I want to build a brick garden wall to the side of our new house cutting the
rear garden off.
I've searched google archives of this newsgroup but haven't been able to
find what I'm looking for. I've found tips for bricklaying which have been
useful, but I haven't found things such as:
- what preparations need to be made before starting bricklaying, such as:
1. how deep do the foundations need to be?
2. when I've dug the foundations, what do I lay on the surface of the
foundation if anything, concrete?
3. how best to start the brick wall from foundations
4. how do I best attach the brick wall to the house exterior wall and to my
neighbours adjoining garage on the other side?
Excellent sites. I notice that 9:1 is recommended in the last link.
Presumably this minimum is for very light loading. I wouldn't use such a
mix myself as the cost of materials is so small and the cost of any
failure due to faulty mixing is so great.
Mind you, I use a shovel to guestimate the quantities. It's a pretty
poor technique. A lot quicker than doing it properly though.
How does one go about measuring precisely? I always put the mixer so
that keeping the material at shovel's length and down-wind, I get no
"feedback." I imagine pouring cement into buckets to get the exact
measure rather a dangerous pass-time.
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Precise guaging for diy is a waste of time as you are mixing wet sand
with dry cement, so your guage is off from the start. You then add
variable amounts of water - which again affects the mix strength, and
mix it for an uncontrolled length of time.
For all practical purposes, a shovel of sand is the same as a shovel
of cement - you just see that they are the same when you pick the
A 9:1 mix will end up as powdered mortar at the base of the wall after
a couple of winters. A 3:1 may be too strong and will crack as the
You go down as deep as the ground requires - you don't stop at 2ft if
the sub soil is still soft.
Make sure the foundation is level
For areas of the wall susceptable to frost or prolonged damp, make
sure you use a frost rated brick or block.
You should not attach the new wall to the house, but butt up to it and
seal with a flexible mastic
End the new wall about the width of a normal brick joint away from the
house. You're only creating a barrier against moisture ingress which can
gather in normal mortar joints, so you then fill the gap with a water
resistant material to stop this happening. Also make sure that any coping
stones and joints on top of the wall have a downward slope away from the
house wall, so any water will, obviously, run away from the house and not
gather in the join and seep through.
Just the thickness of a normal joint - 10 to 15mm
The gap is normall filled with a dense fibre mat 'Flexel' or similar, for
packing, and mastic applied to seal the joint.
The concept is that the garden wall is allowed to move freely, and your
flexible joint takes any movement that would crack mortar
(dg) thoughtfully wrote:
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