Saturday, September 24, 2022
HomeBuildHow To Build A Rock Patio

How To Build A Rock Patio

How To Flagstone Patio Diy: 5 Things Homeowners Need To Know

How to Build a Paver Patio

Flagstone patios make a unique design statement in your outdoor living space. Because theyre 100% natural stone , they offer one of a kind color combinations and shapes. If youre thinking of using them for a patio space, you will need to build some flexibility into your patterns.

Their uniqueness as a material is wonderful from a design aspect but does present a few challenges when it comes to working with them on a DIY project. Features like their distinct colors and shapes, and cost need to be taken into consideration before adding them to any patio project.

Here are some things homeowners need to know about using flagstone pavers to build patios, and some suggestions to make working with these beautiful stones easier.

Prepping Your Area Before Delivery Of Your Rock

Depending on where youre placing the river rock, you might have a lot of prep or very little. Most people have grass in their backyards which will have to be removed before the river rock is dumped on top of it.;


If you dont remove or cover the grass with a thick barrier, it will grow through the rock. You dont want weeds coming through your river rock. You can cover the grass with a thick barrier such as cardboard, wet it down, then youre ready to put the rock on top. The cardboard will kill the grass underneath.

In our case, the area we earmarked for the fire pit area had an above ground pool that was removed. The grass was already dead underneath the pool but the remaining area still had grass that I had to remove. This is a labor intensive process since you will need to dig underneath the grass to loosen it and pull up the roots.;

Luckily I only had about 20 sq ft to dig up so I did it by hand. If you have a larger area, you can rent a sod cutter. This cutter makes sod removal very easy, as you simply walk behind the equipment as it removes the grass and leaves a fairly level patch of dirt.;

Ideas For Building A Rock Patio

The word patio means inner courtyard or inner court – open to the sky. Rock patios have been around for thousands of years, especially in warmer climates like Spain and Latin America. Their popularity remains as strong as ever with todays outdoor entertaining trends. Building a beautiful rock patio not only takes into account types of rocks but also home design trends and ideas. You dont have to rely on new home builders to create a beautiful outdoor space for your family. Read on to discover our best outdoor home design ideas.

Also Check: Does A Patio Table Umbrella Need A Base


Ways To Create A Pea Gravel Patio

There are different ways to create a pea gravel patio. Because of the versatility of pea gravel, it can be mixed with any other stones or landscaping material to produce a patio design which suits your taste.

Majority of these gravel patio variations require a level foundation and uses the dry laying method.

Below are the common types of pea gravel patios:

An excellent spot to enjoy outdoor barbecues and parties, this pea gravel epoxy patio has a grilling station and dining table. The contrast between the pea gravel and the rough sandstone cooking station works perfectly for this contemporary themed space.

How To Build A Fire Pit Area With River Rock

Build a Beautiful Stone and Brick Backyard Patio (With ...

Want to create a dedicated area in your yard for a built in fire pit? Also want to get rid of unwanted grass at the same time? Well show you how to do both in this article creating a beautiful fire pit area that you will enjoy for many years.


Fire pit areas require a non flammable material around the fire pit for safety reasons. Any type of rock aggregate fits this description, such as pea gravel, recycled concrete, crushed granite, lava rocks and river rocks. Any of the listed materials make a great choice to install in a fire pit area and will last a long time. We chose the smooth river rock since we like the look the best from all the choices above.;

River rock is beautiful and durable but can be very expensive. We went to a local garden center that sold all kinds of landscaping materials in bulk such as dirt, mulch and different types of rock aggregates. The cost for the river rock was $125 a cubic yard with an additional charge for delivery. We estimated our area to need 2.5 cubic yards which would have cost us close to $400 with delivery.

I started looking around for other places to purchase the river rock and came across a company that was affiliated with the railroad that sold rock aggregate. Their river rock price was much less per cubic yard and looked better, with a lower cost per cubic yard. When you have a large area, buying in bulk is better for many landscaping materials, especially very heavy materials such as dirt or rock.

Recommended Reading: How Many 16×16 Pavers For A 12×12 Patio

Best Gravel Patio Ideas

Welcome to our gallery featuring the best gravel patio ideas. A gravel patio is an excellent addition to any home not only because of the added beauty it gives, but also because of the multiple purposes it can offer. It can easily transform your backyard into an extension of your living room space, a place to dine and bond with the family, to enjoy a grill out with friends, or a personal sanctuary to enjoy a book or relax after a long tiring day.


