I currently have a red flagstone patio and walkway that sits apart from the house. I have a raised deck on the same side of house that the patio is on. What I want to do is tie the existing walkway and patio to the rest of the house by building a new walkway from the stairs that lead off the deck to the existing walkway and then 'pave' the area under the deck so it looks like the existing patio. There is a walk out under the deck.
My plans for doing this are that I plan on leveling the area out, laying down a layer of 1/2 inch minus, square the areas off using landscape timbers, and then lay the flagstone on top of the minus.
My questions are:
Does the above prep sound right?
Before I put the stone down how much mortar should be placed under the stone? I know I lay the stone when the mortar is wet and I grout the joints after the stone sets up.
What mix ratio should I use for the mortar that I lay the stone with and what mix should I use for the grouting step?
My house sits on top of a hill. The area the new patio and walkway are to be built on is fairly rocky. About half way between the house and the existing walkway is a drainage area. my new walkway has to cross that drainage. Any ideas on how to insure I don't mess up the drainage? The drainage is about 2 feet wide. It drains my driveway hill in front of my house.
Since the back of the house, and back of the new patio, drops off into a real steep hill, should I dig and pour a retaining wall to insure the new patio doesn't slide off the hill? Should this retaining wall be ground level or should I make it higher than the patio will be?