I promised a post on how we built our brick wall, so I’m here to deliver, well at least in part! This post was getting really long, so I broke it into two. As a reminder, we have a little “hill” in the corner of our yard that was calling for some TLC and something unique, so we turned it from this:
It is still standing folks! Hopefully after a New England winter, we can say the same, but for now I’ll try to show you how we did it. We are by no means Masons of any sorts, so forgive me if I glaze over a few details or show something incorrectly. If you were building anything higher than this, I would definitely consult with someone to find out if you need any rebar or multiple wythe of brick to support whatever height or amount of soil you have behind it. From what we researched, though, we were ok pushing forward with this method.
First, we needed a foundation for the bricks to sit on and to perhaps stop any frost heaving that could occur if they were sitting directly in the dirt. So we dug a trench and cut a handful of stakes the same length to help us create a level bed of concrete for the wall to sit on.
By leveling the stakes throughout the trench, we were able to keep a consistent line of where to pour the concrete to, without guessing too much. I loved the idea of using a string level like the pros do (we watched this video a few times over), but could not for the life of me figure out how to do that on a curve, so this method worked well for us. See…level!
Now we could pour the concrete in and as long as it remained level with the top of each stake we were pretty confident we’d have a level first course of bricks, regardless of the slope in the yard. Our ditch was only about 4-6″ deep (depending on where) and we used 2 bags on Quikrete. We poured it in the trench leveling with a trowel as went.
You can see the top of one post in this picture (lower left) to see what we mean about pouring it until the concrete was level with the post top. That step really did help us.
Then it’s the tough part.. dry time. 🙂 Kick back and sip on a cold one, because even if this says it’s dry in 45 minutes or whatever, you should let the concrete cure. We let it cure overnight before getting ready to lay some bricks.
The bricks we chose were dubbed “City Bricks” and they have a recessed side with a little writing and imperfections in both shape and color. We liked how “real brick” these were and not the manufactured concrete bricks you can pick up at big box stores. We ordered a pallet of 200 from a local Garden and Landscape Center and had them delivered.
The next morning we laid it out and experimented with 2 different heights. After seeing them both (5 courses shown below on the left, 4 courses on the right), we decided to go with the shorter height that was only 4 courses high.
And THIS is where I’m going to leave you until tomorrow. I have a bunch more pictures and seems like the most logical step to stop before showing how we actually laid bricks. Overall the project took us 2 days, so this post will be 2 posts! 🙂