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Side path budget paving using recycled materials

Making a Splash
Making a Splash


Recycled bricks and pavers used to make a solid side path.




The project


I want to share with you how I redid the paving of the sidewalk next to our house. The previous paving was loose in parts and very slippery in wet weather, so I decided to replace it.


To keep costs down, I reused concrete pavers that were left over from a patio upgrade and used bricks recycled from a demolition. I also used sand left over from the patio project. I only bought a tonne of road base and three bags of mortar.


Tools and materials


Tools used in the project:


Materials used in the project:





I first removed the old pavers and added edging where it was missing, using the mortar to bed it down. I let the mortar set for a few days to make sure it was hard.


The next steps were a bit more complex as I had to consider the different height of the pavers (40mm) and bricks (about 75mm).


Step 1


Lay base layer of road base


Since the bricks and pavers were of different height, I first laid the road base at the height of the thicker material, the bricks. As you can see from the photo below, I used timber on both sides to control the height of the layer. I then compacted the layer with a hand tamper.




Step 2


Lay pavers and bricks


I laid both materials so I could execute the next steps for only the pavers, since they needed additional road base. This enabled me to know where they would be situated and not have to move them later. During this step, I found out that some bricks were shorter than others, which enabled me to select the shorter ones and make a single line of concrete pavers to fit exactly at the end of the path.


Provisionary laying of pavers and bricks.




Step 3


Remove pavers only


I then removed the pavers to expose the areas that needed additional road base.


Step 4


Add road base


I added enough road base to lift the base for the pavers and compacted the area with the hand tamper.


Step 5


Add sand layer


Now I added the layer of sand to the area of the pavers. Since I only had a limited amount of leftover sand, I only added 10mm. To screed such a small height, I found two lengths of reinforcing bar (10mm diameter) worked perfectly as guides.


Step 6


Lay pavers


Then I laid the concrete pavers and cut to size where needed.




Step 7


Remove bricks


Now it was time to carefully remove the bricks.


Step 8


Add sand to bricks area


Then I added the same sand layer to the brick area. As the area was small, I used one brick to control for correct height to the pavers on each side.


Step 9


Lay bricks


Now I could lay the bricks and ensure they lined up with the pavers.




Step 10


Compact entire area


With the hand tamper I carefully compacted the entire path.


Step 11


Apply gap sand


I had half a bag of gap sand left from a previous project which I now distributed across the path. With a broom, I moved it around until all the gaps looked full. Using the soft hammer, I lightly tapped each paver and brick to make the gap sand fall further down and fill the gap completely, sometimes adding more sand until I was happy.




Step 12




The last step was to sweep the path and then lightly shower the entire area with a mist of water so that the sand could bind and harden. Then I blocked the path for two days so this process would not be disturbed.




I found several services (copper water pipe, cable) which I marked on the edging for when they need to be accessed.

Ideally, work with moist sand. My sand was dry, which made it a bit harder to work with. 

Once laid, shower the road base with water. This helps the smaller grains settle in and makes it even more compact. (Or use one of those rainy days to work for you)

Calculate the amount of road base (and sand) you need by using one of the online calculators.


Home Improvement Guru

Good Afternoon @TheHandySqirrel 

Oh yeah! As soon as I saw your path in the feed I had to click on it! Paths = recyled bricks and pavers! Perfect combination and they really work.

I really like how you have made them look, and the effort you have gone to to make it seamless! 


A beautiful job.



Finding My Feet

Path looks really great.  I'm a amateur is it hard to do?

Bunnings Team Member
Bunnings Team Member

Hello @Scbowra61 


It's great that you've been inspired by this paving project. Let me tag @TheHandySqirrel to make them aware of your question. The key to a good-looking paving project is preparation. If the foundation is level and your frame is straight your pavers will line up nicely. 


If you are interested in doing a paving project, I recommend starting a new discussion and posting a few photos. I'm sure our members will be more than happy to provide advice and information. 


Here is a handy step-by-step guide: How to pave a pathway.   


If you have any other questions, please let us know.




Making a Splash

Hi @Scbowra61,

this is only my second paving project, after the patio mentioned. I did a lot of learning on YouTube. It's not hard if you have the necessary tools and watched a few projects. The most important part in my opinion is a well-prepared base so your pavers don't move over time. Plus patience - fight the urge to lay the pavers! It's the last step and the better you prepare and execute the preparational steps the better and easier will the laying be.

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