Flagstone is a type of surface for walkways, patios or driveways, and is a very beautiful option. At Phoenix Home Services, we prefer Pennsylvania flagstone, and travertine over all other stone, because it is strong and will withstand Northern Virginia’s climate. Pennsylvania flagstone is a unique sand stone found only in Northeastern Pennsylvania and South Central New York. Pennsylvania flagstone comes to us in two forms. One is a patterned flagstone that quarry men cut into sizes ranging from 12”x12” to 36”x24”. Patterned flagstone has a uniform shape of squares and rectangles which gives your home a formal look. Pennsylvania patterned flag stone comes in three types OC (all colors including green, blue, gold, and lilac), Premium blue, and Pennsylvania thermal faced flagstone.
The second option is an irregularly-shaped flagstone which our masons use to form patios with a more natural look. Travertine Pavers are used to create the most spectacular patios built in Northern Virginia. They have been used in the construction of patios since the Roman times. They are more stable than any other paving stone because they don’t flake like other types of patio stones. Travertine paving stones come in cut sizes ranging from 12”x12”, 12”x16”, 16”x 24”, and 24”x24”. Travertine paving stones come in three main finishes: honed/chiseled edge, tumbled, and antique which are all used for outdoor paving applications. They also come in many color options including: ivory, walnut, noce and scabas. Other flag stone options include Tennessee buff, Tennessee blue, Colorado red, Tennessee plum, and Carolina rose. Additional care should be taken with the latter group, as they are not as strong as Pennsylvania flagstone or Travertine pavers.
On many occasions we counsel our clients to visit our stone yard to see the multicolored nature of flagstone. Stone is a natural product that can vary in color from pallet to pallet. Once laid, the different hues complement each other to create a beautiful canvas that will become your back yard patio. Picking your pallets before they are set in your patio or walkway is a good idea.
The first step in building your flagstone patio or walkway is to take your plans and lay out the patio or walkway with spray paint on your yard. Then our masons will grade the project area, this is the most important step to construct a paving install. Phoenix Home Services grades their projects ¼´per foot to drain the water away from your home. The next step is to form the area for the concrete pour. All gutter down spouts, sump pump discharge lines, and other drainage features are then installed below your concrete. Before the concrete installation is started, we will have you give us your final approval of your walkway or patio. It is very easy to change the forms at this point so if you want to make some last minute changes they can be made easily.
The design mix of the concrete that will be poured to make your patio or walkway base is very important. Some contractors like to use metal reinforcement with a gravel base. Since we are going to give you the best warranty in the Northern Virginia area, we like to use a 4000 psi, air entrained fiberglass reinforced concrete, with a base, with gravel only used to level deep spots. After your stone has been selected, it is then set in Portland cement, water and sand. Each piece of stone is set to the proper grade and then the joints are filled in with the Portland and sand mix. The final process includes acid washing the walkway to clean and remove excess mortar from the stone.
Your new flagstone walkway, patio or driveway can add incredible appeal to your property. Why not let Phoenix Home Services, a company with decades of experience, add grace and beauty to your home? Brick pavers have been used in Northern Virginia since colonial times and are a timeless choice for a walkway, driveway or patio. If your home is brick, you will want to find a clay brick paver that compliments the color and style of bricks on your home’s façade. Unfortunately, your choices are often limited. Over 90% of the brick manufactured in the United States is face brick and it will not hold up to the freeze and thaw cycles of Northern Virginia. If you cannot find a brick paver that will match your home, stone may be a better choice. After settling on suitable brick pavers, you will need to choose mortar colors (mortar joints are normally 3/8” and are visible between the bricks). Mortar is a mixture of fine masonry, sand, cement and water. Phoenix uses only Type S mortar, which is best suited for walkways since it complies with ASTM C91 and also reaches 2100 psi in 28 days.