A flagstone patio

So I know it's been ages since I blogged - ok - it was January when I completed the New Zealand trip. This is much more mundane - we are building a flagstone patio off the deck we installed last year.
It's taken a while to get going, but finally we went to Blake Sand and Gravel in Sequim. They have an amazing selection of stone. We had our measurements and then the trick was to find the stone we could both agree on. I figured, I had given in to the color of the house - he could live with the stone I chose!
When we figured out how much we needed to cover the area next to the bulkhead, it came to 6,
six, seis - whatever - tons! And 4 yards of sand and 1 1/2 yards of 1/4-minus rock to fill the gaps! I chose a stone called Early Sunset - it's very dramatic, with colors ranging through oranges and rusts, to slateblue and green. We chose some very big pieces that will go at the foot of the stairs from the deck and at the entrance to the dock. Then some mid-size pieces and the rest the normal size. The whole lot would be delivered in about 10 days, after our weekend trip to Steve's retirement party.
So Monday morning, birght and early, the truck arrives with the rock. It was so heavy they couldn't bring the sand as well - that would come the next day. The truck driver maneuvers the truck around and manages to extend the arm of the lift almost half way down the yard - making it a more do-able hike to the patio. After all, it's going to be me and Chris carrying the pieces! Although we
do have someone who will come in and do it if we find it's too much. So the five crates of stone and 1 1/2 yards of rock are delivered and we really can't do a whole lot without the sand.
Tuesday comes and so does the sand - but late in the afternoon. I had spent most of the day weeding out the crab grass and weeds.

Wednesday and we start the project. Chris loads the wheelbarrow with sand and wheels it to the patio area. I start raking it out, filling deep spots. I always thought it looked fairly level after we had removed the old deck, dug up the area, sunk 6,000 lb ecology blocks and attached them to the pilings that hold the bulkhead in place. But as I started spreading the sand, I could see we had a lot of work in front of us, getting it fairly level.

Thursday comes along and it's full on work and rake and level and rake. We tried using a string
with a little level attached and in the beginning it worked but as we filled and leveled, it was easier to eyeball it. I dorve to the rental store, and rented a lawn roller - you fill it with water to get the weight - and rolled it back and forth, back and forth to even the sand out. By the end of the day, I was exhaused. But we had moved the full 4 yards and leveled the patio to where I think we can start laying the stones tomorrow.

More pix on shutterfly.com