The width of your footing should be at least as wide as your finished wall will be; this provides stability for the structure and prevents shifting or settling in the soil below.

A concrete footing can be poured directly in contact with concrete footer forms (if present), but if you need more flexibility because of terrain or other factors, steel sheets can be added between layers of concrete blocks and stacked like bricks to create an interlocking system for footers that allows for lateral shifts without compromising performance.

What makes a brick wall strong?

You may have heard that brick walls are strong and durable. You might be wondering: how do they achieve that? Brick is a load-bearing wall, which means it supports the weight of the materials above it. The bricks are stacked on top of each other with rebar running through them to reinforce them and prevent them from collapsing on themselves.

Brick is a very strong material, but like any material it can fail if not properly constructed or maintained. If you have a brick wall in your home or business, please contact us for an inspection today.

What is a standard wall size?

When you’re building a standard wall, you will use bricks that are 3×8 (or 3×6) inches. This means that the vertical joints between each course of your brick walls will be 3 inches apart vertically, and the horizontal joints between each course of your brick walls will be 8 inches apart horizontally.

To calculate what size bricks to buy for your project, multiply the length of your wall by its height. If this number is less than 6, then buy a smaller-sized brick; if it’s more than 12, then buy a larger-sized one. If this number is 6 or higher but less than 12 (e.g., 7 x 8), then buy whatever size seems appropriate given other factors such as aesthetics and budget constraints—but remember: bigger isn’t always better.

What are the disadvantages of bricks?

  • Bricks are heavy, which means they can be difficult to transport and install.
  • Bricks are expensive, so it’s important to budget your project with this in mind.
  • Bricks are porous and they absorb water, so they need to be replaced every 10–15 years or else rot will set in due to moisture damage.
  • They require regular upkeep and maintenance: if you want your brick wall looking its best, it will need repointing (a process where the mortar between each brick is replaced) whenever the bricks start showing signs of wear or when the joints become loose enough that water can seep through them which happens fairly quickly.

How long does brick last on a house?

Brick is an incredibly durable material, and it’s not uncommon to see bricks that have lasted centuries on the side of houses. While there are no guarantees when it comes to brick, if you take care of your house and keep up with regular maintenance, your bricks should last a long time before needing replacement.

Brick is so durable because its composition makes it almost impervious to weathering damage or deterioration. It’s made from fired clay that has been compressed into a solid form through heat, which creates a material with high compressive strength meaning that even after years of exposure to the elements (and foot traffic), bricks will retain their integrity as long as they’re properly maintained.

It’s important to note that how long brick lasts depends on how well you take care of them. If you neglect routine cleaning and repairs, then eventually they may start showing signs of wear-and-tear such as cracks from settling unevenly along foundations or walls; crumbling mortar around joints; flaking paint; moss growth (if outside); acid rain etching (if inside).

Does brick add value to a home?

Brick is a popular choice for exterior walls because it adds value to the home.

Brick homes appeal to traditional and modern styles of architecture, so they can be found in many different areas of the country. They also have been shown to increase property values by up to 15 percent on average, according to research conducted by Remodeling Magazine.

Construction joints usually occur at each story level, but they may occur at shorter intervals if it is necessary to coordinate construction with bracing requirements.

Construction joints usually occur at each story level, but they may occur at shorter intervals if it is necessary to coordinate construction with bracing requirements.

If the wall is designed for vertical load-carrying capacity and does not need lateral bracing, then horizontal construction joints are typically placed no closer than 1/3 of the way down from either end of the wall (approximately mid-height). If a structural analysis is performed by an engineer, this distance may be determined by more complex factors such as bending moments and shear forces in different areas of the wall.

A brick wall might seem simple but there are many things that go into making it structurally sound.

Brick is a porous material, so it can absorb water. The material’s porosity means that it can also repel water, depending on how well the brick is laid and maintained.

If you’re building a home with a brick wall, you want to ensure that your walls are structurally sound and able to withstand the elements. Brick walls are considered exterior walls because they need to withstand severe weather conditions such as heavy rain and freezing temperatures without causing any damage or erosion in the bricks themselves. To achieve this goal, there are two layers in most brick walls: the backup wall system (BWS) and the facing or veneer (FV).

Benefits of Bricks Wall

Bricks are resilient.

