Flagstone patios can turn an otherwise under-utilized portion of yard into a space for entertaining or simply enjoying the outdoors without worries of cactus or mud. Chaffee County resident Roger Van Deel, owner of Van Deel Homes, and Tony Ricci, owner of Salida’s Stoneworks, suggest the following steps for building such a patio.
1. Lay down a layer of bedding sand, compacting it with a gas-powered plate tamper or 10” square hand tamper. Using bedding sand rather than regular sand is important, as it’s a pulverized gravel that compacts and hardens, keeping it from shifting.
2. Place the flagstones in position. To get a flat, even surface, you may need to lift and place a stone 3 – 5 times, adding or removing sand underneath as needed. Use a dead blow hammer on each stone to help with the compacting and leveling. Check for evenness with a 2’ level.
3. Put bedding sand or pea gravel in between the flagstones to fill in the joints between stones, tamping the joints down with a 3” brick chisel.
As most seeds are carried by the wind and fall out of the air to grow out of the sand, Ricci suggests that using a weed barrier underneath the sand is probably unnecessary
If desired, landscape boards, timbers, or boulders may be used to accent the area.