The contemporary themed gravel patio in the picture above evokes an inviting and cozy ambiance, perfect for spending the afternoons outside. Make the most of your gravel patio design by furnishing it with woven outdoor furniture, neutral drapes and a white pergola. The accents of blue from the pillows add a calming effect to the overall style of the space

Among the available materials in the market, gravel is one of the most desired ground cover for patios. It is well loved because of the numerous advantages it gives. If looking for a more practical solution and alternative to an expensive stone patio, wooden deck or interlocking bricks pavement, pea gravel is your best option. Design it however you want, either alone or mixed with other types of stone aggregates or incorporated in your landscape setting. ;Since it also offers ease in installation, making your own gravel patio can be one of your next DIY projects.

Lay The First Row Of Bricks

Lay the first bricks, starting in one corner and running along the edging to complete a row. Alternate each pair of bricks so that;two are horizontal, then two are vertical, and so on.;Press the bricks gently into the sand, and put them together as closely as possible. Tap the bricks with a rubber mallet to settle them into the sand, if necessary.

Run a mason’s line across the first row, aligned with the leading edges of the bricks. Pull the line taut and secure it at the ends with stakes, or simply clamp them to the edging. Straighten the bricks in the first row, as needed, so all leading edges are even with the line.

Also Check: How To Install Stone Patio Over Grass


Puzzle Together The Flagstone

Start by grabbing the larger stones and placing them around the perimeter of the patio. You want to use the larger stones on the outside because smaller stones will move and shift with time. Large stones;will lock the smaller stones toward the center in place.

Then, start adding the rest of the stones to the center, working toward the middle of the patio. Cutting the stones is time-consuming and dusty, so spend a few minutes trying to puzzle them together, so you have to make as few cuts as possible.

Heres a quick tip: The tighter and more consistent you try to make the seems, the longer its going to take because youll have to make waaaay more cuts. If you dont mind bigger gaps, youll save a ton of labor, and you can get by with fewer stones to save some cash.

To cut the stones, you can use anything with a diamond blade on it. You see me using an angle grinder in the video, but there is a much easier way to cut the stones, which is to use a concrete saw with a larger diamond blade, as I demonstrate here.

Install The Landscape Fabric And Gravel Base

How To Build a Crushed Stone Patio

To keep weeds off your new brick patio, it is advisable to install a landscape fabric to act as an impenetrable shield for stifling any weeds that might try to grow through the spaces between the brick or cracks that may develop with time.


Once the fabric is in place, pour the compactible gravel or crushed stones into the flat base to a height of about 4 inches from the bottom.

Use the hand tamper or plate compactor to tamp the gravel or crushed stones. The tamping at this point helps tighten the spaces between the gravel for more airtightness.

In some cases, you will notice that people place a layer of gravel first, then install the gravel before adding another thin layer of gravel.

Such a framework is meant to avoid placing the landscaping fabric directly on the ground, especially in highly acidic soils where it can corrode easily.

Recommended Reading: Removing Mold From Concrete Patio


Fill Patio With Pea Gravel

Get your wheelbarrow ready, and start loading it up with gravel! I bought this dump cart with a quick-release specifically for this project to make the process easier. It felt like I made a million trips from the side of the house where the gravel was dumped to the backyard patio.

Spread out the rocks with a metal rake over the entire patio area.

When you’ve filled it about an inch, use the tamper to stabilize and compact the gravel patio base layer.

Then fill the rest of the patio with even more pea gravel, and rake it smooth.

Slate And Gravel Patio

Slate is a fine grained greenish, blue, gray rock. It is usually sold for $18 to $30 per square foot. Though it costs up to three times more than other paving materials, slate still remains to be well loved by landscapers and homeowners because it is natural looking, durable and resilient.

Irregularly shaped slate gives patios and garden an interesting and eclectic touch. The combination of slate and gravel works perfectly for Mediterranean inspired homes and gardens by giving them a rustic flair.

Just like majority of gravel patio types, slate and gravel patios use the same dry laying method wherein the slate pieces are arranged in a particular pattern and filled with pea sized gravel in between the joints. During installation, it is ideal to start at a corner while keeping the gaps at a minimum. When the slate is completely set in a foundation base material, tamp each piece with a mallet and pour sand to fill the gaps then add grave as topper.

Two colors of gravel are used to create variation and contrast in this patio design. Bricks function as edging material and border to define space. This brick and gravel patio perfectly blends to the surrounding Mediterranean inspired landscape.

You May Like: Deck Over Concrete Patio

Mulched Patio With Rocks

An attractive layout that combines mulch with some randomly-placed rocks for interest. One backyard slopes upward and incorporates stairs to make it all tie in together. The main patio is composed of flagstone with loose stones in between.

The second design is much simpler version with mulch and smaller rocks placed randomly around the area. This will look nice with more flowers and plantings. The rocks are a quick seat for gardening in the area.

Mulch, rocks and stairs.