Bricks are weather and age-proof, able to withstand even the harshest conditions, from severe marine environments and cyclones to wild fire-prone areas. This makes Bricks the perfect solution for North America’s harsh climatic conditions.

Bricks are also termite resistant because termites can’t eat bricks. If you build a full brick home, with a steel roof frame, on a concrete slab, your home will be termite resistant for all structural elements.

Bricks are maintenance-free.

Bricks do not require any painting, coating or varnishing in order to maintain their aesthetics and durability, unlike other building materials. Long-lasting brick is completely weatherproof, even in extreme conditions such as storms, and because bricks do not contain plant matter they are resistant to pests and won’t decay in hot or humid conditions.

Bricks are fireproof.

Bricks are non-combustible and don’t assist the spread of fire, making them ideal for building in wildfire-prone areas. Clay bricks normally don’t suffer any structural damage after a fire and can be re-used even as load-bearing walls.

Bricks alone don’t fireproof a building but are not like timber and plastic which are flammable, and glass that shatters in the heat. Building in brick ensures a strong foundation for protecting your investment.

Bricks come in styles to suit any building project.

Time and time again, brick has continued to be a popular building material choice among architects and designers because of its design flexibility, strong structural capabilities, and intricate detailing.

Whether you intend to build a contemporary cliff-top retreat, inner-city living/work terrace, school, art gallery, or heritage restoration project, there are bricks to suit any building style. There are now hundreds of brick colors to choose from and many different finishes from sleek glossy blacks and metallics to rough-hewn rustic bricks with a hand-crafted appearance.

Bricks act as a sound barrier.

Whether between rooms within a home or from outside noise, brick provides superior sound insulation. So, whether it’s the garbage truck outside at 5 am or your teenager’s drum kit at 11 pm, you can enjoy more peace and quiet in your own home.

Bricks are long-lasting.

Once it’s built, your brick home remains weatherproof and age proof, with minimal upkeep. Brick doesn’t get tired like other man-made materials, giving you both a sound mind and a sound home.

Bricks help save energy.

Bricks provide human thermal comfort. Bricks are high-density materials, meaning they have the ability to effectively absorb and store heat energy keeping your home cooler in summer and warmer in winter.

Correct use of thermal mass moderates internal temperatures, averaging out day and night temperature extremes, which makes a massive difference to your comfort, and reduces energy bills.

Brick is a healthy, natural building material. 

Brick is manufactured from naturally occurring materials and does not emit volatile organic compounds as many lightweight products can.
With virtually no emissions and high thermal mass, brick is the right choice for the health-conscious as it caters to those with acute allergies or sensitivity to weather.

Not only is brick better for your health, but it’s also better for our planet. The shale and clay that bricks are made from are naturally abundant, so brick is an environmentally sensitive option. They can be reused, keeping their original properties and features intact, or even recycled. And, because bricks do not contain harsh chemicals, plastics, or artificial compounds, brick homes are healthy environments to live in.

Advantages of Masonry Construction

These general advantages apply to all types of masonry units (brick, stone, or concrete blocks):

  • Masonry is non-combustible, so improves fire protection for the building and its occupants. Fireplaces are commonly made of masonry for the same reason.
  • Masonry offers high resistance against rotting, pests, weather, and natural disasters such as hurricanes and tornadoes.
  • Masonry structures provide an attractive rustic or elegant look for a home or building, depending on the material used and the workers’ expertise.
  • Being durable and resistant, Mansory can withstand large amounts of compressive weight loads.
  • Masonry units increase the thermal mass of a building.
  • Masonry buildings have longer lifespans than any other building type.
  • Using masonry in your construction improves its resale value.
  • Masonry doesn’t rot, and insects such as ants and termites can’t destroy its structure.
  • Using this method in construction costs less in terms of labor and materials as compared to using wood.

Cost of Residential Brick Wall Construction

Brick walls cost $5 to $45 per square foot depending on the type you choose: Brick costs $27 to $45 per square foot. Traditional brick fences cost around $35 per square foot. Veneer averages $10 to $30 per square foot.

In conclusion,

Brick walls are an attractive and durable option for exterior walls. They are popular because they can be constructed quickly and easily, yet they have a classic look that will last for many years. There is no doubt that brick will always be in demand as builders turn their attention to building new homes or updating older ones.

Leave a Comment