Easy, Breezy Flagstone Patio Project

IMG_0612Several years ago, my husband and I bought a pallet of flagstone. We’re not spontaneous shoppers. In fact, it takes us quite a while to decide to purchase anything until we’re good and ready to use it. So the fact that we’ve had this flagstone sitting in what my husband refers to as our “bone yard” is unusual. Neither of us is even sure what instigated the purchase.

Then a couple years ago, we tore out an old deck that surrounded our hot tub. We thought the flagstone would make the perfect alternative. But there was enough that I thought it would also take up a bare patch in front of our front deck, as well. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago, when we were cleaning up in preparation for hosting a baby shower, that we got motivated to actually get started on those projects. We had a friend who owed us a favor do the area around the hot tub, but he didn’t have time to do the other section.

When I get an idea in my head, it’s really hard to talk me out of it. Although we’ve been walking past this ugly section in our front yard for about four years, I couldn’t allow it to be on display for the guests at the baby shower. And really, how hard could it be to lay flagstone? A little sand, muscle and creativity—and voila!

I’m sharing this project with you because, as it turned out, it was quite easy. It took me about two days. Start by breaking up and leveling out the area to be covered. By leveling, I mean there should be a downward slope for water to drain—preferably away from your house or any other structure. The area I covered is about 150 square feet. I purchased a product called green sand for the base, although decomposed granite is probably a better choice—it just wasn’t available. The amount needed depends on how deep you want your base. And that will depend on how much traffic the area will get. Ours won’t get a lot. My plan is to use it for potted plants.

You need to decide how close you want your flagstone to be—just like tiling, the closer it is, the more you need. If it will get a lot of traffic, you want thicker flagstone and a thicker base. I started on one end and worked my way to the other. My mistake is that I shoveled and leveled the entire base before starting to set the flagstone. It assured me I had enough product, but I also had to rework the base and ended up shoveling quite a bit back out as the stone takes up some of the base area.

The section I did has a retaining wall around the front end, so I knew I’d want the flagstone to be level with that retaining wall. The back end was beneath the deck, and I needed some way to keep the base from flowing out. I trenched and laid some old brick we had end to end. Since this was the high end anyway, it was an easy fix. I didn’t need the flagstone to be set down very far. Once that was done, I laid weed cloth down before the base so I wouldn’t have to deal with those pesky weeds come spring. With a little extra weed cloth hanging over the edges, it assured that once the base was down, it wouldn’t leak through any cracks between the bricks. After the entire job is done, you can trim the weed cloth so it doesn’t show.

And the result is a clean, weed-free patio.

2 thoughts on “Easy, Breezy Flagstone Patio Project

  1. It looks like you did a good job. My experience with weed cloth is that it works the first year, but after that I had weeds. I am always in awe of the heavy jobs you do. I am sure that your exercise routine keeps you fit enough for those job. I need to follow your lead in that area. How did the baby shower go?

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