outdoor brick patio

How to Build Easy DIY Brick Patios in 6 Simple Steps

DIY brick patios come in many designs, sizes, patterns, locations, shapes, and colors. If you’re looking for some inspiration on DIY patio design and brick patio design ideas, you will be spoilt for a choice. In this article, learn how to build easy DIY brick patios in 6 simple steps.

While making a brick patio might be time-consuming, costly, and tedious, the results are worth all the effort if you do every step right. In this article, we show you how to make DIY brick patios in six easy steps you can follow even when you have limited stone masonry skills.

You will also learn some of the best patterns you can try, the type of bricks and patio material to use, and some unusual alternatives or combinations for paving stones.

But first, let’s see what you will need for the project.

Tools/Equipment for Building a DIY Brick Patio

Materials Necessary for Building a DIY Brick Patio

  • Brick pavers
  • Sizable stones (optional)
  • Compactible gravel
  • 8-10 wooden stakes
  • Packable sand
  • Landscape fabric
  • Brick patio edging

After collecting the required materials, tools, and equipment, it’s time to build the brick patio in the following six easy steps.

1. Survey the Area and Mark Patio Edges

The first step in building your brick patio is determining the exact location you want it to be. It could be detached (away from the house) or attached directly to the house in your backyard patio. Regardless of the location you choose, the construction process is the same.

Check the surroundings to ensure that there are no gas lines or plumbing lines crossing through the patio area where you’ll be paving. You don’t want your patio design to ruin other vital necessities for your home or your neighbors.

Photo of backyard

Map out the spot for the patio and use lime or spray paint to mark the edges. At this point, you can mark the major points like the corners by driving the wooden stakes into the ground. Next, use the mason’s lines to map out the area in easily discernible layout lines.

2. Excavate the Area

While you can use a shovel for this step, it might be tedious if the patio covers a large area. However, you can rent an excavator to take out the sod, debris, pre-existing concrete or brickwork, and topsoil in such a case.

Excavate up to a depth of 8 inches and maintain a slope to ensure the patio drains cleaning or rainwater on its own. Otherwise, you will have to clear the stagnant water each time, and the mulch that seeps through the gaps won’t do your patio any good in the long run.

Photo of backyard

Depending on the size of the patio, tamp the now excavated surface using a plate compactor or a tamper with a wide base.

Tamping ensures the soil base is strong enough to hold the weight of the materials you will place on top of it. In addition, it helps ensure that the patio doesn’t cave in because the compact base won’t give away under the weight and pressure piled on it.

3. Install the Landscape Fabric and Gravel Base

To keep weeds off your new brick patio, it is advisable to install a landscape fabric to act as an impenetrable shield for stifling any weeds that might try to grow through the spaces between the brick or cracks that may develop with time.

Once the fabric is in place, pour the compactible gravel or crushed stones into the flat base to a height of about 4 inches from the bottom.

Photo of Backyard

Use the hand tamper or plate compactor to tamp the gravel or crushed stones. The tamping at this point helps tighten the spaces between the gravel for more airtightness.

In some cases, you will notice that people place a layer of gravel first, then install the gravel before adding another thin layer of gravel.

Such a framework is meant to avoid placing the landscaping fabric directly on the ground, especially in highly acidic soils where it can corrode easily.

4. Install the Paver Edging and Thin Sand Layer

On top of the now firm base, install the paver edging to guide you once you start installing the bricks. The edging ensures you eliminate or minimize the need to cut bricks. Use some of the bricks as test-fit bricks to guide the first and subsequent rows of bricks.

At this juncture, add a sand layer of about two inches and ensure you have a fully stable base by tamping once again to compact the sand and the layers below it some more.

DIY cleaning

The bricks will be in direct contact with the sand, so you will want the sand base to be strong enough to handle the direct brick weight and pressure.

It’s important to note that one of the most significant disadvantages of brick patios is that the brick surface develops bumps soon once the concealed sand starts shifting.

5. Lay the Bricks

It’s time for the most fulfilling part of the project! Lay the bricks in your desired pattern while ensuring there is as little space as possible between them. The spaces will be filled with sand in the last step.

The pattern you use should be such that the patio can withstand the pressure of heavy foot traffic or any outdoor appliances you may use on the patio.

Since the patio is an outdoor living space, you might want to bring your barbecue grill or portable fire pit, thus adding pressure on the patio.

The basketweave design is a friendly pattern for beginners and leaves a lovely checkerboard pattern on the patio. You may also try the running bond pattern or the complex Herringbone pattern if you want to stretch your creativity further.

However, the basketweave is a simple pattern, so you would be better off trying it if you are completely green when it comes to masonry.

Pattern of bricks

You have the liberty to choose the type of bricks to use between single-colored bricks, textured bricks, multi-colored bricks, or reclaimed bricks from another defunct project.

In addition, you may line up large stones in the outer space and enclose the bricks inside to add a weathered rock appeal.

6. Lock the Bricks with Sand

The last step in building a DIY brick patio is pouring a thin layer of sand on top of the bricks and using a broom to sweep it in alternating vertical, horizontal, and sideways movements.

Cleaning the brick using broom

The brooming process helps lodge sand particles into the thin spaces between the bricks to hold them together more tightly. Once you are done, brush off the excess sand particles from the patio surface.

There you are. You’ve just built your own DIY brick patio!

Bottom Line

Building DIY brick patios yourself is an excellent way to save money for every foot of patio space because you will have eliminated labor costs.

Whether or not you have masonry skills, you can build your brick patio following these six easy steps and come up with a stunning result.

Get your gear and rekindle your DIY passion by trying out a DIY brick patio project today. You can do this!

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