Overview

Patio illustration
Illustration by: Gregory Nemec
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PLANNING AHEAD

•Sketch out the project on graph paper first to minimize cuts, stagger the joints, and estimate how much amterial you'll need. Bluestone comes in rectangles and squares—from 1- to 4-foot-square peices., in 6-inch increments. One ton of stone dust, for a 1-inch setting bed, will cover about 200 square feet. A ton of pack laid at 3-inches will cover 75 sqaure feet.

•Align delivered stone near the side where you will finish the patio so you don't have to retrieve materials over just laid stones.

•Rent a skid-steer loader to clear away debris and dig the patio base.

•Locate and mark any in-ground gas, electric, water or phone lines by spray-painting the ground.

•If you live where the ground freezes or drains poorly, dig down at least 12 inches to save your new patio from being heaved by frost. Those living in mild climates where the soil is sandy and drains well should excavate down to 6 inches.
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    Tools List

    • metal garden rake
      Steel rake,
      for spreading stone dust
    • push broom
      Push broom,
      for sweeping stone dust
    • pointed shovel
      Spade shovel,
      for digging and spreading
    • square shovel
      Square shovel,
      for measuring and mixing
    • wheelbarrow
      Wheelbarrow,
      for mixing wet material
    • torpedo level
      Builder's level,
      for determining pitch
    • leveling rod
      Leveling rod,
      for measuring pitch with builder's level
    • angle grinder
      Angle grinder,
      for cutting curves in stone
    • 16-foot tape measure
      Tape measure
    • circle cutter
      Circle cutter,
      for scribing stone
    • four-foot level
      2- and 4-foot levels,
      for leveling stones
    • pointing trowel
      Pointing trowel,
      for adding cement mix and packing in joints
    • hand rake
      Hand rake,
      for leveling wet material
    • tamper
      Hand tamper,
      for tamping base along walls and siding
    • plate compactor
      Plate compactor,
      rent, if needed, to compact base
    • circular saw
      Circular saw with diamond blade,
      for cutting stone
    • mallet
      Rubber mallet,
      for tapping stone into cement mix
    • sledge hammer
      Hand sledge,
      for driving stakes and snapping stone
    • Skid-steer loader,
      rent, if needed, to clear and dig base

    Shopping List

    1. LEATHER GLOVES

    2. MASON'S TWINE

    for establishing reference points between stakes



    3. GOGGLES

    4. DUST MASK

    5. CARBIDE-TIPPED AWL

    for marking stone



    6. EAR PROTECTION