Roll Out Landscape Fabric

How to Install a Flagstone Patio with Irregular Stones ...
  • Add a layer of landscape fabric over the tamped soil.
  • Note: The purpose of the landscape fabric is to prevent the sand from mixing in with the soil. But its important to use a non-woven fabric, as woven landscape fabric isnt very permeable and can trap water under your patio. Look for fabric with at least a 20-year life span.

Recommended Reading: How To Stop Staining On Patio From Plant Pots

Flagstone And Gravel Patio

A flagstone is a flat stone slab of slate, sandstone or limestone ;which is rectangular or square shaped used for paving. It is a preferred material for patios because of its narrow packed joints. Flagstones come in a variety of colors such as gray, brown, reddish or blue. It usually costs around $15 to $30 per square foot.

Flagstone and pea gravel patios are constructed by dry laid method wherein the large stones are set in a bed of sand or pea gravel. The recommended depth for this is 3 inches. The excavated area for the patio is filled with coarse sand and gravel then flagstones are placed in a specific pattern. The joints are filled with the specific gravel of choice or sometimes, mortared or planted with grass.

Flagstone and gravel patios have a natural and organic look and works for both informal and formal design styles. ;If you are aiming for a casual patio setting, use irregularly shaped flagstones and arrange them in a random pattern. While if leaning towards a more formal vibe for your patio, lay rectangular flagstones in a uniform pattern.

Rectangular gray slate laid out in a mosaic like pattern give this slate and gravel patio an interesting focal point.

How To Build A Rock Patio

by Don Saunders | Jan 1, 2020 | Gravel and Stone, Landscaping

If you are looking for a beautiful yet simple addition to your yard that you can make yourself, then check out this guide for how to build your own rock patio. Sure, a grassy area on your property is fine, but why not take it up a notch and transform your space into your very own outdoor living room?

Not only do rock patios look great to both visitors and potential buyers, but they are also durable and can provide you with a useful structure for all your familys activities. No matter how big you want it, what type of rock you plan to use, or what purpose you have in mind, a rock patio will get the job done, and Saunders Landscape Supply can provide you with an easy do-it-yourself kit.

Don’t Miss: How To Build Patio Steps Using Pavers

Diy Vs Contractor: It Takes An Artistic Eye

The naturally occurring irregular shapes and colors of flagstones mean that putting together a patio is more like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. It takes time and an artistic eye to know what pieces should go together and how to shape the stones to match the desired area. If your patio has a lot of border areas, it can take skill and time to shape the stones to fit them correctly.

One solution is to use a less defined pattern and put more space between the stones. By letting the size and shape of the stones dictate the pattern, you will have less trimming and shaping to do. This will save you time on the installation and give your patio shape a more natural look.

Breaking stones isnt as difficult as it may sound . A light hammer tap on the edge should break off pieces fairly easily. Or you can try dropping the larger stones on a hard surface and let the pieces fall apart naturally. A chisel and hammer can assist when more precise shaping is required. The key is dont try to take off too much at one time and you should be able to shape the stones to meet your design.

Build Your Own Patio With Natural Stone

How to Install a Natural Stone Patio – Do It Yourself

Yet another option is fieldstone, the rocks removed from the soil when land is cleared. Though truly distinctive when installed properly, its finished surface is much rougher than flat stones like slate and bluestone. Flat stones usually are sold in nominal thicknesses from 1 to 3 in. and in 6-in. width and length increments, starting at 12 x 12 in. and going up to 2 ft. 6 in. x 2 ft. 6 in. Anything larger or thicker is usually a special order. Prices vary substantially. We bought ours in upstate New York, where 1-in.-thick bluestone costs about $4 per square foot delivered.

Stonework can certainly be beautiful and can add value to your property. Unfortunately, it’s not very easy to install. Most of the problems are in the material itself. Unlike consistent building units, like bricks or cast concrete pavers, natural stone comes in variable thicknesses. When you order nominal 1-in.-thick stones, for example, you get pieces that have one flat side but that vary in thickness from as little as 1/2 in. up to as much as 1-1/2 in. Because your goal is to create a finished surface that is as flat as possible, this means you have to custom fit the bottom of each stone in the sand base, which can be extremely time-consuming even after you get the hang of the job.

Read Also: How To Remove A Concrete Patio

Drainage With The Gravel Patio Underlayment

Since the felt is made from recycled plastic bottles, it naturally resists mold and mildew, making this a great place for us to relax and enjoy the coming summer months without a worry of bacteria lurking below . I put saucers under the pots with drainage holes to prevent any soil from leaking out into the gravel. I’m really looking forward to making s’mores over our firepit in this pretty little patio area while we sit outside and cook dinner on the grill.


RELATED ARTICLES

Most Popular