Obstacle course backyard fun is timeless. It truly does not go out of style. I have shared some ideas to help you and your children make an obstacle course this summer out of household items. I have also shared several game ideas to play on your obstacle course, as well as prize ideas for rewards. Use safety precautions and constantly supervise children while using your obstacle course. Have fun and be creative! Don’t forget to take pictures of kids and adults using the obstacle course to create fun memories to last a lifetime.
How To Lay a Brick Patio
Bricks come in many types and colors and can be placed in many different ways to make brick patio designs. The layout will depend on your personal design preferences. I will show you how to build a brick paver patio using a basket weave pattern. Here’s how:
- Decide how many square feet you want your patio surface to be. Measure out the desired area for your patio on a flat surface that is completely cleared of weeds and debris. It is easiest to build a brick patio in a rectangular design because bricks are traditionally rectangularly shaped. To ensure that you have a perfect rectangle, measure the two diagonals. They should be of equal length.
- Dig out the area where you will be building your brick patio. Make sure the patio surface is dug about eight inches deep.
- Before you build your brick patio, lay out the bricks in your desired pattern. It is actually time-saving to lay out the bricks before you begin to build. You will be able to change or adjust your design, re-do measurements, and visually see ahead of time what the overall look of your new patio will look like. Make sure your measurements are correct. Remember that there should be about two inches of extra space all along the perimeter. This extra space will be used for the brick edge.
- Start building your brick edge by laying these bricks down vertically, shoulder to shoulder, around the perimeter of your desired patio surface. The brick edge will look like bricks that are about two inches thick. Tap the bricks into place using a rubber mallet so that they are flat and level.
- Before removing the bricks that you used to lay out your patio surface pattern, take a picture or sketch out the pattern so you will remember when you replace the bricks. Do not remove the bricks along the edge of your patio. Keep the brick edge in place. Once all the other bricks are removed, pour crushed stone on the inside of the framed brick area. Continue pouring the stone until you have a depth of four inches. Tap down the stone so that it is firm and level. You may want to use a small plate compactor that can be rented from your local home and garden store for convenience and to save time. You can also use a long 2×4 to level the crushed stone.
- Next, lay landscape fabric down over the stone to prevent weeds from growing. Pour two inches of sand over the landscape fabric.
- Using a long 2×4 as a screed (level), run it along the sand to level the patio surface. Make sure the sand is two inches below the tops of the edging bricks.
- Starting in a corner, begin pressing the bricks down into the sand using the same pattern that you used before you started building. Tap the bricks with the rubber mallet to ensure that they are firmly in the sand.
- Run a mason’s line across your bricks, row by row. The mason’s line will serve as a guide to indicate evenness. Adjust any bricks that need to be properly leveled.
- After laying the bricks, spread more sand over the bricks. Using a broom, work this sand into the cracks on and in-between the bricks. Using water, lightly spray the sand and bricks with a garden hose so that the sand sinks and settles into the cracks and joints of the bricks. Using this method of building a patio surface, no brick mortar is necessary.
- Enjoy your new brick patio!
Building a brick patio will require some tools and supplies. Although there are many brick patio designs and each design may require slightly different supplies, here is what you will need for most brick patios:
- Rubber mallet
- Carpenter’s level
- Measuring tape
- Crushed stone
- Landscape fabric
- Paving bricks
- Mason’s line
- Garden hose
- One long 2×4
- Small plate compactor, if desired
Estimated Time It Should Take to Build a Brick Patio
The amount of time it will take to lay a brick patio will depend on which design you decide to use. A more intricate and complicated pattern will, of course, take more time to build. Will you be working on your patio project alone? Remember, many hands make light work! Some people are able to complete their brick patio in a total of four days. Others completed it in a week or two. Some were able to design and lay their bricks in just a couple of hours with a few people there to help. How much time it will take you to build a brick patio mainly depends on how much time you have to work on the design and building each day and how many people are there to help you. Remember the process will go much quicker if the desired patio surface area has been previously cleared of weeds and debris, measurements are made correctly, and tools and supplies are assembled and ready to use. Organization is key to this and any other project!
