How to Build a Stone Patio
As a homeowner, there are constant challenges you’ll run into when making home improvements. Somehow, there always seems to be something that needs to be painted, updated, or replaced. Indoors or outdoors, if you’re anything like us, there’s a long list of improvements you probably can’t wait to do. Your flagstone patio and other outdoor spaces are no exception, either.
If your home had a flagstone patio installed before you moved in, is it broken apart and looking unsightly? Or maybe you decided it’s time to have that boring outdoor space elevated? Either way, there are a lot of things you’ll need to consider before having a professional install a new or replacement patio.
If you’re ready to make the investment, you’ll want someone with the experience to get the job done right. Hiring an expert masonry contractor like Dutchies will not only save you time, but it can save you money down the road by making sure your patio won’t deteriorate in the future.
In this post, we’ll go over a few of the most common considerations you should make with your flagstone patio and how you can go about preventing issues before they even happen.
Laying a Foundation
When installing a flagstone patio, the most mistakes tend to happen before the stone is even put down. Without an adequately graded base, your patio may be doomed before it’s even constructed.
The area for your patio needs to have appropriate grading and be given time to acclimate. That way, the ground has time to settle and temper before you lay down any other base layer. If you hire a less experienced stone mason, this step may be done too quickly or sloppily and cause sinking issues in the future.
In addition to sinking, an improperly laid base can also cause poor drainage on your patio. Water pooling on your flagstone patio can not only cause sinking issues, but it can also lead to stones cracking and water problems for the rest of your house.
If your patio is not graded correctly from the beginning, excessive rainfall could cause water to rush or pool towards your home. As a result, you could have your basement flooded or have other water damage that might cost thousands of dollars to fix. To save yourself time, money, and the headache of water damage problems, make sure you call a professional like Dutchies to install your patio properly.
Preventing Weed Growth in Cracks
Nothing is more unsightly and annoying than weeds growing up through the cracks in your flagstone patio. If you’re tired of using harmful weed killers every year to eliminate this, the mortar on your patio has likely degraded and your patio may need replaced. If that’s the case, talk to your contractor about what can be done to prevent weeds in the future.
Most of the time, there are two barriers masonry contractors will use to fight weeds: a type of geo-fabric and polymeric sand. The fabric is something you’ve likely used yourself underneath mulch in your garden to help fight weeds. On the other hand, polymeric sand is a type of material that, when combined with water, tends to seal up as opposed to remaining loose. Regular sand, while usable, will still allow for weeds to grow through the cracks in your flagstone patio.
Weathering & Material Aging
One of the biggest concerns we often hear is how you can prevent weathering and damage to your flagstone patio going forward. We understand—your patio is a significant investment, so you want it to last for decades to come. Luckily, some of the steps we’ve mentioned above will help to keep your patio looking fresh for years.
If you follow our advice about making sure your contractor installs a proper base and creates barriers against weeds in your patio, you’re halfway there. But another preventative measure you can take is to seal your finished flagstone patio. Due to the porosity of most flagstones, protecting it with a sealant is the best way to prevent unwanted staining or cracking.
Ready to Let a Professional Do the Work for You?
We get it—there’s something inherently satisfying about saving money and doing a big home project and finishing it yourself. And while we love the enthusiasm of our fellow DIYers, we suggest leaving the installation of your flagstone patio to the professionals. You will ultimately get better results that last longer.
Here at Dutchies, every patio we create we see as a work of art. We’ll work with you to find the best materials to match your vision and make it come to life—all without the headache of doing it yourself. For over 15 years, our third-generation stonemasonry business has been serving homeowners like you. We treat every project like it’s our own home and will help you beautify your outdoor space. Contact us for more information or to get started on your next flagstone patio project!