When preparing the base for a walkway or patio, we are trying to achieve the same goals as a base for a wall. The structure should be built on structural soil, the base should be well draining to avoid trapping water underneath the patio. I will generally lay drain pipes into the crushed stone base, and move water away from the house to avoid water infiltration into the basement. In some cases I will daylight the pipe some distance away if terrain allows, or install a dry well if it is deemed necessary. I dig with a flat bucket to avoid disturbing virgin soil, and compact every step of the way while placing the base material. I place filter fabric between the subsoil and crushed stone, then place another layer of fabric between the crushed stone base and the bedding sand. By wrapping the stone entirely in fabric I avoid eventual sedimentation in the base, preserving it's drainage capabilities.
Stone and brick walkways and patios are a wonderful improvement to a property. A well designed patio will expand the homes comfortable living area. A walkway designed with traffic flow in mind will improve access to the home, while providing a distinct first impression of the property. Most of the work that I do is with irregular flagstone quarried in Cavendish, VT by the Snowstone quarry. Snowstone is available in many different sizes, with stones as large a 40 square feet available. I strive to maintain the organic forms found in the stone, I accomplish this by making 90% of my cuts with hand tools. I reach for a saw only when there is a high chance that I will break the stone in an undesirable way with hammers. Once cut, I "naturalize" the cut edges with chisels. There are a number of material choices available locally, other quarries included. Bluestone is a common choice for patios and walkways, as well as granite. Clay pavers are also a suitable and durable product to use.
Patios are priced on a square foot basis, with additional charges for base preparation and site clean up.
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