If you need to lay some bricks and don't necessarily want to hire a pro, then there are quite a few things that you should know before diving in. Here are some tips to help you with one of the most important aspects of bricklaying: the mixing of cement.
Mixing Your Cement
One of the biggest hurdles in laying bricks is properly mixing your cement. If your cement isn't properly mixed, then your bricks will not maintain a cohesive wall for very long. Even if the wall does stay upright, gaps might appear between bricks. There are several factors that you need to consider before beginning, such as:
Gathering Materials - First of all, you need to get all of your materials together. You're going to need cement mix, builder's sand, and some plasticiser. Most cement mixes will work, but you can't just pick any old sand. Builder's sand is designed for the task at hand, so it will result in the most effective mortar. Plasticiser will make your life a lot easier by making your mortar much easier to manipulate and use. If you've heard that you should use lime, then that might not be the best idea. Lime is better for more experienced bricklayers and will make your life unnecessarily difficult.
Don't Make Too Much - Secondly, you need to pace yourself. Only mix as much cement as you will be able to use in an hour or two. There are a couple of reasons for this. If you make too much cement, then it will dry out before you are able to use it, and you will have effectively wasted your materials. On top of that, if you bite off more than you can chew and mix a lot of cement, you might have difficulty moving the container around. Cement is a lot denser than you might estimate if this is your first time mixing your own, so what looks like a small amount can actually be quite heavy. If you are constructing a brick wall that is fairly long, you will probably want to move the mixed cement as you go. A huge amount of cement might be too heavy for you, especially if you don't have a wheelbarrow or legitimate cement mixer on hand (wheels make them easy to move).
Proportions - Next, you need to make sure that you get all your proportions right. Ideally, you want your mixture to be 4 parts sand and 1 part cement. Remember, these proportions are by volume, so you don't necessarily need to take precise weight measurements. With a couple of buckets, you can easily portion out your sand and cement. As far as plasticiser goes, just follow the instructions on the container.
For more information contact companies like Layrite Masonry & Tile.