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Picture of Easy Stepping Stones - No More Mud Trails
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Easy Stepping Stones


So the problem we have is that there are several choke points in our lawn, where both humans and pets always walk, and in those locations, bare spots in the lawn tend to develop and leave mud, especially in the spring.

Locations like stepping off the porch, through gates, in front of the bbq, and at the stairs to the pool or deck are always going to be high traffic areas. It is here that we will install (rain friendly) stepping stones to make it easier to walk, and yet not require any special work to maintain via the lawnmower or whipper-snipper.

I really didn't see any instructables showing how to install them in a lawn without a major hassle, so this will be how to do an easy installation of stepping stones in an existing lawn, with no talent required.

You can read this instructable "page by page" in text or
you can Watch the full Video of the project on the youtube link here or in the attachment:

Full stepping stone video

Both contain the same information.

Step 1: Acquire Flagstone (the Cheap Way)

Picture of Acquire Flagstone (the Cheap Way)
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Sure you can go spend hundreds on flagstone from a dealer, but if you have more time than money like us, we had to get them with pocket money. Also, remember you don't have to get them all at once...collect them a few at a time and build in sections.


SOURCES:

1. Friends and Family: The key here is to always ASK. Pretty much everyone has a handful of stones kicking around, just ask around and you will be on your way.

2. Online Classified Ads: Any local classified ad fairly regularly has listings of flagstone for FREE or cheap, because there are always people who are upgrading or rearranging, or what have you, and there is a definite love hate relationship with flag stone for various reasons. You have to be constantly looking, as it comes up quick, and you could miss it. Be sure to look up online under: flagstone, flag stone, stone, rocks, and pavers. This works best if you look every day for a few weeks especially at the beginning of gardening season. In most cases, if you can pick them up before working hours are over at 4pm, you will beat everyone to them. You may also have better luck if they are still IN THE GROUND and have to remove them (although if you can avoid this all the better).

3. Garage/yard Sales: If you are an avid saler on saturday mornings, always be on the lookout for flagstone in small piles especially on the sides of garages or alleys around houses..especially ones run by late middle aged fat men who "just dont want to get around to THAT project his wife wanted for a few years" lol these have been my best FREE rocks. The key here is to ASK. Always ASK. If they give you a price, and it is always like 50$...tell them you have been getting them for about a buck a rock. That will sound reasonable...also throw in the "saving them DUMP FEES and the hassle of going there" usually works, and no matter how many you think you need...TAKE THEM ALL.

4. Side of the road: you will be surprised at the number of flat rocks in the WILD you can just walk off with.

5. Commercial vendors: (ugg...money). lol.

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rbdooty1 month ago
Love the yard....My King Charles Brady.....aren't they the best??? However they do have "fuzzy feet" that collect everything. LOL Great job.
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gcai_fwb1 month ago
Nice instructable - can't tell where in the world you're located but I'm guessing a temperate region (i.e. no winter ground frost).
If you live in a place with ground frost you'll find your stones slowly sinking in the ground year over year which means you have to dig them up once in while and relevel
OR you initially place them on a proper base of gravel/limestone screenings (minimum 4 inches /10 cm - more work now or more work later your choice.
Also by putting in a support base you get much better drainage and levelling is easier.
Speak from experience on this :).
solipsism (author)  gcai_fwb1 month ago
Nah, I am in canada. Plenty cold. In winter small things rise not fall. There is stuff around the house it never moves.

Our entire neighbourhood is about a foot of soil and then fist sized rocks for the next ten feet.
Dagnab1t1 month ago
I do not usually read all the instructions. I am a “look at the pictures” kind of guy. But I could not help reading yours. Very entertaining. Thank you for making a tedious job entertaining.
LVB1 month ago
Very nicely explained, and beautiful result, but I have to agree with gcai_fab: without something underneath those flagstones, you're likely going to have to re-do them in the near-ish future. I used landscape fabric under the flagstone patio and pathway that I built; even that deteriorates after a 4 or 5 years, but it's not complicated to replace if necessary.