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This is how we added a brick patio and walkway made from brick pavers to our FIRE PIT. The "cost" involved. Our project total cost = $3000. ( and thats do it yourself for all aspects start to finish ) I thought it would be less expencive than pouring a concrete patio but it actually turned out to cost more and it was very labor intencive.
Next would be the design. I wanted to provide a five foot walkway around the fire pit and connect it to the existing patio and porch with a walkway. I wanted the areas around the fire pit to be as level as I could get it. I had three elavations to deal with. the fire pit , the patio and the porch entry. I had to design the walkway to shed water away from the patio and porch. Originally I was not going to use a "border" paver of a different color outlining the entire area, but my wife explained it "would look better". So in addition to adding up the square feet of the project I had to figure just how many pavers I would need for the borders. The local brick paver dealer offered the pavers it pallet stacks. They would not break them down to sell smaller portiopns. I ended up purchasing three pallets of grey pavers and one pallet of red border pavers. In addition to the pavers, border edgeing strips and sand would be needed. The border strips hold the pavers in place and the sand is used to form a base for the pavers. Since I would not be using the patio to drive on , I did not need a six inch gravel sub base.Upon arrival of the brick pavers border strips and sand I had to cover the sand to protect it from getting wet and washing away.

  The excavation.First I marked the areas to be dug out with spray paint. I wanted to finish the fire pit area first, then address the connecting walkways. I used a flat shovel a level and a 2 x 4 to create the flat level base around the fire pit.

  COMPACTING THE SOIL. I rented a tamp machine to compact the base and create a soild sub base for the areas. This will insure the patio will not settle in areas creating a uneven walkway and uneven appearance. Then the border strips were placed in position. A 2 x 4 cut to five foot in length was used to create the circle border around the fire pit. The section of border between the patio around the pit and the walkway will need to be taken out later to lay the adjoining brick pavers in the walkway.After the base was ready I used landscape fabric to line the bottom . This will keep weeds from growing up through the sand but still let the patio drain.

THE SAND. I needed a piece of 2 x 4 ,block trowel , wheel barrow, flat shovel and a one inch piece of electrical conduit to add and level the sand. The conduit is used to create a guide for the depth of one inch.Place two pieces on each ends that you are working at , dump the sand into the area and screed off the excess by sliding a 2 x 4 over the conduit pipes.This is where careful planning can prevent damage to your work. Rain will wash the sand away in no time. I waited for a three days of clear forcast to start adding the sand.Animals suchs as your pets will ruin your work if you let them walk or play in the sand. So keep them away.

  THE GREY PAVERS. As you can see from the picture ,all the pavers are laid leaving out the ones to be cut for last. I used a six by six inch red border paver for the outside edges of the patio and walkways. After placing the grey pavers use the red paver held against the border to mark where the grey pavers need to be cut. I found two options for cutting the pavers. One is to rent a wet saw . ( cost $95 per day ) The other was to buy a 10 inch diamond tip saw blade for my miter saw. ( Cost for the diamond blade was $95 ). It took me 24 hours labor to cut all the pavers for this job. My miter saw is not a wet saw of course but I found a way to reduce the dust. First cut the pavers by scouring the paver about a quarter inch into it dry. I had a five gallon bucket full of water I would soak the scored pavers in. This greatly reduced the dust when making the final cut. Allthough a wet saw would be ideal to use, I chose the other option because my miter saw was not new . I would NOT use a new or highly valued saw under these conditions as the motor may burn up from the demand placed upon it. I did not let mine get too hot and I still use it today.It would have cost me $300 to rent the wet saw for three days. After all the pavers are in place spread sand along the top of the pavers using a stiff broom to work the sand into the cracks.

Here is some pictures of the brick patio and walkway just after completion.
What I Learned. Round circular or curved layouts create a lot of labor from cutting the pavers to fit. Square design layouts will not require a higher skill level and will not take as long to complete.
2334 Dawson Cabin Rd.
Jacksonville, N.C. 28540
Phone: 910 340 2636

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