Brick has been a popular home construction material for hundreds of years. Yet bricks used for patios are a little different than the ones you would use on your home. They must be specially fired, so they're less porous. If you live in a location where it freezes, make sure to check that your bricks are of the correct grade for your type of environment.
While you may think that all brick patios must be red and very linear, brick patios can be different. Along with red, bricks also come in tan, black and other shades. A different color is not the only way to make brick patios more interesting. Think about creating a pattern with the bricks. Some popular patterns include herringbone, or alternating bricks on a 90-degree angle, as well as a pinwheel, which forms a square with four regular-sized bricks and a half brick in the middle.
Bricks can offer natural warmth along with a formal elegance, but there are some drawbacks. If installed on sand instead of mortar, you can have weeds popping up in between the bricks, yet these spaces also leave room for plants that might soften the look of the patio. If not properly installed, bricks can be more uneven than paved concrete or interlocking concrete pavers. This can also happen over time as bricks settle. Finally, brick is usually more expensive than concrete pavers.
Whether you add a patio of brick, stone or another material, it will give you added square footage perfect for entertaining or relaxing.
More Great Links
- Baker, Kermit PhD, Hon. AIA. "As Housing Market Weakens, Homes Are Getting Smaller." The American Institute of Architects. June 6, 2008. (May 26, 2009)http://info.aia.org/aiarchitect/thisweek08/0606/0606b_htdsq2.cfm
- Birkholz RLA ASLA LEED AP, Liz. 2010-2011 vice-president elect of communications, American Society of Landscape Architects. Personal interview. May 28, 2009.
- Carter, Tim. The Washington Post. "Picking the Perfect Patio Pavers." February 7, 2009. (June 3, 2009)http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/05/AR2009020504118.html
- City of Palo Alto, Public Works. "Permeable Pavement." (May 28, 2009)http://www.cityofpaloalto.org/depts./pwd/flood_+_storm/stormwater_rebates/permeable_pavement.asp
- Davitt, Keith. Hardscaping: how to use structures, pathways, patios & ornaments in your garden. Sterling Publishing Co. 2006.
- Driemen, John. Open Air Designs: evaluating, planning and building the perfect outdoor living space. HPBooks. 1988.
- Editorial staff of Ortho Books. Landscaping Decks, Patios & Balconies. Ortho Books. 1994.
- Editors of Sunset Books and Sunset Magazine. The Complete Patio Book. Lane Publishing Co. 1990.
- Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute. "Permeable Pavements." (May 28, 2009)http://www.icpi.org/design/permeable_pavers.cfm
- Mosca, Peter L. Realty Times. "Popularity of Outdoor Living Spaces Increases." October 1, 2007. (June 3, 2009)http://realtytimes.com/rtpages/20071001_outdoorliving.htm
- Outdoor Living: The Ultimate Project Guide. Landauer Corporation. 2002.
- Peters, Rick. Popular Mechanics moneysmart makeovers. Porches, decks & patios. Hearst Books. 2005.
- Sierra Club Green Home. "Permeable Paving." (May 28, 2009)http://www.sierraclubgreenhome.com/go-green/landscaping-and-outdoors/permeable-paving/
- Tavella, Thomas FASLA. President of Tavella Design Group. Personal interview. May 27, 2009.
- Walks, Walls & Patios. Creative Homeowner. 2004.
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