Brick patio/porch

coolbrzeSeptember 2, 2008

Some friends asked me to help lay a brick porch approx. 5' x 7' off the back of their house. What do I need to do to prep the site? I assume I'll need to dig out an area, lay rocks, then sand (& tamp w/ a tamper), level then lay the bricks/sand in between them? What about a trim/outside edge plastic/rubber/poly piece I think I can get that from Home Depot or Lowes. Any other help is greatly appreciated.

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If you reside in a frost zone, you will need a deep stone base in order to eliminate heaving. Consult someone locally where you obtain materials. A 5 x 7 should be fairly easy to construct.

Remove the sod and top soil. Excavate as needed per your frost zone but at least 3" so rain can escape.

Then, build a frame from 2 x 4's, stake for grade and fill within 1" of the top with crushed limestone.

Compact with a vibrating plate compactor (local rental will have one). Cover with weed block fabric and fill the remaining space with course sand.

Lay the pavers atop then remove the frame. You may need a wet saw to cut brick.

Install the edging against the pavers and anchor. Fill the void with soil, or if the patio is raised, berm topsoil against the edging. Sweep silica sand between the pavers, water with a hose and repeat.

Ours required raising one side to offset the builders' grade. We used landscaping blocks because edging would not work for our design.

Here's a look at the edge of ours. Hope this helps, good luck.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 6:58PM
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That's nice! 1st, what's heaving? I assume it means moving up/down somewhat. 2nd, why crushed limestone vs. regular gravel? 3rd, can you use play sand or does it need to be all-purpose sand or course/silica like you suggested under the brick pavers and between? And finally, thanks for the help so far!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 10:08PM
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Heaving is caused when insufficient drainage is provided and water freezes, thus expanding, and displacing the brick surface.

Crushed limestone will nest together and form a stable base - that's what the vibrating accomplishes. Gravel is generally smooth stones that won't compact and which can more easily shift with water, freezing or weight.

I used a fairly course sand locally referred to as torpedo sand, same reasoning as the crushed limestone, as the leveler directly below the brick - I believe limestone screenings are sometimes used too but unless really dry won't screed easily. Fine silca or masons sand is only for closing the gaps between the pavers.

Again, your local materials supplier will be your best source. I don't recommend home centers as their personnel generally have never used the materials they sell.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2008 at 8:38PM
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