Tips for Replacing a Brick Paver Patio | Ep. 171

Brick paver patio. Left side shows a close-up view of patio with missing pavers. Right side shows wide shot of brick patio.
This brick paver patio can be easily repaired — or it can be the construction site of a patio upgrade.

Homeowners have plenty of options to create their own backyard paradise. A traditional concrete patio or wooden deck is simple and functional, or you can show off your style with something like a brick paver patio.

But styles and trends change as the years go by, and nothing lasts forever.

That’s the concern for Vic, who lives in a 1970s home in Hickory, North Carolina.

He says, “I have an aging brick paver patio, roughly 9 feet by 20 feet — there are some loose bricks and separating brick posts. It appears pavers are laid on a solid concrete base that is raised and brick-faced.”

Vic wants to expand the area’s footprint for decking, but he’s not keen on jackhammering all the current building materials and starting over again.

So, he wonders, “Can I, or should I, remove the pavers to the concrete base and use that to build a composite deck? The paver removal would allow for stepdown relief at the slider.”

Here’s our advice: If you like the look of the brick, and you’re just frustrated by, say, 20 percent of the bricks coming loose, clean them and stick them back into place with mortar. It’s an easy do-it-yourself project and it won’t cost more than a couple of hundred dollars.

If you want a bigger-budget remodel, we noticed that this patio is low to the ground, and we think decks look better when they’re higher off the ground.

How about this: cover the brick paver patio with an exterior floor-leveling compound. Then, extend the footprint by adding paver base out in the yard and pack it in place.

You can glue new, perhaps large (and modern-looking) 12-by-24-inch pavers on top of the leveled bricks.

That would be one stylish upgrade — perfect for large outdoor gatherings.

Skip to [08:10] for the full segment on the Today’s Homeowner Podcast.

Also in this episode:

  • Tips for Filling in Mortises on Interior Doors
  • Covering Asbestos Above Basement DuctWork
  • Pro Tips on Replacing Asphalt Shingles with Metal Roofing

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“Today’s Homeowner” Simple Solutions host Joe Truini places soil in ice cream cones

Simple Solutions

Ice-Cream Cone Seed Starters—Starting plants from seeds indoors is a great way to get a jump start on summer planting.

But, instead of using small plastic pots, try making seed starters out of flat-bottom wafer ice cream cones.

Just fill the cones with potting soil, poke a hole in the soil with a pencil and drop in the seeds. Cover the seeds with soil and place the cones in an aluminum baking pan. Mist the soil in each cone with water and place them in a sunny window.

Once the seeds have sprouted and the weather is consistently warm enough, plant the seedling—ice-cream cone and all—right into your garden. The cones are biodegradable and will decompose into the garden soil within a week or so. 

Watch: DIY Seed Starter Made of Ice Cream Cones

LED string lights, seen above kitchen cabinets

Add Accent Lighting to Kitchen—Here’s how to add subtle accent lighting in your kitchen, without having to call an electrician.

For a nice, warm glow, place two strands of LED battery-powered lights on top of the kitchen cabinets, one near the wall and one closer to the front edge of the cabinets.

And if you get the lights with a built-in six-hour timer, the lights will automatically turn on each afternoon and off each evening.

Watch: The Easy Way to Add LED Accent Lighting

Mailbox with flowers surrounding the post

Question of the Week

Q: I’m installing a new mailbox and want to set the post in the hole and then pour concrete around it. How deep and wide should I dig the hole?

Also, I was planning to mix the concrete with water and then pour it into the hole. However, my neighbor said that I can just dump in the dry concrete mix and then add water.

Is that right? How does the concrete harden if it’s not mixed with water?

Skip to [32:35] for the full segment on the Today’s Homeowner Podcast.

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