Bricklaying (How to set out and gauge your brickwork)

Once your building is set out square the next stage is to level your footings and set out the brickwork gauge, once this is done you can take your brickwork up as high as you like checking that every 4 courses you build is 300mm high, most bricklayers will also bond out the brickwork whilst its still in the footings as any mistakes will be hidden and your bond will be correct before you get to damp course height.

Step 1
Start by setting a level on all 4 corners, the highest corner will be where you take your gauge from, you can do this by using a dumpy level or laser level and putting a mark on your peg.

Step 2
Now you have an accurate level mark you can start to bond out the brickwork, you can do this by dividing the length of your house by 225mm to find out if it works full bond, the best way though is to run a dry course from your gauged corner to the next corner. Check as you go along that every 4 bricks are 900mm long, this will make sure your bonding is accurate whether the bricks that you use are too big or small, when you reach the next corner it should hopefully work brickwork ( full bricks ). If it doesnt there are 2 things you can do, if its slightly off then you can open or close the joints up slightly to accommodate the difference, if this still doesnt work then you will have to use a bat ( cut brick ), the problem with this is it will show if travelling up the building, so a good bricklayer will hide this by moving it under a window or door opening to minimize the amount of cuts showing to the naked eye, this way no one will be able to tell the difference and it will blend in.

Step 3
Now your ready to start, the building is set out square and too the right length, the gauge marks or datums are in place, you can now start laying the first course by running a line in by starting at your highest point, if the other corner is too low you can lay a bigger bed at one end or turn a brick on edge, sometimes blocks are used for the first course at one end to match the difference in height run a course all the way around now you have a level floor to start laying on.

Step 4
Start building your 4 corners up to d.p.c height, then run them fitting air bricks as you go if needed.

Step 5
Now the outside skin is built set a mark on the inside to whatever your cavity size should be, usually its 300mm, you know the buildings square so this should be easy

Step 6
Now take the inside skin up to d.p.c height copying the bond used on the outside, once this is done your ready to construct your floor, fit your damp proof membrane and pour your concrete, now your brickwork  is ready to be taken up to roof height.

Bricklaying Tutorial Links: