1. Select enough flat stone of irregular shapes to cover slightly more area than your final project size. A variety of sizes is necessary.


 

2. Determine the layout of your project and remove any sod, loose topsoil or organic matter.


 

3. Remove additional soil in the selected area until the level is about 3” to 4” below the desired finished patio or walkway grade. Take care not to loosen any more soil than necessary.


 

4. Smooth and compact the soil as required. Moist (not wet) soil is the easiest to compact. Uncompacted soil will allow the flagstones to settle. A wooden 4”x4” held vertically can be used to pound on the soil in small areas to compact it.


 

5. Cover the compacted soil with filter fabric or weed control fabric. This will keep weeds from growing between the flagstones and it will help prevent the flagstones from settling.


 

6. Spread about 2” of sand over the weed fabric. Use a straight wood stud or other straight edge to level and smooth the sand.


 

7. Moisten the sand with a fine spray until it is firm.


 

8. Lay the flagstone out on the moist sand. Move pieces to locations where the natural shapes make fairly close joints with the neighboring pieces. A little extra time spent on the stone layout (similar to putting a jigsaw puzzle together) will assure a professional looking job and will save a lot of time that would otherwise have to be spent in shaping the edges.


 

9. If necessary, the pieces of stone can be shaped to fit a specific area. Using a chisel and hammer carefully chisel a notch on the line where you wish the stone to break. Always wear gloves and safety glasses when cutting stone. Notch only a small depth at a time. Work back and forth along that line until you feel the notch is deep enough.


 

10. Lay the notched stone over an edge, so the edge is lined up on the notch. Firmly tap with a hammer on the portion to be removed while holding the main portion with your other hand. Tap back and forth until the stone breaks. Take your time! If you get impatient and hit too hard the stone won’t break on the notch.


 

11. When you are satisfied with the layout, place a 2" x 4" on each side of the work area. Use another 2" x 4" as a straightedge that goes over the stones and rest on the 2" x 4"’s at the sides. Shim the height of the 2" x 4"’s at the sides until the straightedge is just above the top of the thickest piece of the flagstone.


 

12. Carefully remove one stone at a time and place sand under each until it is the same height as the thickest stone, and almost touches the 2" x 4" that is used as a straightedge.


 

13. Use a rubber mallet to tap each stone firmly into place or to level the stones.


 

14. When you are satisfied that the flagstones are all the same elevation you can fill the small gaps between the stones with additional sand or with topsoil if you want grass or moss to grow between the stones.

 

 

 

 

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