Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Once the round patio was installed, it served as the benchmark elevation for the pathways. Creating a level path throughout made for a challenge due to the screwy topography of my yard. Loads and loads of dirt were needed near the end.

I used the same material (Three Rivers) for the pathways. Since the pieces were smaller, it ws a little more tedious than the circular patio.

Since my working hours were limited to about 2 to 3 in the evening after work, I'd set a line in the path that I'd make myself reach. It definitely help keep me focused on completing.

This is an early picture prior to setting the sand in between the pavers. With the smaller pieces, they tend to move when walked upon. I will eventually add a mortar and sand mix to solidify the setting.

I tried to keep the path as level as possible but since I was connecting up to another pathway a few inches lower, I allowed a gradual slope.

My favorite part of the paths are the curves. 

Friday, May 03, 2013

Round Patio

This is my first stab at placing flagstone so I wasn't too sure what to expect but I was really looking forward to the results. That in itself would be enough motivation to get this segment of the project rolling.

The patio will be 11' in diameter and be the central focus of the landscape project. I am using Three Rivers rock out of the Sawtooth mountain range in Idaho, with black basalt pavers at the circumference giving it a bit of a framed look.

After digging and redigging to get the required 6" depth, I start with a metal post directly in the center as a reference point to ensure a true circular shape.

The first layer consists of 3/4"-minus rock to serve as a base, about 3" to 4" thick.

I use a 2x4 from the center post with a level attached to give a rough, flat starting point.

I added multiple holes in the 2x4 for adjustment since the bench encroaches (on purpose) into the patio.

More base for the center.

After the 3/4"-minus is compacted  (me jumping on a 12x24 piece of wood), I add the sand. Only about 1" to 1-1/2" is needed.

I used a string tied to the center post for positioning, along with the level to start placing the black basalt pavers.

I'd do a spot check every so often for levality as I made progress around the circumference.

The circumference is completed. Time to rock and roll.

Since the Three Rivers flagstone was about 1-1/2" thick, I just used a 2x4 below the original 2x4 guide to level the sand.

I'm not sure what sort inherited strength I got to move that huge first piece, but I still had all my toes at the end which was good. 

The first several pieces were easy to fit in. Near the end, I had to do a lot of cutting with a 4" grinder saw. Just ask my neighbors - they can tell you how much cutting I had to do. 

This is a good shot showing the various colors of the Three Rivers stand up rock, as the call it.

Passed inspection. Barely.