How to Build a Brick Paver Patio
image by Kriss Szkurlatowsk
A brick paver patio is a beautiful addition to your home and yard. If the patio is properly installed it can add value to your home. In order to install the patio the correct way it will take at least a weekend and can be pretty labor intensive. However, if you plan well and get a little help from your friends, you can create a great outdoor space in no time.
Stake out the corners of the patio. Measure the area for your patio and place the stakes 2 inches past where you want the patio to end. Hang a string between the stakes, they will criss-cross at the corners.
Dig inside the string a depth of 7 inches. Place a line level on the string that runs away from the house. Level the string and use it and a measuring tape to measure your depth. Then slope the bottom 1/4 inch per foot away from the house for water runoff. Adjust the stakes and read the level again. The bubble on the level should be slightly toward the high side of the patio.
Place landscape fabric down on the bottom of the hole. This will hold down on weed growth through your bricks.
Place 4 inches of coarse gravel on top of the landscape gravel and rake it out even. Tamp the gravel down as tightly as you can. If you don't feel you are strong enough to tamp with a hand tamper then you can rent a Vibratory Plate Compactor at your local tool rental store.
Go back to your string and dig or pull just the grass off the top of the other 2 inches outside the string. Install the brick edging by putting it on its side and using a rubber mallet to push it into the ground about 2 inches. Use a level to make sure the entire outside is level.
Put 1 inch of sand on top of the gravel. Use a long 2 by 4 board to level out the sand and then tamp it down. You may need to add more sand after it is tamped as it may have worked down into the gravel. Check the depth and add more if there is not 1 inch of packed sand. Check the level of the sand and adjust as needed to give yourself a nice level surface.
Start at one corner and lay the bricks. There are many patterns you can choose from to lay the brick, but whichever one you choose, leave 1/4 inch between the bricks. Lay a couple of rows and then tap them down with the rubber mallet. Lay a level across to make sure your surface is level. Adjust if necessary.
Place a small pile of sand on top of the finished brick. Sweep it into the joints with a broom, moving it in different directions. After you have gone over the entire patio, mist it with a hose in a sweeping motion so you don't rinse the sand right back out.The water will cause the sand to compact. Go over the patio again with more sand until the joints are filled again. Now you can rinse off the excess sand.