Pave A Pathway
Take a weekend to extend a paved area using recycled bricks and improve access to the clothesline.
Aussies love their lawns but in most backyards there are areas where a hard surface is needed underfoot for a barbecue or to provide access to the clothesline or shed.
To save the lawn from wear and tear plus prevent muddy spots without pouring a concrete path, DIY paving is the budget-friendly solution.
In this backyard a paved area near the house was extended to create a path to the clothesline.
A simple paving job like this uses hand tools for excavating, laying and grouting, and can be done in a weekend by just one person.
If you use recycled house bricks, as here, the only costs are for paving and beach sand, and mortar.
Pavers come in clay and concrete, from house-brick size to 400mm square stone or concrete slabs.
The bricks were laid on a bed of paving sand in a traditional basket weave pattern, with a single row of end-on-end bricks laid as a stretcher border course for the paving.
TIP For sloping sites, high-traffic areas or where subsoil is loose, add a 100mm layer of compacted roadbase.
Order the supplies
It pays in both time and money to get your material estimates right.
PAVING SAND is available in bulk from landscape suppliers or buy it bagged. To calculate the amount multiply the length x width x depth of the area.
BEACH SAND can be used to make a sand and cement mortar mix, and to grout finished paving.
SAND AND CEMENT premixed mortars come in 20kg bags and just need water.
BRICKS AND PAVERS are measured by surface area. A standard brick is about 230 x 110mm, giving you about 40 bricks per square metre when used largest face up. Add an extra 5% for cuts and breakages.
For a path it’s usually necessary to cut a number of bricks to fit.
You can cut them dry using an angle grinder with a segmented diamond blade but if you’re not experienced with this tool, use a simple brickie’s bolster.
Mark the cut line on the brick face and position it on a firm but not hard surface, like a lawn.
Position the bolster on the marked line and strike a sharp blow with a lump hammer. The brick should break cleanly.
TIP For big jobs, hire a wet-bladed brick saw, for about $100 a day.