Welcome to our guide on how to lay a brick patio! Whether you’re a seasoned DIYer or a beginner looking to tackle your first major outdoor project, building a brick patio can be a great way to add value to your home and create a beautiful outdoor living space.
In this post, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of building a brick patio, using a helpful YouTube video tutorial as our reference. We’ll cover the materials and tools that you need and the process of preparing the ground and stabilizing each stone for a rectangular patio.
By the end of this guide, you’ll have the knowledge and confidence you need to lay a brick patio that you can enjoy for years to come.
What is a Brick Patio and What Are The Benefits of Having One?
Alright, fellas, listen up. If you’re the type who loves getting your hands dirty with DIY projects, then building a brick patio is right up your alley. But what exactly is a brick patio, and why should you care?
Well, imagine a beautiful outdoor living space with a brick surface that features a simple pattern that you created all by yourself. That’s what a brick patio is. It’s aesthetically pleasing and will surely add value to your home.
But the best part of having a brick patio, is you can arrange each stone in any pattern and color you want, to create a unique design that suits your personal taste and complements your home’s architecture. Think of it as your own personal canvas, but instead of paint, you’re using bricks. And hey, you might even get a cool tan while you’re at it.
But building a brick patio isn’t just about looking cool. It can also add value to your home, which means you might be able to sell it for more cash down the line. Plus, it’s a great place to entertain guests or just hang out with your family. And let’s be honest, you could use a break from your indoor man cave every once in a while, right?
So there you have it, fellas. A brick patio is a DIY project that’s both practical and awesome. With the guide that we feature in this article, even if your skill level isn’t that of a pro, you can still create a beautiful brick paver patio that you can enjoy. So, let’s get started!
Here Are The Tools And Materials That You Need
- Stakes and strings
- Hand compactor or plate compactor or gas-powered plate compactor
- Rubber mallet
- Long handle scrub brush
- Pressure washer
- Cinder Blocks
- Mortar mix
The Step-By-Step Process
To guide you through the process, we’ll be using a helpful video tutorial by SimonSaysDIY called “Building A Brick Patio “. In his video, he provided a clear, step-by-step guide to building a brick patio, which is a great reference to have on hand as you work through this project.
In this guide, Simon is building a brick patio that will serve as a spot for his greenhouse. He already has his dimensions nailed down and proceeded with preparing the ground. But since we want to give you the full process from start to finish, we’ll start off with planning and choosing the area.
Step 1. Plan and choose the area.
It’s up to you what size and shape you want your patio to be, but ideally, the simplest one that you can go for is a rectangular patio. Before doing any excavation, mark the perimeter using wooden stakes and string or you can go for chalk lines. With those methods, you can visualize the patio and the area that you’ll be working on. Once that’s done, excavate the area to a depth of 6-8 inches.
When planning and choosing an area for a brick patio, there are several factors to consider. Here are some tips to help you choose the best location for your patio:
- Purpose: Consider how you plan to use your patio. Will it be a space for dining, lounging, or entertaining? The purpose of your patio will impact the size, shape, and location of your design.
- Size: Determine the size of your patio based on your purpose, as well as the available space in your yard. Consider the amount of foot traffic your patio will receive, and make sure you have enough space to accommodate furniture, planters, or other features.
- Sun exposure: Look for a location that offers a balance of sun and shade. A patio that is exposed to too much sun can become uncomfortably hot, while a patio that is in constant shade can feel cold and uninviting.
- Privacy: Consider the level of privacy you want for your patio. Look for a location that is screened from neighbors or passersby, or add privacy screens or plantings to create a more secluded space.
- Accessibility: Choose a location that is easily accessible from your house, and that has a clear and level path to the patio area. This will make it easier to transport food, furniture, and other items to and from the patio.
- Terrain: Make sure the location you choose is level and has good drainage. A patio that is built on sloping or uneven terrain can be more difficult to build and may require more preparation work.
Step 2: Level the ground
After you’ve decided where you’re going to build your patio, you can proceed to the next step. Prepare the ground by leveling and making sure that the ground is even and flat. Remove any grass, plants, or debris from the area where you plan to install the patio. In the video, Simon is using a tractor to easily level the ground. If you don’t have a tractor, you can use a shovel or a tiller to dig up the uneven ground, a rake to smooth out the soil and tamper, or a plate compactor to compress the soil and create a solid base.
Step 3: Create a gravel base
Drag a pile of gravel into the area where you plan to lay your brick patio. In the video, Simon tried to put a layer of gravel that’s somewhere between 2-3 inches of gravel across it. He chose to add gravel since it can be much more stable as a base for the patio compared to just dirt.
