How To Install a Patio | Using Old Brick As Foundation

How To Install a Patio


I am planning to do a bi-level patio in my backyard. I have a split level house and the top level of the patio will come out of the dining room level, then there will be steps down to a lower level patio. Currently I have a very old brick patio and fireplace.

One landscaper said rather than cart the bricks away he would use them inside of the top level of the patio as a foundation (and probably concrete or stone in around them. They wouldn't be visible.What do you think of this?

ANSWER

There is a right way and a wrong way to build patios. This sounds wrong to me.

You didn't mention what hardscape material you are using for the patios....brick, pavers, concrete, bluestone, travertine? Either way, you might be building dry laid patios or ones set in concrete.

When creating a patio out of a material that will be mortared, the patio needs a strong base. It must be built on soil that has not been disturbed. If you are building on disturbed soil, it must be compacted in 12" lifts. Typically there is a stone base, a 6" slab, and then the "stone", mortared in place.

The stone at the bottom forms a base and should not be mixed with old brick, which can crumble. The concrete slab is supposed to be just that...concrete, not brick mixed in.

It sounds like this landscaper is trying to cut corners, saving on removing the brick from the site to keep costs down and not paying attention as to how to install a patio the correct way. This project will not be an inexpensive one so I would strongly recommend doing it the correct way even if you have to spend a bit more.

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