Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Creekside Flagstone Walkway & Patio - Cherokee Brown

They call it Cherokee Brown (sample below), a local flagstone that comes out of Jasper, Ga (apprx 30 miles southwest of me) or that was my understanding. Mother Nature Stone of Blue Ridge has the most convenient and widest selection of stone in the area. I had plans for a flagstone path to the creek and area that leads into the woods connected by a wood chip path I laid out in the spring. Photo below shows the colors to expect. Disregard the white colored one upper left of photo.

Laid out flagstone samplesI told the folks at Mother Nature to set me up with enough for 600 square feet. Easier said than done. This kind of purchase is priced by the pound and not area. Considering it was three months ago I can't remember the details but I apparently had enough to handle 600 square feet. With a local delivery fee of $ 45.00 the stone was brought in a few days later.

Photo taken at Mother Nature...

Cherokee brown flagstone before delivery Delivered next to parking area...

 Flagstone crates dropped near drivewayMaybe it's the way of the rock business but it would have been nice if they had a truck that could have been off loaded with a forklift. Similar to the types running down the highway with lifts on the back of a larger flatbed. Some of the rock was broken into smaller pieces when it was dropped near the driveway, but it worked out.

Nine or ten thousand pounds of pure rock. This should be a good program of exercise because all of the work area leads down off the driveway. Using some leftover weed prevention underlayment (48 inches width) as a template, the walkway begins at the bottom of the railroad tie steps (probably will get torn out in lieu of more stone) and extends to the creek where a dual set of oval shaped patios are planned. One will be raised while another will be a step down to an area that will likely see an outdoor fireplace as well.

Flagstone layout with template
Walkway startedThere are a zillion sites on the web explaining how to handle this kind of project. Instead of using sand as a base I chose fine soil. After digging out two inches of dirt it was sifted through some screening. It became very suitable for a base before the stones were put into place.

Sifting dirt with screening
To date the path and patio area is 90% complete...almost. I liked it so much I gotta get more! Adding an offshoot to a wood chip path that leads into the woods on the east side only sounded right (shown). Grass will be planted in between the stones. Now that I've gone this far I plan to extend the path (illustration below) to the opposing west side attaching another path into the woods.

The patio area will be two levels, but after a few weeks I grew tired of the way it was originally constructed. Stones were set vertically and buried approximately 12 inches into the ground serving as a stair riser. I could cut some strips creating a veneered riser? Still not complete, the step area will be reinforced with a concrete footer and rebar that will brace the riser eliminating movement to the creek.

flagstone patio
Using a 4 1/2" Hitachi grinder with diamond blade attachment ($ 28.00) stones were loose laid over the riser and trimmed back to allow for a 1 1/2" overhang. Considering all stones are different thicknesses some were rabbited from the bottom side to lay flat around the perimeter. These stones will be cement mortared to the footer and riser while the rest are all loose laid.

Cutting flagstone with Hitachi grinder More pics, plans, and adjustments needed. A high spot is noticeable on the edge of the raised area. By using a surveyors transit level rain water will run off the opposite side and into the creek.Bi-level flag stone patio

Added September 4. I found this setting at a local nursery. This is what I want to achieve with the step riser. I prefer not to tear out the existing but rather cut some veneer and cement it to the current riser material.

Small stone veneer riser September 22 Update- getting closer to full completion. The project is on hold until I figure out what to do with the lower patio tier. Plans are for an outdoor fireplace of some shape and form, but I'm thinking the area may not be large enough. Looking back at the original sketch I put together I was going to widen/extend the lower tier but became impatient rather seeking to get the path done.

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