Step 4: Pack the layer of gravel and make sure it’s leveled
Use a hand compactor to pack in the layer of gravel to prevent settling and shifting of the patio over time. Apply firm downward pressure with the compactor to compact the gravel base and create a level, stable base for the patio. If a gas-powered plate compactor is available, then you can use that to speed up the process. Repeat this process until the entire gravel base is compacted and leveled.
Step 5: Add a layer of sand
Using a shovel, lay a bit of sand on top of the 2-3 inches of gravel base (put ideally about 2-3 inches of sand) to create a sand layer. Use a rake to distribute the sand evenly and provide a smooth surface for building on. Then, grab the hand compactor again and try to level out the layer of sand. In this video, they used a long wood to drag the excess sand efficiently and see where the low spots are. Any piece of wood works as long as it’s straight and will allow you to sweep off uneven areas.
Step 6. Add border stones to create paver edging
Lay the cinder blocks around the edges as a border to the entire patio.
Step 7: Lay the brick pavers
Once the border is set. It’s time to start putting each brick in position. You can choose different brick patterns or brick layouts. Heck, you can even use broken bricks, and recycled bricks to start. There are simple and complex patterns that you can find online, but for this guide, it’s called “basketweave”. As you lay each stone, you can use a rubber mallet to tap them firmly into the base layer, ensuring they are securely in place.
Step 8: Create a mortar mixture
Mix water and a pre-blended concrete & sand mixture to create a mortar. This will be used to help the brick pavers stick together, be more stable, and avoid weeds growing in between the bricks.
Step 9: Apply the mortar mixture
Pour the mortar mix on top to add that additional seal for stability and to serve as a weed barrier. If you prefer a dry sand only, that should work as well.
Step 10: Leave the mortar mixture for 2-3 hours
Leave it for 2-3 hours ideally and start sweeping off the surface before it fully dries to remove the extra layer on top. Because ideally, you just want to fill the spaces in between the bricks, not add another layer of cement on top of the entire surface. If you used dry sand, you could sweep off the excess ones and now you have a beautiful patio.
Step 11: Remove the excess mortar layer on top
Use a brush or a pressure washer to completely clean the surface if you’re having a hard time. In the video, Simon had to stop the sweeping process because it was about to rain, so he had to use a brush first and then resorted to a pressure washer to make the process faster. If you’ll be using a pressure washer, keep in mind that it’s a bit aggressive to the cement so try not to hit the spaces in between the bricks.
Once you’re done cleaning, your brick patio is now ready and you can start adding pieces of furniture to improve your outdoor space and landscape!
5 Things To Keep In Mind As You Proceed with this Project
- Don’t lay any pavers if you don’t have a firm base: Before you put your bricks in position to create the patio surface, make sure you have a solid base and a flat surface to work with. This typically involves excavating the area and adding a layer of crushed stone, layers of paver sand or layers of gravel to create a level, stable foundation.
- Choose the right pattern: There are many brick layouts that you can use when laying your bricks, from classic herringbone to more intricate designs like basket weave or running bond. You can even use broken bricks and add a bit of creativity to make it look good. But overall, consider the look you want to achieve and choose a pattern that complements your home’s architecture.
- Use the right tools: You’ll need a variety of tools to successfully lay a brick patio, including a shovel, a level, a hand tamper, and a wheelbarrow. Make sure you have everything you need before you start the project.
- Pay attention to spacing: To ensure that your bricks are properly aligned and spaced, use spacers or other tools to maintain a consistent distance brick after brick. Make sure that the depth of your bricks is aligned with whatever material you’re going to use for your outer edge. This will help ensure that your patio has a level surface.
- Use a mortar mix: Depending on the design of your patio, you may need to use a mortar mix to help hold the bricks in place. Make sure you choose the right type of mortar for your project, and follow the instructions carefully.
If you follow these tips and take the time to carefully plan and execute your project, you can lay a brick patio that is both functional and visually appealing.
It’s a Wrap. Get Started with Your Landscape!
Alright fellas, that’s a wrap on our guide to building a brick patio. I hope you’ve learned a thing or two about how to lay a brick patio, and that you’re feeling ready to tackle your next outdoor project. And hey, even if your patio ends up looking a little wonky, at least you’ll have some good stories to tell at the next family BBQ, right?
Remember, the key to success with any DIY project is patience, attention to detail, and a willingness to learn from your mistakes. So, if your first attempt at laying a brick patio doesn’t turn out quite as planned, don’t sweat it. Just pick yourself up, grab a cold one, and get ready to tackle your next project with renewed energy and enthusiasm.