• In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook builds a beautiful natural-stone walk.

    1. Remove existing stones from walkway.
    2. Tightly stretch mason's line between two stakes to represent the outside edge of walkway.
    3. Dig out the topsoil from the walkway area.
    4. Dump ¾-inch crushed stone onto the excavated area and smooth it out with a rake.
    5. Use a hand tamper to compact crushed-stone base until it's 3 inches below the string.
    6. Mix stone dust with water in wheelbarrow to create thick mortar-like slurry.
    7. Shovel stone-dust mortar onto the crushed-stone bed and spread it with a pointed trowel to create a 1½-inch-thick setting bed.
    8. Set a bluestone slab on top of the mortar and pound it down with a rubber mallet.
    9. Check the slab for level in two directions, then repeat to install the remaining bluestone slabs.
    10. Install steel edging along both edges of the walkway. Position the edging 6 inches from either side of the bluestone slabs and secure with steel stakes.
    11. Fill the voids between the slabs with ¾-inch gravel.
    12. Use a garden hose to rinse the walkway surface clean of all dust and dirt.
    • Difficulty: Moderate
      Bluestone slabs are heavy, but setting them is rather straightforward
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      Video Directory

      Selected Topic/Section

      Tools List

      • nylon mason's line and stakes
        Mason's line and wooden stakes
      • hammer
      • flat blade shovel
      • metal garden rake
        Garden rake
      • tamper
        Hand tamper
      • brick trowel
        Pointed brick trowel
      • mallet
        Rubber mallet
      • two-foot level
      • wheelbarrow

      Shopping List

      Bluestone slabs

      ¾-inch crushed stone

      Stone dust

      Steel edging

      ¾-inch gravel