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Directions for Stone Patio

Once you have determined the type of stone you will use and the quantity necessary from the supplier or hardware store, it is extremely important to determine the design you will use on the stone patio before you get started. You will not be successful at laying the stones yourself if you wait until you are in the middle of the project to determine how you want them laid. There are a variety of design books, landscaping magazines and online tools that can help you with patio design ideas.

The steps you need to take to create your stone patio design, is as follows:

1. Excavate the area, to between 2 ½ and 4 inches deep. How deep you excavate will depend on how thick the stones are and will also depend on how much slope you need to consider in the patio design. Also make sure to consider where you will place all of the extra soil and dirt once it is removed from the design area. You may want to create a frame out of 2 by 4s, to allow you to stay within your desired area, if your excavated area is not that deep.

2. Compact the excavated area. It is necessary to completely smooth out the area to ensure that there will not be any unevenness in your design.

3. You will likely be using compacted sand for your base material and will need at least 1 inch to cover the entire excavated area. Pour the base and use a 2 by 4 to even out the base material. Remember if you are using sand, you will need to dampen the sand before placing it in the excavated area, to allow for easily laying the stones. Be sure to place at least 1 inch of material before moving on to the stones. You may need more base material if you live in a cold climate area.

4. Although it is the most simple of instructions, placing the stones will be the most time consuming, as it is important to place them evenly so that you will not have to go back and fix them at a later date.

5. After all the stones have been placed correctly, it is important to restrain them around the perimeter before compacting the stones. Most experts will recommend an aluminum or plastic edging to help in maintaining the stones in bad weather.

6. The next step is compact the stones. In order to properly compact the stones, it is suggested to use a vibrating plate compactor for the best results.

7. The final step will be to pour the remaining cracks with sand. Almost all patio designers will suggest using irregular sharp sand, which helps to create an interlocking action between the stones. It will help to keep the stones from coming loose. Be sure to fill the joints to the top.

8. Compact the stones again after adding the sand. If necessary spray down the stones to clean up and your stone patio design is complete!