Outdoor living space is all the rage and learning how to lay a brick patio is a great way to create additional living space for your family and for entertaining! When we finished building our greenhouse, we wanted to have a sitting area where we could enjoy the flower garden and watch our kids play. Hiring out a contractor to install a brick patio would have been pricey so we decided to tackle it ourselves and I’m so glad we did!
We were able to finish the DIY brick patio in a weekend for a fraction of the cost. Instead of paying over $1,000+ we were able to install a brick patio for around $350. It’s a great DIY project, you just need the right tools and supplies to get it done.
And the end result? A cute area to set up our patio furniture in a shady spot.
How to lay a brick patio
1. Paver edging: we used this from The Home Depot
2. Nylon spikes: also at The Home Depot
3. Weed barrier: as above or order from Amazon
4. Paver sand: such as this
5. Paver base panels: case of 20 from The Home Depot
6. Brick pavers: ordered from The Home Depot
7. Wet tile saw: I used this one
8. Tools: shovel, leveler, broom
The time and cost will depend on the size of the space you are creating. We wanted a small spot to relax on, so it was big enough for a couple of chairs.
Skill level: Intermediate
Time: one to two days
Cost: under $350/£300 (though note higher brick prices in UK)
1. Choose a shape
Brick patios can be all shapes and sizes depending on the amount of space you have to work with and what you’re wanting it to look like. We chose a rectangle which is a nice easy shape to work with and demanding of no tricky cuts.
2. Measure out the area
Measure the area you plan to install the brick patio in and stake out the shape with string or use a chalk line. Order supplies according to your measurements (for example, if it’s a rectangular patio, measure width and length and multiply the numbers to get the area).
3. Dig out the plot
Using a shovel, dig out the shape of your patio using the string or chalk line as a guide.
TIP: Measure the width of your brick and add the width of your paver base to know what depth to dig to.
4. Lay down a weed barrier
In order to prevent weeds from growing up in between the bricks you’ll want to lay down a weed barrier. This will save you time and will keep the patio looking great for several years!
5. Install edging
Now you’re ready to install the edging to keep the shape of your patio. We used a paver edging we found at Home Depot and used nylon spikes to keep the edging in place. It can be shaped and molded to do straight or curved lines and installs right up against the dirt wall you created when you dug out the shape for your brick patio.
6. Layer the sand
The next step is to layer about half an inch thick of paver sand and smooth it out using a leveler. This will help level out the ground and make your patio even.
7. Lay down the paver base
There are different options for this step and many choose to use a thick layer of leveling sand to further stabilize the base. We opted to use a paver base panel that we found at Home Depot for this step. It came in sheets of 20x36 inches that interlock for a smooth surface. It’s easy to cut if needed and works best for square or rectangle patios. It was cheaper and quicker to go this route than using the leveling sand.
PRO TIP: A leveling agent of some kind is necessary to help the brick patio stay level even as the ground may shift beneath over the years.
8. Lay the bricks
Now that you have a solid foundation, you are ready to lay your bricks! You may choose a simple or a more complex pattern depending on the look you’re going for and the level of confidence you have. Since this was our first time doing a project like this we opted for a more simple and traditional brick pattern.
We did end up needing to cut some of the bricks in half to work with the pattern so we used our wet tile saw to do this. You can rent or borrow a wet saw if you don't have one. We found ours at Harbor Freight.
9. Finish off with an extra layer of sand
Once you’ve finished laying your bricks you’ll finish off your patio with another layer of paver sand. Using a broom, push the sand in between the bricks in the cracks and crevices to help hold the bricks in place and prevent movement.
10. Arrange your furniture
Your beautiful new DIY brick patio will be enjoyed for years to come and add value to your home. Family and friends will love being entertained in your fresh outdoor space.