In May of 2017, we were approached by a previous client for a consultation. Mr. and Mrs. Allen complained about having to walk around the corner of the house to access the water hose through the mud and somewhat sloped incline. Always desiring to use existing materials if available, we were able to incorporate an abundance of large flagstone previously purchased with a rebate from the city.
The initial idea was to use the flagstone to lay a path along the side of the house. The challenge we faced was correcting the slope of the dirt while still leaving additional space for them to plant a garden. They also wanted the walkway to tie into the existing patio which extended from the back of the house and surrounded the pool.
The solution was to first to lay a side walk in concrete and then mortar the flagstone to it. The use of a cement mixer was paramount during this stage. The concrete would prevent erosion from the slope as well as giving us a suitable platform to tie the new flagstone into the existing patio. For the garden area we decided to build a 3’ retaining wall using cinder blocks (which would tie directly into the concrete slab exposed at the corner of the house). We would then apply a scratch coat and mortar flagstone to the sides of the wall along with a top cap of flagstone.
Shortly after beginning, Mrs. Allen stated she would like the walkway to be widened. We compromised and agreed to widen the top where the walkway ties into the existing patio. Because of the irregular shape and size variation of the stone we decided to go with a slightly more natural look and flow. This saved on cutting the stone and producing excess waste. We were able to additionally widen the side walk by setting the cinderblocks for the wall a few inches back.
With a little flexibility and few minor adjustments both were pleased with the overall result.