My husband had no idea that I had plans to reuse the bricks he tore out of all four levels of our old farmhouse. But I new from the very first brick that it would someday be a part of my brick sidewalk!
Six years of renovations and we finally started the front porch allowing time for me to plan and prepare a charming, antique brick sidewalk.
I regretfully didn’t take many pictures of the process but I will do my best to explain. I started removing the top layer of ground at the porch steps and dug down the depth of the brick + 7″ and added about 4-6″ of width on each side of the steps. I stopped digging when I though I was getting close to where I would need the step. Make sure you are keeping the ground as level as possible.
Then I moved to the driveway side of the path and began digging out the ground toward the porch and stopped digging when the difference in height of the 2 levels was 8-10″. I put a 2×10 across the sidewalk where the step would be.
Then I poured in around 5-6″ of crushed stone (paver base) onto the top level only raking it around until it was level. I did use a 4′ level for this step as well and poured a little bit of extra stone in a couple of low sections. Then I tampered it down and checked again to make sure it was level.
I layed the first row of bricks half way under the bottom step and then started to lay the rest of the bricks in a herringbone pattern, leveling every brick as I went. When I got close to where the step was going to be, I pulled the 2×10 out and dug a trench was about 1 feet deep and three times the width of the bricks. I poured 6 inches of gravel in and filled the rest of the trench in with concrete, checking again that it was level.
After the concrete dried, I mixed mortar and spread a 1/2″ thick layer across the concrete. I laid the first row of brick in the mortar 1/2″ apart and filled the gaps with mortar and wiped the front with a wet sponge. Then I topped the first row of bricks with mortar and another row of bricks until I reached the height of the upper sidewalk. While it dried, I filled in the bottom portion of the sidewalk with paver base, sand, and bricks. Then I back filled the riser with gravel, added an inch or 2 of leveling sand and filled in the rest of the herringbone pattern.