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How to Build a Brick House: 8 Clear Steps from a Fortress Home Expert

Building a brick house is a complex process with many steps and issues to consider. The specialists at Fortress Home have over two decades of experience in building brick houses and will be happy to guide you through the construction process each step of the way if you choose to build with us. Still, it is always useful to brush up on the basics of how to build a brick house before you embark on such a major project, so you are fully equipped and informed to realize the house of your dreams.

In this article, we outline eight steps involved in building a brick house. Of course, the process might vary somewhat depending on what kind of house you are building, but reading on should give you a better idea of how to build a brick home so you know what to expect.

Steps of building a brick house

Step 1: Planning and permits

Before you set about building a brick home, the first step needed is to develop a picture of exactly what kind of house you want. This usually means working with architects and other specialists to draw up specific plans.


For example, what kind of design, brick walls, door and window openings would you like? Will the exterior of the structure include brick veneer or other materials and design features? What special considerations or constraints might be imposed by the nature of the construction site you are to build in? How about choosing bricks? Professionals will be on hand to help you make these choices and draw up the perfect plan for your dream home.

Step 2: Permits

Once plans to build your brick wall home have been drawn up, these must be approved by the relevant authorities so that the necessary permits can be obtained. Exact requirements vary in different jurisdictions. In Chicago, a new building for which architectural drawings are required must be reviewed by the Department of Buildings to acquire the correct permits.

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Step 3: Work begins — site prep

After the necessary permits are obtained, actual work can begin on the construction site. From this point, a general contractor typically manages the project in terms of day-to-day work on the site. First, the site will need to be cleared of plant material, debris, or any other obstructions. In some cases, it may be necessary to install a drainage system to handle excess moisture.

Step 4: Foundations

Any brick house requires a sturdy foundation. Usually, this involves digging deep trenches and then installing a rigid structure such as bars to reinforce the concrete foundation when it is poured within a wooden form. The foundation must be left to dry before work can begin on building brick walls.

Step 5: Building brick walls

The structural brick walls are built through a process of laying brick and mortar. Exterior walls are made by laying bricks in rows (courses) that are typically held in place with metal ties attached to the pillars. Bricks must be laid carefully using the right mortar mix to ensure the bonds are secure and durable.

Step 6: Ceilings and stairs

Once the necessary walls are in place, work can begin to pour the concrete ceilings and interior stars, using wooden boards to build the form for the concrete.

Of course, during this process it is crucial that all measurements are exact (don't forget your tape measure!), walls are straight, and the right materials and mix of concrete are used. Otherwise, this could lead to serious structural problems and cracking over time.


Step 7: Roof goes on

Once the main structure of the house is complete, it is time to build the roof using wooden beams and boards, to install the insulation layer(s), and apply the roofing materials.

Step 8: Additional elements

Once the basic structure of foundations, walls, ceiling, and roof is in place, you can begin to fit out all the other essential elements of your house such as doors and windows, and install electric cables and water pipes in grooves in the walls to be covered by cement render (see next step).

Step 8: Cement render and plastering

Next, the brick walls are covered with a cement render, or sometimes with plaster applied to the brick wall directly, to give the walls a nice finish.

Next steps...

Once the main brick structure and fittings are in place and the brick walls have been covered, work can begin on other desired features such as installing polystyrene sheets, painting, equipping interior fittings and other finishing touches to realize your new dream brick home.

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Basics to build on

Naturally, the steps outlined above are a very simplified description of the process of building a brick house. At each step, there are many tasks to be executed with care and for some projects the sequencing may vary slightly.

For each aspect of the building process, it is important that the right techniques and quality construction materials are used. But if done properly, building a house with bricks will give you a long-lasting home that is relatively low maintenance, safe, and thermally efficient.

How much does it cost to build a brick house?

Just like there is no fixed answer to the question "how many bricks to build a house?", there is no simple way to figure out what building brick houses cost. To estimate figures for building a brick house cost, you'll need to consider various different variables: area by square foot, how many floors your home will have, labor costs in your local area, the type and amount of materials used (e.g. bricks and brick veneer, cement, paint, concrete, plaster, door, wood, electric cables and plumbing).

If you would like an estimate for building a brick veneer house or a particular brick house project you are considering, please speak to one of our advisors who will be happy to answer your questions and run through the various different options and costs involved.


Thanks to our proven track record and commitment to craftsmanship, Fortress Home has become one of the leading experts in residential brick wall construction and one of the most sought-after brick house builders in the Chicago area.

Drawing on our extensive experience, expertise, and network of relationships with local suppliers and tradesmen, we are well placed to deliver the highest standards of quality and highly competitive rates for your dream home project.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I build my own brick house?

Yes, you can, but only if you have relevant experience in masonry. It is an art on its own, and if you are not sure in the level of your expertise, better trust this job to the professionals.

Here at Fortress Home, we have been building houses from brick for more than 20 years — and our customers were always happy with the end result. Give us a call today at 773-770-8607 for a free estimate!

How much does it cost to build a brick house?

It will totally depend on the size and the design features of the house. The prices today vary from $10,000 per square foot for the simplest construction options to $75,000 and more per square foot for custom and luxury types of brick houses.

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