How to Lay a Brick Patio

A brick patio is an attractive and long lasting feature that becomes a center point of any backyard garden. It can also make an attractive summer project as whilst it’s actual construction doesn’t need a particularly high level of expertise or training, it is certainly extremely hard (and extremely satisfying!), labor-intensive work.

It of course depends somewhat on the planned size of course and also the ease of access to the work site, type of soil etc. But with a band of hard working assistants you could reasonably expect to complete the project in a few weekends worth of work. Doing it by yourself it can be the perfect project to take small chunks out off spread out over an entire summer. Its up to you!

There are many different types of patios, but follow these tips and you’ll be happily sat out sipping cool lemonade on your own patio in no time at all.

Plan

Cannot stress this enough! The work that will go into constructing your patio will be pretty intense – you’re going to be moving potentially tons of material.

So you don’t want to get halfway through the job before you realize you’ve started working in a really stupid place!

During planning consider the drainage of the ground, if there is any slope and if there will potentially be any obstacles in the soil such as tree roots.

Make sure you’re building in area you’ll be happy to sit in once the patio is finished. For example, if you’re a sun lover and looking forward to catching some rays on the patio then don’t build it in a shady spot.

Finally, decide on the pattern you want the bricks to be laid in.

Materials

The stone surface of the patio will get the most attention – but it’s what’s underneath that will count the most!

Landscape fabric is the bottom layer, going into the patio hole and being filled up with the next layers.

Gravel will provide the bulk of the patio’s body. Use Class V Limestone or mixture of recycled concrete and Asphalt. The material may vary in your region, but a good stone supplier in your area will be able to advise.

Finally, your paving bricks for the surface level and, if you’re using them, rocks for the borders.

Dig a Hole!

The hard work starts now my friend! Get yourself a shovel, and wheelbarrow and dig out a hole.

For a flush patio (which is what you should aim for) plan to remove 10 inches of dirt and topsoil. That may not sound like a lot… but you’ll be surprised!

You may want to consider, during planning, what to do with all that excavated earth – a raised planter bed perhaps?

Fill the Hole!

So that huge hole that probably took you days of backbreaking labor to dig out… well it’s time to fill it!

But first, lay the landscape fabric in the hole, leaving an extra six inches or so of material at the sides.

In stages, fill and tamp down a fill of gravel up to about 7 8 inches, then add 1-inch of the sand on top. Tamp it and flatten it and ensure it is completely flat so you are left with a solid base for your patio.

Lay The Surface

Lay your rock border if you’re using, adjusting the depth of sand to meet the different rock sizes, limiting gaps between rocks to no more than 1 inch.

Finally, lay the bricks to the pattern you decided in the planning stage. Fill the sanded area with as many full bricks as possible, then cut the remaining bricks with masonry saw to fill any awkward gaps in the edges. Run over with a compactor or a roller to push the bricks down into the sand level.

Sweep sand into the gaps between the bricks then sit back, relax and enjoy your beautiful new patio!