Cost To Install A Flagstone Patio
These estimates are for BASIC work performed in serviceable conditions by qualified trade professionals using MID GRADE materials. Work not mentioned on this page and/or work using master craftsman, premium materials and project supervision will result in HIGHER COSTS! Explore the full range of flagstone patio new installation labor options and material prices here.
These estimates are NOT substitutes for written quotes from trade professionals. Homewyse strongly recommends that you contact reputable professionals for accurate assessments of work required and costs for your project – before making any decisions or commitments.
The cost estimate includes:
- Costs for local material / equipment delivery to and service provider transportation to and from the job site.
- Costs to prepare the worksite for Flagstone Patio Installation, including costs to protect existing structure, finishes, materials and components.
- Labor setup time, mobilization time and minimum hourly charges that are commonly included for small Flagstone Patio Installation jobs.
The cost estimate does NOT include:
Unit Costs: How Pros Price
Unlike websites which blend pricing from dissimilar jobs, Homewyse creates custom estimates from Unit Costs. The Unit Cost method is based on job specific detail and current costs. Contracting, trade, design and maintenance businesses rely on the Unit Cost method for transparency, accuracy and fair profits.
How To Lay Flagstone Walkway With Concrete: The Foolproof
instead of hiring professionals, you can quickly learn how to lay flagstone walkway with concrete, and save a ton of money. first, youll need to mark and prep the area where you want to build the walkway. after that, mix and apply the concrete and let dry. then you want to use a mortar layer and set the flagstones over them.
Step 1: Plan Your Patio
Besides the obvious considerations such as patio placement, size, and shape, here are a few more things to consider that arent so obvious.
Grading: You must build your patio so that it drains properly; otherwise, youll end up with puddling problems later. Never build your patio perfectly level. Instead, build it at a slight angle, so water easily drains off of it. That angle will be about 1/8 of drop per foot of patio. Youll want to take note of the existing landscape drainage on your property and work with that.
Stone Size: The bigger the stones, the less work youll have to do puzzling them together. However, bigger stones are heavier, thicker, and more expensive. So, find a stone size that works for you.
Stone Thickness: Thinner flagstone will tend to crack under heavy weight. Thicker flagstone is heavier and more expensive. If youre building your patio in your backyard, then 1.5-2 thick flagstone is perfectly fine. If youre building a driveway out of flagstone, youll want to go with stone at least 2 thick and ideally thicker.
Irrigation Lines: If you plan on installing an irrigation system or even a gas fire pit, run the lines before building the patio. And, be sure to call before you dig so you dont hit any existing lines in the process of building your patio.
What Patterns Are Available
Flagstone stamp patterns are molded from actual stones to recreate their natural shapes and textures. The patterns have fractured edges, like real quarried stone, and incorporate faux grout lines for even greater authenticity. Styles differ primarily in the size, shape, and random arrangement of the stones.
Photo 5: Tamp The Gravel
Spread 4 in. of compactible gravel in the wall trenches, rake it level, then compact it with a hand tamper. Moisten the gravel slightly for better packing.
Using the reference string, roughly mark the patio dimensions and wall positions for excavating . To make an even curve, drive a stake at the center, tie on a string and swing an arc around the stake. Unless your plan is precise, you have some flexibility here. Move the stake or change the string length to modify the arc until you get the shape and position you want.
Hand digging is a lot of work, but for a patio this small itll go quickly . Be sure to remove all the sod. If you cant find a spot on-site for extra soil, rent a 10-cu.-yd. container.
Measure the 12-in. depth for the concrete footings at the lowest spot along the wall layout so theyll be completely out of sight when youre finished. Dig them about 5 in. oversized to leave room for the concrete forms. Then add the gravel base .
Tip: spread a 2-in. layer of gravel across the entire flagstone patio excavation for a cleaner working surface while you build the walls.
Photo 23: Add Paver Edging At The Borders
Scrape away the sand along the edge of the flagstone patio with a trowel. Support the edge with paver edging, driving a 10-in. spike to anchor it about every foot. Then sweep granite sand into the patio joints to fill them.
For a professional-looking flagstone patio:
- Keep your joint lines straight. The chalk lines snapped on the sand will guide you. If joints begin to wander, snap more lines.
- Stagger joints and limit continuous joints to 4 ft. . Before you set a stone, think about how youll set the next two around it. Scratch the size of the stone in the sand before you set it, to see how itll work.
- Keep your joints consistent. We fit our stones tightly, only about 1/8 to 3/16 in. apart. But it meant we had to cut a lot of stones to fit. Use slightly wider joints, 3/8 to 1/2 in., for less cutting.
