In one of our previous posts we discussed patios vs. decks as the basis of outdoor rooms for Minneapolis area homeowners. Both are popular, and we have customers who choose each of them.
If you’re leaning toward a patio, you probably know you have lots of options: brick, pavers, asphalt, concrete, and more. In this post we’ll talk about creating a walkway to your patio using natural stone.
If you want an all-natural, beautiful look for your patio, then using a flagstone pathway can be the best way to go about it. Flagstones are a good fit for just about any hardscape surface – they can be used for outdoor steps, the patio itself, or just the pathway that leads to it. They can even be stacked for a retaining wall.
With natural flagstones you can add a touch of classic design that is not only durable, but beautiful, timeless and provide a more natural look than some of the other materials that you’d find to create a walkway with.
Generally we recommend professional landscaping installation for stone paths, but we know some of you are diehard DIYers. However, before considering a do it yourself job with stone, consider the hard work, high quality materials and other items that go into creating the best stone pathway for your home.
Consider These Aspects of Installing a Stone Walkway
A lot goes into designing and installing a stone pathway; probably more than you realize. You can’t just dig up a little dirt and then lay some stones in place. If you opt to do this project yourself rather than having a professional landscaping contractor handle it, here’s what we recommend.
- First take easurements of the area, so you know what you need to work with. This is essential. You want to have the right amount of materials for the job.
- You also want to make sure that you know the right design to go with when putting the stones together. Design is the hardest part, since you want to go with something that looks the best with the rest of the outside of the home but you also want to make sure that you’re adding the right materials. Without the right materials for the job, you will find that your design is not going to work out the best.
- Make sure that you have a solid base for the flagstones to go on. Just placing them on the mud, dirt or grass is going to make them sink in and go all over. You need a thick, sturdy gravel or other base under the stones. Then a layer of sand should be put on top of it. Your working area should be excavated deep enough so that your finished patio sits flush with the yard around it. A professional will compact the stones and gravel multiple times, but you probably don’t have access to the heavy equipment needed to do that. And you also want to make sure your working area has been leveled out. Without all this foundation work, your walkway won’t last very long. Minnesota’s freeze-and-thaw climate results in many DIY patios and paths being heaved up and no longer usable if the underlying excavation and prep work hasn’t been done.
- Once the base is laid down, you can then begin to lay down the flagstones. However, first they have to be cut and shaped to fit well with one another. This can be a difficult process, or you can choose pre-cut shapes to put in the yard for the walkway.
Utilize your space, choose the right design and know the right materials to use for it. Here are some reasons why using natural flagstone is an ideal choice to go with.
If this seems like too much work to handle for the time being, we specialize in custom stone work and we can install a stone walkway for you. We go over the designs, patterns and materials to perfectly match the walkway to your personal preferences. Call us here at Architectural Landscape Design to find out more about our walkway work.
ALD is a licensed Minnesota landscape design, installation, and maintenance contractor based in Prior Lake and serving the entire Twin Cities metro area.