Chip is excited to help our readers with their own projects. If you don’t see your question below, keep checking back as Chip continues to answer homeowner questions throughout the year. Here are his tips:We have a one-story brick ranch home with a wooden deck, and we’ve always wanted to build a patio out from the deck to give us more outdoor living area and space for a Jacuzzi. I retired last month and finally have the time to enjoy this space, but I’m concerned about mixing brick with brick and the wooden deck. How do you think those two go together, and do you have any recommendations for what we should do to get started? – Catherine W. A wood deck can be nice, but it takes a lot of maintenance, especially if you are not using premium exotic hardwoods, which can be extremely expensive and still require maintenance. You can stain the wood to match the deck, again that is that maintenance issue that will come up every year to protect your investment. Putting in a hardscape with pavers might give you a little more peace of mind in the maintenance category. Pavers outlast any decking, and Belgard offers a variety of natural tones to complement any existing color scheme, even brick. We recently put an addition on our house to expand our kitchen. In order to free up space for that, we pulled up the old patio. Now we are going to lay a new patio. I’d like to reuse the bricks from the old one if we can. Is that a good idea? If so, is there anything we can do to keep the grass and weeds from growing up between the bricks like they did in our old patio? – Kara W. This can be a good idea if the bricks are in good shape, if there are enough of them, and if they are thick enough. I would recommend using the bricks potentially as an accent, and use another material that is more suited to last in a paver form that is more cost effective to install. If you properly prepare your grade and pavers with the right base, there are only a few types of plants that can successfully root in the sand. These plants are easily kept at bay with the bimonthly spray of weed killer. Three years ago we bought a home on Florida’s west coast. It had a concrete lanai with a small concrete patio outside, and we added large concrete pavers to make the patio area larger. The concrete lanai has a design in it and there are several cracks, so it needs a facelift. What we’d like to do is put smaller pavers over the entire area. Can we do this, even though there are two different bases? And, can we use an adhesive instead of sand? I don’t want sand inside my lanai, and I’d like the interior and exterior living spaces to be the same. – Elaine S. As long as the concrete is not displaced, meaning it has big cracks with the concrete being left very uneven, you can go right over the top. You can do a crush and sand base over the concrete or you can clean the concrete thoroughly and add a bonding catalyst, then you can mortar the pavers right down to the surface. This can be a very effective way of using what is already there. How accurate is the Belair retaining wall stone in height when you mix the three inch and the six inch block together? I am assuming the two threes match the six inch brick in height otherwise you would have a wave in the wall, correct? – David K. Great question. The 6” and the 3” Belair are compatible to work in combination with each other as a multi height retaining or free standing wall structure. Belair is designed to be easy-to-use and to give design flexibility. Belair Wall can be used for free standing walls or columns as well as retaining walls and even sweeping curves. It’s also a great product for terraces, raised patios and steps. Belgard has some good information and laying patterns for combination Belair Wall on their website.
Chip Wade–Love the 2010 Belgrade Showhouse–even cut the pic from magazine and plan to use–I would love to know the name of the Belgrade Paver you used in the outside pit area–also, you said the pit stone was native NY bluestone–would Belgrade have that , also? Thanks