Many of the tools that you will need to install your own brick or paved footpath are familiar to any home upkeep project. If you have a yard, then you might already have a garden hose, rake, shovel, and trowel. It's important for you to have protection goggles and durable gloves for this, and a broom, hammer or mallet, measuring tape, and scissors are also needed. You will need string and stakes, in addition to whatever you want to use for edging (brick, metal, wood, or plastic restraints), 2x4 or pipe segments to use for leveling the levels, and if using wood for edging, a drill and appropriate bit. A wheelbarrow may come in handy to move supplies to the chosen area. You may be able to rent a plate compacting machine and brick cutter from Home Depot or Lowe's: bricks, gravel, and sand.
Be sure that you use materials specifically meant for sidewalk or patio use. Gravel or crushed stone mixes are an easier alternative to a concrete base layer. Do not use regular bricks, such as the sort found in fireplaces, for this; paving bricks do not have the holes found in regular bricks, and thus are more durable and safer to be used for ground implementation.
To start, ensure that the area you desire for the brick is secure. Check for any utility lines that may be hidden underground, and tree roots that may be disturbed. Also make sure that there is some sort of slope or decline for drainage, so that your yard or worse, your house, is not injured from rain or snow that has nowhere to wash away. To approximate the amount of sand, gravel, and bricks you will need, figure out the square footage of the design. Sand and gravel are usually referred to in cubic yards and one cubic yard is equal to around 27 cubic feet or 324 square feet, at one inch depths of coverage. Between four and five 4x8 inch bricks are needed per square foot, depending on the size of the brick and the shape of the design. It's always better to have more than less, so get an additional five to ten percent of the total amount of bricks, to allow for mistakes, edging, or even practice cuts.
Now get dirty! Outline the area with yarn and stakes, or a hose its if a circular design. Use a flat shovel to get rid of the dirt, (a trowel for any hard to reach areas), and then begin layering the gravel. Use the compactor in between layering to guarantee a smooth foundation. Once you begin adding sand, use your screed materials to check for even levels by laying a couple of sections on the sand and running another piece over. Once smooth, remove the pieces and start applying the bricks and edging materials. Only tamp down the bricks once you are sure of the layout. Fill in any gaps between the bricks with sand, and rake or brush through to settle it down. Repeat brushing for the first few times after rain, to further reinforce the inlay.
Be sure to appreciate your hard work! Clay-based paving bricks come in many colors of brown, cream, green, orange, pink, red, and sparkling with metallic touches. You can have the traditional rectangular shaped brick or custom cuts, all of which are slip resistant, which is calming when walking in wet weather or barefoot. Common patio or walkway patterns include basket weave, herringbone, running bond, stacking bond, and all modification. Will you use a uniform or alternate model? Whatever you choose, make your walkway a reflection of your personal taste.
Autor: April Walters
April Walters writes articles on the ins and outs of real estate and home ownership for her clients. If you are looking for a new home, check out the Ocean Beach condos for sale and the Oak Park condos for sale You will love the selection.
Added: February 25, 2009