A lot of home projects can seem pretty intimidating, but perhaps one of the easiest ones, which can make a big difference in looks, is the brick patio.
Pouring concrete is expensive and requires heavy machinery so that option essentially requires that you hire a company to do it for you. You can avoid those costs by going with a simply brick patio. These can be more beautiful than poured concrete, and significantly cheaper, if you’re willing to put the work in yourself.
Here’s how you do it:
That’s not too bad is it?
To start with, you need to clear the area of vegetation and clear enough dirt off the top so that you have about the depth of your brick, plus an inch.
Use your level to make sure that you produce a level area of the size that you want your patio to be. If you don’t do this, you will have water pooling in one spot when it rains and get a puddle.
Fill that extra inch in the bottom with crushed gravel. The uneven edges of crushed gravel prevent the rocks from slipping past one another the way pea gravel does, and will provide a stable foundation for your bricks. The structure of those little rocks will distribute the weight of anything pushing down on one brick, and prevent it from sinking in.
Add a thin layer of sand on top of your gravel and then even everything out so that it’s perfectly flat.
This foundation will allow water to drain through your patio, prevent the formation of puddles on top of your bricks, and prevent mud from forming underneath your bricks, which would cause them to sink into the dirt.
Laying the Brick
Lay your bricks in whatever pattern you find pleasing. Be creative here. You can use different colors to make patterns or shapes. With each brick, gently adjust it to make sure that it is perfectly level with the bricks next to it. At this stage, it is still possible to move the gravel and sand around underneath the brick to get a perfect surface. You will be looking at this for a long time, so take the time to do it right.
You will want to leave only small cracks between the bricks. This is because if one brick is tipped slightly by a barely uneven surface, that gap prevents it from forcing the neighboring brick to conform to that slope. Because of the angle that this creates, this would be a very noticeable gap in height within only a few bricks. So just leave yourself a small gap. It doesn’t need to be more than a penny wide.
Do not step on or stand on the patio while you are laying the bricks
Securing the Bricks
To prevent all shifting and movement of your bricks, the final stage is very simply, that is, securing your bricks by filling the cracks you left.
This is done very easily by dumping a load of sand on top of your new patio and brushing it across with your broom until it has filled every crack to the brim.
At this point, the bricks are well secured and cannot be moved with downward pressure, leaving you with a perfect brick patio.
Simply sweep the remaining sand off into your lawn or dirt, and enjoy!
A brick patio like this should be swept with a broom or scrubbed the old fashioned way, and preferably not with a power washer. That would be a fairly effective way to clear the cracks of your stabilizing sand and destabilize your patio.
When planning your patio project if we can help in any way call Curb Appeal at 717-979-5884