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DIY - How to Build a Natural Stone Patio for under $100.00

Updated on May 23, 2011

Natural Stone Patio

Natural Stone Patio, made with found stone and pea gravel
Natural Stone Patio, made with found stone and pea gravel | Source

You can do this yourself

You may be thinking, Ok the the price is right, now what is the catch?

There is no catch, as long as you have the tools and the muscle to do the heavy lifting and the determination to create a beautiful natural surface to enjoy for years, without spending a lot of money by hiring professionals. A project like this would be expensive if you get a contractor.

The tools used for this patio project are are the same tools and muscles that would be needed for any landscape project that involves building a patio.

This article is another segment of my DIY project ideas for Hubpages. Check all of them out and follow me to get updates as they are available.

One of the most beautiful materials that is used in landscaping is natural stone. Making a patio out of stone, creates a beaufiful long lasting surface that will be a be functional as well.

Materials you need to do this project

To build a natural stone patio, you will need a supply of flat stones in various sizes. Large stones make a better, more sturdy patio for furniture placement. Locate your stones from construction sites, road slides, farms, and creeks to get them for Free. If you have to purchase the stone the price of the project is going to increase.

You may have to collect the stones over a period of time in order to have enough to do the project. This will also be determined by the size of the patio you decide to build. The project size of the patio referred to in this article was approx 8-10 ft with a curved pathway that attached it to the main lawn.

The project was also done in stages with the pathway being built one year and the patio built the next year.

You will need to haul your stone yourself to save money too. If you collect them gradually they can be hauled in a pickup truck bed, or an SUV. If you want to get all of them at the same time, a utility trailer is recommended.

So plan your project to determine your needs.

If you also use stone borders in your landscape, this type of patio matches it perfectly and adds to the natural elements used in your landscape design. See other Hubs I have written on these topics for more details.

Purchase a load of class I sand for the base. This product is available at a rock quarry, and can be purcahsed in bulk. Enough class I sand for this type of project should cost about $30.00

Pea gravel, available in bulk or in a bag. The closer your large stones are placed, is the less pea gravel you will need to purchase.

Determine the Location for Your New Patio

First you will need to determine where you want to locate your new natural stone patio.The area will need to be almost level. It is fine to leave a small grade for water drainage.

Also determine the size of the new patio area. You don't have to make it a square of a rectangle or circle, when using natural stone. So, be creative with it and make it interesting.

Prepare the patio site

Remove all sod from the area, if it is a grassed area. Dig the area about 6 inches below the grass level, for a patio that is on the same level as your lawn.

Fill the patio area with Class I sand. This is a course sand that is a perfect base for this type of project. Make the class I sand base about 3 -4 inches deep.Smooth the sand out, and tamp it down. Use a level to make sure that there are no low spots on the patio base.

Using large flat stones, place the stones in the desired pattern. Move them around as needed and make sure that they are steady in the base.

Fill in the spaces of the stones with pea gravel. This can be purchased by the bag, or in bulk at a landscape store or home improvement center.

Sweep the patio to remove the pea gravel from the flat stones.

Use a water hose to spray off residue from the sand and the pea gravel.

You have just built a natural stone patio, yourself, and saved lots of money on materials and labor.

Landscape around the patio to finish the look the way you want it. If you need privacy around the new patio, read the article I have written about creating better backyard privacy.

Decorate the patio with durable outdoor furniture placed on the larger stones. Wrought iron furniture, like what is shown in the photo above works out great and it is long lasting and good looking too.

You can customize your patio by adding ground covers between the stones for a softer, greener look. If you decide to add groundcovers, make sure to get low growing, steppable varieties that won't pose a tripping issue and can take foot traffic.

Enjoy your new natural stone patio, and the money you saved by doing it yourself!

Share your thoughts

After reading this article, tell us your thoughts in the comment area below. If you have a similar project that you have completed share it below too.


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    • profile image

      Andrea 5 years ago

      Great tutorial, thanks. How thick are the flagstones? I'm just about to start collecting stones all around the property and wanted to know how thick of stone should I collect. Thanks a million,


    • RentedMule profile image

      RentedMule 6 years ago from Lexington Kentucky

      RTalloni, You are exactly right! The project is a personal expression of of the DIYers creative style, a one of a kind creation, great exercise, and so much more than a "purchased" item.

      Thanks for your vote and comment!


    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

      Love projects like this because I gain so much more than the finished product. The process is healthy exercise, and after it's done I get to decorate it. What could be better? :)

      Voted up.