Outdoor Living – How to Build a Brick Patio

When it comes to enjoying your home, there is not much that you will bring you more pleasure than an outside living space. And this space starts with a new patio. Your patio can be built in a number of different ways, ranging from concrete and tile to brick and pavers.

Today, we are going to discuss installing a brick or concrete pavers patio. While there are certain differences in these two construction methods, they are very similar. And you will find once you know how to do one, you can easily modify your procedures for the other. Like most construction projects, building a patio just requires you following a system of steps. Just make sure your measurements are accurate and you follow each step completely.

Just like with most construction projects, your first step is to plan and then mark out your patio. Measure out the size you are looking for, and then mark it with stakes and string, or a garden hose. Keep in mind that a rectangular design will be easier to work with than a curved patio. Once your patio is marked out, double check your measurements, and ensure the patio is square. To do this, measure diagonally from each corner to the opposite corner. The measurements should be the same.

After the area has been marked out, it is time to excavate. Dig out the patio to a depth of 6 – 8″ depending on the bricks or pavers that you are using. Make sure you “slope” this area so that water will run away from your house. This slope should be about 1/4″ per foot.

At this point, it is wise to lay out your bricks and do a “test fit” to ensure that your patio will work out without needing to cut bricks at every row. You should have about 2″ of dug out area on each side of the bricks if you are planning to use bricks as an edging. If you are using edging, such as bricks laid on end, now is the time to add them. Then, remove the “test” bricks you laid earlier.

Choose your base material carefully based on your location and the type of installation. For brick, the best bedding is sand or crushed stone. Fill in the excavated area to the recommended depth and then level it. For a brick installation, this level will be to 2″ below the tops of the edging. Make sure your sand is very smooth, or you will have a very difficult time getting your bricks or pavers to lay straight. Tamp down the sand well to form a stable base. Finally, it is time to lay out your bricks and pavers in your chosen configuration.

Start at one corner, and lay one brick at a time. As you are setting the brick, press it firmly in the sand, and then hit it with a rubber mallet to set it. Keep bricks together as tightly as possible. Once all the bricks or pavers are installed, you should spread sand over the top, and the sweep into the cracks. This will ensure that the bricks are firmly set. Spraying the bricks with water will further pack the sand tightly between them.

Building a new patio will form the foundation of your new outdoor living space. It is a time consuming project, but if you are careful, it is a job that can be tackled by you as a home owner. If you do not have the time or patience, you will need to find a professional contractor to build it for you. Look at some of the many different materials and configurations that are available for building a new patio. Match up the look with the look of your home. After your new patio is built, you can then begin the fun job of furnishing your outdoor living space. But, it all starts with your patio, so make sure adequate time and budget is spent on this step.