Flagstone Patio Installation in 4 Steps Flagstone Patio Installation in 4 Steps

What You'll Need
Flagstones
Saw
Compactor
Rake
Sand

If you are looking for a DIY project that will enhance your garden, consider flagstone patio installation. Flagstones are an attractive alternative to bricks and pavers, and they can be made of many different colors, so you will have an interesting feature that will be a talking point for years. Flagstones can be somewhat difficult to fit, however, as they need to be perfectly laid to avoid wobbling, crookedness, or other problems. If you want to spend some time on a flagstone patio installation, you will need to have some basic household tools, and follow a simple guide to show you what you need to do.

Step 1 -  Test the Ground

Before you can lay your flagstones, you will need a perfectly flat base on which to put them. You will also need to test the ground to make sure that it is suitable. Begin by removing a small area of top soil from your garden, and then compact the earth using a rake, or a rented power compactor. Put a layer of sand on top of the soil, and compact this in the same way. You should then make the sand and soil very wet. Leave for a few hours, and then return to see how the ground is draining. If you have a large amount of water left, you should reconsider, as this will make your flagstone patio a pond during wet weather.

Step 2 - Compact the Ground

Once you have decided that the ground is suitable for use in your flagstone patio installation, you can remove the rest of the soil. Mark out the area that you want to use as a patio, and just remove the top soil. Add a later of sand, spread evenly to the edge of the hole. You should then add an edging, either of a metal landscaping type, or a paver edging. This will keep the sand into place. Compact the ground as before, and then add an additional layer of gravel or stones, and compact once more.

Step 3 - Lay the Flagstone

You may need a friend to help you lift the stone. You may want to cut the flagstone to size, so use a saw to remove the edges. If you just want to break the stone up, a hammer can do the job, as this will give you a natural-looking break. Place the stone on top of the sand, and then surround the edge of the stone with sand. You can use a spirit level to assess if the stone is flat.

Step 4 - Leaving a Slope

Rather than having all your flagstones perfectly flat, it is a good idea to have some of them installed at an angle. A small inclination will help your water to run off the patio. Place the slope so that it is pointing towards the lawn. You can then wet the sand to make it harden around your stones.

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