Our back garden was in dire need of a similar amount of attention to what the house has received recently, so this is a little story about how I set about creating a patio area that was fitting of the house; enjoy.
Backyard Makeover - How to Build a Brick Patio Circle
This is how things started out - essentially a dumping ground!It was a mixture of turf, hardcore and concrete (with a semi destroyed brick BBQ area!)
And this was the plan....Oh yeah, and the idea was to do it all with no hired help!
I wanted to keep some of the turf for re-laying at a later date so I used a de-turfing machine to roll it up.
There was approximately 30 tonnes that I had to dig out to get the correct levels ready for the patio.
The grass needed small retaining walls to stop it falling in on the patio so I next began to dig footings/foundations for these.
I used shuttering (planks of wood held in place by stakes) to make sure the footings would be the right depth once poured (approx 250mm).
I used this thin, permeable matting as it stops the 'fines' from the hardcore layer from mixing with the clay/soil below and sagging. In some scenarios it wouldn't be necessary but I didn't want to risk any areas of dipping in the patio.
Type 1 is a mixture of stones (up to 40mm) and 'fines' (dust) which binds together when compacted to create a very hard dense surface. This is then whacked down and levelled using a mechanical whacker plate.
I hired a bricky to build the retaining walls - as my bricklaying is a bit.... agricultural!
First job was to measure the centre of the circle and then mark it out.
The outer bricks are laid in a cement mix so that they are rigid and cannot move. These will hold in and retain the inner bricks which will just be laid on sand.
I smoothed the cement on the outer edges to half way up the brick, to create a slope. This gives the bricks extra stability from being pushed outwards.
My design split the circle into quarters so I set the central cross in cement too so that I could use this as a datum to make sure the brick infilled parts were all the same height with no sagging.
Added approx 35-50mm of sharp sand tot he sector and made sure it was well compacted. I then used a straight edge to screed off the excess sand ensuring that the level was accurate to received the brick paving. The intention is to leave lay the brick approx 2-3mm proud of the cemented cross so that it can be whacked down to the level height.
After I'd laid the bricks in a herringbone pattern, I drilled a rod into the centre then attached this pole over the top so that I could use it to precisely mark where the curve needed to be for the next cuts.
Using a mini angle grinder I scored each brick along the mark I'd made. I then carefully trimmed each brick to shape. It would disturb the screened sand layer below too much if I tried to just use a large grinder to cut down from above.
This inner curve of bricks is to retain and hold everything in place so I lay it in the same way as the outer edging. Beer is obligatory.
And then curse the fact you've still got another three quarters to do!
Pass out due to exhaustion.
I plan to use Cotswold (pale yellow) chippings for the areas around the circle - I just haven't got round to that yet!
Hope this was useful. I've documented most of my 3 year restoration of my half 15th Century, half Georgian home on my Instagram account: Sympathetic_restoration I'll be putting more up here soon too.