Asked on Jan 13, 2016

Re-do on a subpar, uneven patio

Jon C
by Jon C
A couple years ago we cleared out some ivy in the backyard & increased outdoor living space. We put in flagstones to add a cool texture to to area. Unfortunately, we rushed the job & the patio is uneven. I finally finished the connecting deck & would like to even out the patio. I'm trying to save the flagstones though. Would it be worth trying pull the stones out, or should I just cover them up? What'd be the easiest way to get the stones out intact? I don't care about the patio (going to cover it with new cement), just about saving the stones.
Done Memorial Day weekend around 5 years ago during a rain storm.
  20 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jan 13, 2016
    I think they would totally be worth saving. I would use them in another area after your project is completed. Take a look at this site for the removal.
  • Ann Ann on Jan 13, 2016
    I love the mossy stones look. If this was my yard I would definitely save the stones. You can use them for paths or even a stacked stone wall. That's what we did when we received a truckload of flagstones.
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Jan 14, 2016
    They aren't cemented in so should come out. Might need a variety of tools such as a pry bar, crow bar, etc. Ann had some good suggestions for reuse.
  • Toolpro Toolpro on Jan 14, 2016
    The base will settle over time even if the job isn't rushed. Sometimes the base just wasn't compacted enough. Perhaps a landscaper would be able to level and tamp the soil/sand underneath and replace the flags. I would put them a bit closed together, you would need a few more. Remember if you are going to cement, the some leveling and tamping of the base is required to prevent the cement from cracking. Roots will disrupt both a flag and cement patio
  • Lisa Wood Lisa Wood on Jan 14, 2016
    Definitely pull them up and reuse them. Flagstone is a great investment. Looks like it'll be some manual labor since there's dirt in between them. It won't be difficult. Marion makes good suggestions. Try a shovel as well to lift a side. Good luck!
  • Lynn Christy Lynn Christy on Jan 14, 2016
    We put in crazy paving several years ago, and it was done properly, on athick, level bed of sand. It's the roots of a nearby tree that's caused the now uneven-ness of our patio. Another problem is ants, which were here before we were, (just as well they don't come inside!); making their homes in the sand underneath. So, anything we do in the future will be solid concrete.
  • Teri Hale Peulen Teri Hale Peulen on Jan 14, 2016
    They are beautiful colors and the moss is real nice touch. I like the tweaking idea from toolpro.
    • Toolpro Toolpro on Jan 17, 2016
      @Teri Hale Peulen Thank you. I use pervious surfaces when possible I like keeping as much rain as possible on my property. You could use a brick or paver boarder. Or a brick/paver path from the steps to the road for interest. and placing the flags closer together.
  • Linda Bushnell Hefti Linda Bushnell Hefti on Jan 15, 2016
    Place stones much, much closer together on a base of landscape fabric topped with 3-4 inches of Builders Sand. Then put Polymer Sand between the stones and brush it in well. Follow directions on the bags.
  • If it was me, I would get 2 neighborhood boys (like 10 or so) and give them 10 or 15 bucks each to pull them up with crowbars. Cheaper than hired labor! And my back is worth the 30 or 40 bucks! I've got those things in my yard, so I know what a pain they are!
    • See 1 previous
    • @Tool pro plus it's good for them. teaches them the value of a dollar. (better for me because I already know the value and my bones are old!)
  • Bit By Bit Shop Bit By Bit Shop on Jan 17, 2016
    Re: youth helping out,Many high school students "Need" community service hours as do boy scouts & girl scouts. Call your local schools to inquire about helpers. If you are set on moving the stones maybe a shovel & a power washer would help dislodge the stones? You would lose the beautiful moss patina using a power washer though.
  • Grace Gleason Grace Gleason on Jan 18, 2016
    It's a shame to pull them out. They are beautiful, and the trees are happy. If you cement it, you will probably kill the trees and lose your shade.
    • See 1 previous
    • Artgalstudio Artgalstudio on Jan 23, 2016
      @Arleta I agree. The stones can be pressure washed and will look awesome.
  • Merrill Merrill on Jan 18, 2016
    worth it to save them and I agree if you cement it then the trees will suffer -learned this lesson the hard way. I agree that planting in the cracks is a wonderful option thyme, mint, and diamondia or mondo grass are all options.
  • Em Hooper Em Hooper on Jan 19, 2016
    The question seems to be between taking out the flagstones to install concrete and leaving the flagstones and concreting over them. What does your friendly RE agent say about the re-sale value of concrete vs. flagstones? Have you considered the water flow on concrete in a heavy rain, which seems to be the new normal in some areas of the country? I'm guessing that pouring concrete on top of flagstones won't last long and the concrete will break up sooner or later with the in-appropriate substrate. Have been dealing with a similar problem in my own yard and the price of new concrete is more than my budget will cover, not to mention the industrial look of concrete is unappealing. You might want to pay for a consultation with a landscaper and get all your options sorted out and perhaps end up with a much more attractive patio than one made of concrete. Just my idea. In my front walk, a sunny spot, I have a creeping thyme that grows over the pavers. We walk on it too.,,tough plant,,,,,
    • See 1 previous
    • Em Hooper Em Hooper on Jan 20, 2016
      @Toolpro We agree on this. It will be interesting to see which way Jon goes here.
  • Lisa Lisa on Jan 22, 2016
    Save them!! I took flagstones like these from a friend who took them out of her patio and set them in concrete to put in a sidewalk through my back yard from the deck to the garage several years ago...still holding up well and have had many compliments on it. Also added sea shells to the walk. If you don't have a use for them, might give them to another DIYer or Craigslist them?? Normally they are expensive to purchase.
  • Grace Grace on Jan 23, 2016
    Work around the perimeter of the flagstone to enhance the look of the flagstone, place a water fountain in the center to distract the unevenness of the ground. You can also patch with cement the areas around the flagstones to give it a fresh look.
  • COCO COCO on Jan 24, 2016
  • COCO COCO on Jan 24, 2016
    bUT...I'd PUT AN EDGE AROUND IT. Easy brick, paver, or concrete/
  • Marshapeacock Marshapeacock on Jan 26, 2016
    You can rent a machine that you can use to even out the stones. Check out your local rental place. It might cost 100-150 for the day but it will save you a lot of work. It should only take 2-4 hrs and a strong back that can tolerate the vibration of the machine.
  • Donald Donald on Jan 27, 2016
    I Love it!! It has a certain charm n quality to it, you can try yo even it out with dirt or pea graver underneath, place a fountain near or around uneven part!! put plants around the edges, edge it bricks, like csprop suggested first, then plants like hostas of different colors or some day lilies, if there's enough sun, Also love the way the moss is starting to grow through some of the spaces between!!
  • Grace Gleason Grace Gleason on Mar 08, 2016
    Actually, I think I'd be looking for a way to hide all that dreck in the background. ;)