- Mix large and small stones. Set a large stone and work off it with smaller ones. Spread large stones throughout the flagstone patio. Resist the temptation to use all the large stones first.
Photos 21 and 22 show how to mark and cut a stone. Dont try to make a curved cut where the flagstone patio stones meet the curved wall. Instead, make multiple angled cuts to roughly follow the curve.
Paver edging around the perimeter holds the stone and sand in place . Cover the edging with topsoil and grass or a flower bed to conceal it.
Okay So Lets Stick With Gravel For The Foundation And Screenings Aka Stone Dust As The Leveling Agent
Back to screeningswhen you use screenings for both the leveler and the joint filler for in-between your flagstones you are creating a good scene. If there is ever any minor issue with the screenings underneath the stone it shouldnt matter too much because the joint filler will settle down and fill the void beneath the flagstone. Having screenings up top and down below, it just works out well.
You can expect to top off the screenings once within the first yeara small bit will settle or wash away. No problem, just sweep in some new material and youre good. After that, in future years, youll be fine. My best recommendation is that clients hire me to do maybe a couple hours maintenance once a yearby no means is this necessary, but I like my work to sparkle.
And it does. Check out what my past clients have to say about my work.
One thing I have not gotten into in this article is polymeric sand. I point you now to another hardscape how-to blog post, if you are curious about poly-sand. If you are poly-curious, that is.
I dont know what you do with your leftover flagstone, but heres what I do with mine:
Stacked stone spheres and garden sculptures, by Devin Devine.
Slope The Layout Strings
Level and slope the strings based on the position of the patio: The patio surface should be level from side to side and should slope down and away from the house from end to end at a rate of about 2 inches per 10 linear feet. For example, if the patio is 10 feet long, it will be 2 inches higher at the house end than at the opposite end. This ensures that surface water drains away from the house .
To level and slope the strings, place a line level on each layout string and adjust one end of the string up or down, as needed, so the line is perfectly level, then tie off the string. Keep in mind that all of the strings should be at the same height. Then, readjust the two strings running down the sides of the patio to set the correct slope. For a 10-foot-long patio, lower the strings 2 inches on the stakes at the lower end of the patio. Finally, adjust the perpendicular string on the lower end of the patio so it is even with ends of the sloped strings.
Cost: Flagstones Are Comparable To Concrete Pavers When It Comes To Price
If you are comparing just material costs, flagstone with a thickness of 1-2 inches is generally comparable to concrete pavers or other materials. With thicker flagstone you should generally expect to pay a little more. These larger flagstones are typically used when setting them in mortar.
Additionally, installing flagstones takes more time and labor than pavers. Its difficult to plan the layout of your flagstone patio before you see the stones you purchase, because you dont know what exact sizes, shapes, and colors you will receive. Designing your flagstone patio is done on the fly, as each stone must be set into place and arranged according to color and size to achieve the desired fit and layout. You may find that you have to move stones around several times to get the desired look.
To help with all this moving and lifting, you should recruit volunteers or hire a contractor to do the heavy lifting. If youre on a budget, definitely consider the volunteers first.
Excavate The Patio Area
Remove all grass and other vegetation in the patio area , then excavate the soil to a depth of 6 inches plus the thickness of the flagstone. For example, if the flagstone is 2 inches thick, excavate a total of 8 inches. This is to make the patio flush with the surrounding ground; you can dig less deep if you want the stones to lie higher than the ground.
Measure down from the strings to gauge the excavation depth. It’s usually easiest to dig to full depth right under the strings, then clear out the soil in between, checking with a long, straight 2×4 and a level to make sure the ground is level from side to side . Tamp the soil with a hand tamp or a rented plate compactor.
Stone Dust Is The Answer
Sand.well, if you use a really heavy sand you might get away with it. Most of the sands that are packaged for sale however are way too fine. You can use a course sand for under the flagstones, sure. Back when I used to lay brick patios I would use course sand or quarry screenings inter-changeably and it was fine. Them patios still look good. Those are brick patios however, where the space between the paving units is about a quarter inch wide. The problem with sand is that it washes away by action of water, blows away by action of wind, and gets carried away by action of ants. Thats why stone dust AKA screenings AKA decomposed granite works much better, for underneath flagstones, than sand.
Learn how-to use the stone dust as a leveling agent: the process is described HERE.
