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How to Lay a Flagstone Walk in 8 Easy Steps
by Julie Lohmeier

Description: Easy tips for laying a flagstone walk.

Years ago, we had a house that had flagstone flower bed border that was in disrepair. And we had ripped out an old broken walk from the curb to the front porch. We needed something, but concrete sidewalks aren't cheap. So we took the flagstone from the back and put it in the front for the walk. It wasn't hard and it was very inexpensive since we already had the stone. Two problems solved.

We liked it so much we had it done when we remodeled our current house.

Here's what you do:

1. Mark the walk boundary with spray paint. It helps to know exactly where you want it before you get started. Even if you have a landscaper do the work, this will communicate exactly where you want your walk and how you want it to be done.

2. Take up the sod - if you have it. Cut it around the edges with a shovel or spade. You may also be able to rent a sod cutter. Then gently dig under the sod to pull it up. You only need to go a few inches. Smooth the dirt with a metal garden (not leaf) rake.

3. Lay weed wrap. Weeds will inevitably grow between the cracks of your stone, but this at least buys you some time.

4. Lay the base of 2 inches of sand or crushed limestone. Limestone is better because it inhibits weed growth; sand is cheaper.

5. Compress the base. Use a lawn roller filled with concrete or water or rent a compacter. This is machine that has a large plate that compacts the base. (Wear ear protection and take some pain reliever - your arms and ears are due for a work out.)

6. Lay the stone. There's no precise way to do this other than to make the stone fit without leaving really large gaps. You will have some gaps, and that's fine. If you carefully arrange (and rearrange) your stones, you should not have to worry about cutting them. In fact, you want to avoid cutting the stones as that requires another rental and ruins the natural look. Firmly press the stones in the base so it's set.

7. Fill the gaps with sand or limestone. Sand is most common, but again, crushed limestone will inhibit weeds. Leave a layer of sand or lime over the stones. Water with a hose or sprinkler to let the sand/stone work into the gaps. Or just wait for gravity and rain to do the trick. Apply more as needed.

8. Install an edge if you want to clean up the boundary. You can simply use the black plastic edging available at any hardware or garden store. Or don't use any at all. The stone isn't going anywhere. You may also choose to do this between steps 2 and 3 above.

While shoveling a walk like this in the winter can be tricky, it offers a natural, warm, and friendly feel. If you don't have flagstone, use bricks or pavers. The process is the same.

Julie Lohmeier is the veteran of numerous home remodeling and building projects. From working hands on and doing much of the work herself to hiring contractors and construction managers, she has seen the entire spectrum of home improvement. She shares her remodeling tips, home decorating ideas, and other various rants at http://www.myhomeredux.com. Subscribe to her free newsletter at: http://myhomeredux.typepad.com/blog/2005/09/get_my_home_red_2.html


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Creating Outdoor Rooms from Scratch, on a Budget!
Outdoor Kitchens – Simple and Sophisticated
Creating an Outdoor Oasis on the Cheap!


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