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Seven Easy Steps to Installing Your Own Walkway,
Driveway and Patio Without Mortar or Concrete!
(Part 3 of 5)

Courtesy of the Brick Industry Association

Step 2... Preparing the area (see site preparation graphic below)

1. Check with your local utility companies to determine the location of underground lines.

2. After you're sure that the area you intend to pave has proper drainage (1/4" per foot slope away from foundations or other permanent structures), outline the area with stakes and string, and be sure to include the width of your edging material.

3. Use a flat shovel to remove only enough sod or dirt to provide a flat, level surface upon which to place the crushed stone base. It is important that dirt or excess soil that is removed and re-installed should be firmly settled with a plate compactor for an even base.

Basic materials layout of a brick patio job

Step 3... Installing the Base

1. After compacting the soil, place the crushed stone base into the excavation. Using a plate compactor, tamp down no more than 4" (depth) of base material at one time. This is a critical step-if not done carefully and thoroughly, the bricks will move over time.

2. The base material should be slightly damp when compacting.

Step 4... Framing the Borders

1. The border, or edging system, is necessary to insure that your brick paving remains firmly in place and stays beautiful for years. Begin by installing, but not anchoring, your edging. Experiment now with the pattern you've chosen by temporarily laying brick around the edge of the paving. (Note that complex designs, like herringbone, may require significant amounts of cut brick.)

2. Once you're satisfied with placement, anchor the edging by driving spikes at least 8' into the base every 2 to 3 feet. For wood edging, drill holes and drive the spikes through the middle of the wood. For brick edging, dig a trench deep enough so that the top edge of the edging brick will be flush with the brick surface of your finished project.

3. One border can remain unanchored until final brick installation to insure a tight fit. Now, remove the bricks you temporarily installed.

Continue to Part 4
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