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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 family’s 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.

Preliminary Rock Patio Considerations

The first step to creating your ideal rock patio is thinking about some preliminary considerations. What do you want to do in your yard, and how could having a rock patio help this? How big is your available space and how much space do you want the patio to take up? What is your budget for this project? While some people choose to make these decisions on their own and be more independent with their process, you are always welcome to call Saunders for a consultation. You can trust our experts to help you figure out what is best for you and your family. It is important that you know exactly what you want out of your rock patio before you get started so that your unique structure really does suit your lifestyle the best. This way, you have no regrets years from now, and this rock patio will continue to serve as an asset as long as you live on this property.

Additionally, there are things you do and do not want around your rock patio for structural reasons, so it is important that you consider these factors as well. Nearby trees could be an issue, as you could run into roots while digging into ground or even damage the trees. There may also be buried lines around your future patio, so be sure to contact your utility company about this before starting any construction. Your site should be well drained so that water does not weaken the patio’s stability, and any slope in the area should be less than about 1/4 in. per foot so that your rocks remain in place. Finally, think about if you want shade around or room for specific furniture items on your patio, as your use of the space should determine its design and structure as well.

Choosing Your Rock

Then, of course, the next step is that. you must choose what type of rock you want to use to build your new patio. There are many different options, each with their own benefits and aesthetic appeal, so overall, your choice of rock will depend on your unique style and needs. Saunders sells a variety of gravel and stone options, including river rock, bluestone gravel, pea gravel, red brick stone, and recycled concrete stone, each of which can be available in different sizes.

For a rock patio project in particular, we like to recommend the use of pea gravel (three-eights inches). Pea gravel is frequently used for decorative landscaping purposes, and it is a good fit for rock patios specifically because it can easily be compacted. No need to worry about tripping over big rocks or getting dust in your shoes, because pea gravel is a perfect in-between size, and when contacted, it is almost as stable as concrete, but with the rocky look that you want. Its light tan color also contrasts nicely with nearby dark green grass, so if this is the aesthetic that you are looking for, then this might just be your perfect match. Whatever rock you decide to choose, be sure to contact Saunders so that we can plan to deliver a kit that includes your patio rocks and anything else you will need for your personalized patio construction project.

How to Build a Rock Patio in Four Easy Steps

Once you have figured out all of this, just follow these four simple steps to build a rock patio yourself. You will be delighted to see just how quick and easy the process is, as well as the amazing results you will get once completing this DIY project. Before you begin, make sure that you have the following materials: a shovel, a can of spray paint, enough edging material to line the perimeter of your patio, landscape fabric for the patio’s base, and, of course, the rocks that will make up the majority of the patio. You likely already have most of these items lying around in your garage or basement, but feel free to contact Saunders if you find that you are missing something and want to get a high-quality version of the item from a trustworthy landscaping company.

  1. The first step, once you have reviewed your earlier considerations, is preparing the area for construction. Pull any weeds and remove plants that are in the same place as your future patio, and make the space as level as possible. You may also want to dig out a couple inches of dirt so that your rocks are on the same level as the rest of the ground, through some people choose to save time and skip over this step. Overall, the space should be tidy and even, which will provide you with the best possible base for the structure.
  1. Next, the first major part of construction process is to draw the shape of the patio on the ground and create a frame or edge on top of these lines. Using your spray paint, draw the outline for your desired rock patio directly onto the ground. While some people want a large rectangular rock patio, others may want more of a winding path, so just plan this ahead of time so that you know what to draw out when you get to this step. Once the spray paint has dried, you will make this outline even more established through installing solid edges. You can use bricks, bender board with stakes, or another material, just make sure that it will not decompose over time and will add to the desired aesthetic you are looking for with your overall rock patio structure.
  1. Once you have the space blocked off and framed, lay down landscape fabric within the edges. Landscape fabric will not only provide a solid foundation for the patio, but it will also kill the grass underneath and prevent any other weeds or plants from popping up and harming the stability of your rock patio. Make sure that the fabric covers all the ground and that there are not gaps between it and your edges so that the entire space is protected and prepared.
  1. Now, it is finally time to get out your rocks. Like we explained earlier, the choice of rock is up to you, and Saunders offers many different options depending on what you want your rock patio to look and feel like. Spread the rocks all within the edges you have determined so that it covers all the fabric. You may want just one layer of rocks, or you may want them to reach the to of your edges, especially if the rocks are likely to move or there are large gaps between them. Having at least a couple inches of rocks is usually a pretty safe bet, and you can spread them evenly with your shovel or a rake depending on the size of the rocks.If you choose to use very small rocks, you may also want to consider renting a compactor, which will make the structure more firm and stable. 

Enjoy Your New Rock Patio!

Once you have completed these four basic steps, that is pretty much all that it takes to build your perfect rock patio! After a day or two spent following these instructions, you will have a stunning new addition to your property that you can be proud of. Saunders will get you what you need to get started, and once you are done, you can sit back and enjoy family time, outdoor parties and events, or even just a good book, complete with a beautifully landscaped space that you made yourself. There is no need to hire an untrustworthy handyman to do the job when you can get it done better yourself once you have the necessary materials and instructions. The time and money you put in now will be well worth it in the long run, as your new rock patio will increase your property value, as well as your quality of life. You can get this project done all by yourself, just be sure to come to us when looking for the patio rocks, other materials, or any advice or help you need along the way.