How to Build Brick Columns

Lead Image
  • 8-40 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 300-20,000
What You'll Need

Brick columns are a beautiful addition to any home. They can be tall or short and are often used to accent deck or porch railings. They are aesthetic as columns on porches or as freestanding columns for decoration. You can also use brick columns as plant stands in the garden.

Building columns is easy. If you have the right tools it's possible to build columns for little money. In comparison, hiring a professional contractor to do the job can cost you hundreds of dollars. This article will tell you how to make brick columns for a garden.

Step 1 - Rake the Ground

Rake the ground in the area of the garden where you're going to be building the brick columns. Remove stones, pebbles, and other items that will make it difficult to level the column. Smooth the soil out using a manual tamper.

Step 2 - Bricks

Take four or more recycled bricks and put them on the level ground. This will make an open square formation, or you can create a rectangle. This will act as the foundation of the column. Use a level to make sure the first layer is even before you continue.

Step 3 - Mortar

Apply mortar with a trowel on the first level of bricks. Leave some of it uncovered by about 1/8 inch from the outside edge. This will let the mortar expand when the bricks are laid on top of one another.

Step 4 - Build Your Column

Start building the brick column by adding a second layer of bricks to the base. As you do each layer, make sure it is level before you add more mortar. For each level, apply the mortar, in the same manner, also putting mortar in between adjacent bricks. Carefully press down each brick into the mortar, keeping the mortared joints close together. Get rid of excess mortar that may drip onto the sides of the brick column using the side of the trowel.

Keep adding layers of bricks until the column is the desired height. When you have finished the top layer add one more coating of mortar. Take a stepping-stone the same size of the column, or a little bit larger, and place it on top, pressing it into the mortar. You should wait for the mortar to cure for 48 hours before putting anything on top of the column.


To make sure your brick column is stable by ensuring the seams between the bricks of each layer offset, staggering them from the ones in the next layer instead of just lining them up with the ones below. This will ensure the most amount of stability, allowing the brick column to hold whatever items you want to place on it. Otherwise, it might fall apart too.