My Honeyman is the bombdiggity. Whatever I can dream... he can build. Right now we are in the middle of building a beautiful... oh, but wait... that's another day's post that you'll just have to wait for. Today we are sharing Part One of how we built our gorgeous FLAGSTONE PATIO... totally by ourselves. Why pay someone else to do what we can do together as a family? Family Projects give us an opportunity to work together shoulder to shoulder. Together we learn valuable attributes such as patience and respect for each other and staying with a job until it's finally done. And when our project is completed, together we feel the exhilaration of building something beautiful. These are the ties that bind us into a Forever Family.
Here is Part One: Preparing the Foundation
written by (drumroll please)... My Honeyman:
"As with most of our DIY projects, the planning, preparation and purchasing activities took a good deal of time, but were critical to the beauty of the resulting patio. For those eager to start building your patio, don't be tempted to rush ahead here!
Important considerations we first needed to address:
• Where to locate the patio? We had already decided this long ago, reserving a space for the patio in our master plan.
• How large should it be? Smaller would have been easier and less expensive, but we wanted a place to live outdoors and entertain, and so needed some substantial space. We ultimately laid 750 square feet of flagstone, requiring about 4 tons of 2 inch thick flagstone.
• Shape? We love sweeping curves in our garden, but a square patio may fit your landscape just as well.
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• Preparing the slope of the subsoil is CRUCIAL! It must slope slightly away from the house in order to provide proper drainage. A square-mouth shovel and lots of patience will be required to get it right.
• We then outlined the space with ½ inch by 4 inch composite bender board, securing it temporarily in place with wooden stakes that were removed as the stones were laid. (The small rolls of edging from the big box stores will not give you the results you want; check with sprinkler supply stores for the more professional materials.)
• We next rolled out weed barrier fabric across all the exposed soil. We actually divided the project into sections for this phase of the construction.
• Finally, we spread a 1 and 1/2 inch layer of masonry sand over the weed barrier. The more level you can get this layer, the easier it will be to level the flagstone later. Tip: we first laid lengths of plastic pipe in parallel every 3 feet or so, then spread the sand between the pipe using a shovel. A length of lumber was then used to scrape or screed the sand. Once the sand was level between pipes, we carefully removed the pipes to continue the process elsewhere. Just ignore the impressions where the pipes were removed—they won’t matter once the stones are placed."
Well said, Dear! Now a few pics and my color commentary:
The morning our sand and stone arrived was a perfect day. I was apprehensive that the bobcat could carry those heavy pallets across my lawn without causing major damage, but it all worked out. Two tons of sand and four tons of stone.
The bobcat did leave his tracks in my Honeyman's well prepared and leveled surface, but that would be a quick fix. With the sand's arrival he was anxious to try his PVC pipe idea to aid in the leveling of the sand, so he got right to it. It worked like a dream!
*Notice the small concrete pad laid by the contractor when the house was built... their idea of a patio. We just worked over this.
Actually HE works like a dream... still chugging after all these years.
Next post... Laying the Stone. This was challenging and labor intensive, and we all took part in this phase. Think of a giant puzzle to assemble!