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1. Choose the right masonry project
As much to clarify everything straight away, we will not build a house with bare hands when we have never touched a brick in our life. Masonry, or the art of building by assembling elements, also includes renovations of existing structures, construction or repair of walls, construction or modification of a building with an extension or extensions, and outdoor facilities. Build a brick barbecue or building an exterior wall is also masonry… and it is better to start there! For the construction of a real building, which requires foundations, a field study or is subject to strict regulations, it is better to call a professional with the know-how and adequate guarantees.
2. Choosing the right materials for masonry
The masonry is to build by stacking elements on top of each other. What elements? Be careful, things get tough. The oldest and most delicate material is natural stone, rough or cut, decorative but difficult to lay. Terracotta brick is the most common material for walls, fireplaces and barbecue. Plaster tiles are reserved for interior partitions. As for the famous concrete blocks, concrete blocks of different types, they are easy to lay, resistant, inexpensive and durable, but coarser and reserved for thick walls. For example, a garage, an exterior wall etc. Each material of masonry involves the use of a suitable binder, the glue which makes it possible to hold the assembled elements: mortar, cement, plaster, etc.
3. Provide the right masonry tools
Needless to say, we do not build a wall with DIY tools everyday ... For masonry in the rules of the art, we provide professional tools, or at least enough to work properly! At a minimum, we therefore equip ourselves with a plumb line and a level, which allow us to check the alignment, horizontality and verticality of the walls. A set of good trowels is essential for the application of the binder to obtain clean joints: a round, a flat, one in cat's tongue. A plasterer's float simplifies the application of the binding plaster, a trowel is useful if a coating has to be applied ... mason's chisel allows to cut bricks. And stakes with cords make it possible to delimit the wall to be built, without forgetting the meter, the pencil, or even a concrete mixer if necessary!
4. Align the horizontal rows in masonry
In masonry, the elements are aligned side by side horizontally. A first row is therefore constructed, starting at one end, generally along cords stretched over stakes to delimit the construction. With each row placed, we immediately check the horizontality using the bubble or laser level: each row serving as a seat for the next, just a misaligned element to unbalance the entire masonry construction !
5. Cross the blocks, the base of the masonry
From the second row, the basic rule of masonry is to offset the elements, so that the joints of the second row are located in the middle of the blocks of the first row. In other words, the joints between the blocks must above all not be aligned vertically from one row to the other, since it is this way of crossing the elements that guarantees the stability of the structure. And the same principle also applies to the angles or the connections between the walls, nested by alternating rows.
6. Mount vertically masonry walls
By superimposing rows of blocks, we obtain walls, this is the masonry principle. In the same way that we check the horizontality with each block placed, so, we check the verticality from the second row to ensure perfect alignment! This, using the level or plumb line, as desired, as long as the result is perfectly straight.