What Does a Bricklayer Do?

Bricklayers lay bricks, concrete blocks, and similar materials to construct or repair walls, arches, chimneys, fireplaces, and other structures according to blueprints and specifications. They may also restore and clean existing masonry structures.

Those who dream of becoming bricklayers can pursue an apprenticeship, which usually involves classroom studies and on-the-job training with a journeyperson.

General Construction

Bricklayers work on construction sites, building houses and other structures using bricks and blocks bound together with mortar. This is a labor-intensive profession that requires attention to detail, strength, and dexterity. It also involves working in all weather conditions and for long hours but can be very rewarding to see the finished product. The main routes to becoming a bricklayer are to attend a college course and gain a qualification or go straight into the workforce as an apprentice. The latter option is generally considered to be the best route as it combines hands-on learning at a construction company with training from experienced professionals.

Typical duties of a bricklayer include interpreting blueprints and working with other tradespeople to complete commercial projects. They may also need to mix mortar, lay bricks and concrete blocks, and repair masonry. Bricklayers are sometimes required to operate types of machinery, such as a bulldozer or excavators, but the majority of their work is carried out with hand tools, such as trowels, hammers, and leveling bars. They must be able to read measuring devices, such as tape measures and plumb bobs, as well as use power tools, such as saws and drills.

In some countries, code of practice documents have been developed for different construction occupations to reduce health and safety risks. These document the tasks, health and safety hazards, and control measures that are relevant to each job.1 It is important to note that these codes of practice are not an exhaustive list of all the hazards that bricklayers face, but only those considered to be significant.

While most bricklayers learn their craft on the job, a high school diploma is normally needed to start an apprenticeship. This helps to demonstrate a commitment and dedication to the industry, which will be valued by employers. It is also a good idea to look into certification programs, as they can add value to an application and highlight a candidate's skills and expertise.

Keeping track of customer information, scheduling, and project progress can become difficult if you're working with multiple tools and processes. Construction software is designed to bring all of this data into one place, saving you time and improving accuracy. This frees up your day so you can focus on the tasks that matter most to you.

Retaining Walls

Retaining walls are often constructed on hillsides to create level spaces for gardens, home gardening, and patios. They are also useful in preventing soil erosion and help manage stormwater runoff. A retaining wall can be built in a variety of materials, including natural stone, wood, concrete, and steel. The type of material used is usually based on the circumstances surrounding the retaining wall, and it should also take into consideration the aesthetics of the property.

A professional bricklayer will be able to construct a retaining wall that complements the style of your home. These skilled craftsmen know how to mix the right mortar mixture, which is critical in constructing durable and beautiful masonry. They are also familiar with the different types of bricks that are available, and they understand how to construct retaining walls in accordance with industry standards.

In order to construct a retaining wall, a bricklayer must first compact the soil where the foundation of the retaining wall is going to be located. Next, a layer of coarse sand or 1/4-inch minus gravel should be spread to bed the first row of blocks. Finally, a string line is established to guide the alignment of the block rows. Once the first row of blocks has been laid, the bricklayer must use a chisel to remove any excess mortar from the joints. The remaining mortar should then be smoothed with the pointed tip of a trowel, and any stray brick chips should be removed from the surface.

Once the wall has been constructed, the bricklayer will add backfill to reinforce and support the retaining wall. Typically, a sand-based backfill is recommended, but some contractors may prefer to use crushed rock or recycled aggregate for added strength and durability. Depending on the size of the retaining wall and its material, it may be necessary to install drainage features. In order to properly drain a retaining wall, a drainage system should be installed that provides a slope of 1 inch for every 4 feet, to carry water to daylight or a dry well.

Boundary Walls

A boundary wall is a physical barrier constructed around a piece of land or property to mark its limits and prevent unauthorized access. It can be made of brick, concrete, or other durable materials and can vary in height depending on the purpose of the wall. These walls are typically located in residential areas to provide security and privacy for the residents. Additionally, they can help prevent trespassing and other illegal activities from occurring on private property.

When constructing a boundary wall, bricklayers use different types of bricks to build it. These bricks include common bricks, reconstituted stone, and porcelain tile. These bricks are durable and can withstand weathering. They are also low-maintenance and long-lasting, making them a good choice for boundary walls.

The first step in building a boundary wall is to prepare the site. This includes laying the foundation and installing footings. Once these are completed, the brick-soling process begins. During this phase, a layer of PCC is laid to make the surface stronger and more uniform. After this, a trapezoidal-shaped footing is built and a tie beam of thickness of about 10 inches is installed.

Another important aspect of boundary wall construction is to calculate the running feet of the compound walls. This is done by measuring from one wall's edge to the other using a tape measure. The running feet of the wall are then multiplied by the width of the wall to determine its length.

Bricklayers construct boundary walls using a variety of techniques and styles. Some of these techniques include racking back the bond as the wall increases in height, sawtooth, and a snapped header. Additionally, long stones can be used at the corners and connections of a wall to break vertical joints and provide bonding between perpendicular walls.

Boundary walls are a popular choice for homeowners because they can be made from many materials and are easy to maintain. They can also be designed to suit the needs of a homeowner, including their style and color. When constructing a boundary wall, it's important to consult with a professional who understands the requirements of each type of building. They can then recommend the best material for your project.


Render is an external coating that can be applied to walls made from brick, stone, or concrete. It can give a home a sleek and modern look or something more traditional and rustic depending on the desired finish. It is available in a wide range of colors and textures and can be colored or painted to suit the style of your house.

The advantage of rendering brick homes is that it helps to protect them from weather conditions. The render acts as a barrier to rain, wind, and sun, which will help keep the actual bricks in good condition for a longer time than they would if they were left unrendered. This can be especially important if you live in an area that is prone to extreme weather changes.

Another benefit of rendering is that it can improve the insulation of your home, which will reduce heating and cooling costs. This is because the rendered layer will help to block out heat during summer and retain it in winter, making your home more energy-efficient.

If you’re thinking of getting your brick home rendered, it’s a good idea to hire a professional. Bricklayers have the experience and knowledge to ensure that the job is done correctly and will leave you with a home that looks fantastic. They’ll also make sure that any damaged bricks are repaired before the render is applied.

It’s possible to render over old brick walls, although this requires a lot more work than simply rendering new brickwork. Any damage to the existing bricks needs to be fixed, and the surface of the wall must be smooth and free from depressions before you can render over it. To prepare the wall, a layer of sand and cement is applied before applying a coat of SBR (styrofoam bitumen rubber) to create a base for the render.

Then, a second coat of SBR is applied to the wall. After this has dried, a scratch coat can be applied. This is where you’ll need to use a timber float to smooth the surface of the wall and detail any corners with a metal corner trowel.

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Bricklayers lay bricks, concrete blocks, and similar materials to construct or repair walls, arches, chimneys, fireplaces, and other structures according to blueprints and specifications. They may also restore and clean existing masonry structures. Those who dream of becoming bricklayers can pursue an apprenticeship, which usually involves classroom studies and on-the-job training with a journeyperson. General…