According to a MainStreet.com survey, a whopping 70% of home projects fall under the DIY category. A quarter of the respondents look forward to garden and landscaping related improvements. Let us help you decide on a project. Here is a detailed description of how to build a DIY landscaped brick wall.
- Maintains Privacy: A brick wall adds to the beauty of the garden. It not only offers privacy from neighbors, but also helps contain dust and dirt from the garden in a confined space.
- Acts as Divider: The brick wall is also used as a divider between different portions of the lawn.
- Is Maintenance-Free: The major advantage of building a brick wall is the material. Brick is relatively maintenance-free as it does not rot and is termite-resistant. Brick is also highly energy efficient.
Things to Watch Out For:
The following points must be noted before starting on a “brick wall landscaping” project:
- Large Brick Blocks: While planning to build a brick wall, it is always better to use large brick blocks as they are easier to work with.
- Use Lip-Built Blocks: The most convenient and preferred brick blocks are those fitted with a lip built on the lower end to connect the different bricks.
- Maximum Limit: While building the brick wall on your own, the maximum height advisable is 4 feet, as anything higher requires professional expertise.
- Keep the Blocks Ready: Before beginning the building process, cut the brick blocks into the required size using a chisel and hammer.
The Landscaping Process:
The entire procedure of building a brick wall can be broken down into the following steps:
- Identify the End Points: The first step in building the brick wall is to mark out the two end points of the wall. You can also stretch a string or garden hose along the front of the brick wall building area, as per the shape of the wall, for exact measurement.
- Dig the Trench: Next, use a flat-pointed shovel to build a trench to fit in the bricks. The trench measurements are dependent on the size of the brick block. Most people usually dig up to a depth of 4 inches.
Level out the trench: level out the underlying soil using a hand tamper and if necessary, add another layer of leveling sand or paver base.
- Check if Base is Leveled: After completing tamping, use a carpenter’s level to check if the base is even, and if it’s still uneven, add or remove mud/dirt to level it out.
- Place Crushed Stone/Coarse Sand: The next step is to add crushed stones and coarse sand/stone dust into the trench and tamp them down using the hand tamper. Stones and coarse sand should be placed alternatively.
- Start Placing Bricks: Next start placing the first row of bricks on the sand/dust. Join the brick ends together and start building the wall. As you build up, always place a level on top of the bricks after each layer, to make sure that it is laid even.
- Build Up the Wall: After laying the first row, apply coarse gravel and then go on to the second level. Continue until the desired height is reached.
- Make Space for Flowers, Grass: When the required height is reached, fill up the final few inches with topsoil to grow flowers and grass behind the wall.
- Add Capstones: After the wall is built, finish it off by adding a row of capstones over it.
- Use Landscape Fabric: After completing the brick wall, you may want to consider covering the area behind the wall with landscape fabric to prevent seeping from the soil.
Small brick walls also can take on shapes other than straight lines, especially when framing flower or plant beds.
After a few days, when the wall is still standing, your hard work makes all the aching muscles worthwhile. If you plan on building a small, non-load bearing wall, then go for it, just don’t expect it to be an easy few hours’ work.
About the Author
Heidi Hudnall is the current Marketing Coordinator at Runyon Companies. She graduated from Butler University in the spring with a double major in International Business and Marketing, a minor in Spanish, departmental honors distinction and cum laude. She specializes in all things internet marketing, with an emphasis on content creation, website maintenance, blogging, social media, lead tracking and marketing strategy.