Saturday, January 10, 2009

Building Your Own Brick Walkway

Many of the tools that you will need to make your own brick or paved pathway are familiar to any home repair project. If you have a yard, then you might already have a water hose, rake, shovel, and trowel. It's important for you to have safety goggles and hardwearing gloves for this, and a broom, hammer or mallet, measuring tape, and scissors are also needed. You will need string and poles, along with whatever you want to use for edging (brick, metal, wood, or plastic restraints), 2x4 or pipe sections to use for leveling the levels, and if using wood for edging, a drill and suitable bit. A wheelbarrow may be useful to haul supplies to the elected point. You should be able to rent a plate compacting machine and brick cutter from where you buy the key materials: bricks, gravel, and sand.
Be sure that you use materials specially meant for sidewalk or patio use. Gravel or crushed stone mixtures are an easier choice to a concrete base layer. Do not use everyday bricks, such as the kind found in fireplaces, for this; paving bricks do not have the holes found in everyday bricks, and thus are stronger and safer to be used for ground implementation.

To start, ensure that the area you desire for the brick is safe. 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 slant or decline for run-off water, so that your yard or worse, your house, is not hurt from rain or snow that has nowhere to run off. To estimate the quantity 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 approximately 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 too much than too little, so get an extra five to ten percent of the full amount of bricks, to allocate for mess-ups, edging, or even practice cuts.

Jump in! Outline the area with yarn and posts, or a hose its if a circular design. Use a flat shovel to remove the dirt, (a trowel for any hard to reach areas), and then start layering the gravel. Use the compactor in between layering to ensure a smooth foundation. Once you start adding sand, use your leveling board materials to check for even levels by laying a couple of segments on the sand and running another piece over. Once smooth, eradicate the pieces and start applying the bricks and edging materials. Only pack 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 strengthen the inlay.

Give yourself a pat on the back! Clay-based paving bricks come in many tones of brown, cream, green, orange, pink, red, and glistening 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 decide on, make your walkway a reflection of your personal taste.

If you are looking for an inexpensive home, be sure to view the San Diego affordable homes for sale or the San Carlos affordable homes for sale or maybe even the Sabre Springs condos for sale. These homes are inexpensive and they are beautiful.

April Walters writes articles on the ins and outs of real estate and home-ownership for her clients. Her real estate SEO sites win her client after client.

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