Preparing to Lay a Brick Sidewalk Preparing to Lay a Brick Sidewalk

What You'll Need
Shovel
Stakes
String
Mallet
Tamper
Pen
Paper
Yardstick
Measuring tape
Level
Spray paint
Landscaper's fabric
Sand

A brick sidewalk is undoubtedly a beautiful addition to any home. It can be used to circle the home, create a path from the front door to the concrete sidewalk or be used as a walkway through a garden. You can pay up to thousands on a brick sidewalk but this is a project you can actually do on your own. The article that follows below will show you how to plan for and prepare an area for your brick sidewalk project.

Step 1 - Planning the Brick Sidewalk

When you want to install a brick sidewalk the most important thing you can do is plan it out completely. Choose an area where you wish the brick sidewalk to be installed. Draw it out on a piece of paper and include the dimensions of the area to scale. It is important to look at the area you wish to you and measure the length you want to have as well as the width. These measurements will tell you how many bricks you need. This can also change if you decide to use different patterns while laying down the brick.

Step 2 - Stake it Out

After your plan is finished you can start to stake out the area where the brick sidewalk will be located. Use the original measurements and place a stake every two feet. Stake out the entire perimeter and attach string between each stake. As an added design helper use spray paint to tract the perimeter you just staked out.

Step 3 - Excavate the Site

Before you can think about placing bricks for the sidewalk you need a place to put them. A brick sidewalk is not built on top of the ground but in the ground. This means that you need to excavate the site. Use a shovel to begin digging out a hole between the stakes you have posted. Any shovel will work but a flat blade will be the best to use. You want the depth to be as much as the thickness of the bricks plus an additional two inches. As you are digging remove rock and roots as they will hinder a level surface.

Step 4 - Readying the Site

Digging out a hole is the beginning of creating a brick sidewalk. Use your yardstick to first make sure that the depth is correct. Do not ignore the edges or the center of the hole for the depth. Use the tamper to press down the earth. Use the level to make sure the excavated area is flat and even. Remove more soil as needed in order to get the proper depth and to ensure it is flat. Once the area is flat layer it with carpenter's fabric. Place it so that it climbs up the edges slightly and trim away the excess. Place sand on top of the fabric so that it is two inches deep after being tamped down. The area is now ready for you to begin building your brick sidewalk.

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