Like I said earlier, there are many different brick patio ideas, brick patio designs, and brick patio patterns. The following are some unique backyard patio ideas that you may want to try. I have included pictures of each backyard patio idea. Enjoy!
Instead of having a brick patio only, why not build some brick steps that lead to the patio? Brick steps are easy to install and can add a creative look and depth to your yard. If you have extra bricks from making your brick patio, use those to start building your steps. To learn more about making your own brick steps, click here.
Get creative with your backyard brick patio and add an outdoor kitchen. Surprisingly, an outdoor kitchen is not as difficult to build as you might think. To make your design cohesive, make your outdoor kitchen using the same bricks that you used to build your patio. Not only will an outdoor kitchen look nice, but it can also be a great place to cook outdoors during the hot summer months rather than heating up your indoor kitchen. This is especially a good idea if you host lots of parties and want to be close to your guests when they are outside enjoying your backyard space. To learn more about creating an outdoor kitchen, click here.
You might want to enhance your brick landscaping with plants along the patio edge. This will add color and depth to your yard and it will make greatly enhance and add beauty to your outdoor space. You may want to consider building a rock garden as well and adding a small fountain or water feature to the space. The sky is the limit!
Wide Brick Patio
If you have a large yard, perhaps you would like to make a large brick patio. This gives you lots of room to add furniture to create another “room” in your home. Large patios are fun to host parties and will enable you to add an outdoor kitchen.
A fire pit may be just what you need to add to and enhance your brick patio. There are many different types of stones and bricks that you can use to make a fire pit if you are feeling creative and want to build your own. You can also purchase a fire pit from your local home and garden store. A fire pit can provide warmth during the winter and hours of fun during the summer where you can roast marshmallows and cook outdoor dinners. There are countless fire pit recipes to experiment with when you cook. If you like to host parties or enjoy spending time on your patio during the cool summer nights, a fire pit is a must-have.
Small Brick Patio
Do you have a small yard with no room to build a large patio? Try building a small patio that is surrounded by lawn. You may be surprised at how much room you will have for small pieces of outdoor furniture, a fire pit, and maybe even a small outdoor kitchen. Remember that you don’t need a large amount of space in order to have fun and enjoy life. A small patio can be just as nice as a large patio.
If you are still unsure whether or not you want to add an outdoor kitchen or fire pit, consider installing a pizza oven. Everyone loves pizza, and a pizza oven is a great excuse to cook outdoors in the warm weather. Make sure to build the pizza oven using bricks that match your patio.
There are many different types of patio stones that you can use to build your backyard patio. Among patio stones are many different types of bricks. Here is a quick guide as you consider which bricks to use.
Burnt Clay Bricks
Burnt clay bricks are one of the most common types of bricks. This may be because they are very attractive and are a deep red color. Also, most burnt clay bricks are wide, so they may be more durable.
Sand Lime Bricks
Unlike most bricks, this type of brick is grayish colored. Sometimes sand lime bricks are completely white. Although red bricks are common, sand lime bricks are also very common for those who want a more muted and natural patio look.
Concrete bricks are made from solid concrete and are also very common. Similar to the sand lime bricks, this type of brick is a gray color. Sometimes you can find them in different colors, but usually, concrete bricks are gray.
Almost any type of brick can be a red brick, but because this color is so common, it is considered a separate type of brick. The most common type of red brick is the burnt clay brick. However, even the sand lime bricks and concrete bricks can be red. It is common for people to make their patio using red bricks because it matches their red brick house color.
I have shared with you all that you need to know about incorporating brick into your backyard. This article details how to lay brick, tools and materials needed, the amount of time that it takes to make a non-mortar brick patio, design ideas, and brick types. Now that you have some background information about using bricks in your backyard, come up with a design plan for your own backyard living space. Be creative and open-minded how and where you will use bricks. As long as you build your feature structurally sound, you really can’t go wrong with the look of brick. Think about which type you like the best and how it will look in your yard. The nice thing about bricks is that they give any area an upgraded look and will greatly enhance your outdoor space. Now go and build your brick patio design!