Paver bricks are a great building material for a patio, sidewalk or other outdoor surface. Any capable homeowner can lay them using the ``loose-brick'' method (without mortar) over a long weekend. However, you may be surprised at how many bricks you'll end up using. Standard paver bricks measure 4x8 inches, meaning you need four of them to make a square foot. Even a modest size patio will usually be bigger than 100 square feet.
- Tape measure
- Wood stakes
- Thick string
- Flat shovel
- Pressure-treated 2x4s (enough to go around the perimeter)
- Pocket calculator
- 4x8 inch paver bricks
- Garden hose
Set stakes in the ground around the perimeter where you want the patio. Stretch twine between the stakes.
Dig out the sod within the area, using a shovel. Place a level at various points around the surface of the dirt, using a shovel to move the dirt around until it's as level as possible. Pack it down with the back of your shovel.
Set pressure-treated 2x4s around the perimeter of the patio, on their narrow edges, to form the frame for the patio.
Determine the square footage of the patio by measuring the length and width and multiplying them together. A 12-by-14 foot patio will consist of 168 square feet, for example.
Determine the amount of gravel you need by dividing the square footage by three and getting that number of cubic feet of gravel. You want the gravel to be about four inches deep, and one cubic foot of gravel at four inches deep covers three square feet of surface. For a 168 square foot patio, therefore, you'll need 56 cubic feet of gravel.
Spread gravel over the area four inches deep. Lay your level at various points and move the gravel around to get it level. Tamp it down with your shovel. Saturate it with a garden hose and let it drain and dry.
Determine the number of 4x8-inch paver bricks you'll need by multiplying the square footage of the area by four. If the square footage is 168, you'll come up with 672, for example. Add another 10 percent to that number to account for any broken bricks. In this example, it would come out to 740 bricks total. (672 times 0.1 is 67.2. Added together, it comes out to 739.2, which you then round up.)
Lay the bricks over the gravel after it is completely dry. The bricks can be laid in staggered rows, a grid pattern, alternating squares or whatever pattern you want. Lay them with the edges right against each other.
Spread sand over the surface of the bricks and brush it across with a broom, so it settles into the cracks between the bricks. Saturate the surface with your garden hose. Let it dry. Re-apply sand and saturate again. Repeat three or four times.
- Photo Credit Colored brick walkway 2 image by Sergey Kolesnikov from Fotolia.com
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