After years of just doing design in an office and never seeing it after it goes out to bid, I'm doing a design-build on my own and need some confirmation that I've made the right choice here.
Project description: I'm going to put 1" bluestone on an existing 100 SF concrete patio (co-op apt). Paver sizes are 12x12, 12x18, 12x24, 18x18 (nominal). I'll put down a 1/2"-1" mortar setting bed, depending on actual stone thickness. I asked the stone yard guys if thin-set mortar is okay since I chose pieces that were an inch or less thick but they said no, use regular mortar. Therefore, looking at what's readily available at Home Depot, I found Sakrete Sand Mix - "A quality mixture of sand and cement designed for the overlaying of damaged concrete, and for use as a bedding mix for flagstone, slate or brick.' I just want to make sure that I'm using the right stuff. No need to go with Type N or S mortar. I'll just mix one bag at a time in a bucket and set a few stones at a time. Am I okay with all this?
Also, what should I know about cutting the bluestone around some pipes, wall detail brickwork, etc.? Wet saw (is that just for tile?) or dry cut circular saw w/diamond blade? What should I discuss when I ask someone to cut the stone to size? I'm not going to invest in buying a saw since this might be my only DIY design-build job plus I live in a tiny studio apt. Can I just advertise on Craigslist for the few cuts I have to make? I don't know any contractors. I don't want to spend time going back to the stone yard. What should I do?
Your suggestions will be helpful as I try my hand at installing a design to launch my biz. If I have a client with a bigger budget in the future, I'll definitely hire a contractor. Thanks!