How to Build a Flagstone Walkway

A dry-set stone walkway can be a simple project to add elegance your outdoors. This project can be completed in a weekend and does not require special tools or expertise.

Steps

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    Buy your flagstones. Look in your yellow pages for a vendor of landscape materials, and call to make sure flagstones are in stock, and whether they are the size you can lift. When you see the flagstones you will notice that they are of many sizes and shapes, being a natural material. Select stones enough for the surface area you plan to cover. Avoid those with a very uneven contour on either side. If there is an unbalanced contour on the bottom it can provide a place for the stone to break in half under traffic, and if the irregularity is on the top someone may trip on it. None, however, are smooth as concrete. Consider having them delivered.
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    Once you are home, lay out the shape of the path you want with garden hose laid on the ground. Curved paths are more inviting because the eye does not see the destination immediately, rather a discovery process is enjoyed as one travels a curved walk.
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    Remove all grass and topsoil 4 inches (10.2 cm) deep from the path area. The grass can be planted as sod in another area, or composted.
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    Spread sand to a depth of 2 inches (5.1 cm). Use coarse "washed" sand, which lets rain percolate through, instead of clogging up.
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    Set the flagstones into place, with a border between each of at least an inch. Fit the flagstones together jigsaw-puzzle style, but put the best walking stones in the center of the path. Space the stones according to the stride length of the average person who will use the path.
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    Spread more sand on top and sweep it to fill up the spaces between stones. Done!!

Warnings

  • If you are in a cold and damp climate, you may want to install a compacted base before installing the sand bed to keep frost heave from moving the stones out of level.
  • Lift smart, protect your back, wear eye and nose protection when pouring sand, consider getting help to speed things up.

Article Info

Categories: Paths and Paving