Question of laying flagstone

I'm going to lay a small flagstone patio. I've consulted various books, but they differ in suggested method. All recommend digging down 6 inches. However, some recommend putting in a layer of gravel before making a sand base while others just say to put in sand.
I'd appreciate advice on this matter.qrw
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Put a bed of stone dust, not gravel.
On 12 May 2006 13:25:53 -0700, " snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com"

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It depends on where you live. if there is no danger of frost and cold winters, then you will be fine with sand. if you live in a colder climate, without proper drainage you will get frost heaves that loosen your flagstone and wash away the sand. i live in the northeast and on every patio and walkway i've done i start with 6" of crushed stone, followed by 1" of stonedust, and after laying the flagstone or pavers, i finish with a sweep of either sand or stonedust depending on the look and color combination i am trying to get. the finishing sweep of sand needs does need to be refreshed every year though.
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I'm not a great believer of a sand base for flagstones. I have a walkway/path of them, and the sand tended to just wash away, and the flagstones needed to be redone. I had the best luck of laying them on a bed of gypsum and fine gravel. I filled the spaces with pea gravel. They are much easier to maintain now.
Myrl Jeffcoat http://www.myrljeffcoat.com
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it depends on how flat you want it at all times. our flagstone "path" was installed by setting the stone down, cutting around it, picking up the sod and dropping it in, do a little digging here and there to adjust uneveness underneath ... I water deeply and then stamp on the stone until it is sitting solidly with no wiggle. watering deeply also helps the grass survive. the grass does grow up around the stones very very nicely. if they heave a bit in spring, well they settle down after the first few rains. Ingrid

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Thanks for the advice. I have one more question, however.
The yard slopes slightly. If the bed is perfectly level, there will be a lip on the high side. Should I I measure the slope before starting and attempt to make the bed slope with the gound or is there some other method?
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Robert- A sloped yard, will add a dimension beyond any engineering skills I have;-). . .Good Luck!
Myrl Jeffcoat http://www.myrljeffcoat.com
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I just finished laying flagstone pathway in 4" sand base on a slope and applied this method. At my beginning point I used a strong piece of twine level with the flags. Tie it around a spare flag, other end same way at the ending point. This will give you a gradual even slope with the lay of the land. Remember to check pieces level as you go with a scrape piece of wood. 2x2 or 2x4. You may have to readjust a stone several times to get it right. Step on each piece as you lay it out to check for wobbles. Adjust your sand underneath until it feels right. You don't want any toe stumpers :) I used River sand delivered by the scoop. It took 2 scoops (buckets) to do 260 sq ft. counting the base and between the flags. It will settle some and need more sand swept over. I helps to pack it down with a gentle spray wetting with the hose. Here is a good website. http://www.pavingexpert.com/layflag1.htm
I still have 2 pallets of flagstone to finish a stepping stone pathway throughout the garden. I worked a solid week in the beginning just to get the large path from the door to the driveway completed. (I took a break to do my planting and other fun stuff) The rest will be on a "When I feel like it" schedule. It back breaking work so take it nice and easy. I sure wouldn't want to do this for a living. :) Elaine

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