I am interested in having a small brick wall built around my garden.
I am finding it difficult to get a contractor to give me a reasonable
price let alone consider even doing this relatively small job. I
therefore have decided to try it myself. The wall will be about one
foot high and two bricks wide. The length will be about 30 linear
feet. The wall will not contact the house. I have a couple of
concerns. In general, how deep should one dig down for the
foundation, and how thick should the footing be? Also, how deep below
the surface should the top of the footing be? In other words, how
many bricks should be buried? This probably varies by location and
municipality so I am looking for guidelines. FWIW, I am in Queens NY.
I have been trying to contact the buildings dept, but it is difficult
to contact someone who knows anything there. I appreciate the help.
Be sure to check your local codes before you start anything.
The codes may have some specifications that will be required. These are
in addition to the usual requirements that are not location specific.
I just tore one of those out. I found nothing in our local code
regulating it, probably because it would be considered landscaping,
rather than building.
Mine, which had lasted many years, had a row of cinderblocks the top of
which was about two inches below grade, and bricks on top of that. It
never looked good because of the sloppy mortaring, and because they had
topped it with what I would call concrete pavers, which somehow had come
I made a wall of pieces of flagstone around my other garden. I dug a
trench and filled it with broken rock to the point where the first layer
of flagstone would just come up to grade level, then I piled two or
three levels of flagstone on top of that (its hard to get flagstone
around here). Mistakes I made were not making the base layer wide
enough (I wanted a ground level surface I could run the lawnmower wheel
along so I wouldn't have to trim, and I should have made that six inches
wide, rather than 3) and thus not having a wide enough base for the
above-grade tiers, so now I'm going around and trenching behind the base
layer, putting in more crushed stone, and replacing the above-ground
tiers. I tried to compress the original layer of stone, but apparently
didn't do a good enough job and the off-center higher tiers have in some
places made my wall lean. By contrast, I buried some cinderblocks
around my strawberry bed, with the top about an inch below grade, and
laid bricks across them without mortar, and that has held up well for a
number of years.
SPAMBLOCK NOTICE! To reply to me, delete the h from apkh.net, if it is
Unless you put a concrete footing down to below the frost line,
I wouldn't advise a brick and mortar wall. The mortar will break up
rather quickly due to ground motion.
You'd probably be better off with one of the
blocks made for landscaping that mechanically
interlock somewhat, but no mortar. Lots of styles, sizes, and colors
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.