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Building Walls


Building walls may not always be required when installing your pond. If you are planning on an above ground pond or use hidden retaining walls then you may need to purchase concrete blocks, bricks or stone before you start.


Concrete blocks are a cheap option but will not make your garden look very attractive. If the wall is a retaining hidden wall then maybe it is the best option as it will not be seen.

Bricks are also quite low cost and can look nice with a formal designed pond but not to good if you are trying to get a natural affect.

Stone is the most expensive and harder to work with but if done correctly can certainly look beautiful.

Things you need to take into consideration before you start building walls

pond brickwall Will you need help from a professional?

What material shall I use to blend with my garden?

What materials shall I use?

How will I transport the materials?

Will the wall be hidden or on show?

What will it cost?

Once you have your design in place and have answered the above questions you are ready to require the materials needed to start building your wall.



Mortar is the mixture of lime, cement and sand to create an easy to use mix to build brick or stone walls. You can purchase this already mixed in bags or mix it yourself or even better use a cement mixer.

If you decide on mixing it yourself which can be hard work then use 1 part lime 1 part cement and 6 parts sand.


Whenever you are building walls you need a foundation to build it on. Otherwise any wall that is built without foundation would topple over. Depending on the height and purpose of your wall will depend on how deep the foundation needs to be.


Laying foundation

For an average above ground wall dig a trench around 35cm deep to 35cm wide and fill it halfway with hardcore (broken bricks, stone and/or other aggregate used as foundations). Then place 3cm of sand over the top of the hardcore ready for the concrete. Then place 14cm of well tamped concrete on top which will finish your foundation. Just cover any foundation you lay to protect it while it dries.

Concrete mix should be 3 parts gravel to 2 parts sand to 1 part cement.


Building a brick wall

Once you have your foundation in place you can start building your wall. First of you need to build your first row of bricks. Make sure you use spirit level and string attached to pegs to keep your wall straight.

Keep building row upon row making sure that the wall is vertically and horizontally level at all times.

Once you have the wall to the height you need go around the wall with a trowel to smooth out the joints and generally tidy up.


pond stone wall

Stone Walls

Stone walls are built the same as brick walls but may take more time and effort. Try and use flat square stone so that your wall is better in strength especially if it is above ground and needs to hold gallons of pond water.


The basic tool kit you will need when building walls

Although there is no need to collect a full set of bricklayer's tools just to build a simple project, a few are essential and will stand you in good stead later on.

(A) Spirit level: Used for checking the alignment of walls. It should have both horizon¬tal and vertical vials, and preferably be about 1m long.

(B) Builder's Square: For checking that square corners are true right angles. A try square is not usually big enough for brick work. Make a square as shown (below). Any three lengths of wood joined in the ratio 3:4:5 must form a right angle.

(C) Spot Board (Hawk): Useful for holding mortar while working. The wooden, plastic or aluminium surface is about 300mm square with a central handle un¬derneath. Make one using ply¬wood or oil-tempered hardboard and broom handle. Can also be used when plastering. tools for building walls

(D) Club Hammer: 1.2kg hammer for cutting bricks.

(E) Bolster: for cutting bricks. The spade shaped bolster chisel with a 100mm wide blade.

(F) Mason's Pins & Twine: The flat bladed steel pins are pushed into the mortar joints at the end of each wall once the ends or corners have been built up. The line stretched between them is raised for each course as a levelling guide while laying.

(G) Bricklayer's Trowel: absolutely vital for spreading the mortar, these are available in both right hand and left hand forms. A large trowel with a blade 250-330mm long, for spreading mortar when laying bricks. Also handy is a smaller trowel called a Pointing trowel with a blade 75-200mm long, used for shaping mortar joints.

(H) Tape Measure: for checking, as the work proceeds. 2 Extra Items: . Shovel: for handling and mixing the mortar. . Bucket: for carrying materials.

Making A Builders Square

builders tool Use three pieces of seasoned timber about 50mm wide and 19mm thick. Make sure each one is accurately marked with one of the following lengths: 450mm (A); or 600mm (B); or 750mm (C).

Line up all marks carefully before nailing lengths to each other. Use a half lap joint for A and B, then overlap C. Check the right angle with a set square, saw off any overlap, then reinforce the corner with a piece of hardboard.

Some of the information on this page for building walls was retrieved from "http://www.diyinfo.org/wiki/Tools_Needed_For_Bricklaying"

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