Your 8-Step Guide to Installing a Brick Patio
Installing brick patio pavers is not as hard as it may look. No matter how large or small you want your future patio to be, the everyday homeowner can build their own brick patio. As long as you have a step-by-step guide helping you along the way, any homeowner can build a brick patio with pavers.
On top of the traditional look so many crave, brick patio pavers let you enjoy those sweet spring and summer months on hard, solid ground. Unlike other paving options, brick pavers have little to no maintenance. It’s one of the sturdiest materials out there. Brick will not be damaged by adverse weather (unlike wood) and can hold up fantastically to whatever is thrown its way.
Now that you decided to go with a brick patio, it’s time to get to work. Continue reading to see how you can install brick patio pavers yourself.
The Costs of Brick Patio Pavers
According to our brick patio material cost guide, expect to pay between $10 and $60 per square foot. The final price will largely depend on your base material and brick of choice.
The overall price for the project can be divided into two basic groups. How much the materials will cost and how much it will cost to have those materials installed. The installation tends to cost more than the materials so clearly, DIY paver installation decreases the overall cost immensely.
Once you have these two numbers, the price is then divided by the square footage of the actual patio. Depending on the overall size of the area, the project could cost upwards of $1,000-1,500 (though much more of this price comes from professional installation). The most essential aspect of what the patio will cost is the type of brick chosen.
The base material will play a key role in your brick patio. You have several options to choose from, but some of the most popular are:
- Coarse Sand
- Concrete Sand
- Crushed Limestone
Note that some options are more expensive than others, but many can be used with other pavers, including garden pavers.
Likewise, homeowners will have two main options when it comes to the type of brick; concrete brick pavers or clay pavers. The price and quality will obviously differ for the two, so it’s important to do extensive research. Remember, once it’s down, it’s much more expensive to replace.
Other materials needed include:
- Edging device
- Large straight edge
- Long nails
It’s time to get to work. Now that all the materials have been chosen, you can start planning your brick patio. Like any project, you should have an exact idea of how large or small your patio will be. Make sure you have exact measurements (as you should before you buy materials).
Also, don’t try to extend your patio to the edge of your land. You need extra space on the side and don’t want to extend your work into your neighbor’s yard.
Before you start any work, you must check with your local utility company. Just like installing a fence, we need to make sure you don’t hit any necessary cable or electric lines. Likewise, check with your local building inspector as well. Your new brick patio needs to be up to code.
Once all is approved, it’s time to mark the area. Since you have exact measurements, you should know exactly where the brick patio will start and end. Mark the area with strings, poles, and a tape measure. Make it look like a construction zone.
Hopefully, you rented power equipment like a compactor or wheelbarrow. Believe me, these tools will make this DIY project much easier. However, a shovel, rake, and a hammer will work as well.
For a patio, excavate (or remove) a minimum of 6-12 inches of land. For driveways, homeowners or contractors should dig deeper as it would see heavier traffic. Also, remove all loose soil around the site. Make sure you excavate three inches wider than your actual paving project. For driveways, you would have to go wider (6-12 inches).
4. The Base
The base is perhaps the most vital part of this project. Good base materials increase longevity and prevent plants from growing in the patio or pathway. Keeping it simple, most mason or concrete companies can deliver the base material to your home for a fee.
Add base materials all around the site. Make sure you cover every inch. Then, compact it into the ground using your compactor machine or shovel. After you compact it into the ground, add more gravel and repeat the same process. Continue doing so until your patio reaches the ideal height. Remember, slope your patio away from the house to help with drainage.
Screeding is the process of leveling your base material with a straight edge by going back and forth, moving across the surface. Before doing so, many contractors put long pipes across the finished base material. Take your straight edge and slowly pull the board along your base. This should level the base.
It’s time to start laying the pavers. Before you do so, decide on the design and then, line up your bricks. Given the wide range of brick paver sizes, the design and route you choose can be vital. Start with the longest side of your patio and lay down your bricks.
Carefully lay each paver into the base, leaving as little room as possible between each brick. Don’t’ worry if there is a little space, as we will fill in those holes later on.
Edging makes sure the pavers stay in place and keeps the pattern tight.You can buy plastic or metal edging from your local hardware store. Place the edging right along the side of your paved patio. Attach the edging by using long nails and hammering them in. Make sure the edge is now firmly in the ground.
Tip: Use nails that will rust. It will help hold patio together.
Throw in some of the extra base material or coarse sand to fill in those holes. Then, clean off the top of your patio.
Hopefully you still have your compacter. Using a pad between the compactor and the patio, compact those bricks or other paving materials into the ground. This way, you can be sure the pavers will stick in place even when a large weight hits the patio. If you don’t have a compactor, a special hammer specifically used for compacting can be purchased.
Installing brick patio pavers may seem like a tough DIY project, but compared to other home remodeling projects, it’s really pretty simple. No more excuses. Time to create that dream patio you always wanted.
More From Life Cheat Sheet:
- 5 Myths That Lead to Common Landscaping Mistakes
- 3 DIY Projects You Should Probably Skip
- 9 Necessary Items for Patio Entertaining
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