Building a stone brick patio that will last the life of your home doesn't have to be a difficult process. Using a sand foundation rather than a concrete slab cuts the complexity of building your patio greatly. Not only does it save you effort, it saves time as well, without detracting from the stability and durability of your patio surface. With the proper setup, you can complete the patio build in a single day.
Decide on the overall look of your patio. There are a wide variety of brick colors and sizes available. Measure the size of your patio site to determine the area to cover and purchase enough bricks to cover the area with an additional 10 percent in case of breakage, and to have a few left over for later replacements. Create the size of your patio to contain as many whole bricks as possible to avoid wastage. Draw your planned design pattern on a piece of paper to scale for ease at laying the patio.
Place lawn flags around the proposed perimeter of your patio to mark the borders for excavation.
Excavate the hole for the foundation of your patio to a depth of four inches using a spade. Compress the floor of the hole with a plate compactor so that your foundation is a firm as possible. Rent a plate compactor from a home improvement store or equipment rental shop for use.
Pour a layer of gravel into the hole one inch deep to serve as a drainage base for the patio. Go over the gravel with the compactor to compress and level the gravel. Level the gravel so that it creates a slope away from the foundation of any structures near the patio, so that water drains away. Create a surface that slopes one inch for every eight feet of patio surface.
Pour an layer of sand into the hole one inch deep, covering the gravel. Level the sand with a screed board, following the slope setup with the gravel later. Drag the long wooden screed along the surface of the sand to even it out, working the board in a back and forth motion.
Lay the bricks for the patio onto the sand foundation, placing them level on the sand's surface. Place the bricks so that they butt tightly together, beginning in one corner of the patio or against the edge of a structure and working your way towards the outside edge of the patio. Cut bricks when necessary for fit using a circular saw with a masonry blade attached.
Place a paver edge restraint surrounding the edges of the patio to create a line between the patio and the lawn. Push the edge restraint tightly against the patio edge and then anchor the edge in place using 10-inch steel spikes driven through the edger into the ground.
Sweep sand between the bricks to fill the joints between. Use a push broom to push the polymetric sand into the joints between the bricks. Polymetric sand has a binder added that hardens the sand creating a more durable surface.
Place a urethane pad over the patio surface, covering the bricks and compact them with the plate compactor. The pad protect s the bricks from damage during the compacting that settles the sand into the joints and firmly places the bricks into the sand foundation. Rent a pad the same place you rented the compactor.
Sweep the bricks again to make certain you've filled the joints with sand and to remove the sand from the surface of the bricks. Wash the patio with water to clean off any remaining sand and to activate the hardener. Multiple water applications might be necessary according to the sand manufacturer.