As our new home plans were developing, we decided that a patio would be good for us.
A patio that was earthy, natural and good looking- after all we have been homesteaders- why wouldn’t it be Earthy? We decided on flagstones- We had gotten some soil from a supplier who also had flagstones and many varieties to choose from. On their website we saw the choices and made tentative plans.
First I had to dig down and remove a lot of red clay dirt. The stone we planned to lay out were an inch and a half to two and a half inches thick. We needed room for a base as well as the stones and we soon picked out the line that the top of the stones would be even with.
Every weekend my regimen was to break up and shovel 8-10 wheelbarrows full to the back of the latest garden raised beds. The were reared up to a sloping landscape and I needed to shore up it up in that area. We were glad the soil I was digging up had a practical place to go.
When I had room for 3-4 inches of base we went to the supplier’s yard. My wife had brought a piece of siding and when we looked at our choice our opinion changed suddenly. Amazing when you can see for yourself. So we went further back into the yard and walked up to all the flagstones on pallets. We both angled toward the choice we were to settle on and the order was in. We chose to use Granite Screenings for the base and the filler between the stones.
We shoveled the Granite Screenings into the hole and spread it level (pretty close).
The recommendation was for a machine to pack down the base but I opted for the manual way and left everything for a week. This material packs very closely with itself and we felt confident. I planned a Friday off to allow for a good start to the weekend.
My grandson offered to help me and on the first day we were able to get about a third of the flagstones spread out and level. He would continually refill a bucket with the screenings and I was busy working the screenings under each stone to make sure it was even with the others. Some would take more time than others– none of them were even.
The next day my wife took up the bucket chore and we progressed along. As some stones needed trimming, breaking, or chiseling off excess edges, we took time to do what was needed. I didn’t want a lot of little filler stones. As work progressed, we were so pleased with the color choice.
The following day I went out and spread some more of the granite screenings and swept it over and into all the seams. I took some concrete mortar mix and combined it with some of the granite screenings and swept that all over and then gave a spray of water. We could not have been more pleased.
And when the patio was done we found there were just enough flagstones to replace that temporary walkway at the front of our home– so a month or two later we got that area done as well. Now to plan staining the decks- 2 years and raw wood- time to make an improvement there.