HOT TIP! If youre building your own stone patio, the best labor saving device you can buy is the grabo. This is a vacuum powered suction cup that allows you to lift the flagstone right up off the ground, with having to pry them up. Grabo can be purchased.
How To Flagstone Patio Diy: 5 Things Homeowners Need To Know
Flagstone patios make a unique design statement in your outdoor living space. Because theyre 100% natural stone , they offer one of a kind color combinations and shapes. If youre thinking of using them for a patio space, you will need to build some flexibility into your patterns.
Their uniqueness as a material is wonderful from a design aspect but does present a few challenges when it comes to working with them on a DIY project. Features like their distinct colors and shapes, and cost need to be taken into consideration before adding them to any patio project.
Here are some things homeowners need to know about using flagstone pavers to build patios, and some suggestions to make working with these beautiful stones easier.
Best Flagstone Patio Designs
1. construction method there are two methods of laying flagstones for pathways, walkways or patios. the first one is the dry laying technique, otherwise known as the dry construction method, which is characterized by simply laying flagstone pieces in a bed of sand and gravel without the use of mortar and concrete. this process is diy
How To Plan And Design A Flagstone Patio And Walkway
with the latter, flagstones can be laid directly in soil or a bed of sand. thinner slabs should be laid in wet mortar or concrete to prevent cracking when stepped on. the spaces between irregularly shaped flagstone can be filled with pea gravel or ground cover plants like dymondia margaretae, creeping thyme, and dwarf mondo grass.
Can You Set Flagstone In Concrete
Flagstone can be laid over concrete, so you will not have to tear out your old patio. It can also be laid over a sand bed or directly on the bare ground. First, work on the flagstones that will cover your existing concrete patio. Lay the stones out over the patio and cut them with the chisel to fit together.
Furthermore, how do you cement flagstone?
Likewise, people ask, what kind of mortar do you use for flagstone?
Thinset mortar is the same type of mortar that is used in traditional ceramic tile installations. It is a combination of sand, cement and polymers. You can trowel it on using a notched trowel with a size that is dependent on the size of the flagstone with which you are working.
What should I put between flagstone?
Sand is traditionally used between the cracks of pavers. The small granules fill in the gaps between the stones without leaving spaces. Brush the sand into the flagstone gaps with a push broom. You’ll need to wet the sand so it settles and add more sand until the cracks fill up completely.
Diy Vs Contractor: It Takes An Artistic Eye
The naturally occurring irregular shapes and colors of flagstones mean that putting together a patio is more like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. It takes time and an artistic eye to know what pieces should go together and how to shape the stones to match the desired area. If your patio has a lot of border areas, it can take skill and time to shape the stones to fit them correctly.
One solution is to use a less defined pattern and put more space between the stones. By letting the size and shape of the stones dictate the pattern, you will have less trimming and shaping to do. This will save you time on the installation and give your patio shape a more natural look.
Breaking stones isnt as difficult as it may sound . A light hammer tap on the edge should break off pieces fairly easily. Or you can try dropping the larger stones on a hard surface and let the pieces fall apart naturally. A chisel and hammer can assist when more precise shaping is required. The key is dont try to take off too much at one time and you should be able to shape the stones to meet your design.
How To Install A Flagstone Patio
Installing a flagstone patio or path can give your landscape design a huge boost and really impress your guests .
I love the natural feel they give to a landscape design. Instead of just using boring old paver blocks or even cement, flagstone will make your backyard more interesting and unique.
In this article, Im going to share exactly how to install a flagstone patio easily and without the use of concrete or special tools.
Just like everything else, there is more than one way to get this job done. The method Im showing you is optimized for a balance between simplicity of installation, longevity, and a high-quality professional look. So, not only will it be easy to install, it will last a lifetime.
Lets get started
Quick Disclaimer: Make sure to check local codes before installing anything in your home as your area may require a different process for building a patio. And be sure to use the proper safety equipment while using tools .
Also, the links below are affiliate links. That means I receive a small commission if you click on them and buy . This does not cost you anything additional and it allows me to put out free information like this.
Step 6: Level The Flagstone
Oh, you thought you were done? Ha! Theres still one step to go leveling the stones.
Unless you dont mind the flagstone shifting around as you walk or constantly tripping on edges, youll need to go stone by stone and level each one out. Since many of the stones will be uneven on the bottom, youll need to add some DG here and there and remove it in other places. You might even have to pick up a stone and make adjustments 5 or 6 times to get it sitting properly. Thats just how it goes.
I recommend having a bucket of DG and a small shovel handy, so you can quickly add and subtract DG as necessary.
