How Much Does a Gravel or Crushed Stone Patio Cost?

$8 to $12 / Sqft Installed

A crushed stone or gravel patio costs around $8-12 per square foot installed. The cost is primarily based on patio size, material used and how difficult the excavation is.

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Average Cost of Gravel Patio Installation

Most stone types cost $15-$33 per cubic yard, with each yard covering 81 square feet to a depth of 4 inches. In other words, for a 12×20 area, you’d need about 3 cubic yards of material at a cost of up to $100 plus possible delivery fees. To have the gravel dumped and spread runs about $15 per yard. The rest of the contractor cost is in removing grass and soil, leveling the area and installing perimeter materials.

Average Do It Yourself cost
$1.00 – $3.50 per Square Foot
Average Contractor Installed Cost
$6.00 – $20.00 per Square Foot
Typical Cost Average
About $12.00 per Square Foot
Last Updated: Wednesday, March 3, 2021

crushed stone gravel patio with chairs and table

Overview of Loose Stone Patios

A gravel patio is a cost-effective way to create a useful outdoor setting for a gas fire pit or an area for grilling and chilling with a plumbed, installed gas grill. This can be a DIY project that doesn’t require a lot of know-how, so can come at a lower cost than brick, concrete and paver patios. There are quite a few steps to getting it done, but they’re labor intensive rather than technical, so can be done as long as a little hard work isn’t too much.

First of all, the grass turf and soil are removed to a depth of 4-6 inches, the ground is levelled and compacted. Next, at least 4 inches of gravel must be installed on the level ground.  This will keep weeds from growing, as long as you put down a barrier, such as landscape fabric, before putting down the gravel.

The most common type of gravel used in gravel patios is pea stone gravel.  Pea stone is very smooth and can be walked on with bare feet.  It also drains easily and keeps more weeds away.  A negative about gravel is that it needs an edge to keep the gravel within the patio area.

Pavers, concrete or even plastic edging can be used to form the perimeter barrier. Snow is another issue with a gravel patio.  You can use a blower to clean off a light dusting of snow, but in areas with a high snowfall, a shovel must be used. This can cause some displacement of the gravel. Most homeowners don’t get use of a pea stone patio until spring melts the snow.

This page of Costimates, or cost estimates for common indoor and outdoor projects, covers the cost to install a gravel or stone patio. Prices are sampled from other reliable estimating sites, and links to related projects are included as inspiration for how to make the most of your outdoor living space. If you’d like to share your gravel patio cost for the benefit of other readers, please bookmark this page and return when your project is complete.

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Product and Installation Supplies Cost Details

Crushed Stone Patio Cost Factors

These factors should allow you to narrow the price range for your stone patio project.

  • Who Builds the Gravel Patio – If you decide to do this project yourself, then a substantial amount of money will be saved.  However, while easy to plan, creating the patio will take plenty of time and a lot of hard, physical labor depending on its size.  A professional contractor or landscaper can be hired to do the job quickly.  They will usually charge by the square foot, but occasionally will charge by the job.
  • Size of the Gravel Patio – The larger the gravel patio, the more expensive it will be.  More work will be needed to get the ground level to install the gravel and more gravel will be required.  To save money, you can buy gravel by the truckload, rather than buying it by the bag.  Shop around for price; landscape supply companies and concrete specialists are among those that will deliver gravel, pea stone and other stone types.
  • Access – When space is tight around your home, more of the work such as carting stone or digging the base will be done by hand rather than getting equipment to the location. This will increase cost due to increased hours of labor.
  • Local Conditions – The harder the soil and the more obstacles to doing the work, such as removal of small trees or shrubs, will drive up cost.
  • What Type of Gravel Patio is Built –  There are a few different types of gravel that are used to create a gravel patio.  Most are comparable in cost and efficiency, as indicated in the Retail section below.
  • Where you Live –  The price of gravel is pretty standard all over.  You can expect to pay between $1 – $4 per square foot for the materials.  If you decide to use a landscaper or a contractor then the price will go up, depending on the going rate of labor.  Contractors that work by the hour can range from $20 per hour to $75 per hour.
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Retail Stone Patio Costs

