DIY (Do It Yourself) Guide – Building a Flagstone Walkway

Make Your Home More Accessible by Building a Flagstone Walkway

There are many things that you can do to landscape your home. Not only are you able to extend rooms, build a swimming pool, or a garden but you can also make your home more attractive and even inviting by adding a walkway. The ease of access to a garden or to the swimming pool for instance or if you have vast amount of space, you would want to mark features like a pond by having a walkway nearby. Among the different choices like using pavers or other material, a very frequent choice is the use of flagstones.

A flagstone walkway can enhance the appearance and aesthetic of the surrounding. It provides an overall smart look to the décor. They can be obtained in different sizes and colours ranging from red, buff, and blue. They can resist freezing without cracking or thawing and can be of regular or irregular shape. Flagstones are much appreciated for having as a walkway as they add an exotic look and elegance. The many different colours mean that they can be matched with the surrounding features of the home.

Steps for building flagstone walkway

laying pathwayStart by taking the proper measurements.  You would want to determine the length of the walkway. Estimate the length multiplied by the width. The store supplier should be able to provide you with the quantity of stones required. Always take a little bit more than necessary.  Beside the stones, you will also need gravel on which the flagstones will sit. The base material will depend on the type of sand. Gravel is much suited when laying flagstones on moist soil while sand and mortar mix are best used on firm soil.

  • Lay the flagstone on the grass to outline the path. As a rule, place a large piece of flagstone adjacent to two small ones.
  • Once the outline is sketched mark it using spray paint
  • Take of the sod along the path and a few more inches to accommodate the flagstones and place a layer of gravel along the path.
  • Start placing the flagstones making a selection mixing color and sorting shapes that closely fit together without needing to cut
  • As a rule of thumb, your walkway should be at the same level as the ground or a few millimeter higher. this is to prevent the walkway becoming a drainage for water during a heaving storm
  • Make use of a leveler to be certain that each flagstone that you place are equal in height and leveled with the one next to it. If a flagstone is not leveled properly, add or remove gravels from underneath to make it leveled.
  • You can have the stones look rustic and natural keeping their initial form but this implies that you will have to make careful search to find and match flagstones that are a close a pair as possible and can almost be placed side by side and make a good match. You can also cut each flagstones as rectangles or squares of the same size or different sizes to have them fit better.
  • You have many different options and it all depends on the overall aesthetic and the general effect that you are seeking. For the majority of cases, after having placed the flagstones and made certain that they are leveled and do not wobble, you can fill the space in between with gravel to have them tight.  A compactor can also be used to compact the pathway accordingly.
  • Sweep the gravel to fit into empty space then soak with water. Repeat if necessary so that all the empty holes can be filled accordingly.

Tips on avoiding mistakes

Building a flagstone walkway is not complicated but can be a strenuous job. The most difficult part is when using flagstones without cutting to fit and having to seek for the perfect shape to accommodate each space.

There are some tips that you may want to have in mind to avoid making some common mistakes that many people do

  1. One mistake that many people do is not to estimate the width properly; sounds silly but making certain of the purpose and the area you are placing the walkway may dictate a certain width. As a rule of thumb, you should always try and make your walkway so that it can accommodate at least two people standing comfortably side by side. 900mm is generally wide enough.
  2. When purchasing flagstone best go in person and pick the pallets and pieces that you desire. Not all pallets are similar so you would want to pick pallets having the nicest stones.
  3. The height of the walkway should be a bit higher than the surrounding ground level. That is because you would not want water run-off to turn your walkway in to  a river if you make the walkway lower than the surrounding
  4. The base of the walkway has to be solid and well compacted. This is to avoid problems later on such as having flagstones that sink or spreads in all directions.
  5. There are three different methods in which flagstones pavers can be installed. Each follows the same principles. The first method is installing the pavers on bare ground, the second is installing the pavers on sand or gravels and the third is to have them installed on concrete.

Laying flagstone on concrete

flagstone pathwayThe initial steps in preparing the ground are similar and consist of clearing the walkway of turf  and allowing a few inches for the mortar mix and the flagstones. It is essential when  laying flagstones to compact the area first. After having cleared the area use a plate compactor and firmly compact the area.

Place the mortar mix about a centimeter thick and place your flagstone and tap down into place slowly using a rubber mallet. Make certain that you have the flagstone slightly above the surrounding area. Level accordingly and continue gradually placing each flagstone until you complete the whole walkway.

Building walkways can be done with a variety of materials; flagstones are considered a quite expensive option but the benefit of providing elegance and ease of maintenance. They are also very durable and can last for many years when well constructed.

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