Essentials of
Masonry

shpslogo.jpg (6992 bytes)

Part 3--Construct a Brick Wall

WINDOW AND DOOR OPENINGS

As the bricklaying proceeds, you must leave openings for windows and doors in the wall. Determine the distance from the foundation to the bottom of the window sill. The height of the wall to the top of one full course must equal that distance (Figure 3-27). Do not count the tilted rowlock (the row of bricks laid on the edge) as a course; it is part of the sill.

3-22. Window Openings. When you know the distance from the foundation to the bottom of the window sill, you can determine how many courses are required to bring the wall up to that height. For example, if the sill is 4 feet, 4 1/4 inches above the foundation using 1/2-inch mortar joints, you will need to lay 19 courses before you reach the bottom of the sill (Table 3-2).

Figure 3-27.  Constructing a window opening
Figure 3-27. Constructing a window opening

3-23. Placing and Bracing the Frame. Place the window frame on the rowlock course as soon as the mortar has set. You must brace the window frame until the brick work has been laid up to about one-third the height of the frame (Figure 3-28).

Figure 3-28.  Bracing and marking the frame
Figure 3-28. Bracing and marking the frame

3-24. Marking the Courses. The remaining bricks in the wall should be laid so that the top of the brick in the course is no more than 1/4 inch above the window frame (Figure 3-29). To do this, use a pencil to mark the top of each course on the window frame itself. If the mark for the top of the last course does not come to the proper level, change the joint thickness you plan to use until it does.

Figure 3-29.  Bricks laid to the top of the frame
Figure 3-29. Bricks laid to the top of the frame

3-25. Finishing the Wall. Lay the upper courses of the corner leads according to the height of the courses for the window. After laying the leads, install the string line so that it stretches across the window opening (Part F). You can now lay the bricks in the rest of the wall.

3-26. Door Openings. The procedure for laying bricks around a door opening is similar to the one you used for a window opening. Cut pieces of wood the size of a half closure. Lay the pieces of wood in mortar as if they were bricks. Use either screws or nails to anchor the door frame to the wood. These wooden bricks are placed at several points along the top and sides of the door opening (Figure 3-30).

Figure 3-30.  Constructing a door opening
Figure 3-30. Constructing a door opening

David L. Heiserman, Editor

Copyright   SweetHaven Publishing Services
All Rights Reserved

Revised: June 06, 2015