  • $2.00 – $4.00 per Square Foot, 4 inches deep | Pea Gravel – Very smooth rounded stones, pea stone or gravel is ideal for going barefoot on your patio.  Usually around ¼ in size, but can be as small as ⅛ of an inch.  The colors that are usually available are white, brown, black and gray.
  • $1.50 – $3.00 per Square Foot, 4 inches deep | Decomposed Granite – Home Advisor prices this as a slightly cheaper alternative. It’s a more rough cut and jagged type of gravel.  This gravel drains well and also looks very nice aesthetically.  The average cost is between $1 – $3 per square foot.
  • $40 – $75 per Day | Sod Cutter Rental from a local home improvement store or landscape supply company
  • $15 – $50 per 100 Square Foot Roll | Landscape Fabric. Options vary by material and thickness.
  • $12 – $40 Each | Hand tools such as a sod knife and flat spade

Other stone types used in patios are found below, but not all types are available in all regions.

  • Less than $2.00 per Square Foot | Crushed Concrete – Cheap, but it can be sharp.
  • About $1.00 per Square Foot | Crushed, Recycled Asphalt – Affordable, but might give off an odor in very hot and sunny conditions.
  • $3.00 – $6.00 per Square Foot | Caliche Stone – Referring to a range of stone types, colors, shape and size vary by region. Considered a decorative stone.
  • $2.50 – $5.00 per Square Foot | River Rock – Cost often varies by availability and stone size – larger stone costs more per cubic yard, but isn’t always suitable for patios.
  • Less than $2.00 per Square Foot | Crushed Concrete – Cheap, but it can be sharp.
  • About $1.00 per Square Foot | Crushed, Recycled Asphalt – Affordable, but might give off an odor in very hot and sunny conditions.
  • $3.00 – $6.00 per Square Foot | Caliche Stone – Referring to a range of stone types, colors, shape and size vary by region. Considered a decorative stone.
  • $2.50 – $5.00 per Square Foot | River Rock – Cost often varies by availability and stone size – larger stone costs more per cubic yard, but isn’t always suitable for patios.
  • Less than $1.50 per Square Foot | Crushed Shells. It is a cheap material, locally available near costs and a little bit sharp for bare feet.
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Permits, Inspection, Related Costs and Installation Time

Permits and Inspection Cost

  • $0-$300 |  A permit may be needed to build a gravel patio if you’re also running a gas line to it for a grill or fire pit or installing an electric circuit and wiring for outdoor lighting, electric heaters or other equipment. Otherwise, permits are not usually required.

Related Costs and Installation Time

If the site that the gravel patio is going to be located needs significant excavation of turf and topsoil, then that will be a major cost increase above the $1-$3 for materials, according to Remodeling Expense.  Sometimes a shovel isn’t enough to move the dirt to get the area flat in order to build the patio.  In this case, an excavation company or a contractor with the proper equipment will be needed.  On average, the price increases 30%-45% of the overall cost if excavation is needed.

The amount of time it takes to build a gravel patio is around 6 to 20 hours, depending on site conditions, size of the patio, and how much gravel you are planning on using for the patio.

Expect labor rates to amount to $6.00 to $15.00 per square foot based on patio size, soil conditions, how much excavation is required and whether obstacles such as shrubs or stumps are encountered. If you do all the prep work, and all that is required is spreading the gravel, expect cost estimates of $10 to $25 per cubic yard, according to HomeGuide. An average cost would be about $15 per cubic yard of material. Typically, one cubic yard covers about 80 square foot to a depth of 4 inches.

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DIY or Hire a Pro?

steve-hansen

Building or installing a gravel patio is definitely something that you can do on your own without having to hire an outside source, such as a landscaper or contractor. You’ll earn the money you save, because installing a stone or gravel patio is very hard work and labor intensive.

There is a lot of shoveling/moving of gravel and dirt, as well as a lot of lifting of either bags of gravel or removing the gravel from a truck or trailer.  If lifting and/or shoveling is something you cannot physically do, then hiring the job out to a contractor or landscaper would be in your best interest.

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