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Setting out in bricklaying is not as difficult as it looks as long as you follow the correct procedures. Below is a step by step guide on how to mark up and build footings on a house, when finished it should be square, plumb, level and to gauge.

Step 1
Start off by marking the thickness of your wall around your footing, for instance if your wall is 300mm wide including cavity space and your foundation is 600mm wide, then you will want 150mm of concrete either side of your wall, as it goes up this will maximize spreading out the weight of the house evenly.

Step 2
Start off by marking the front of the house out by banging a wooden stake in at each end and fixing a bit of string line to each stake using a nail. Sometimes you can mark the front out by taking a measurement off an existing house, road or pavement if not then it doesnt matter.

Step 3
Now by using a set square or the formula 3:4:5 you can put a mark down so your two front corners are square.  The best way to do this is to skim a thin layer of mortar on the floor and mark out with your trowel.

Step 4
Now attach a piece of line to one of the corners and measure back the length of the side of your house and put a mark down, now pick up the line and move it from left to right a couple of times until it crosses over your mortar mark, when its directly above the mortar mark, hold it and bang another peg in, attach the line to this peg so you have your second mark, repeat this process down the other end and you now have three sides of your house marked up.

Step 5
Now pull a line in from the pegs at the back of your house and nail them in, your building is now roughly set out, all it requires now is to check the diagonals.

Step 6
If the building is square then the 2 diagonal angles from corner to corner should be the same length, if they are different then adjust one by moving it in or out to make it shorter or longer, once they are the same length then your building is truly square now. You now have your relevant markings and can begin with your brickwork.


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