# How to Build Brick Columns

27-09-2016, 06:25
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Brick columns are a classic addition to patios, fences, or entryways. They are also very durable, lasting for decades, and far more cost efficient compared to other fence and column materials.

### Steps

1. Decide on the size of brick column you would like to build, this will help you calculate the amount of materials necessary to execute your plan.
• A 12 inch x 12 inch (30.48 cm x 30.48 cm) column will require 4 bricks per layer.
• A 16 inch x 16 inch (40.64 cm x 40.64 cm) column will require 6 bricks per layer.
• If you want to create anything bigger, for example a 32 inch x 32 inch (76.2 cm x 76.2 cm) column, you will have to create a 24 inch x 24 inch (60.96 cm x 60.96 cm) block column for support and wrap it with a 32 inch x 32 inch (76.2 cm x 76.2 cm) brick surface to guarantee a sturdy post.
• Measurements below are for a 7 foot (2.13 m) tall, 12 inch x 12 inch (30.48 cm x 30.48 cm) brick column.
2. Wet the bricks a couple hours before beginning the construction of the column. This will prevent the bricks from soaking up too much mortar.
3. Outline a 12 inch x 12 inch (30.48 cm x 30.48 cm) blueprint of your column on the ground where the base of the brick column will be located and, if applicable, where the top of the column will end up on the ceiling of your patio or entryway.
• If you are building around a metal rod, the rod will become the center of your column.
• If you are creating more than 1 column, outline the first and last columns of the series and space the outlines of the remaining columns in between the first and last column outlines for accurate spacing.
4. Attach a string line from the base of the column outline to the top of the column outline where one of the corners of the brick column will lie. This will serve as your marker to make sure the bricks are being lined and spaced precisely; the corner of each brick should line up to the string line to ensure a straight construction. This method will prove difficult when first lining up the edges of the bricks, but it will save a significant amount of time as opposed to using a level after each layer (or course) of brick laid.
5. Slather a thin layer of mortar for the base of the column, smoothing it out using a screed. A screed is an aluminum device used to flatten out and smooth wet, pasty materials.
6. Lay 4 bricks in a square design, leaving 1/2 inch (1.27 cm) spacing between each brick. This spacing is called a joint.
7. Fill each joint between the bricks with mortar.
8. Slather another 1/2 inch (1.27 cm) layer of mortar on top of the first brick course to create a top joint.
9. Repeat the previous 3 steps for 37 courses (or layers) to create a 7 foot (2.13 m) tall 12 inch x 12 inch (30.48 cm x 30.48 cm) brick column.
10. Concave all of the joints every 2 to 3 layers using a concave joint tool. This secures the mortar into place and allows proper water runoff from snow, rain, and other elements. Do not allow the mortar to get so dry that it is no longer moldable.
11. Brush the mortar with a light whisk brush to smooth out the mortar after concaving.

## Tips

• When building more than 1 column, use a string line to correctly line up the outlines of each column so the arrangement appears professional.
• Step back and take a complete look at your column several times throughout the building process. This way you can make sure each joint and brick are spaced equally and level for the most physically attractive and highest quality brick columns.

## Things You'll Need

• String line
• 60 pounds (27 kg)
• Screed
• 150 bricks per each 7 foot (2.13 m) 12 inch x 12 inch (30.48 cm x 30.48 cm) column
• Concave joint tool
• Light whisk brush
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