A Craftsman-Appropriate Patio–Construction

patio demo

Demolition begins on the old patio.

Construction began with some destruction. I’d agreed to knock down the porch before the crew from Father Nature Landscapes, so the week before they were do in, I put on my safety glasses and ear protection and took a sledgehammer to the porch. It surprised me how easily it came down. After cutting its remains into station-wagon sized chunks, I hauled the porch to the dump.

The following week, the landscaping crew came in and jackhammered the patio apart and cleared the rubble. With the old concrete gone, construction could begin. Building a sand-set brick patio is much like building with concrete pavers. After grading (here done by hand since the yard provides no clearance for machinery), a bed of base is laid down over landscaping fabric and compacted with plate compactor. A layer of sand follows the base material which is compacted as well. After filling any low spots, the bricks can go down.

We chose a 45-degree herringbone pattern, a complicated pattern which slowed installation, but the final surface still went together surprisingly fast. The final step is to spread sand across the new surface and sweep (and sweep, and sweep–there was much sweeping) sand between the joints. We were thrilled with the results. The salvaged brick blended immediately with the rest of the landscape and provides a warmth unmatched by other materials–something we’ll appreciate in the dismal gray of our Pacific Northwest winters. Too, the herringbone creates a subtle visual texture and contrast to the concrete sidewalk.

A Craftsman patio

The salvaged brick provides a warmth unmatched by concrete and blends nicely with existing landscaping.

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