To level each stone, start by placing a 4 level on the stone to see how it sits relative to the grading you set and the other stones. Then simply make adjustments from there.
This step isnt fun, but it gives you a very professional finish if you take your time .
Can You Set Flagstones Down On Your Own Native Soil
Your own native soil This one would be great, if your own native subsoil consists of about 20-40 percent clay and the rest mostly sand and gravel. And hadnt been disturbed in ten years. Then youd have a good solid base already You could most certainly take clay from your subsoil, figure out how much sand and gravel it already contains, and then calculate how much gravel ought to be added, and then fetch some gravel from elsewhere nearby.
What I am talking about here is using the onsite materials, to attempt to mimic the performance characteristics of road base and/or to create a gravel cob-like mixture of soils, well draining, compactable and stable. This type of work is still in the r&d phase for me. More on this, as the research progresses. Suffice it to say that yes, it can be done, but its a bit complicated and beyond the scope of this present article.
Lay Flagstone Over Existing Concrete Patio
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Flagstone: What To Use Sand Cement Or Gravel
This DIY article; and the rest of the how-to section of my blog, cover much of the basics of how-to properly build flagstone patios. These will be of much use to the hobbyist, DIY landscaper/builder, and to professional builders as well. If you need guidance for site-specific issues for your stone hardscape installation
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Base Install: Think Outside The Box For Joint Fillers
Several materials can be used for fillers between each stone. Flagstone mortar or grout, crushed rock or gravel base, and sand are the most common. They keep the stones from shifting and provide a level surface for furniture and décor items. Small size gravel and landscaping sand are the less expensive way to go, and theyre easier to install since you dont have to do any mixing. You can even use colored gravel to make a singular design statement.
One note: Dont use beach sand. Landscaping sand is coarser and wont settle as much as time goes by.
Now, if you are looking for a softer look for your patio project, consider planting low-growing groundcover plants in the spaces between the stones. A short grass can be a wonderful accent to the natural colors of the stones. Or include short plants with small flowers to add a touch of brightness. Adding vegetation to your patio will soften the look of the stones.
Style tip: Place the flagstones farther apart and plant grass or groundcover between them. Youll need less stones to cover the area, and youll still have a nice, natural-looking space.
Can You Put Flagstone Over Existing Concrete
Flagstone canover concreteyou willIt canoveryouflagstonesyouwould
To install flagstone in this method, wet mortar is applied either directly on a subbase of compacted gravel and sand, or to an existing concrete slab. The flagstones are placed in the bed of mortar and then the joints are filled with either sand or additional mortar or colored grout.
Additionally, what should I put between flagstone? Sand is traditionally used between the cracks of pavers. The small granules fill in the gaps between the stones without leaving spaces. Brush the sand into the flagstone gaps with a push broom. You’ll need to wet the sand so it settles and add more sand until the cracks fill up completely.
Also question is, can you lay slabs over existing concrete?
Now it’s time to start laying paving slabs on your concrete. Whether you‘ve chosen marble, sandstone or concrete paving, carefully to lower your first slab into the concrete. Keep adding the slabs and ensure there’s a gap of about 8 to 10mm between each stone.
Can I lay flagstone over grass?
If parts of your pathway are not being laid onto existing lawn, , remove excess surface area and rake smooth and level. Step 3: Lay out the flagstone pieces. Using a hand shovel, with the blade as vertical as you can make it, dig carefully around a flagstone piece.
Why Is Gravel The Best Choice For Your Your Flagstone Patios Foundation
Cement will crack. Especially grade level cement. Especially in a climate with winters like ours in Pennsylvania. A worse way to go about it would be to lay the flagstone upon a bed of gravel and then cement the joints between stones. Horrible idea. The gravel base is flexible and will move ever so slightly during freeze-thaw. Well, if the base was done poorly the movement might be more then slight, but lets assume the base was done well. A gravel base will definitely move a bitlooking at any of my patios, youd never know that, but the movement does happen. Cement is rigidif you put a rigid top on a flexible base then systemic cracking is inevitable.
Cement based mortar is a fine joint filling material if the flagstone happens to rest upon a concrete foundation. But why on earth would you want to have a concrete foundation anyway? The concrete itself will crack, eventually. In a northern climate it will likely crack within ten yearsand the chances of it cracking within the next three years are pretty high too. Environmental impact of concrete production is no small issue either. Anyway, I personally prefer dry stone work. More harmonious, warmer, just better. The feeling you get from a well done dry laid flagstone patio, in my humble opinion, is just better than a flagstone patio set in cement.