3 out of 5ModerateSpending all day on your hands and knees can be fatiguing
About $100 to $150
6 to 8 hours
In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook resurrects a sunken brick path.
Steps for Repairing a Brick Walkway:
- Pull up all the bricks from the existing walkway and neatly stack them off to the side.
- Excavate all the sand from the walkway using a pointed shovel. Dump sand into wheelbarrow and carry it away.
- Stretch a taut mason’s line between metal stakes to represent the edges of the new walkway.
- Dig out 6 inches of dirt beyond the layout lines at each edge of the walkway.
- Stretch a second mason’s line between the stakes, pitching it down from the house ¼ inch per foot of distance.
- Thoroughly tamp down the ground using a gas-powered plate compactor.
- Spread 2 inches of ¾-inch crushed stone mixed with stone dust over the tamped-down soil, and compact the area again.
- Use a hand tamper to flatten any areas not reached by the plate compactor.
- Dig a narrow trench along each edge of the walkway and install a wooden form. Secure the form with wooden stakes.
- Fasten the form boards to the stakes with 2-inch screws. Take down the mason’s lines.
- Use a rubber mallet to tap vertical edge bricks, called sailors, flush with the form.
- Rake a ¾-inch-deep setting bed of stone dust over the compacted stone base.
- Use a screed to level the setting bed, then tamp down the setting bed with the plate compactor.
- Starting at the house, begin laying bricks in a running bond pattern onto the setting bed. Tap the bricks flush with the sailors using the rubber mallet.
- Use shorter half bricks to negotiate around curves in the walkway.
- After setting all the bricks, cover the walkway with a thick layer of stone dust.
- Sweep the stone dust into the cracks between the bricks using a push broom.
- Unscrew and remove the form boards and stakes.
- Mix concrete in a wheelbarrow and then shovel concrete into the trench behind each row of sailors.
- Smooth the concrete curbs with a pointed trowel, angling the concrete away from the bricks.
- After the concrete cures, backfill alongside the walkway with topsoil. Cover the soil with mulch or grass seed.