The Patio Man

August 21, 2012   //  Posted in: Backyard, DIY   //  By: Emily   //  8 responses

Props to Pete for producing the perfect patio.

One man, one day, one brand new flagstone patio.

I can’t take any credit for our latest patio project; the guy’s a flagstone rockstar, singlehandedly bettering our backyard and making an outrageously cool, functional, and livable space. We spent all of Sunday relaxing, which, to us, implies doing anything but staring/working at computer screens, and instead kept our muscles in check with some hard core labor. Pete’s flagstone project, legit labor. Mine? Semi-laborious sanding and staining of the kitchen cabinetry, but still enough for me to wake up with a right bicep that was still swollen to double the size of the left, and oddly, a bruised left buttcheek, but I’m used to those kind of DIY ailments. Mostly, I just looked like I was getting away with something as I sneaked through his worksite with stained fingers.

Getting in the way of Pete's patio, but legitimately working on the cabinet staining based on the color of my hands.

Side note: My neon pink sneaks from 2005 prove that I’m so ahead of the neon trend, yo.

Pete likened the flagstone installation to DIY Crossfit with natural material weights (like buckets of sand and 200 lb. rocks). We gave you guys a heads up that this was going to be happening in the near future, but two patios in one month in 1/10-acre lot must be some kind of Guinness Book of World Record. I don’t know, I’ve been too busy staining to give them a ring.

  • Planning for the new patio. Photo taken in early August.
  • Prepping for the flagstone patio.
  • Laying sand underlayment and adjusting the grading.
  • Installing the first row of flagstones, the main walkway from the deck to the garage.
  • Spreading the sand between flagstones.
  • Happy dog, happy patio.
  • Finishing the DIY flagstone patio.
  • Soft sand between 1" gaps in the flagstone. Not polymeric!
  • Finished flagstone patio.

A couple of notes on this construction:

  • We did not use crusher run beneath this patio. Rationale: We’ve both lived with patios and pathways created using only sand underlayment that do not flex/bend/break/warp dramatically, and are optimistic that this one will be a-OK too. The stones are a lot heavier than simple bricks and pavers, after all. While we had a lot of extra sand from our first patio project, we were fresh out of the crusher, and even though we know it’s not “the way” to do it right, we wanted to save ourselves $50 in stone and $50 in delivery charges and see how this worked. Live and learn and sometimes experiment to save money.
  • There’s no polymeric sand either. We’re just using normal sand in the cracks as filler just until we see how the stones flex/bend/break/warp after a season of freezing and thawing. We also kind of like the idea of having grass or moss between the stones in this part of the yard, but mostly didn’t want to put polymeric between stones that were bound to shift a little bit over time.
  • It’s curved edge was a nice finishing touch, rather than making the new patio a rigid square/rectangle. The shape actually now mirrors nicely with what we did with the first flagstone patio, which is a completely round flagstone circle.
  • Dudes, we still have a LOT of stones leftover. More to come on how we’re going to use those babies.

Honestly, what an awesome backyard transformation this whole flagstone undertaking has been.

Finished flagstone patio, and a howling dog.


  • Michelle
    2 years ago - Reply

    Looks awesome, Pete & Emily. Staining cabinet doors is totally legit labor btw.

    • Emily
      2 years ago -

      Thanks Michelle :) Wait until you see the cabinet update in tomorrow’s post. It’s been project I’ve been working through every single day.

  • Elisa
    2 years ago - Reply

    Can’t believe you did this in one day. Pete, you are a man’s man. Looks awesome.

  • Marylou
    2 years ago - Reply

    Can’t wait to see the final cabinet project…in person I hope sometime too….flagstone looks great….your Cody is so funny with his picture perfect howling!

  • Lillie J. Hopkins
    9 months ago - Reply

    It’s awesome indeed! What a transformation! Putting flagstones was a great idea and i’m totally impressed with how you guys did it for just a single day. It must have been fun and tiring at the same time but the results are really great. I’m excited to see the final cabinet project!

  • Bonnie R. Stamey
    8 months ago - Reply

    Wow! Perfect! I’m impressed! You did a great job there and to think you did it by yourselves in just 12 hours? Amazing! It turned out really well. It was a brilliant idea to install flagstones on the pathway. Oh and by the way, the cabinets were amazing!

    • Emily
      8 months ago -

      Thanks Bonnie!

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