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Ummmm...
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had a couple of landscapers come out to give quotes about doing some minor grading on our yard in preparation for a patio install and I've about come to the conclusion that I'll do it myself and save the ~$1k quotes I've gotten.

But my question here is that I've had some landscapers say they'd use sand as the base layer and others say they'd use pea gravel (at least I think that's what I understood them say).

We're in Denver, CO so we do have pretty significant temperature fluctuations (below freezing at night and then upper 60s in the day is pretty common).

So, was curious what the best base layer would be for laying flagstone.
 

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If the fstone is to be placed right onto the ground and then grass or gravel in between them, then use a crusher run base that is compacted and then a layer of sand 1-2" thick then layout stone leveling as you go.

Flagstone and concrete is another bear to fight.
 

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Ummmm...
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I definitely have no intention of touching concrete as a base layer. My hesitation with sand was that I've heard the constant freezing/thawing would make it expand too much and cause either cracks in the stone or nasty un-leveling issues.
 

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I am about to lay an area approx 14' x 14' with flagstone and I personally am going to dig out the area deep enough for 3" of crusher run material and roughly 2" of sand. Don't forget the thickness of the fstone also. Slope the area away from anything that doesn't need to get wet. Continue this slope as you add materials and pack. I will run a plate compactor (rented) over the native soil, then add roughly 2" of the crusher run, smooth level (eyeball it or you can fine tune it other ways if you can't spot it) then compact again. Add the remainder of the crusher run and get a really good level and correct slope this time. Compact again. Check for noticeable dips or hi-spots. scrape or add if neccessary. Compact those area's again. THen I will add the sand in an area roughly 3 stone large. I will smooth this out with a trowel and 4' level to screed. I will work with 3 stones and shape those to fit like a puzzle with small gaps hopefully no more than 2". I will level each stone as I set and one to the other as I go. Not sure if I will go back with some sort of decorative gravel in between yet or not.
 
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