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How to Build a Brick Patio

Laying a beautiful brick patio with This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook

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

Steps for building a brick patio

  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.


You may want to rent a plate compactor if you have a large amount of earth to flatten.