Introduction: Brick Patio Installation Levelling Tool
This Instructable is simple. But it saved me a lot of time, and I want to pass the tip on.
I installed a cement brick patio. Anyone else who has done so knows it takes a lot of digging and levelling to get it right. In my case the ground was not level so some parts had to be dug deeper than others to make a level foundation.
Normally you use stakes, string and bubble levels to lay out a grid and dig to the right depth. Instead I bought a laser level ($20 Amazon) and spray painted part of the handle on a hand tamper white. Then drew a line with a Sharpie Pen at the right height so when the laser line matched the Sharpie line the depth was correct.
I am almost embarrassed to post this, but it worked, and I have not seen it on any you-tube videos I looked at as I prepared for this project.
Hand Tamper, Home Depot $29
White Spray paint... left over from other projects
Sharpie Pen... Pen drawer
Laser Level, Amazon $19
Step 1: Dig to Correct Depth
The Sharpie line was drawn as a rough spiral, so you could add depth at one end for water run-off and drainage. Then just spin the tamper to the correct depth for the slope you want. The higher the line, the deeper the depth.
The process is dig, check depth by laser line on tamper. When close tamp until depth is correct. Move on to next area.
Having a quick check over the whole 250sqft area saved a lot of time and effort.
Step 2: Final Steps
This section is not part of the laser level idea but a quick summary of the remaining steps.
For completion, once I had a level compacted base of soil, a layer of weed barrier was placed over the dirt. I used PVC quarter rounds as scree guides to lay a sand base to a consistent depth over the already level dirt base, and used "paver base", an interlocking polypropylene pad on top of that. Then laid the pavers.
The paver base pads were a real time saver. The manufacturer calls for level compacted dirt base, weed barrier, 1/2" sand and then paver base, with brick on top. Not 8" of gravel first. They cost $2.25.sqft but might be a wash on savings from gravel. My back is definitely glad I used them.
Last tip: use a diamond tip angle grinder blade to cut the pavers to fit the edges (with goggles and mask for protection). It beats score and chip and is 3 blades for $25 at home depot.