• In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook shows how to build a brick patio.

    Steps:
    1. Take up all old bricks and paving stones from the patio, then use a shovel to remove 7 inches of soil from the area.
    2. Run a gas-powered plate compactor over the area to tamp down the ground.
    3. Spread out 2 inches of graded base, then compact the area.
    4. Stretch nylon lines across the patio 3 inches above graded base.
    5. Lay steel pipes, known as screed rails, in place 2 inches below nylon line.
    6. Spread sand over the entire area.
    7. Pull a screed along the rails to remove excess sand.
    8. Fill in low spots with more sand and screed the area again.
    9. Start setting pavers in one corner of the patio. Drop pavers into place, don't slide them.
    10. Continue installing pavers, making sure to stagger the joints between courses.
    11. Install plastic edging around the perimeter of the patio.
    12. Spread ½ inch of sand over the bricks.
    13. Run the plate compactor over the patio to vibrate the sand deep into the joints between the pavers.
    14. Use a push broom to sweep excess sand from the patio.
    • Two to three days for an average-size patio
    • $1,000 to $2,000, for an average-size patio
    • Difficulty: Moderate
      prepping the site can be exhausting, but laying the brick pavers goes pretty quickly
Ask TOH users about Patio

Contribute to This Story Below

    Video Directory

    Selected Topic/Section

      Tools List

      • pointed shovel
        Shovel, used to excavate the site
      • nylon mason's line and stakes
        Nylon mason's line and stakes, for stretching layout lines across patio
      • plate compactor
        Plate compactor, used to tamp down soil, sub-base and brick pavers
      • metal garden rake
        Garden rake, for spreading sand
      • dead-blow hammer
        Hammer, used to tap in spikes that hold down the edging
      • masonry saw
        Masonry saw, used to cut brick pavers
      • screed
        Screed and screed rails, for establishing proper screed height of sand base
      • wheelbarrow
        Wheelbarrow, used to transport material
      • push broom
        Push broom, for sweeping excess sand from patio

      Shopping List

      Brick pavers, used to create patio surface

      Graded base, for forming sub-base for patio

      Sand, is spread over sub-base and on top of patio

      Plastic edging, used to create border around brick patio