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With a little know-how, do-it-yourselfers can successfully install a brick, stone or block wall. The first order of business is figuring out how much material you need. To determine the number of bricks you’ll need for a wall, determine the wall’s total square footage, then subtract the area to be occupied by doors or windows. You’ll need between 600 and 700 bricks per 100 square feet, depending on the type of brick you’re using.
If you’re building a brick or stone wall outdoors, you’ll need to put in a concrete footing that extends below the frost line. As a general rule, the footing should be as thick vertically as the width of the wall it will support, and twice as wide.
Before getting started, be sure to assemble all the tools and equipment you’ll need for the project. A good home repair book will provide that information, along with tips that will help make the project successful even for novices.
When you’re ready to begin, mix your mortar carefully following the manufacturer’s directions. Don’t mix more than you can use in a reasonable amount of time, because it can dry quickly. A wheelbarrow is the best container for mortar because you can move it easily as you progress along the wall. Once you begin, it’s important to work quickly, so first-timers should do a few practice runs before actually beginning the job.