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just getting in to stonework

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Treewalker PA, Sep 26, 2006.

  1. Treewalker PA

    Treewalker PA LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    I recently spent some time with a stonemason on a big stonewall project and quickly became fascinated with the work. I've been reading a lot about stonework since then and there are a few things that I can't really get difinitive answers to.

    1. How deep should the excavation be for a patio or walkway in an area that is prone to heaving.

    2. What is the ideal material to use for the base of a patio/walkway in an area with harsh weather.

    3. Is it better to mortar the joints of a walkway in an area that is going to heave or leave them dry. Will mortar really make a big difference.

    Any input would be much appreciated!

    Thanks, Dan
  2. mbella

    mbella LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,284

    I've been told, this area experiences more freeze/thaw cycles than any other area of the country and for us, typical excavation depth is 9". However, that depth assumes that suitable subsoil will be found at that depth. If not, we excavate until we find terra firma.

    In a typical application, the ideal base material is 3/4" modified. There are some overdig applications where other types of stone are more beneficial, but typically the 3/4" modified is the aggregate of choice.

    Never mortar a joint on anything but a wet lay. If your structure doesn't have a footer that is deeper than the frost line, you shouldn't be installing mortar joints. They will crack and break down during freeze/thaw cycles.
  3. BufalinoLand

    BufalinoLand LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 400

    Thanks a lot

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