Tips for laying flagstone?

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Laying flagstone can transform the look of a home’s landscaping. Choose stones of similar depth, excavate and level the area, compact with sand, lay stones, fill gaps with sand.

Technically speaking, laying flagstone is one of the easiest jobs a home landscaper can do, but the effects are among the most dramatic. Laying flagstone is a landscaping choice that can change the entire look of any given area of ​​your home. Although most commonly associated with patios, stones can be used in a number of different applications.

Installing flagstone begins with choosing an area you want to remodel and then purchasing the appropriate stones. In general, choosing stones of similar depth is key to producing a nice, level area. While the nature of the flagstone will ensure that you will never get stones of the exact depth, an approximation is important. For those unable to find stones of similar depth, there are other ways to correct the problem.

While almost any area can be used for laying flagstone, it makes the job much easier if there’s a level area. The area should be excavated with the shovel and then leveled as evenly as possible. The excavated portion should be about 4 inches (10 cm) deep across the entire area and outlined with shapes. Then, the sand should be used to fill in a couple of inches (5cm) of what has just been dug up. After filling with sand, the entire area should be leveled with a board or some other tool.

After the sand has been leveled, there are a couple more steps required before the actual stone is laid. The next step in laying flagstone is to water the area and make sure it is well compacted with a tamping tool. Hence, good landscaping fabric should be done to prevent weed growth.

Finally it’s time for the stones. While laying the flagstone can be a difficult task out back, this is perhaps the easiest part of the project, technically speaking. In some cases it may be necessary to cut the stones. This can be done by marking the line where it needs to be cut with a small gouge, then hitting that area with a small mallet. This should be all that is needed since flagstones usually break cleanly and evenly. If the stones are too high or too low, adjust the underlying sand accordingly.

After all the stones have been laid, the final steps for laying flagstone are to pour sand over the stones to fill any gaps and then remove the forms. These two steps are some of the easiest to complete, but sand is very important. Without filling all the spaces, the stones could move and maybe even move out of place.

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