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Preliminary Decisions:

  • Choose if you would like natural pillars, brick pillars or pillars made of segmental block or man-made faux stone.
  • Look online and decide what height and width you would like your brick or stone pillars to be, making sure it is commensurate with your driveway, patio or lot size.
  • To decide the placement of your pillars, remember you will lose some of your view and it may give you a defined end to your patio or it can be a barrier to an unsightly area of a neighbor's yard or common property.
  • You may want a mailbox installed inside your pillar if it's in the front of your home.

How to Install Pillars

  • Lay out the brick or stone veneer pillars by measuring the area and spray paint the ground to get a good feel for what you are looking for.
  • Remove the grass but save some to use as backfill/sod upon project completion.
  • Depending on the size of the pillars, prepare for the footing system by digging 2′ down (that is the frost line in the Washington, DC area) or until you have found compacted soil.
  • Install #4 or 1/2" rebar in the hole. Most times 2 strands going right to left will be sufficient.
  • Fill with at least 8″ of concrete, 30 inches square.
  • Install CMU (cinder) block to the dimension you require for your brick or stone pillar.
  • If you choose stone, install a scratch coat of mortar and let cure before installing the stone.
  • Install the veneer of brick or stone.
  • If your brick or stone pillars have "shoulders" (angles) on the sides, use a flat, matching flagstone as the veneer so as not to catch water.
  • Fill the joints with mortar compound and clean the joints, either with a jointing tool or sponge.
  • Use the original, leftover dirt and grass as backfill and clean up the area.
  • Let the mortar cure and acid wash to take off the residue.
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