Build a Patio with Leftovers!

by Jane VanOsdol on September 12, 2011

Would you like a new patio, but find yourself with an odd assortment of extra brick and stone leftover from other projects? This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Take a hint from knitters who combine leftover yarns from their stash to create a beautiful blanket or scarf and do the same thing with your bricks. You can actually combine your assortment of bricks and fit them together to make a unique patio for your backyard.

The first step is to make sure that you have enough material to cover the area allotted for your patio. If you don’t have enough brick or stone, check with family and friends to see if they have any extra pavers they wouldn’t mind donating or selling for cheap. You could also try ReStores, a store run by Habitat for Humanity that sells building materials.

Once you have all your materials assembled, decide what kind of a design you’d like for the patio. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission has a useful page on their site that shows several different brick patterns that you could use in your design.

You can even combine two or more different designs in your eclectic patio. Two popular designs you may want to try include

Herringbone Pattern

herringbone and running bond. In herringbone, each row of bricks is laid at an angle, with each row being laid out in an alternate direction to the previous row. In running bond, you lay out the bricks so that in each row the seam does not match up the previous row’s seam. Be creative with your design, mixing and matching for a different look.

Once you have your design sketched out, it’s time to create a base for the patio. You may want to have a construction contractor help you with this part of the project, as it involves digging to the right depth, leveling the ground, using landscape sheeting and then laying a foundation of either concrete or gravel and sand to create a firm foundation for your patio. Having the foundation laid correctly will ensure that your bricks don’t shift and crack.

Now it’s time to lay out your brick or stone pattern. Again, you can have a professional help you with this phase if you’d like. Once you have your pattern laid out, sweep sand over the patio to fill in between the joints. You may also want to remove a brick here or there an insert a plant. Creeping thyme makes a nice addition to a patio. It’s compact and every time you walk on it, you’ll smell the wonderful fragrance of thyme.

You’ll love the look of your new patio—and the fact that you repurposed leftover material to create a beautiful work of art makes this one of the best home improvement projects ever!

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