How to Construct a Brick Load Bearing Wall

  • 6-30 hours
  • Beginner
  • 250-750
What You'll Need
Bricks (note length of 8.5 long by 2.5 tall by 4.5 wide)
Brick trowel
Nails (note #16 type)
Framing Hammer
Circular saw
Measuring square
Measuring Tape
Chalk line

Constructing a brick load bearing wall is a brilliant method of ensuring better insulation, but better support as well. In other words, brick walls are not just a postmodern aesthetic, but a helping hand when it comes to the structure of a house.

Step 1—Foundation

First, visualize and locate the outer and inner surfaces of the new, desired wall, and draw it out on the floor with chalk. Measure 3 to 4 inches across the line, creating two parallel lines in all as the final draft—this is the rough area for the wall’s bottom and general spacing. Digg a shallow trench between the chalk outlines. Make sure the base of the trench is level using the level tool. Now, you need two mortar boards that are about two feet square in area each.

Note the location of the desired wall—a load bearing wall must not be part of a room or structure that has no secondary exit. In other words, make sure to check that there are no dead ends near this load-bearing wall. The reason why there should be a window, another door, or what have you is because of the load-bearing wall itself—if there is a fire, an earthquake, or any sudden situation where the load-bearing wall is in danger of not holding, then the entire room or structure will collapse to some degree, and if there is no secondary exit such as a window, then any occupants within the room or structure by the load-bearing wall may suffer serious injuries or worse.

One of the reasons why brick walls are desired are because they can withstand “sudden changes” i.e. fires, shaking grounds, better than wooden walls. However, brick walls are not invulnerable—do not make the Titanic’s mistake of considering a secondary exit is not required because the brick will can withstand anything while holding up the roof.

Step 2—Getting Started

Then, mix the mortar in the wheelbarrow—by hand is fine. It is advised to mix the mortar in two separate batches. Now, place one batch onto one board, and locate them near you so for easy access them while working, and do the same with the piles of bricks. Next, place a layer of mortar along the base of the trench. After, when placing a layer of bricks onto the mortar, attempt to level the bricks out as much as possible—it is imperative that the first layer of bricks be as level as possible, or the rest of the wall will lean in extreme fashion.

Step 3—Rinse, Repeat

Hold the level vertical to each brick to ensure they are sitting squarely. With the trowel, remove excess mortar. Repeat while paying close attention to leveling until the desired height is reached Note that because this wall is meant to load-bearing, it should have strong contact with roof or whatever load it is mane to be bearing.