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Patio surfacing - Ideas Please  RSS feed

 
Ed Johnson
Posts: 86
Location: Durham region - Ontario, Canada - Zone 5
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I am going to build a 500-700sqft patio off the back of my house. Will likely edge it with chunks of grey limestone.  I would like to avoid ending up with the standard concrete or manufactured interlock while keeping cost down, maintenance low and looks good. Also, I'm in Ontario so it has to be able to take the freeze thaw cycle.

I wonder if some sort of stabilized compressed earth could work?

All thoughts, ideas, experience appreciated
 
                                          
Posts: 19
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Hi, I had a long letter for you but couldnt get it to post. so the shorthand. Zen garden type raked gravel area,flagstone,drylaid brick or cordwood wafers. If use loose gravel "fence it in" or it will creep away. best wishes.
 
Dale Hodgins
gardener
Posts: 6795
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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    I've built many patios from recycled brick. If you're handy and not afraid of heights or claustrophobic you can take down old chimneys where you'll find mountains of brick. There's good money in doing this. You'll find that you also end up with some firebrick and sometimes Slate and tile. Paving with old bricks you'll need 4 1/2 bricks for every square foot. For large areas the most forgiving design is herringbone and it allows you to break off stepped pathways. Whenever doing a path with staggered rows of bricks use your broken bricks on the inside of curves. When you come out of the curve your brick pattern will be staggered properly. There are very simple how-to books at the library. One company that makes very good guides is ortho although I would never buy one of their books since the parent company is Monsanto. Of course they advise spraying all sorts of horrible chemicals to keep down the weeds . Low growing herbs such as thyme make nice crack plantings. Grass and weeds aren't much of a problem if you plan something that wants to live in the hot dry cracks between paving. If you decide to go this route let me know. You can send me a picture of the chimney out give you a ballpark as to what I would charge to do it. I've done hundreds and always make money in the process. The paving bricks are a bonus.
 
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