How To Lay Brick Patio Over Dirt (Step-By-Step w/ Videos)

Are you thinking about installing a patio in your backyard?

Would you like something that’s a little bit different than the traditional concrete slab style patio without having to break the bank to get something pricey?

Have you ever considered a brick patio for this type of style?

If you like the look of rustic, old-fashioned, country style patios, you’re in the right place. Brick patios are an excellent combination of these styles that will help your backyard hearken back to a simpler time. You’ll want to sit on your brick patio and sip sweet tea and lemonade all summer long when you finish installing it.

But is putting down brick more complicated than laying down a smooth surface? Laying brick over dirt is actually much simpler than putting down a smooth surface like tile, stone, or concrete slab patios, and this job is great for beginners, too. Of course, it’s not without some difficulties, so it’s important to read up on how to lay brick patio over dirt before you determine whether or not you can handle it.

Check out our information below to learn everything you need to know about the materials you’ll need for this task as well as the steps you’ll take to complete it. By the time you finish reading, you’ll be ready to get started building right away!

Materials

Note that you are going to need to measure the area of the patio you’re looking to create before you go shopping for your materials. Everyone’s measurements will be different, so take time to do the math when you have this figured out to determine how many bricks you need to purchase. Measure the area of your patio and the length and width of each brick, and don’t forget to account for the inch of space between each brick as well. When in doubt, always purchase extra bricks so you don’t have to make lots of trips back and forth to the home improvement store!

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  • Stakes and guidelines
  • Square spade
  • Rake or 2x4 (for leveling dirt)
  • Bricks as needed to cover the area of your patio
  • Quick-mix or quick-set concrete cement
  • Stiff-bristled broom
  • Smaller stiff broom for spreading evenly
  • Garden hose
  • Bucket

Steps

  • 1
    The first step, as with laying almost any type of patio, is to level the ground. Use your stakes and guidelines to mark the area where you want to lay your brick patio.
  • 2
    Use your level to make sure all the lines of your brick patio are even and straight. This will give you an excellent starting point from which to adjust the slope of the patio.
  • 3
    Slightly move the angle of the guidelines so that the side opposite your home is sloping gently downward. This will allow for rain runoff and prevent water damage from affecting your home or your new patio.
  • 4
    Use a square spade to dig out the soil inside the guidelines. Dig to a depth of about four inches evenly around, taking care to account for the gentle slope you’re looking to create.
  • 5
    Use a piece of wood or a rake to get the dirt very level. Use your level to triple-check the dirt before you move on.
  • 6
    Start laying your bricks from the outside of the perimeter working inward. Space them with roughly an inch of space between all sides of each brick.

Note: During this step, you may want to work on the pattern of your bricks. You can choose whether or not you want them to all be going in the same direction or alternating every now and then to create the design you’re looking for.

  • 7
    As you’re working, make sure you tap down the dirt evenly if you notice any problem areas.
  • 8
    When all your bricks are in place, mix up your quick concrete cement mixture according to the package directions. If you purchase the type that can be simply put in place without needing any mixing, you can skip this step.
  • 9
    Dump the concrete into even mounts over the patio.
  • 10
    Use a stiff-bristle broom to spread the concrete evenly so that it fills in all the spaces between the bricks to the same height.
  • 11
    Use a smaller broom to make sure everything is even before you continue.
  • 12
    Use your garden hose to sprinkle water gently over the cement so that it settles in place. This will cause the cement to start hardening.
  • 13
    Let the patio sit for a couple of days before rinsing off the excess cement and using it as desired. It may take a little scrubbing to get some of the cement off the top of the bricks, but it will come off.
  • 14
    Congratulations! You have just laid down a brick patio over dirt.

Conclusion

So what do you think? Do you feel like this is a DIY project you can easily undertake? It’s not too hard to lay a brick patio over dirt, and as long as you’re proficient with a shovel or spade and willing to take the time necessary to level and even out the dirt beforehand, you should have no trouble getting this job taken care of in a timely fashion. This is a labor-intensive job, but it’s also a one-person job, so you shouldn’t have to worry about having someone else to help you out if you’re looking for something you can do on your own.

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Brick is usually an excellent option for this type of patio because it settles into place well and isn’t too difficult to handle alone. It also doesn’t expand and contract too much for your cement filling to handle, and it gives your backyard a great rustic look as well. You can lay brick in all sorts of different patterns and styles, and since it’s fairly affordable, it’s a great alternative to some of the more expensive stones and tiles out there, too.

Keep in mind that brick may not be the best material for laying over dirt, depending on your situation, however. Think about the type of dirt you have in your backyard before you make this decision. If your yard is very soft, there’s a good chance brick is going to sink into the yard over time and become more trouble than it’s worth. However, if you have fairly firm soil in your backyard, you may be a great candidate for a beautiful brick patio.

If you choose to lay your own brick patio, you’re sure to enjoy the end results. Relaxing outside on a DIY brick patio is a great way to spend your warmer summer months with friends and family too!

BONUS VIDEO