Look at Brick Patios for Your Next Backyard Project

Stone installation

If you love to grill and use your patio often, you?re not alone: although the most popular grilling days are Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and Labor Day, a full 60 percent of grillers report that they use their grill year round! While many people use the terms deck and patio interchangeably, technically a deck is made of wood and a patio is made from brick, concrete, or stone. The word patio is Spanish and means the courtyard of a building or house, so that may help you to remember the difference.

If this sounds like you, you might be thinking about upgrading your patio area by installing one or more brick patios. Brick patio designs are numerous, and if you want to design your own the only limit is your budget and your imagination.

While designing and building your own brick paver patio is often touted as a popular do-it-yourself project, be aware it isn?t for the weak or faint of heart. Without going into detail, the basic process is to dig out the patio area to a depth of at least eight inches and level it off. Don?t skimp here; brick patios built on an eight to 12 inch base will hold up well, and will look good for years without shifting and sinking. Once it?s dug out lay gravel over the area and tamp it down, then install paver edging with 12 inch spikes.

Once the edging is in place, pour a one inch layer of sand over the area, raking and leveling to make a base for the brick pavers. Now you?re ready to lay the bricks in the pattern of choice; you?ll need a mallet to tap them into place. If there are any irregular areas in your pattern you?ll need to cut the brick pavers into shape, using a cold chisel and hammer.

When all the pavers are in place, spread a layer of sand into the joints with a push broom and spray it down with a hose. Repeat the process to fill the joints, then tamp the entire patio area down with a tamper.

Does that sound like too much work for a new patio? Take heart; you?re not alone. Almost 130,000 people in the U.S. are employed in the deck and patio construction industry, and many specialize in brick patio designs. A paving and flooring contractor may also help you pinpoint the pros and cons of specific brick patio designs and will be able to give you an estimate based on what brick pavers cost in your area as well as the size and scope of your project.

If the quote on your new patio is too high for your budget, consider breaking it down into stages. By building a section of patio each summer in a few years you?ll have your dream brick patios in just a few years!

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