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Today I will show you how I build an individual brick terrace. We are looking at a backyards with two small terraces and ponds that were build 20 years ago. Now the owner would like a bigger terrace and the leaking ponds need to go so it’s time for a change. The plan is to take out the existing terrace-clinker stones, reuse them and add new ones to build a spacious terrace so that it fits well to this nice backyard. But first we are removing the old ponds to get space, but water as design element will not be banned from this backyard since we will build a stream along the new terrace. A link to the video stream can be found at the end of this video. In the area of the future terrace the pond is being removed and filled up. It is important that the filling material can be compressed well, sand usually is the best choice. The compression is done in layers of maximum 15cm/6″ with a 150kg/330lbs compactor. At the same time the existing paving clinkers are picked up and stored on site. If the stones are to be reused as in this case, I recommend to clean off the stones immediately with a trowel to pile them up nicely and clean. Often stacking them on pallets is recommended to allow moving them. In this case, the clinkers are stored close to the terrace area but out of the way. A clean stacking has the advantage that the quantity can easily be calculated. The approximate shape of the terrace is now roughly marked out and brought to the right height. Before continuing to prepare the supporting layer, drainpipes and power cables are laid. The brick rim basically will enclose the two colors of the new terrace to a uniform solid image. It also makes a nice edge towards the water stream. The stones are placed with a spirit level and rubber hammer into 10cm/4″ of concrete. The height is determined by a mason cord. At least a 2% slope is scheduled away from the building. To get the right harmonic roundness you can draw it roughly into the sand before you set the stones. As a special feature I am including a few boulders into the edge. This basically loosens up the sterile image of clinker and ensures an optical connection between terrace and stream. The rim is completely pulled through to the other end of the terrace, where the edge is going to be used as a step. Therefore a small piece of wall and the old step has to go. After that the new step can be made to fit the level and slope of the terrace. For a better stability the bricks at the step are being grouted. The compacted sand is pulled off flatly about 8cm or 3 inches (thats the thickness of one clinker plus at least 1 inch) below the upper edge of the pavers and covered with fabric. Then the 2/8mm mineral grit is applied and spread the correct height about 1 inch thick. Now you can begin to lay the brick clinkers. Care must be taken on a uniform joint pattern, especially because one stone usually is not exactly as big as another. Therefore the aluminum lath is used to check if the rows are strait and readjusted if necessary. I start to lay the new blue clinkers from the outside starting at the round rim. That way the shape is automatically transfered to the whole paving surface. Cross joints can be avoided by using half a stone every now and then throughout the lines. The shape of the terrace requires a lot of cutting work. For this I only have this electric grinder available but I would rather recommend a cutter table for more precise cutting and comfort. So piece by piece all stones are individually marked and cut. Now only this little area of blue clinkers are left to lay. Here is how you can get the grit to the correct height with a piece of wood board. Now there are only a few clinkers left to cut and the terrace surface is all closed. For jointing material sand or fine grit can be used that has zero percentage of very fine dust particles so that it cannot be washed into the bedding by rain. After sweeping in the joints and cleaning the surface a small compactor with a rubber mat can be used to achieve optimal surface flatness. If you want to do that you should lay the clinkers 5-10mm higher because they will sag as you compact. Now the terrace is finished and the beds are planted. Using boulders and gravel avoids a high maintenance level and matches the rest of the garden and the stream. This way the terrace is tucked in harmoniously between the winter garden and water stream. I would be glad if this video helped you in any way to finish your project or maybe give you some ideas.
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