Outdoor Brick Patio
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Brick patios are a very popular choice for creating a place to relax outdoors while barbecuing, visiting with family and friends, or enjoying a tranquil garden pond. The nice thing about building a brick patio is that it is not a difficult project and it is less expensive than building a wood slab. Additionally, with the brick, you add a touch of texture and elegance to your yard. If you are interested in building a brick patio for your home, the following steps will help you through the process.

There are several different options for a brick patio. One is called a loose brick patio that will take a little time to create but it is not a difficult task. First, you will need to determine the amount of materials you need. To do this, measure both the length and width of the area and then multiply the numbers by each other so you know the square footage. For instance, if you plan to build a 10 x 10foot patio, then you would multiply 10 by 10 which would equal 100 square feet.

Next, you need four inches of gravel for the project. For this, take the 10 x 10 and then times the 100 by .333. The answer would be 33 cubic feet or 1.25 cubic yards of gravel. You will also need one inch of sand. The amount of this can be determined by multiplying the 1.25 cubic yards of gravel again by .333. The result is .42 cubic feet or 11 cubic yards.

Now, you need to determine the number of bricks needed. Most bricks used for patios measure 4x8 inches. For a 10x10-foot patio, you would need approximately 45 pavers. Therefore, to cover this size of patio, you are looking at 45 pavers multiplied by 10 square feet for the patio size, which means you need approximately 450 bricks. However, you should probably buy forty to fifty extra bricks for breakage allowance. Keep in mind that if you are using different size pavers, you need to recalculate the total number of bricks needed.

You need to create an edging, which is what keeps plant growth and soil off the finished brick patio, giving you a nice clean look. To create the edging, you can use bricks that are placed on lumber, metal, or plastic. This edging can be added before you place the patio or after.

For the actual brick patio, you will need to put stakes in the ground about one-inch outside the border of where your patio will be build. Then, using mason�s cord, you would crisscross it over the patio area from one corner to the other corner so all four corners are marked. This helps determine the center of the patio.

Now, you need to dig seven inches into the dirt for the base of the patio. To create a water run-off, simply slope the patio one-quarter inch per foot. This will not be seen or felt on the finished patio but will help water drain off the patio. Next, you will line the patio area with landscaping fabric, which helps keep weeds from growing up through the bricks.

Now, over the fabric you need to pour four inches of gravel and then rake it down so it is even. Then tamp the gravel so it is firm. This would be the best time to install your edging and then add one-inch of sand over the gravel, again smoothing it out. Again, tamp the sand down.

The next step involves laying the brick. Start in one corner, laying the bricks. Be sure to use a leveler to make sure the brick is level, using a rubber mallet to help set them. Just remember that you will have the gentle slope for water run-off. Once all the bricks are laid, again pour sand over the surface. With a broom, sweep it in all different directions, making sure the sand settles in the cracks. Keep adding sand until all the cracks are filled.

Then, with a misting wand, gently mist the patio making sure you do not spray off the sand. Again, sweep the wet sand into the cracks, adding new sand if needed. Once the cracks are filled, you can very carefully rinse off the patio. When the patio is dried, you can purchase a special sealant that brushes or sprays on over the brick to seal the sand, making clean up easy.
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