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Old 04-05-2009, 02:29 PM
BostonBull BostonBull is offline
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Spaced Flagstone "Patio" PICS

I am looking for pictures and any tips on installing a spaced out flagstone patio. This will be roughly 8'x10', and installed in my lawn where we step off the deck. This area is constantly compacted and this seems like a cheap solution.






Here are examples of what I am trying to do:


Structured rows



"Freestyle"

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Old 04-05-2009, 02:37 PM
BostonBull BostonBull is offline
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Here is the area I am working in
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Old 04-05-2009, 06:51 PM
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johnsonslawnmanagement johnsonslawnmanagement is offline
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Use 2-3" thick flagstone. This allows for an inch or two of good topsoil backfill around the stones before the sod goes in around them. We have installed dozens of patios this way.
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Old 04-05-2009, 07:06 PM
BostonBull BostonBull is offline
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what should I lay as the base? 3/4" Limestone with fines, stone dust, sand, or just place on the existing soil?
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Old 04-05-2009, 07:10 PM
GreenLight GreenLight is offline
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Im sure there are a lot of different opinions on this, but here is the way we do it...

In a situation like this where you will be planting the joints with a groundcover of some type we basically do a clean sweep excavation of the entire surface with the exception of the outer edge (generally taking out 3 inches of dirt, give or take a bit to get your pallet level and below final grade by 2-3 inches...

1) Next we generally would use some type of mortar w/crushed limestone or 8910 mix and simply build the patio almost like you would if you were building on top of concrete or a compacted surface. IE, set the flagstone on a mortar bed and then use your rubber mallet and a level to tamp into proper place and levels.

2) Let that dry obviously 24-48 hours if possible and then come back in and sweep and walk in or tamp the initially removed dirt as a jointer and then plant your groundcover back in the joints. (When putting the dirt back in try to backfill your joints before putting a lot of traffic on the stone)..

Yes, you can try to simply dig up and set each stone individually without all the excavation and the mortar. In my experience it's a royal pain in the rear to count on the original grade being agreeable and it's also not easy to get your levels right with unless you have some type of base material other than the original dirt.
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Old 04-05-2009, 08:17 PM
BostonBull BostonBull is offline
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I was planning on excavating the whole area, and then placing the stone on top of a base. I would then backfill with loam, and top dress with compost for the grass seed to take in.

I wanted to be sure that my plan was accurate.
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Old 04-05-2009, 08:45 PM
GreenLight GreenLight is offline
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That sounds like a sound method, the only thing I would stray from is the seed part. I would definitely cut in sod or put in a groundcover (dwarf mondo, etc...Sod would be much cheaper but then it has to be maintained as well). 2 reasons.

1) One heavy rain and your loose soil is going to have wash problems (coming out of the joints, spreading all over your hard work and the customer will be the one who has to wash off the stones, which im sure they wouldn't be pleased with and you will probably lose seed.

2) Just my opinion, but it's going to be an eye sore for the customer having what appears to be an unfinished patio waiting on seed to take.
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Old 04-05-2009, 09:01 PM
BostonBull BostonBull is offline
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Greenlight I like your thinking.

I am the customer, BTW, but sod seems like a good way to go. Wont need very much!
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Old 04-05-2009, 09:02 PM
BostonBull BostonBull is offline
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Will 1 pallet do an 8x10 area like I have outlined?

For a small space will the rows or freestlye look better?
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Old 04-05-2009, 09:12 PM
GreenLight GreenLight is offline
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No, you don't need anywhere close to a full pallet..If you have 80 square feet that you need sodded completely (no stone whatsoever), you would only need about 1/5 of a pallet. Most pallets are 450 square feet, some are 500 depending on the grass. If you are simply cutting in some sod in the 80 square foot area, but the bulk of the area will be stone, then this number would be even less.

All this being said, most all local sod farms will sell you individual sod pieces somewhere in the $1.50 range. Lets say you need 30-40 pieces, your cost would be roughly $50.00 and you can carry it in any small truck/suv with a little space in the back.

As far as the pattern goes, im a far bigger fan of the natural look of a puzzle. I am not a huge fan of rows and also to do rows you would most likely need to have cut square stones, which is quite a bit more expensive.

On the grass part, just so I am explaining properly, you would do all your stonework first and then the final step after backfilling and everything would be cutting the sod into the joints. You may find it easier to cut the sod first with a machette, edging shovel, some people even use strong carpet knives for a job like this. And then fit it into the joints...Cutting in sod between stone joints is not an easy task to do conventionally, but precutting it is not difficult either.

Last edited by GreenLight; 04-05-2009 at 09:18 PM.
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