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Brick patio designs for your next DIY project

So you’ve decided to do something to the backyard, which is currently functioning as just a lawn rather than an entertainment space. A DIY backyard brick patio is easy and will add some charm to that space. There are many small patio decoration tips on the internet, but in here, we’re specifically giving you backyard brick ideas that you should be able to DIY.

Brick patio with table

Some design options

You need a flat area large enough for some outdoor furniture. A couple of planters would be nice, but you can always put plants on the perimeter. While a half circle may be appealing, there are a couple of reasons why that might not be a design to select.

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If you have rectangular windows and a door opening, as well as long lengths of siding and gutters, a circle or half circle really doesn’t blend with anything.

But the biggest drawbacks are labor and cost. You’ll have to get your hands on a masonry saw to cut the bricks, which will need to be shaped with a soft arch.  That’s not easy, and you’ll have to factor in a lot of waste and a lot of time for any backyard brick idea.

brick patio with plants

Easy square patterns

Figure your area size and then remember bricks are about 4×8 inches, so that’s about four-and-a-half bricks per square foot.

 A jack on jack pattern is just rows of brick. Now that may sound boring, but it’s really a nice clean look. You can vary the colors of the bricks, darker and lighter, and you can decide to place them right next to each other or leave some space so the color of the sand will act as an accent strip. This is a great option for a smaller area because it’s streamlined.

You can put a border of a different color or even a different size brick around it.

Side by side bricks, but staggered, is a running bond pattern. This is also easy to do, but you will end up with a staggered end.

This is not a bad thing! It will look like the brick is feathering into the lawn area, which not only adds interest, but it extends your sightline out making the area look larger. Use a more flexible landscape edging for this pattern so you can weave it around the staggered end.

More intricate square patterns

A basket weave pattern is decorative and eye-catching and it shouldn’t require cutting bricks. Place two horizontal bricks, then two vertical bricks and keep repeating. Do them in long rows from end to end, not short rows running across, for a nicer pattern. Here’s a comfort tip — kneeling on bricks gets pretty painful after the first couple of rows. Get a small piece of plywood to kneel on.

A herringbone pattern requires you to put the bricks at an angle, and for this pattern you start in the middle. Angle the bricks at about 45 degrees or even up to 90 degrees. It’s a pretty, elegant pattern. You might want to lay a couple of rows and then step back, see if you like the angle, and check to make sure you have enough bricks.

Construction basics

Review your space. You don’t want it too close to a tree because when you dig out the grass or vegetation, you are going to hit tree roots. Plus, the tree is going to drop leaves and bugs, etc., all over your nice brick patio.

Think about how you are going to get your materials to that space. A solitary space at the farthest corner of the yard, up a hill and back, might not be a good idea if you are hauling bricks, landscaping fabric, gravel, tools, sand, and water.

Prep your space

Make sure you know where all the utility lines are and any other underground lines. Dig about 10 inches down into the dirt and add a little extra width to the hole because you are going to put down a landscaping strip around the edge.

Lay down a six-inch deep layer of gravel. Tamp the gravel down, level it off, and put down landscaping fabric. Make sure you have a slight slope on one end for drainage.

Put down enough sand so the bricks will rest even with the grass. It is easier to level off the sand before placing the bricks if you wet the sand down. Use the edge of a board to level off the sand.

Put down the brick

If you are doing a pattern where you are staring in the middle, you might want to do a couple of test rows to make sure it is going to end up even on each side of the starting point. If you are doing a design that requires cutting bricks, lay out the entire design, so you know how much cutting you will be doing. Finish with landscape edging following the directions of the specific product you are using. 

Spread sand across the bricks and sweep into the cracks. Water, spread, and sweep — and do it a third time. 

While helping bring your backyard brick patio ideas to fruition, it’s a little more complicated than slapping some bricks down. But it’s not that difficult with a little planning, a little measuring, and maybe the help of a friend or two. You’ll have your own great space in no time.

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Kathleen Ostrander
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Kathleen has worked for United Press International and she's written about everything from style to pets for newspapers…
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