Crafty Home Improvement: How to build a DIY flagstone patio

Upgrade your backyard by constructing a patio area perfect for your outdoor celebrations and activities.

You can never go wrong with the versatility of stone designs for your home. If you want to kickstart your next patio project, here’s a beginner-friendly construction guide as well as some tips for a better masonry experience.

7 Easy Steps in Constructing Your Flagstone Patio

Step 1: Select a style or patio inspiration

First, in choosing a patio style, you need to consider a design with good water drainage to prolong the patio’s durability. Do not make it too flat or entirely level. 

The ideal stone thickness is 1-2 inches while larger stone sizes are preferable for patios. You would also have to do research on stones like the prominent stone type in your area and search if you plan to install an irrigation line.

Here are some well-structured house patio work to help you visualize the possible end product of your construction:

Step 2: Dig the patio ground

Dig down around 6 inches which is enough for 3-4 inches of gravel, 1-inch levelling material, and the thickness of the flagstones. If you plan to add a wall to the patio, it must be 15-18 inches deep.

The top-level should be the same level as the surrounding ground, so place guide strings first to excavate at the right depth.

Step 3: Add coarse gravel base

This is essential in building an even grounding. Lay 1-2 inches of gravel at a time. Keep it dry and compact before you add another layer.

Repeat this work until it is packed down just right to ensure the stones will not break once laid.

Step 4: Fill in with sand

Set at least 2 inches of sand to fill in the gravel joints fully. Keep the sand graded by using a mason line and line level. Once flat, hose a bit of water to dampen the sand and let it set.

This is the last layer before you lay the stones so the end product for this section should be set at the correct slope.

Step 5: Laying flagstone pieces

Make sure that the larger stones are chopped into smaller stone pieces to make the patio area look proportional. It would also save you time to create bigger stone gaps.

Position the large stones around the perimeter of the patio then proceed with the smaller stones as you move toward the center. Fill the gaps using gravel, concrete, or mortar, but do not let it drip down the wall of the stones.

Step 6: Level the stones

Once the stones are placed, level the stones again to make the edges even then cover remaining joints with refined sand or mortar.

Step 7: End it with some finishing touches 

Usual options for this part are textured stone chunks. You can also add a retaining wall to level up your project. However, you would need wall concrete instead of the one you used for the footings.

Flagstone Patio Tips: Choosing your materials

Here are some things to consider when buying your materials and construction supplies: 

  1. Practical selection: The best base material is crushed limestone. However, if this is rare in your location. You can use the usual sand and gravel combination instead.
  2. Smart Sourcing: Do not limit yourself to one design. Look for the cheapest supply source and tweak the original design according to what your budget allows.
  3. Makeshifts: Study which parts of your patio could use a cheaper option. For instance, you can replace a pallet of stones and use possible alternatives like concrete, mortar, and gravel.

How much does it cost to build a flagstone patio?

Generally, a patio may cost from $200-$500, which depends whether you choose an average or high-end design. Flagstone costs will also include labor, materials, and site preparation.

Patios can truly elevate and spice up your house yard to set a place of relaxation and recreation. However, this may be difficult to ace if you are a beginner in stone crafts and masonry projects. If you need help, consider hiring masonry experts for a more durable and neat finished product.  

Get started today with Alexander and Xavier Masonry from Garland, Texas. We are dedicated to helping you achieve the best results for your home construction project and stone masonry needs.

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