DIY Network

How to Create an Outdoor Zen Patio

Add a dramatic flagstone walkway and seating area, complete with a one-of-a-kind stone sculpture to a patio. DIY Network's Indoors Out crew shows how to install the patio and sculpture.

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  • Time

    Several Weekends

  • Price Range

    $1,000 - $2,500

  • Difficulty

    Hard

Highlights:

Step 1: Level the Space

Clear out the area for the patio. Dig down about 6 inches, and roughly level the space. If you have a large area or existing structures or walkways, a track loader will help remove it.

Step 2: Add Gravel and Concrete Sand

Bring in 3 to 4 inches of 3/4-inch gravel or crusher run for drainage and compact. If the patio is built near a house, pitch the foundation away from the house for water drainage. Top the compacted gravel with an inch of screeded concrete sand.

Step 3: Fit the Flagstone

Bring in the irregular flagging. Irregular flagstone comes in broken pieces and can be pieced together or cut to fit. Aim for joints between stones that are no larger than an inch. Use a chipping hammer to shape the flagstone until it is the correct shape for the area you want it to fit.

Step 4: Set the Stones

Level and set each stone, using a rubber mallet. Use the handle of the rubber mallet to pack the concrete sand firmly around the edge of the stone.

Step 5: Create a Pattern

Set the flagstone in the desired pattern. Individual stepping stones can be set in the same fashion – just create an individual footing for each one.

Step 6: Drill the Stone

To install the sculpture, start with the largest boulder. Use a hammer gun with a 3/4-inch carbide bit drill about 6 inches into the stone. Then insert the steel rod.

Step 7: Stack the Stones

Drill holes in the rest of the stones. Carefully stack them up, sliding the boulders through the rod.

Step 8: Secure the Stones

Using a trowel, secure the stones with hydraulic cement.

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