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Old 02-19-2006, 05:43 AM   #1
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Default DIY'ers: Help Needed......Stone Patio?

Anyone have any experience laying stone? If we get the house (the deal is still pending on a couple issues), I'm going to want to do a stone patio.

The house has a really nice sunroom built onto the back of it, and I'd like to do a decent sized stone patio off of it. Anyone done anything like this?

I've read up on working with stone, and it doesn't seem too tough. I understand how to lay out the stone, and to cut it to fit together. The worst part there seems to be using a saw to shape the outside edges, along the outside border.

My main question is how does one prep the area? I'm assuming that the whole thing will need to be level. But what type of surface do you actually lay the stone onto? You you just lay it down, and mortar in between, or put down a layer of mortar first?

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Old 02-19-2006, 02:09 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Sam75
Anyone have any experience laying stone? If we get the house (the deal is still pending on a couple issues), I'm going to want to do a stone patio.

The house has a really nice sunroom built onto the back of it, and I'd like to do a decent sized stone patio off of it. Anyone done anything like this?

I've read up on working with stone, and it doesn't seem too tough. I understand how to lay out the stone, and to cut it to fit together. The worst part there seems to be using a saw to shape the outside edges, along the outside border.

My main question is how does one prep the area? I'm assuming that the whole thing will need to be level. But what type of surface do you actually lay the stone onto? You you just lay it down, and mortar in between, or put down a layer of mortar first?
I'd go to the books section at Lowe's or Home Depot. They have a book for every project.
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Old 02-19-2006, 02:40 PM   #3
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did a little patio laying during my younger days. had a grandfather and a father that were huge DIYers. Grandpa still tries do everything himself despite his age. anyways if you want your patio flush with the ground you have to dig down a bit further than the actual thickness of the stones themselves. then you lay down a bed of sand. this is what you use to level it, as sand is much easier to get a level bed than dirt. then you lay your stones down on it. thats the nitty gritty of it. if your totally unsure of how to do it though read up on the net about it. heres a link i found:

http://landscaping.about.com/od/hard...tone_patio.htm

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Old 02-19-2006, 03:57 PM   #4
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Yes, a couple inches of sand, then you have to rent a compacting machine, to vibrate it all down. Then you set the edge of the patio with some steel banding or somthing like that, and just lay bricks till you hit the edge. Then you gotta cut em to fit.

After that, you get silica sand (or just very dry sand) and sweep it into the cracks to lock up the brick. It's pretty easy.

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Old 02-19-2006, 05:55 PM   #5
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I've been looking into it myself. What I've read pretty much gibes with what's being said here. I'd definitely check out the HD DIY books...they're really good. I have one that covers laying patios.
- In some cases, you may need a layer of gravel beneath the sand (if you have poor drainage). Otherwise sand alone is fine.
- With flagstone, you can either dryfit (no mortar, sweep sand into the joints) or wetfit (mortar, but must be laid on a substrate such as a concrete pad).
- You can also get cut flagging at your local quarry which comes in random sized square/rectangular pieces which works well with a formal look, square patio. Even with the irregular flagging I think you just look for relatively straight edged pieces for the edges, doctoring them up a bit with a stone chisel.

I've got a few other projects to do first, but at this point I'm actually leaning towards the concrete pavers for ease of fit and much less $$$ when I get around to my patio. But the natural stone sure is beautiful.

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Old 02-19-2006, 06:45 PM   #6
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- With flagstone, you can either dryfit (no mortar, sweep sand into the joints) or wetfit (mortar, but must be laid on a substrate such as a concrete pad).
This is key what BeeGee points out. If using mortar, a concrete pad is best or it won't be long before you start having cracking. You could do the gravel layer followed by sand, but you'll have to rent a compacter and get that bad boy level and as hard as possible. And even then, you might have issues down the road. Dry fitting is actually just as attractive (IMHO) and easier, but some folks prefer the mortar look. Good luck and read, read, read!
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Old 02-19-2006, 09:57 PM   #7
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Never done stone. Have done a couple of patios and wlkways from brick.
Start by digging down below grade. Lay a bed of sand and grade it flat. You can pull a string across it and measure down from there to check grade. I lay the bricks 2x2 , alternating directions with each pair. After bricking is done, dump sand on top and sweep it over whole project. Wet it really well with a hose to wash sand in between the bricks. You may have to repeat the sand process. This will last forever. I've seen it done twice.

With the red clay in your area, you shouldn't need a foundation under the patio.

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Old 02-19-2006, 10:16 PM   #8
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Beacause of frost heaving up here compacting is the most important step. You'll want to compact the sand bed beneath the stones and compact the silica on top to get in to all the cracks. You can rent those machines most places.

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Old 02-22-2006, 07:44 AM   #9
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Cool, thanks for the info fellas. All this, combined with some advice from my old man, and probably a book from HD, I should be able to get it done.

Now, we just have to finish the deal on the house.....

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Old 02-22-2006, 11:47 AM   #10
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definitely get the house before you start laying a patio.

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